After spending most of June giving President Obama new authority to negotiate trade deals with low-wage countries in Asia, congressional Republicans are now poised to spend July giving Obama new authority over education in America's public schools. This is a big disappointment for those of us who worked hard to elect a Republican Congress last November. We expected the new Congress to take power back from the president, not give him more.
For the past 50 years, the engine of federal control over local schools has been Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) of 1965. It was the first in a series of socialist laws that President Lyndon Johnson promised would lead to a "Great Society" after we won his declared "war on poverty."
Johnson's Great Society legislation was speedily enacted by a Congress in which Democrats outnumbered Republicans by more than two to one (295-140 in the House and 68-32 in the Senate). Despite the trillions of dollars spent since 1965, we're no closer to achieving a Great Society; by many measures, America's education and social welfare are much worse today than when those programs were launched 50 years ago. more >>
A church in Indiana has joined several charity organizations to raise money to purchase a "Homeless Jesus" statue for the state capital.
Roberts Park United Methodist Church has partnered with Wheeler Mission, Outreach Inc., and the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic to get a "Homeless Jesus" statue for Indianapolis. The Rev. Andrew Scanlan-Holmes, senior pastor at Roberts Park UMC, told The Christian Post that this was the "problem of homelessness in Indianapolis."
"Roberts Park UMC, as a large downtown church, has for the last 20 years, been actively serving this sector of the community through its Soup's On feeding program and now regularly serves an average of 250 meals every Sunday lunchtime to the homeless and food impoverished," said the Rev. Scanlan-Holmes. more >>
Across the United States, Americans of all races, colors, politics, and creeds will be celebrating Independence Day.
Parades, BBQs, and parties abound from coastal metropolises littered with skyscrapers to humble Midwest towns where the number of street lights can be counted on one hand.
Amidst the history and the celebration, the observance and the fireworks, several popular myths exist for Fourth of July. more >>
Microsoft seems to believe that their popular open world building game "Minecraft" has a huge potential in education. This belief is apparently fuelled by actual experiences of classroom teachers who have used or are using the game to foster creative thinking and help kids in class learn better through technology.
According to a report in Tech Times, it is because of these experiences that Microsoft is setting up a portal where teachers and educators can share examples of what they are doing in the classroom and how they are using the game as a tool for teaching and learning.
The Microsoft in Education team is going to launch a new forum called Minecraft in Education specifically for this purpose. Elementary school teachers who use the game to teach mathematical concepts such as area, perimeter and volume can post what kind of activities they ask their students to do. Middle school teachers who come up with a more interesting way to teach history or ancient civilizations through the game may also share how they do it. College professors who have explored how groups of students can collaborate on a Minecraft-based project may also have something interesting to post as well. more >>
All Republicans who loathe the Common Core national standards know that some current or potential presidential candidates (Jeb Bush, John Kasich) are great proponents of this centralizing scheme. But Common Core is only one problematic education initiative supported by politicians who ought to know better. Why do Republicans who consider themselves conservative consistently promote education policies that endanger student privacy, increase federal government power, and cement an economic system more reflective of 1930s Europe than free-market America?
Consider the "Student Right to Know Before You Go Act," co-sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio. This legislation would expand statewide student data systems to track individual students through college and into the workforce. The behemoth data systems would "match individual-level transcript data to post graduation employment and earnings outcomes" – and share it with the U.S. Department of Education (USED). (The data would be "anonymized," of course, to which any IT expert can only chuckle, "Good luck with that.")
The excuse for this data-collection monstrosity – which would overturn a federal ban on such intrusive tracking -- is to hold colleges accountable for producing economic bang for the student's buck. But even if there were no other way to evaluate colleges (and there is), do we really want the government tracking American citizens as they graduate and move through the workforce, keeping tabs on their jobs and salaries? Liberal Arne Duncan wants this, but should conservative Marco Rubio help him achieve it? more >>
Christian basketball star Jeremy Lin of the LA Lakers answered questions about his plans for marriage during a worship service at a Hong Kong university on Sunday where he spoke about the challenges he faced throughout his past basketball season to a student audience of over 1,400 people.
As part of his Asia tour, Lin, 26, spoke at The Chinese University of Hong Kong where he opened up about how his Christian faith helped him through what he described as "possibly the toughest year of my life."
The Taiwanese-American's fans were also allowed to participate in the discussion by asking questions, which one young woman used as an opportunity to inquire about Lin's expectations for marriage and when his nuptials might take place. more >>