Honesty cannot be optional for a strong and free society. The truth sets us free, as we pastors remind our congregations, and this is true for public life as well as private souls. Nowhere is honesty needed more today than in the discussion of justice and equity for students in public schools. There is an assumption that if our children work hard every year in school and master all of the skills expected of him or her, then they will graduate high school prepared for college level work or a job. However, Hispanic students graduate high school at a rate 10 percent lower than their white classmates, and many graduates face significant obstacles when trying to earn their college degree. We know today that almost 60% of Hispanic students entering a community college are required to pay college tuition to take high school English or math. These students almost always end up with debt and no degree.
While Hispanic students have made some gains in educational outcomes over the last 20 years, they still lag behind their non-Hispanic classmates. A recent study by Pew Research found that for the first time in 2012, the enrollment rate among Hispanic high school graduates surpassed their white peers. Sadly many are not able to finish their degree. In fact, nationally, only twenty percent of Latino adults have a postsecondary degree.
It is a matter of biblical justice that education leaders are honest about the quality of education students receive in their state since it is most often the poor who are harmed when academic promises fall short. State leaders could go a long way toward improving this situation by closing the "Honesty Gap" between what states measure as academically necessary to what national data proves. more >>
Concerned parents have withdrawn their children from a small private K-12 school housed in a Unitarian church in Minneapolis after the school's sex education teacher took her class on a field trip to a local novelty sex shop without first consulting parents and obtaining permission from them.
As reported by the The Star Tribune, Starri Hedges, the sex education teacher and director of the Gaia Democratic School, has come under the scrutiny of parents after she took about a dozen middle school and high school-aged students as young as 11 years old on a field trip to the nearby Smitten Kitten adult novelty store.
Hedges told the Tribune that she wanted to take the students to the store to provide them with a welcoming environment to learn about human sexual behaviors, as the class' sex education unit came to an end. more >>
An atheist organization has filed a lawsuit against a Missouri school district for taking students to a local Christian sport facility as part of a field trip.
The American Humanist Association filed suit in district court last week against Joplin Public Schools and North Middle School for a field trip to the Victory Ministries & Sports Complex.
In a written statement given to local media, school officials argued that the field trip was "secular in nature" and was simply the site of an event rather than a place where students were evangelized. more >>
WASHINGTON — Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, addressed concerns that faith-based schools and institutions would be at risk of losing their tax-exempt status for upholding their biblical belief of traditional marriage if the U.S. Supreme Court delivers a pro-gay marriage ruling this month.
At a Wednesday press conference held in the senator's Capitol Hill office, Lee, along with prominent members of the evangelical higher education community, voiced concern over comments made in the Supreme Court's oral argument in April by the Obama administration's lead attorney, Solicitor General Donald Verrilli.
Lee explained that Verrilli, who testified as a friend of the court on April 28 in favor of making same-sex marriage a national right, was asked by Justice Samuel Alito whether or not making same-sex marriage a constitutional right would allow for the IRS to revoke the tax-exempt statuses of faith-based schools and universities that choose not to recognize same-sex marriage because of their biblical convictions. more >>
This column was originally published at National Review.
Laura Kipnis is a feminist professor at Northwestern University — and not just any feminist. She's long been one of the few professors in American public life who are capable of making news with their scholarship, find their books reviewed by the most elite newspapers, and help start elite "conversations" about academe's favorite topics: sex, power, and identity. She's liberal, certainly (well known for her sympathetic views of pornography), but she's a free thinker. And that is intolerable.
Earlier this year she wrote an essay entitled "Sexual Paranoia Strikes Academe" for the Chronicle of Higher Education. In the piece, she decried bans on students' dating professors, declaring, "If this is feminism, it's feminism hijacked by melodrama." Students were being taught to "regard themselves as exquisitely sensitive creatures." Their "sense of vulnerability" was "skyrocketing" as a result of the "melodramatic imagination's obsession with helpless victims and powerful predators." She warned that "the climate of sanctimony has grown too thick to penetrate," with any dissenter labeled "antifeminist, or worse, a sex criminal." more >>
What should Christians do about the hostile environment they increasingly face? In a Christian Post interview, professor George Yancey talks about his new book written for fellow Christians, Hostile Environment: Understanding and Responding to Anti-Christian Bias.
Christianophobia exists among a powerful elite subculture in the United States, University of North Texas sociologists Yancey and David Williamson wrote in So Many Christians, So Few Lions: Is There Christianophobia in the United States? While that book was written in an academic voice, in Hostile Environment, Yancey writes as a Christian speaking to fellow Christians, and offers some guidance on how Christians should respond to that anti-Christian hostility.
In an email interview with CP, Yancey said he appreciated the opportunity to speak from the heart to fellow believers about how he thinks Christians should respond to Christianophobia. more >>