What Not to Say to Someone With Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

The Catalysts for Change

By Kirstin Fawcett, Contributor|U.S. News|May 21, 2015

www.usnewsYou should never tell someone with OCD that they “just need to learn to live with it.” (Getty Images) 

“Maybe you have a roommate who constantly worries that she left her hair straightener turned on – even if she remembers unplugging it earlier that morning. Perhaps your spouse is so fixated on keeping a section of the house clean – say, a countertop or swath of floor – that he or she ignores an overflowing sink or a full trash can. You might have a friend who likes to count things – mailboxes, cracks in the sidewalk, lampposts. Or maybe your father confided in you that he experiences intrusive and disturbing thoughts he can’t cast aside no matter how hard he tries.

There’s a good chance these people have obsessive-compulsive disorder, or OCD – a brain-behavior disorder that affects approximately…

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State Voucher Plans Grow Despite DeVos’s Failure to Enact a Federal Program


Earlier this week, Alyson Klein, Education Week‘s federal education reporter, described her recent interview with Education Secretary Betsy DeVos: “U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who has spent decades advocating for private school vouchers and charter schools, came to Washington with one item at the top of her agenda: to push for a new federal school choice initiative. Her vision is running into trouble on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers in both chambers have failed to fund either of the school choice proposals in the president’s budget. And it’s looking less and less likely that the White House will push to include a federal tax credit scholarship program in a sweeping tax overhaul package that’s slated to be unveiled soon. So where does that leave the secretary? She’s not giving up, she said in a wide-ranging interview with Education Week….”

Klein reports that DeVos is merely “waiting for…

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After 22-Year-Long State Takeover, Newark Regains Control of Its Schools

Eradicate paternalism…


State takeovers—always intrusive—often arrogant, experimental, and ideological—don’t work.  But state officials persist in believing they know better than residents and school leaders in poor, black and brown communities, and the idea that takeover can compensate for states’ own underfunding of their poorest school districts wins again and again. The Flint lead poisoning resulted from Michigan’s imposition of emergency state fiscal managers to shape up local municipal and school district finances without enough attention to government’s responsibility for quality services. Louisiana and Michigan imposed so-called “recovery school districts” in New Orleans and Detroit. Michigan unsuccessfully turned over Highland Park and Muskegon Heights school districts to for-profit charter managers. And in Pennsylvania, the School District of Philadelphia has been run since 2001 by a state-appointed School Reform Commission.

In New Jersey, until last week, the state has been running the schools in Newark for 22 years, despite the presence of a toothless…

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Supporters of Last Year’s Massachusetts Charter School Ballot Issue Caught Laundering Dark Money


For quite a while it has been clear that big money dominates our politics and too frequently overrides the will of citizens. In public education policy, the priorities of the One Percent have driven the laws and policy that shape the public schools serving 50 million children—the schools serving the 99 Percent.

Last year, however, in a heartening development, the voters of one state rejected a big-money effort to expand charter schools. In November 2016, in Massachusetts, voters rejected Question 2, a ballot issue that would have raised the cap on the number of charter schools that could be opened in the state. But new evidence now proves conclusively that hidden, big-moneyed interests certainly tried to sway Massachusetts voters.

We learned last week that Families for Excellent Schools-Advocacy, a group that raised 70 percent of the dollars contributed to the ballot committee behind Question 2, was not really a grassroots…

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“Backpack Full of Cash”: Northeast Ohio Screening, Oct. 10, 7 PM, Cleveland Heights High School


In these times when Betsy DeVos, the U.S. Secretary of Education, is devotedly promoting school privatization, if you can make it to Cleveland Heights on October 10, please join us to consider the strengths of public education and the disadvantages of privatizing public schools.

On Tuesday, October 10 at 7 PM, in the auditorium at Cleveland Heights High School (corner of Ceder and Lee Roads), we’ll screen the film, Backpack Full of Cash, from Stone Lantern Films and Turnstone Productions and narrated by Matt Damon. The screening will be followed by discussion.

Sponsoring this free screening is the Heights Coalition for Public Education, in conjunction with the Cleveland Heights Teachers Union, Local 795 AFT; Reaching Heights; the Northeast Ohio Friends of Public Education; the Northeast Ohio Branch, American Association of University Women; and Progress Northeast Ohio.

Public Education is important compared to privatized alternatives merely by its size. In

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Take a knee Sunday.

D.C. Charter Operators Agree to Repay $600,000 for Missing $3 Million

Diane Ravitch's blog

This looks like a good deal for the leaders of a charter school who were accused of misappropriating
Ropristing $3 million for their personal use. No jail time. A payback of $600,000 and pocket change. And an agreement not to lead any other charters until 2020. The fines apparently will be paid by insurance companies, not the defendants.

“The former leaders of a public charter school for disabled and at-risk teenagers have agreed to settle a District lawsuit alleging they sought to enrich themselves by diverting millions of dollars in taxpayer money meant for the school into private companies they created.

“Donna Montgomery, David Cranford and Paul Dalton, all former managers at Options Public Charter School, agreed to a collective settlement of $575,000, which will be paid to the school that now operates under new leadership as Kingsman Academy. Jeremy Williams, a former chief financial officer of the D.C. Public…

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Now Available: What Really Happened At Sandy Hook

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It is now almost five terrible years since a young man got into his car, drove five miles from his home to the elementary school he had once attended, shot his way through the locked front door, and then proceeded to murder twenty first-graders and six school staff, including the school principal, who happened to be the first adult to get killed. The death toll ended up at 28, because the shooter had already killed his mother before setting out for the school, and at the end of the rampage he shot himself.

Before writing this book I conducted an informal survey to get some sense of the effect of this event on Americans who lived both near and at a distance from Sandy Hook. Over a period of several days I randomly called about a dozen people, six of whom lived within the tri-state area surrounding Sandy Hook (CT…

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Most State Legislators who voted for the new Super PAC bill, have received lots of money from the DeVos Family

Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy

Last week Governor Rick Snyder signed into law what is being referred to as the Super PAC Bill.

In some ways, this new bill mirrors the federal election funding trend of Citizen’s United. However, as the Michigan Campaign Finance Network (MCFN) has noted: 

The bill goes further, specifically allowing candidates to solicit unlimited contributions to supposedly “independent” Super PACs. It also allows candidates and Super PACs to share certain vendors, like attorneys or other campaign consultants.

So while an individual donor can give up to $1,000 to a state House candidate’s campaign. The candidate could ask the same donor or a corporate entity to give a much larger check to a Super PAC that is going to support the candidate. Because Super PACs can accept corporate contributions, the original sources of their money are notoriously hard to trace.

What this all ends up meaning is that the wealthy capitalist…

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