Common Core harms children and will not alleviate poverty because it fails to understand how children learn, a Tuesday report jointly issued by Alliance for Childhood and Defending the Early Years claims.
While the Common Core State Standards Initiative expects kindergartners to learn to read, studies have shown that the ability to read in kindergarten does not predict success in later grades, the report states. Additionally, the focus on reading takes time away from methods that have proven successful — namely, play-based and experiential learning.
The report was authored by three early childhood education experts: Nancy Carlsson-Paige, professor emerita at Lesley University, Geralyn Bywater McLaughlin, director of DEY, and Joan Almon, co-founder of Alliance for Childhood. more >>
Americans United for Separation of Church and State argued that an Oklahoma bill that would protect school districts with Bible courses from legal action attempts to place a "loophole" in the law that would let public schools teach that the Bible is true.
Americans United expressed its opposition to Senate Bill 48 due to their concern that it would allow for Bible courses that advocate Christianity. Writing for the Americans United blog "Wall of Separation" on Wednesday, Sarah Jones argued that SB 48 was also unnecessary given current law.
Duke University has come under fire for making the decision air the Muslim call to prayer on Friday, beginning this week; Rev. Franklin Graham has come out against the school's decision.
"This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke's mission," Christy Lohr Sapp, Duke Chapel's associate dean for religious life, said in a statement to Duke Today. "It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation."
The Muslim call to prayer, known as the adhan will air for three minutes at a "moderately amplified" level to announce the call to prayer, and an English translation will follow. The service will take place in the chapel basement every Friday at 1:00 p.m. and is open to the public. Members of the Duke Muslim Students Association will perform the chant, which will be released from the chapel's bell tower. more >>
A California school district is investigating one of its high school teachers after receiving a complaint that "Bible cookies" were being distributed in class and students were encouraged to lookup Bible versus and attend an after-school Bible club.
After being contacted by one of the school's students who complained about the teacher's actions, Washington, D.C.-based Americans United for Separation of Church and State sent a letter to the Manteca Unified District regarding New Vision High School teacher John Alameda, stating that his actions are a violation of the U.S. Constitution.
"We understand that Alameda not only sponsors the [Bible] club but also shares his Christian beliefs during school hours and frequently encourages his students to attend the club's meetings," Alex Luchenitser, associate legal director at Americans United and one of the signees of the letter,said in the complaint to Manteca Unified District Superintendent Jason Messer and New Vision Principal Sonya Arellano. more >>
A Virginia school district has decided to scrap a policy that allowed it to interrogate Christian homeschool teenagers and their parents about their religious beliefs.
Last November Douglas Pruiett and his wife received a letter from Goochland County Public Schools about updated procedures to the district's requests for religious exemptions for homeschool students.
Under the updated rules, once a child turns 14-years-old, the district requires that homeschool parents reapply for a religious exemption to public education. more >>
In an attempt to counter the influence of a Christian student group called the Good News Club at a New York public elementary school, atheist parents have created their own organization for young children that will hold its first meeting on Thursday.
Atheist activists with the Better News Club have created a student group called the Young Skeptics for Fairbanks Road Elementary School in Churchville in response to the Child Evangelism Fellowship's Good News Club's chapters, which it claims are advancing "a form of psychological abuse."
Established in 1937, the CEF has three ministry programs: Good News Club, the 5-Day Club, and the Truth Chasers Club. "The Good News Club and 5-Day Club ministries take place in neighborhood settings such as homes, backyards, schools and community centers all over the world. These fast-paced, one-hour programs are designed to bring the Gospel of Christ to children on their level in their environment," reads their website. more >>