Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of his state on Wednesday against the U.S. Department of Education, claiming that it has illegally used the promise of grant money and other federal regulations forcing states to adopt the controversial Common Core state standards.
Common Core standards is a national education initiative that lays out what students kindergarten through 12th grade should know at the end of each grade to "ensure that all students graduate from high school with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in college, career, and life." The plan is sponsored by the National Governors Association, a private entity and not, technically, sponsored by the federal government.
Jindal argues that the efforts of the Education Department to "force" states to adopt the Common Core violates the 10th Amendment which states that all powers not given to the federal government by the constitution are passed on to the states. Specifically, The General Education Provisions Act of 1965, does not allow for the federal government to institute a nationally centralized curriculum. more >>
Apologist and former atheist Lee Strobel, who launched a series of books that began with The Case for Christ published more than a decade ago, recently released an answer book to frequently asked questions about Christianity.
The Case for Christianity Answer Book includes questions such as: Does the Bible contradict what we've learned from science? If God is loving, why does he allow tragedy and suffering? Is there solid evidence that Jesus really rose from the dead? Can you have doubts and still be a Christian?
Strobel, a former award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune, is a best-selling author of more than 20 books and serves as Professor of Christian Thought at Houston Baptist University. more >>
The injured player was on the ground being tended to by trainers and coaches.
So the Seminole High School football team did what many football teams do. The teenage boys took a knee, bowed their heads and prayed for their injured teammate.
But that simple act of compassion and humanity in Sanford, Florida sparked outrage from the Freedom From Religion Foundation – a group of perpetually offended atheists from Wisconsin. An FFRF attorney fired off a letter to the superintendent of Seminole County Public Schools – accusing them of having an adult lead the prayer for the injured child. more >>
A Mississippi school district has agreed to stop having prayers and sermons at mandatory faculty convocations after an atheist group threatened to sue them.
The Washington, D.C.-based American Humanist Association announced that the Jackson Public School District had agreed to stop the religious practices.
JoAnne N. Shepherd, district counsel for the Jackson Public School District, responded to AHA via email that the convocation was meant to be "an inspirational and motivational event for employees returning to start the new school year." more >>
Michael Hiltzik, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times has published a heated response to my piece on the intellectual and political background of the College Board's changes to the AP U.S. History Exam.
Hiltzik accuses me of being part of "the right's effort to suck the teaching of advanced U.S. History into the culture wars." Actually, the College Board itself became responsible for sucking history education into the culture wars when it substituted a massively detailed set of teaching guidelines for the brief conceptual outline it issued in previous years. That earlier outline, by virtue of its brevity, wisely allowed AP U.S. History to be taught from a variety of perspectives. Because of its length and its inevitably controversial choices of particular themes and issues to emphasize, the College Board's new Framework cannot help but stoke public debate.
The College Board itself was perfectly aware that its unprecedented decision to issue a detailed teaching framework would stir up public controversy. In a 2013 article published in the OAH Magazine of History, Lawrence Charap, in overall charge of the new Framework's development, said, "the choices made around which details are explicitly included in the Curriculum Framework will inevitably invite detractors." Charap goes on to acknowledge receiving feedback from AP U.S. history teachers complaining about the new Framework's "political correctness." Invoking memories of the "history wars," Charap goes on to say that he expects the new Framework will kick up a debate among "historians, history teachers, and the public." Charap claims to welcome such debate. more >>
A Washington, D.C.-based atheist organization has sent a letter to a Mississippi school district expressing concern about a mandatory faculty event that featured a Christian pastor.
The American Humanist Association's Appignani Humanist Legal Center sent a letter Monday to the superintendent of Jackson Public School District.
Of specific concern for AHA was a mandatory teacher convocation held earlier this month that included a Christian pastor and several remarks the group dubbed "religious proselytization." more >>