Connect with us

Featured

Report: Remote learning hurts minority, low-income children the most

Published

on

Screen Shot 2020 07 24 at 4.10.33 PM

According to new data released by a San Francisco school district, low-income students have fallen further behind than higher-income students during the coronavirus pandemic.

Black, Latino and Asian students in San Francisco as well as students from low-income families have lost significant academic ground compared to wealthier and white students, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The study also found that Black and Latino students were more likely to be absent at least 60% of the time during the fall semester.

910 of the district’s 53,000 students missed more than 60% of classes, the district said. 70% of those were from low-income families and 75% were Black or Latino.

“There are so many kids in this pandemic who just haven’t been heard from at all,” UCSF director of COVID response Dr. Jeanne Noble said to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Nobel added that reopening schools is critical and can be done safely. “Every place you look — signs of social phobia and isolation all the way up to suicide attempts — screams crisis.”

The school district is working hard to reopen its doors to all students, but the district has yet to reach an agreement with labor unions on the conditions required to reopen. They hope to bring the youngest and most vulnerable students back first, after the health department inspects the school and classrooms.

“We are concerned the gap has widened, especially in elementary schools,” San Francisco Unified School District spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said. “We know remote doesn’t replace in person when it comes to serving our students. We want to return to (school) sites as quickly as possible.”

The district recently announced that it is unlikely the vast majority of middle and high school students will return this school year.

San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen has proposed a plan to help address the learning loss and other impacts of the pandemic on children.

Her plan includes raising upward of $2 million from public and private funding to pay for summer school, tutoring, smaller class sizes or any resources needed.

The school district’s data is “devastating, and it’s a call to action,” she said. “We are failing them right now as a society. This is families of color having the least secure housing, the least secure jobs. If you’re a parent and you’re worried about keeping a roof over the head of your child and putting food on the table, that’s going to take precedent over remote learning.”

“Let’s all wake up and stop pointing fingers at each other and start working together to address this head-on.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

Continue Reading

Featured

EXCLUSIVE: Former Trump appointee explains an ‘America First Strategy’ in the ME

Published

on

Screen Shot 2024 03 13 at 9.50.09 AM
Photo: Israeli Government

The author interviewed Ellie Cohanim, one of the authors of the new book: “An America First Approach to US National Security.” Ellie is the former U.S. Deputy Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Antisemitism under the Trump administration. She is currently a Senior Fellow with the Independent Women’s Forum focusing on Iran, Israel, and global antisemitism, and is a national security contributor for the Christian Broadcasting Network. In 2021, Ellie launched and hosted for Jewish News Syndicate 30 plus episodes of the show “Global Perspectives with Ellie Cohanim.” Ellie spent 15 years in media and NGO management before serving in the public sector. How would you define an “America First” strategy in the Middle East?

Cohanim: An America First strategy in the Middle East would seek to advance American national security interests in that region, while maintaining our status as THE global superpower. To do that, the US would ensure that our principal allies in the region, countries like Saudi Arabia and Israel, are economically and militarily strong, and that our adversaries in the region are deterred.

Postal: How has the United States’ standing in the Middle East differed between the Trump and Biden administrations?

Cohanim: Under President Trump, for four years we had peace, stability and prosperity in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region. Under President Biden, in just three tumultuous years there has been war in the region, which holds the potential for becoming a regional conflict and even a nuclear confrontation. Meanwhile, the US’ status in the region and the world has diminished due to Biden’s disastrous mishandling of the Afghanistan withdrawal, his emboldening of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and his weak response to Iranian attacks on our personnel and assets in the region. 

 

Postal: Do you think the United States and Israel are/were in a stronger position to deter Iran’s nuclear and territorial ambitions in Biden or Trump’s administration?

Cohanim: America’s position of strength has not changed under either administration vis-à-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran. What has changed is our Iran policy. Under President Trump’s administration, the US contained and constrained Tehran. Trump applied a “Maximum Pressure” sanctions campaign which left the Iranian Regime with only $4 billion in accessible foreign currency reserves by the end of his term, giving the Iranians less cash and less ability to fund their terror proxies and their nuclear program, and Trump eliminated Qassem Soleimani. While all President Biden needed to do was to continue implementing such successful policies, his administration instead did the exact opposite.  Under the Biden administration, Israel, our leading ally in the region, was attacked for the first time directly from Iranian soil. This was an unprecedented escalatory attack by the Iranian regime, and could only happen under the Biden administration.

Postal: In your chapter of the book, you discuss the weakening of US relations with Israel and Saudi Arabia under the Biden administration. How has the Biden administration affected the likelihood of future normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, and deals between Israel and other Muslim countries (i.e., new Abraham Accords)?

Cohanim: The good news is that the Abraham Accords have withstood the test of multiple Hamas provocations against Israel, and now the current war. Despite numerous claims from the Biden administration regarding “successful” efforts to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel, I do not think that the Biden administration will be able to clinch such a deal. In the Middle East, people have a long memory. Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) has not forgotten President Biden’s snub when he first came into office, and Biden’s incredibly poorly advised behavior towards the Crown Prince when he made his first visit to the Kingdom as president. The last thing the Crown Prince wants is to hand Biden his first foreign policy success with a Rose Garden peace deal ceremony. So, I do not believe President Biden can broker Saudi/Israeli normalization.

However, I am also convinced that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” such a peace deal will happen between those two countries, as it serves both of their interests to make such a deal. The Saudis understand better than anyone that it is the Islamic Republic of Iran that threatens the Kingdom’s security and stability, not Israel.

Postal: What do you think of the Biden administration’s latest statements withholding arms to Israel?

Cohanim: President Biden will go down in history for his abject moral failure in not standing by Israel while she fights a five-front war. Biden has shown his despicable personality for trying to keep his anti-Israel arms embargo concealed until he could first deliver a speech on the Holocaust. Biden’s behavior is despicable on so many levels.

Ultimately, Biden is betraying the American people. He came into office presenting himself as a “centrist Democrat,” but has proven repeatedly to be beholden to the radical, extremist, pro-Hamas wing of his party.

Postal: How does the Biden administration’s support of a Palestinian state differ from the Trump administration’s support of a Palestinian state under its Peace to Prosperity framework?

Cohanim: The Biden administration stated that they will “unilaterally recognize” a Palestinian state. What the borders of that state are and who would lead it, nobody knows. 

The Trump administration’s “Peace to Prosperity” was a detailed plan that was premised on the realities on the ground in Israel. The plan required that the Palestinians reach benchmarks proving a real desire to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. It included over $50 billion in investment in the region, which would have been a road to prosperity for all. Perhaps most significantly, the Palestinian state envisioned under the Trump plan would have been demilitarized, the wisdom of which could not be more clear following the October 7 massacre and attack.

The author would like to thank Ellie Cohanim for participating in this interview.

 

Continue Reading

Trending