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Betsy DeVos Is Considering Rescinding Guidance That Protects Racial Minority Students – Again



Just as she has with transgender students and disabled students, Betsy DeVos is targeting racial minority students – again.

The Education Secretary held two separate listening sessions with the goal of rolling back Obama-era guidance designed to protect racial minority children from being disciplined at higher rates than non-minority children. The guidance was created in 2014 to help stop Black and other minority students from being suspended at high rates, and to break the school-to-prison pipeline.

DeVos chose Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to hold the meetings.

The first session included participants interested in keeping the guidance protections. Among them, the Dept. of Education announced, were the National Education Association, the Association of American University Women, the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Several teachers and administrators were also included, but No students were, and some organizations were effectively barred from participating.

“Groups like the National Women’s Law Center sent DeVos a letter slamming what they called ‘the exclusive and non-transparent approach’ of the summit,” HuffPost reports. “The letter was co-signed by groups like the Human Rights Campaign and the National Center for Transgender Equality. It expressed the groups’ support for the guidance.”

Senior policy analyst and director of education policy for the Leadership Conference, Liz King, “described the morning meeting as ‘frustrating and underwhelming.’ King spoke directly to Education Department officials about how this administration’s actions are having a negative impact on school climate, especially for LGBTQ and immigrant students. She urged DeVos to maintain the existing guidance,” HuffPost reported.

The second group, which wants the guidance protecting racial minority students rescinded, included a right wing think tank, the Manhattan Institute, which for decades has advocated for charter schools and privatization of government programs.

Other participants included lesser-known educational groups, several teachers and former teachers, and one student.

Many groups were not represented at all.

“King said it was ‘was glaringly apparent there was no one from the disability community, the LGBTQ community, the Native American community, the Latino community, or the immigrant community in the room.'”

DeVos has previously attacked minority students.

One of her first acts was to rescind guidance from the Obama administration detailing how schools could and should protect the civil rights of transgender students. She then rescinded 72 documents designed to help explain to administrators how to protect the civil rights of disabled students. And in October she began work to rescind guidance designed to ensure minority students are not placed in special education classes at a disproportional rate to other students, and that schools are funding special education classes appropriately.

Image by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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Marjorie Taylor Green’s Chief of Staff Quits — Hours After Her Very Public Meltdown on the Capitol Steps



Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) lost her most senior staffer on Friday after she made a scene on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.

NBC News reported Greene “instigated a shouting match with a group of House Democrats who were holding an event outside the U.S. Capitol on Friday.”

Greene screamed that Democrats support “murder” for supporting abortion rights.

Following the incident, Greene announced that her chief of staff had “advised” her that he would no longer be working in her office.

“I want to thank my Chief of Staff, Patrick Parsons, for helping me take the fight to the Socialist Democrats as I’ve transitioned into Congress. He’s advised me he will be moving back into the political arena to help elect America First conservatives who can fight alongside me,” she posted to Twitter.


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‘Intentionally Misleading or Staggeringly Ignorant’: Maricopa County Destroys Cyber Ninjas After ‘Laughable’ Audit



Maricopa County officials Friday afternoon responded in detail to claims made by Cyber Ninjas in the $6 million six month “audit” of the Arizona county’s ballots from the 2020 presidential election. Late Thursday night multiple news organizations reported that Cyber Ninjas’ audit, officially released Friday afternoon, found Joe Biden did win the election in Arizona, as originally reported nearly one year ago, and actually walked away with even more votes that first reported, while Donald Trump, the company concluded, got even less.

But the devil is in the details and after six frustrating months of dealing with a company that reportedly has zero expertise in auditing elections, Maricopa County officials blasted some of the “critical concerns” Cyber Ninjas claimed in their report.

Via a lengthy series of tweets Maricopa County officials destroyed Cyber Ninja’s audit, which is being called a “fraudit” and a sham.

For example, calling it “intentionally misleading or staggeringly ignorant,” Maricopa County blasted Cyber Ninjas and GOP state senators over the claim and “concern” that 23,344 mail-in ballots voted from a prior address:

County officials went even further, writing:

1) Military and overseas voters can cast a “federal only ballot” despite living outside the U.S. The address tied to their ballot would be their prior address in AZ.
2) People are allowed to move from one house to another (or even one state to another) in October and November of an election year (yes, shocking!). If the driver’s license address matches the voter registration address, they are still allowed to vote.
3) For the November General Election Maricopa County had 20,933 one-time temporary address requests. In addition, snowbirds and college students tend to have forwarding addresses when they are out of the county.
4) Mail-in ballots are not forwarded to another address.

In another they called it “laughable” that Cyber Ninjas were concerned that in a state of “more than 7 million people” … “yes, some of them share names & birth years.”

“If Cyber Ninjas understood data analysis, they would have performed standard processes to rule out situations that lead to faulty conclusions,” county officials added.

And even more criticisms:

You can read them all here.


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‘Pretty Much the Ball Game’: Trump Just Lost Any Chance of Being Able to Claim Executive Privilege



White House press secretary Jen Psaki Friday afternoon casually let reporters know President Joe Biden will not invoke executive privilege on behalf of former president Donald Trump when the House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack requests documents.

Trump is claiming that his status as a former president allows him to retain executive privilege rights, which is wrong. The ability to invoke executive privilege rests only with the current president, and is well-defined.

“The president has already concluded it would not be appropriate to exert executive privilege,” Psaki told Huffpost White House correspondent S.V. Dáte when asked.

(Dáte is the reporter who possibly is best-known for asking then-President Donald Trump last year in August, live and on-camera, “do you regret at all, all the lying that you’ve done to the American people?“)

Top national security expert and attorney Bradley Moss quickly weighed in, saying “this would pretty much be the ball game on that issue,” meaning there’s nearly no chance Trump will get that protection, barring “intervention” from the Library of Congress’s Archivist.


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