Roundup: FL School District to Review Ab-Only, Sorting Real Feminism from Fake

CORRECTION: On Palin and Special Needs Funding

Editor’s Note: As you will see in comments below, when this piece first published it quoted from this post asserting that Palin cut funding for special needs kids. That is not accurate, as explained here on Daily Kos. We have edited this headline and replaced the original quote from the post with this correction. It should be noted the original error was due to a misreading of state budgets because programs had been shifted into different agencies — not a malicious attempt to mislead, simply a mistake.

We regret quoting the mistake and urge all anti-choice sites to similarly correct posts that have been clearly determined to be inaccurate by independent fact checking organizations, where the attempt seems to be more an effort to mislead than a mistaken read of the Alaska State Budget.

Florida School District to Suspend Ab-Only Program

Florida law requires that school districts "teach abstinence from sexual activity outside of marriage as the expected standard for all school-age students while teaching the benefits of monogamous heterosexual marriage," but at least one school district is suspending the teaching of the abstinence-only program until it can evaluate the program’s effectiveness. A Volusia County mother complained that "fails to provide information about birth-control methods other than abstinence, discriminates against gay and lesbian student sand hasn’t been evaluated for its effectiveness," triggering a review. The School Health Advisory Committee plans to make recommendation to the School Superintendent by January.

US Teen Pregnancy Rate Far Higher than Other Developed Nations

The Forward compares US teen pregnancy statistics with those of other nations, finding that "the United States isn’t sitting respectably at the high end of a continuous scale." Rather,

America stands nearly alone, amid a handful of poor ex-communist states in Eastern Europe, including Armenia, Moldova, Bulgaria and Ukraine. Even in that group, we’re at the high end with a rate of 83.6 teen pregnancies per 1,000, topped only by Russia at 102 per 1,000. Behind us is a cluster of mostly English-speaking countries, including England, Canada and Australia, where teen pregnancy runs at about 44per 1,000, or about half the American rate. Finally, most of Western Europe runs along a spectrum ranging from 27 per 1,000 (Israel, Sweden) to a low of 12 (Spain, Italy, the Netherlands).

Palin, No Feminist; Questioning Her Record, Not Sexist

Not yet quite convinced that a vote for Palin wouldn’t be a vote for feminism? EJ Graff makes it plain. She explains:


Palin wouldn’t have been nominated without feminism; there just wasn’t a market for a female veep candidate until Hillary and the White House Project and all those tiresome discussions of unequal pay created that market. Now that she’s nominated, though, Palin appears happy to reap that advance without expanding on it.


Need some help sorting real sexism from the supposed sexist treatment of Sarah Palin? On Current TV, Rebecca Traister has a primer for you.

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  • invalid-0

    Do you ever, ever, EVER do any fact-checking? The other day, you repeated the Washington Post claim that Palin slashed funds for pregnant teens, when in fact she TRIPLED the funding from $1.2 million to $3.9 million. And today, you repeated the thoroughly debunked lie that specials needs funding has been “slashed”.
    In fact, the funding is set to INCREASE 12% from 2008 to 2009. The erroneous reports of a 62% decrease are attributable to a misreading of the budget, which moved the Alaska Challenge Youth Academy out of the special needs category and into its own program. Furthermore, Palin worked to overhaul the special needs funding system so that per student spending is set to increase from $26,900 per student to $73,840 by 2011.
    Many media outlets, including the Washington Monthy and even the Daily Kos (!) have issued retractions of this outrageously false accusation against Palin.
    Emily, there’s a web site called “Google” ( which can help you avoid these embarrassing errors. I understand that it is this site’s policy to NEVER correct a false headline or even issue a corrective update, but please consider avoiding the mistakes in the first place by some simple research.

  • invalid-0

    But I do have to correct your correction on one thing. It wasn’t even pregnant or parenting teens in the first place — it was funding for a capital project for an organization that also provides housing to parenting teens.

    Covenant House Alaska executive director, Deirdre Cronin, explained it this way in a September 4 statement:

    “Despite some press reports to the contrary, our operating budget was not reduced. Our $3.9 million appropriation is directed toward a multi-year capital project and it is our understanding that the state simply opted to phase in its support for this project over several years, rather than all at once in the current budget year.”

  • invalid-0

    Do you ever, ever, ever STOP fact-checking???


  • invalid-0

    It is refreshing that you made the correction. I will note it.

  • invalid-0

    Good on you for correcting your error. This is how news get taken out of context and you are not the only one would makes this awful mistake.