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A Must Read

HI fellow blog readers!! I just found a must read blog and highly suggest going to check it out! A post that I found particularly interesting, surrounded the topic of President Trump’s idea of school choice.  It is a great post that thoroughly describes what school choice is and what it entails. The overall blog talks about education and specifically focuses on student disengagement. I found this blog to be similar to mine, yet different it its own way!

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The Funding Fight: Public Schools vs. Charter Schools

The cartoon above represents a charter school taking away government funding, meant for public schools. The charter school takes the money and uses it to fund their own schools. It also shows how the money dedicated for U.S. public education is starting to dwindle away. A charter school is defined as a publically funded independent school established by teachers, parents, or community groups under the terms of a charter, with either a local or national authority. The differences between charter schools and public schools are that one chooses to attend a charter school and that they have more freedom in regulations, but still have to show high performance in their test results. Charter schools have become popular over the past several years due to their ability to experiment in their curriculum that they teach. I believe that public schools serve the same purpose as charter schools and can produce equally good results.

Where Has The Public Education System Gone?

Thinking about the future without a public education system in the United States is an extremely scary thought. I cannot imagine this nation not providing our communities with free, quality education. These schools are where the majority of society will learn important information and where they will grow into their own self. By not providing communities with a good public education, members will be more likely to be unemployed, be involved with crime, and not give back to their own community.

While I would hope that the government would be willing to help fund improvements within the system, I know there is a chance they will not find it worth it. Because of this, there is quite the potential that over the next few years, the public education system will not improve their teacher training and will not raise teacher’s salaries. There are several implications that will occur if these improvements are not implemented. Because most teachers are inaccurately trained, they are currently not providing students with the best knowledge and in turn, leaving public schools to go to another school where they will be provided with better education, such as, private, charter, or home schools. The implication of not increasing teacher’s pay will strictly lead to no motivation within the classroom. This lack of motivation will start with the teachers but then will evolve to the students where they will have no motivation to do well in school or possibly to even complete school.

If these improvements are not implemented somewhat soon, the United States public education system is going to increasingly worsen and begin to hurt teachers, students, and communities throughout the nation.

A World Where Students Cannot Think

neurobiology-writers-block-phd-students

The two main sides in this discussion on student disengagement are those who believe that the teachers are responsible for engaging their students, and those who believe that students must take initiative and become more self-motivated.  As I mentioned in my last post, these two sides have a common goal of wanting students to succeed, and even share the classroom setting, making it theoretically simple to solve the problem together.  But, if these two sides cannot come together to face the issue head on, the alarming trend of student disengagement will continue to grow.   Imagine that students statewide, even country-wide, become apathetic and unambitious rather than imaginative and aspirational.  They will lack important abilities such as critical thinking, strong communication skills, and complex reasoning.  Doug Mataconis explains in an article that a recent study done on undergraduates over the course of four years showed that the majority of today’s college students already lack these essential skills.  In response to the article, a blogger pointed out that the problem does not lie with colleges, but instead with K-12 education, which should be building the foundation for higher learning. The problem of student disengagement appears early, but is brushed under the rug so many times that it eventually damages the ability of students to succeed after school.  David Paris, the president of the New Leadership Alliance for Student Learning, also claims that the lack of progress in writing and reasoning will force people to discuss present learning issues, many related to student disengagement, hopefully sparking the changes that need to come.

What Can Representation Even Do?

 

What can representation even do? The answer is simple: it can change our nation. Now, I know what you are thinking. How can having queer characters change our country? The short answer is that on its own, it can’t. The truth is that having these characters just contributes to the overall development of a nation that supports queer individuals. Throughout this blog, I’ve discussed how this happens, through exposure. Learning about queer people and understanding them, helps people who are ignorant of the issues recognize that queer people are just people. In 2015, just before gay marriage was made legal in all 50 states, former President Obama said:

“However the decision comes down on the marriage issue, one thing’s undeniable: There has been this incredible shift in attitudes across the country. When I became president, same-sex marriage was legal in only two states. Today it’s legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia. A decade ago, politicians ran against LGBT rights, today they’re running towards them, ’cause they’ve learned what the rest of the country knows — that marriage equality is about our civil rights, and our firm belief that every citizen should be treated equally under the law.”

If we cannot come together on this issues, we will not be able to continue to protect LGBTQIA+ people. Acceptance of LGBTQIA+ people is becoming so widespread, in part due to our normalization of queer people. For instance, President Donald Trump’s administration is one of the most conservative we’ve had in quite some time, yet they still support Executive Order 13672, signed by Obama, which protects queer people from discrimination in the workplace. If we continue to represent queer people well, there will continue to be a more positive attitude about them across our nation.

featured image via PinkNews

 

Recommended Reading

Hey guys! Check out this great blog about the stigmas around mental illness. I find that this is another social issue that is benefited by exposure and educated conversation. It’s a great topic and there have been some very quality posts about the stigma, where it comes from, and steps to get rid of it. Enjoy!

Listen up!

Despite the effects of a pro-life or pro-choice world, the polarization of this topic results in heavy judgement and gross stigmas for anyone who shows a strong stance. I would argue that all women are affected by the polarization of abortion. Those who are pro-life are often thought of extremists who care little for a mother or women’s rights in general, while pro-choice advocates are often given the name of “baby killer” as seen in this article. The people with no visible opinion are also attacked for their lack of action because the topic really has a “you’re with me or you’re against me” attitude. These stigmas result in shame from some women, or even the refusal to discuss the topic for others. I think the latter is the more dangerous of the two. As I’ve said in many posts, there is nothing more dangerous to a society than ignorance and without talking about the subject and sharing stories and experiences, how can the society be anything but ignorant?

 

I don’t believe that reducing the polarization of this topic is far off. As I have shown in former posts, many people on opposing sides share opinions, and very few believe in the extremes (abortion should be illegal in all cases or legal up to birth). What I see as a solution is not that all people believe that abortion is either ok, or not ok, but that all of society is educated and recognizes that it is not a black and white topic. If people would just continue the conversation on their beliefs and the root of them, I think this topic would cool down, and we would all be better off. So next time you’re in a situation that calls for your opinion, don’t back down. Here is a great link to help you out with these conversations and ensure everyone feels safe and respected.

Celebrity Experience

This video feature clips of Naya Rivera discussing her decision to get an abortion and how she reflects on it still today. Showing clips like this in the media starts to remove the stigma of abortion in society. As Naya mentions, discussing it is important, and not a lot of people do. I like this video because it shows a real person who made the decision and how it has affected her. Naya doesn’t regret the decision and states that she wrote her book, where it is mentioned, for her son, who she loves with all her heart. It also deals with the topic of her telling her now husband about her decision after it had been completed. She says that he dealt with it in the best way a man could, another great example of how this can be dealt with by anyone. This video and article are a way that Entertainment Tonight shows its respect for this woman and her decision.

 

Oliver’s Fight: God Bless Shonda Rhimes

CAUTION: How to Get Away with Murder Spoilers ahead!

I LOVE Thursday nights. Shonda Rhimes has me completely captivated to the point that I will not make plans on Thursday nights, so that I can curl up in my snuggie and watch her line up on ABC. Her hit, How to Get Away with Murder, is one of my favorite television shows right now. It is so inclusive and explores so many different aspects of diversity, without making it seem unnatural (which is an amazing feature of all of Rhimes’ shows).

For many, the season finale of HTGAWM was disappointing. A lot of critics felt as though Connor and Oliver’s story line had been told before. Others felt as though Connor was being slut shamed by Oliver. HIV/AIDS is not discussed very much on television, despite the fact that 1.2 million Americans have it. 19% of gay and bisexual men have it and that number only increases for gay and bisexual black men. While HIV/AIDS is not an exclusively queer disease, fighting against them has often been a queer fight. This show models how to have safe sex (everyone, not just queer people should regularly get tested!) and explores the relationship after one partner is diagnosed. Before this show, I was not even aware that PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) existed.

Check out this blog that discusses the implications of HIV in today’s world!

 

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