1. Here in Florida where I teach there are almost 60,000 homeless school age children. At the same time that the state’s legislature is passing anti-teacher and anti-public school legislation that requires all children to pass yearly tests for teachers to remain employed and schools to stay open we deal with children who are hungry, sick, frightened, traumatized, abused, and mentally ill.

    There is no provision in the new laws to ameliorate the requirements for these children to succeed on the tests even if they miss every third day of school.
    If my homeless and poor students fail to make the newly raised bar on the tests this year I (and all of my colleagues) will be found to be ineffective and my life’s calling, my 20 years of experience, my 3 college degrees, my National Board certification, and my teaching license will mean nothing any more. This is true for any teacher who chooses to work with poor children.

    The children and their families are left adrift — we feed them 10 meals a week and provide weekend emergency food rations, like in the video. Healthcare is non-existent for many, with clinics overwhelmed or refusing poor patients because the state has cut their budgets and the insurance payments.

    I have no answers. I have only grief, a fierce pride, and a determination to keep fighting and working until I am made redundant. What happens then is I will join these homeless children and their families. Together we will do what needs to be done to survive, I suppose. And the band plays on. . . .

    Pray for us. God is all we have left at this point. I pray God is listening.

  2. …and the screencap is of one of those (evil?) fools (key phrase: “Heritage Foundation”), who’s contributed so much to making things So Bad.

    Pray for us. God is all we have left at this point. I pray God is listening.

    Right there w/ you {{{Brian}}}

  3. And all because so many Americans are still terrified beyond reason at the very mention of the word “socialism” – or “national health program” etc.

  4. Oh, and Joe’s student Jana is homeless too; she lives in a tent somewhere in Orlando, with her husband David.

  5. In 1979, a new convert but with an Anglo Catholic Episcopal background. I began working in my own Parish as a Coordinator of Religious Education. Like any (or most)people at the beginning of a ministry, I was full of Vatican II hope and joy. The parish also had a new group – called The Charismatic Prayer Group. I accepted their invitation to attend one time, and I came away uneasy, it was not my cup of tea. As I moved on, each parish had it’s own group an there began to big questions on my part. I recognized it as a Protestant entity (after all, I had been Protestant most of my life.)As RE teachers, they spouted very conservative Evangelical stuff instead of the new texts that were being written.
    So, I did some research and found
    James Davison Hunter. His book “Culture Wars, the Struggle to Control the Family, Art, Education Law,and Politics in America” was an eye opener and saved my sanity but scared me also as I began to see the political clout that was coming. Hunter points out that until the ’70’s, Conservative politicians and Conservative religious folk had gone their separate ways. But then there was a struggle over some textbooks for a school district (forget where) and somehow both Conservative groups (secular and religious) worked together and won. It changed the whole ball game and the Heritage Foundation was born. The wedge issue became Abortion and we all know that has been a powerful and never ending issue.
    It’s a fascinating read, Amazon has “Culture Wars” and the other books that he has written since. You will understand what has happened to America (and grieve). You will understand better what has happened to the mainline churches (and grieve some more)but at least you will know…..nij