Bishop rebuts, tells parents blog got it wrong on classroom conditions - Must Read Alaska
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Friday, March 5, 2021
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Bishop rebuts, tells parents blog got it wrong on classroom conditions

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Deena Bishop, superintendent of Anchorage public schools, says this blogger got it all wrong, and that children are not being forced to kneel all day on gardening pads. They can also sit criss-cross on the floor.

In a note to a parent, Bishop also misreported the story from Must Read Alaska, which did not indicate the photos were from Whaley School.

Bishop’s wrote, “Blogs are not the best place to find truth.” 

She continued, “Thank you for inquiring though. Please know, I regret a blogger posted pictures and statements without the actual story of the classroom. You see, the pictures depict two elementary classrooms, one kindergarten and one second grade to be exact, and not Whaley school. In preparing classrooms for learning with 6 feet of distance or 3 feet with a divider, these teachers desired to be innovative and creative in their early learning classrooms where children, sing, learn, and play with movement utilizing small groupings. Primary classes utilize carpet time and often sit “Criss Cross Applesauce” as you might remember from school.”

The pictures in question that were posted at MRAK came from parents who toured their children’s schools in Anchorage. Must Read Alaska was careful to not name the schools, but a national writer at The Blaze mistakenly referred to the photo as depicting a classroom at the Whaley School.

To be clear: This is NOT the Whaley School.

“Rather than adding tables to their room and utilizing plexiglass dividers which take up a great deal of space, they chose to allow movement and grouping—freedom rather than the ‘militant’ restrictions as reported. I regret that a blogger took something positive and turned it so negative. These teachers were eager to get their kids back. They had a wonderful day yesterday!” Bishop wrote to the parent who asked for an explanation.

“Additionally, the teachers have access to other rooms as well with tables for alternate learning needs where a seat and a table are more conducive. Please know our schools are welcoming, and we hope the blogger will update her site as we have provided her the opportunity to get the facts in these classrooms,” Bishop stated. MRAK has received no such outreach from Bishop, however, but did get a note from the Whaley School principal, after which we were able to explain to her that MRAK did not identify the school in the photo, and did not say it was Whaley.

Another parent sent a photo from her child’s classroom, which has an entirely different set up for the youngest students.

Some young students in Anchorage are enjoying better conditions. This is from Kincaid Elementary School.

The original story is at this link:

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Written by

Suzanne Downing had careers in business and journalism before serving as the Director of Faith and Community-based Initiatives for Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and returning to Alaska to serve as speechwriter for Gov. Sean Parnell. Born on the Oregon coast, she moved to Alaska in 1969.

Latest comments

  • Wow! They can also sit crisscross! What freedom! Sadly, where once people watched news and formed opinions, today everything presented as ‘news’ is nothing more than opinions (and the more damaging to conservatives the better), so we study blogs to learn the news. And MRAK is the go-to source for Alaska since the traditional sources have failed us. Good job, Suzanne. Keep it up!

  • The only time we did cross cross was during a nuclear bomb drill.

  • Semantics aside, this blogger is the best journalist in the state.

  • I notice Bishop left unaddressed maybe the most important issue for younger children, playing outside for recess. Typical Liberal misdirection when caught in misdeed.

  • Bishop is caught between sane people who realize covid isn’t the absolute horror it’s made out to be and the phobics, people who have developed a phobia about covid.

    If you’ve spoken with anyone who has a real phobia, you will understand there is no logic or reasoned case that will calm their terror, it is an irrational response.

    Bishop has to pander to phobics and so she and the faculty, some of whom are also, no doubt, phobic have put together this charade to appease the covid-phobics.

    Wouldn’t it be better to for the phobics just to keep their kids home? Wouldn’t it be better to put the phobic staff in desk jobs or on the beach w/pay?

    These fake safety plans are expensive, ineffective, and tedious. Worse, they interfere with two of the three things kids go to school to learn; how to play well with others and physical and other skills like art and music they can’t really learn at home. Academics, we can muddle through at home.

  • When I see a panhandler my assumptions go through a list: Alcoholic? Drug addict? Just plain too lazy to work? Mental or physical illness? Good worker fallen on bad times? Pretty much in that order.
    When the most money is spent on our education system, bringing almost the least results, the first on my list of assumptions are that everything about Alaska’s education system is probably bad. So whatever this latest thingy is must be bad too. When I seen the photo of the classroom, I jumped to an unfavorable assumption as did many others.
    Biggest problem I can see offhand, is that education has become indoctrination, into whomever’s agenda happens to be on top at the time. Currently the Leftist, Socialist, pro-choice, gender-choice gang has the floor.
    One of my great-grandsons (2nd grade) just got suspended from school (in Nebraska) for using “french” to describe boys being able to compete in girls sports as what he called total BS.
    His parents are now teaching him the value of rendering lip service instead of just lipping off. Maturing from black and white to grey-scale is difficult for a 2nd grader.

    • Brilliant…
      Maturing from black and white to grey-scale is difficult for a 2nd grader.
      Well put.

  • The very first step in taking back Anchorage, assuming it’s not too late, is taking back the school board.

    The problem starts with indoctrination of kids. The best way to end it is by cutting if off at its roots.

    Don’t stop there. Flood the school board meetings. Attend the PTA. Don’t skip parent teacher conferences. For too many generations the right has been content to let the state raise your kids. This is what got us here.

    • Sadly most conservatives and libertarians have lives to live and abhor becoming busybodies sticking their noses in and trying to control everyone’s life like Gladys Kravitz. Even more sadly that progressives have so little pride in themselves that the spend their lives only to tear down others. Ever see a happy progressive? No, they are sad miserable creatures existing only to destroy the progress of others. And they will lie and cheat (they must) to advance and impose their wretched agenda upon everyone else. Socialism, always fails because they need just one more purge, one more execution, to reach utopia.

    • Respectfully disagree.
      Seems pointless, rather like sifting through the litter box, trying thoughtfully to decide what’s worth keeping, like deciding how much cancer to remove.
      The union-management team who make up Anchorage’s education industry don’t answer to taxpayers. Indoctrination does work, watch what children are trained to do when education-industry drones are threatened with layoffs.
      Not sure the problem is fixable without thoroughly dismantling Anchorage’s education industry.
      The challenge is taxpayer parents have no leverage on Anchorage’s education industry.
      But… parents can home-school their children, maybe create private neighborhood home-schooling groups. Sure, it might be expensive, inconvenient, time-consuming, etc., but it does seem preferable to letting the state raise one’s kids.
      And… doing so might even help collapse Anchorage’s education industry under its own weight, especially if it loses enough customers, especially if taxpayers realize they’re paying for an industry which has no customers
      … at which point parents could build a world-class education -system- that produces classically educated, employable, patriotic, well-mannered graduates.
      Could happen… wouldn’t even need a Bishop rebuttal… or a Bishop.

  • WOW! Again, so happy I pulled our kids from ASD! This is ridiculous. No one was ‘scared’ when the flu season hit, or chicken pox, or a cold. The kids are supposed to interact! Stop having them in tiny bubbles and let them (and the rest of America) live again!!!!

  • I would love to hear an explanation for the high death rate, overwhelmed ICU’s, people desperate for the vaccine, and medical professionals begging for us to wear masks and take the other safety precautions. Covid has killed at least 5x annual flu deaths. As far as the schools, what possible reason would there be to torture young kids? If you’ve been in a classroom in the last 20 years, you’d know the applesauce jingle. Frankly, I think the rants here sound like they come from would-be anarchists. You don’t like any form of government and want to destroy it all.

    • Overwhelmed, Desperate, Begging, Killed, Torture. Lady, you sound insane.

      • Please explain. You don’t believe medical professionals are overwhelmed with COVID patients? You don’t think people want the vaccine and can’t get it? You don’t believe doctors and scientists and those who understand the virus want us to wear masks? You don’t think the description of children supposedly being forced to kneel for 5 1/2 hours is suggesting torture? Then you’re not paying attention.

        • Patrice you need psychiatric help. You are hysterical, delusional and eaten up with hate. I’m not trolling. Seriously get help.

      • Facts must scare you.

    • No honey, just crooked government.

    • Patrice: Please show me the death rates for Covid v. Flu. The deaths are appoximately comparable when you get rid of all the questionable diagnoses, so please show your work. Also, no ICU’s are overwhelmed. The US Army Corps of Engineers built massive numbers of temporary hospital beds in all urban centers to accept any hospital overflow, and to my knowledge only one of those centers has been put to use. ICU’s typically operate at 95% capacity–hospitals don’t pay for unused ICU’s and if they weren’t used, they would make them into something else. No single study has shown any higher infection rate from opening schools; kids don’t spread it. Facts and common sense seem to escape you and others who have bought into the Covid-scare-pornography on the nightly news.

  • It would be nice to see the numbers of students that have dropped out of high school during this so-called pandemic. Looking at the numbers in my sons high school they lost 13 students in 1 quarter in his senior class at West high school.

  • Excuses excuses excuses from The Little House dreamer (from her ADN opinion letter)
    Instead of Deena Bishop correcting others mistakes. Why don’t she put criticism where is her mouth and correct ASD why majorityASD graduates can’t read beyond 4th grade reading level. She sounds like the Charlie Brown teacher, ‘Waaa waaa waaaa.’
    Raise 90% ASD students reading levels and literacy and improve graduates enthusiasm for reading higher quality books than the wimpy kid series or harry Harry Potter series Or fairy series . Hahahaha

  • Bishop’s wrote, “Blogs are not the best place to find truth.”

    Rebuttal to “bishop”- Mainstream media is not the best place to find truth.

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