WASHINGTON — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz laid out 10 issues with policies and structure of the federal government that the newly-elected Republican Congress should fight hard to change in a keynote speech at the Heritage Action for America Conservative Policy Summit on Monday,
Although many of the ideas that Cruz, a prospective 2016 Republican presidential candidate, laid out would likely be vetoed by Democratic President Barack Obama, Cruz was adamant that the 12 freshman Republicans in the Senate could have a "transformable effect" and make significant headway for when Obama leaves office. But as Cruz admits, that would require them actually acting on what they said they would do while campaining for election.
1. Create Jobs, Growth and Opportunity more >>
Five years after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, Christian ministry Compassion International reveals it is on track to erect 30 new school buildings by this spring despite setbacks. The schools, built with the $31.2 million sponsors and donors from around the world gave the organization following the tragedy, will restore education and a pathway out of poverty for the more than 25,000 Compassion-assisted children who were affected by the disaster.
Compassion employed engineers from El Salvador and even created its own construction company in order to build 30 schools that can withstand future catastrophes by January. Compassion's U.S. communications director, Tim Glenn, said some structural problems have extended its completion date to April. Still, the organization is proud of what it has been able to do.
On January 12, 2010, Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake that reduced several structures in its densely populated capital, Port-au-Prince, to rubble — including many church-run schools. more >>
As a lifetime educator, one of my many prayers for 2015 is that people of faith in America will more fully engage in public education and turn the public conversation about high education standards away from political wrangling to focus on improving educational outcomes for all. Lost in 2014's criticism of what became known as "Common Core" was that normed, higher standards are already working, and that they hold promise for a brighter educational future for all of God's children, especially economically disadvantaged ones.
Fifteen years ago, I was teaching hundreds of students each semester in one of colleges' classic "gatekeeper" courses, English 101. The stakes were and are high: If you do not pass, you cannot move forward in your degree plan. The scholastic domino effect is as predictable as it is inexorable, and I watched in helpless frustration as many students failed my course because they were ill-prepared for the rigors of college work. Many tumbled out of higher education, the door to success slamming on some forever.
In addition, I watched as some of our areas best high school students won scholarships to prestigious universities, but when they arrived, they realized that a 4.0 GPA in and of itself was no guarantee of collegiate success. They realized that high schools that were truly "preparatory" relied on high academic standards that were tested for their efficacy to ensure student success. It was clear educational outcomes varied dramatically from state to state and even within individual states and districts. Proverbs 20:10 echoed in my mind, "Unequal weights and unequal measures are both alike an abomination to the LORD" (ESV). more >>
On a tiny exotic island just off the coast of Papua New Guinea, the Patpatar people are reading and understanding Scripture that's in their heart language as the result of the completion by a Bible translation team of the New Testament, Wycliffe Associates announced this week. A training facility for translators is growing as well.
Bible translators Ed and Debi Condra, along with their Bible translation team, were such an encouragement to the Patpatar churches that they created the New Ireland Translation Institute (NITI) to provide quality training to those nationals who want to become Bible translators.
"What God had established here was the potential for a rustic yet cutting-edge, dream-come-true translation center—where native speakers would be trained to be quality translators," Wycliffe officials state. "A place where the nationals would also lead, coordinate, and conduct the translation of the Scriptures into their own mother-tongues. Here everyone works together on 15 language projects simultaneously—thus impacting an entire region with the power of God's Word." more >>
In a pitch that has garnered public support since he teased it in a video on Facebook Thursday night, President Barack Obama is expected to announce a proposal Friday that will give a free community college education to anyone who is willing to work for it.
"Put simply, what I'd like to do is to see the first two years of community college free for everybody who is willing to work for it. That's right, free for everybody that's willing to work for it. It's something that we can accomplish and it's something that will train our workforce so that we can compete with anybody in the world," said Obama speaking in a video recorded on Air Force One and uploaded to the Facebook page of The White House at about 7 p.m. Thursday.
The president explained in the video that had been viewed more than 5 million times and shared more than 100,000 times on Facebook Friday morning that he had planned to unveil the proposal in his State of the Union Address scheduled for Jan. 20 but he thought it would be better to pitch it a little earlier. more >>
A claim against a Missouri middle school teacher of religious intolerance against a Christian student has been determined to be baseless, according to one school official.
The parents of 12-year-old Loyal Grandstaff accused a teacher from Bueker Middle School of attacking their son's religious convictions after the teacher reportedly stopped the student from reading the Bible during some free time.