# Education



School "transparency" is a cruel hoax

Gerald Ott of Ankeny was a high school English teacher, and for 30 years he was a school improvement consultant for the Iowa State Education Association.

The Kansas City Star’s editorial board warned its readers on June 2 that “the arch conservative Liberty Alliance has created a Woke Heat Map.” The website is an interactive map of Missouri with dots representing “hot spots” where, as the Alliance claims, “the Woke Agenda … is permeating.” 

The Alliance is a faction of ultra-right zealots who use a website to undermine democracy—and raise money from an easily duped clientele. The Springfield (MO) News-Leader reports one hotspot in its area, and six in St. Louis, three in Kansas City, and one in Columbia with alleged “woke agendas” — “where toddlers are groomed with sexually explicit books.” This was in the first week.

It’s fraud. In nearly all cases, the New-Leader says, the documentation used to designate a “woke” hotspot is based on a tweet, column, or article from a conservative leader or platform.

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2022 session: Iowa Republicans put politics over people


Matt Sinovic is the Executive Director of Progress Iowa, a multi-issue progressive advocacy organization.

No matter what we look like or where we live, Iowans want similar things. We want to make a good living, care for our families, and feel safe and connected to our communities.

But thanks to the policies of Iowa Republicans, that hasn’t been easy. The things that cost and matter the most—a roof over our heads, childcare for our kids, health care for our families—have long been put out of reach so wealthy corporations and billionaires can pay us less than they owe and rake in record profits.

And once again, Corporate Kim Reynolds and the Republican-led legislature have failed Iowans. As we watched the rest of America get back to work and begin to thrive, Governor Reynolds and GOP lawmakers spent the 2022 legislative session attacking working families, bullying kids, and targeting our public schools and educators. 

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The tangled web of the governor's private school voucher bill

Doris J. Kelley is a former member of the Iowa House and former Iowa Board of Parole Chair, Vice-Chair and Executive Director.

“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive,” was spoken by Sir Walter Scott in 1808 to portray the antics a Lord pursued in his lust for a rich woman. The phrase applies to Governor Kim Reynolds and her Iowa GOP peers, but in this case their lust is for using taxpayer money to pay for 2 percent of Iowa’s K-12 students to attend a private school.

Although the bill (Senate File 2369) didn’t get through the state House during this year’s legislative session, Reynolds has promised the issue will be her top priority if she is re-elected. Several of her allies won GOP primaries for Iowa House seats on June 7.

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"Current events do not belong in history class"

Nick Covington taught social studies at Ankeny High School from 2012 to 2022 and became the full-time Creative Director of the Human Restoration Project when his teaching contract ended on June 1. You can follow Nick on Twitter @CovingtonEDU. This article was originally published on May 15 on Medium.

On Feb 25, 2022, I resigned as a social studies teacher at Ankeny High School, a position I have held since 2012, effective at the end of the school year. I will not be returning to the classroom this fall.

I have not told all of this story in one place, but I want readers to understand the full context of my decision to leave in its relation to our nation’s destructive and divisive cultural forever war.

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Public school advocates need to be single-issue voters

Bruce Lear: As Iowa’s education foundation crumbles, public school supporters need to be as persistent and passionate as the governor. 

It’s no secret single-issue voters are loud, proud, and powerful. They fuel campaigns with rhetoric and resources. When choosing candidates, they focus on their long-term goals and don’t demand perfection over what’s possible.  

That’s how America woke up to find Donald Trump elected president. Thanks to three U.S. Supreme Court justices he appointed, the court is poised to ignore 49 years of precedent by turning back the clock to when women had few rights, slavery was commonplace, and only land-owning, white, males counted.

Throughout my professional career, I’ve heard educators say, “Yes, public education is important, but it’s not the only issue.”  

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Introducing Michael Andreski, Democrat running in Iowa House District 31

Bleeding Heartland welcomes guest posts advocating for Democratic candidates in competitive primaries for local, state, or federal offices. Please read these guidelines and contact Laura Belin if you are interested in writing.

I want to introduce myself to the readers of Bleeding Heartland. I am Michael Andreski, a Democratic candidate in district 31 of the Iowa House of Representatives.

Why am I running for this office? The short answer is because the opportunity was there, and I was encouraged by several people, including Democratic State Representative John Forbes of Urbandale.

But the long answer is that as a fifth-generation Iowan, I could no long sit on the sidelines and see the state where I was born, raised, educated, started a career, and raised a family continue to become a place I no longer recognize as the Iowa I know and love.

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