Category: News Event

Teachers Rejoice Over Imminent End of Devos’ Tenure as DepEd Head

Educators are elated over Joe Biden’s forthcoming assumption of office as the new U.S. President, partly because it signals the end of Betsy DeVos’ tenure. Devos as the Secretary of the U.S. Education Department is considered by educators as the number one enemy of public schools.

As Biden’s win was declared by broadcaster nationwide, teachers’ unions, educators, school officials, and parents rejoiced by organizing and throwing a DeVos a retirement party by way of social media. Many of the ecstatic celebrators posted videos and photos of rejoicing by popping bottles of champagne and creating memes depicting the Education Secretary as Cruella De Vil and many other Disney movie anti-heroes. .

In his victory speech, President-elect Biden raised the hopes of many actors in the education sector by immediately proclaiming his moment of victory as a great day for the country’s educators. The former Vice-President was especially proud in saying that the soon-to-be first lady Jill Biden, is a teacher by profession and very much a part of the National Education Association.

Why is DeVos Hated by Educators ?

Betsy DeVos has been frequently ranked at the top of the list of the most disliked Cabinet members of the Trump administration. It is aggravated by the fact that she is also one of the longest serving Trump officials in an administration were turnovers of cabinet members are frequent. To stay long as a Trump cabinet member, one simply has to obey and not run aground with his presidential directives and personal wishes.

DeVos failed to make considerable progress in carrying out government during her time as Education Secretary. Her notoriety as Education Secretary is highlighted by the record-number of lawsuits filed against her. All of which are connected to her failure to supervise the Education Department in accordance with the guidelines prescribed by education-related legislative Acts.

In fact, her promotion of the school choice approach, which encourage parents to enroll their children in private or charter schools as an alternative to public school education, was a major issue raised by public school teachers during their nationwide walkout strikes. Mainly because school choice promotion also encouraged the proliferation of numerous for-profit charter schools entitled to receive federal funding, which diverted federal money that traditionally were allocated among public school districts.

Furthermore, she was a frontrunner in reversing or rewriting the guidance and regulations put in place by the Obama administration. The most controversial of which is Title IX, which aims to ensure the protection of the rights of the victims of campus sexual assault, including transgender students.

Her notoriety included ignoring the fraudulent acts of for-profit colleges that were without accreditation from Education Department. DeVos did not do anything to assist the swindled students who took out of education loans in order to pay the tuition and enrollment fees collected by the fly-by-night school operators. That is without considering that said students come mostly from cash-strapped, low-income families. .

Among Devos’ most despised decisions as Education Secretary is her cancellation of discipline guidelines that schools must observe in deciding disciplinary cases involving colored students. The eliminated guidelines were aimed at preventing cases of adverse student behaviors, from advancing toward the school-to-prison pipeline.

Educators and parents were teary-eyed in celebrating the end of Betsy Devos’ term as secretary of a critical sector. Her termination was something that a number of lawmakers have been calling for during the past three years of the Trump administration.

Florida’s School Reopening : Increased COVID-19 Hospitalization and Deaths in Children

Florida’s K12 schools forced to physically reopen by Fla. Gov. DeSantis had sent the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations among children soaring.

In the past two weeks after reopening, over 7,000 school children tested positive, which increased the more than 600 cases of under age 18 that have been hospitalized since March 2020. Based on the Florida Department of Health’s pediatric reports, 47,489 Floridians under the age of 18 have tested positive since March, eight of whom have died.

Last Friday (Aug. 21, 2020), a six year old girl from Hillsborough County became the youngest victim to die of the infectious disease. In July, the youngest recorded death was that of 9-year old Putnam County girl who also had no underlying health problems.

Florida governor Ron DeSantis had pressured schools to move forward with in-person school reopening or face the consequences of losing their school district funding. As of this writing, Gov. DeSantis has not responded to news reporters’ request for comment with regard to the 6-year old girl’s death.

AAP Released New Report about Rise in COVID-19 Cases Among Children Since School Reopening

A new report from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has presented information that in-person school reopening had spurred increases in cases of COVID-19 infections among children below 18 years old. Where in-person classes were widely believed as doable because of reports that children are relatively at low risks of contracting the COVID-19 disease, the AAP’s new report disclosed contrary information.

Between July 9 and August 13, the overall cases of of American children who tested positive with COVID-19 has doubled from around a previous 200,000 to more than over 406,000. The AAP attributes the increase to the physical reopening of schools, which also led to the rise in the number of children with severe symptoms, which in turn accelerated the widespread transmission of the infectious disease in communities.

Australia Catastrophic Fires Forced Families To Move Out

Australia remains in the throes of disastrous fires that have been spreading throughout the country, ever since bushfires started in Queensland in as early as August 01, 2019. It is now touted as one of the worsts to have hit the country, as the devastating effects have spread widely in neighboring areas during the months that followed..

In addition to Queensland, four more of Australia’s six states, namely Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Western Australia, are experiencing catastrophic fires, with the east coast being the hardest hit. Firefighters and volunteers in New South Wales are still battling the fires that continue to engulf the region.

In fact, the Australian government has sent requests for assistance to the U.S. and Canadian governments. Yet so far, only Canada has responded with a pledge to send at least 30 oe more firefighters.

Recent Surge of Heat Wave Causing Further Aggravation

Since 2017, Queensland and New South Wales have been experiencing shortfalls in precipitations. According to Rosa Hoff , Bureau of Meteorology Forecaster, the prolonged period of dryness had escalated the risk levels for severe fires and raised temperatures in Queensland.

Ms. Hoff added that although the smoke haze that has engulfed the region as a result of the Queensland bushfires is starting to clear out, while on its way toward the sea, there is still a good chance, it could blow back and affect the state. Unless Queensland receives the badly needed significant and widespread rains, it will be long before the smoke haze enveloping the region altogether disappears.

It is quite unfortunate as well that severe heat wave has been gripping most parts of the country since mid-December 2019. The hottest day on record comes at an average high of 41.9 degrees Celsius or 107.4 degrees Fahrenheit. The continuously rising temperature is only causing aggravation to the fires that continue to spread in neighboring regions.

In Victoria, the Foote Tk – 2 kilometers southeast of Lake Condah, is till raging and not yet under control. The same is true with the The Wingan River bushfire, to which the townships of Genoa, Gipsy Point, Genoa, Karbeethong and Mallacoota are still under severe threats of destruction by ongoing active fires. In Coopracambra National Park, a new fire about nine kilometers of Chandlers Creek, has been identified.

Australia Government Gives Advice on What to Do

The government gives advice for people to stay alert and constantly monitor the fire risk alarm level as well as keep track of fire movements happening in real time. The most reliable sources of information is the Digital Earth Australia (DEA) and the Bureau of National Warnings. The DEA uses satellite data in detecting physical changes that are transpiring across regions in Australia. .

People living in dangerous areas who are not prepared and planning to leave must do so now while the roads are still clear. Also families who are not prepared to actively defend their home against wildfire must take final preparations in saving possessions they can salvage. The government warns that since the main water systems can be affected, preparations for defending one’s property include having independent water supply.

Ever since it became apparent that the blaze started in Binna Burra in the Sunshine Coast in September, 2019 could not be controlled, many had acted early by calling removalist companies. Even removalist Perth with a servicing branch in Queensland and the main office in Brisbane were compelled to help people move important belongings before the raging fires tore through their homes, seeing that the uncontrollable bushfires were headed toward Numinbah Valley.