A federal court in Illinois has ordered a community college to allow two activists to distribute anti-homosexuality leaflets on its campus, after the school maintained that the individuals could not distribute such materials that were deemed "inconsistent with the philosophy, goals and mission of the college."
Last January, Wayne Lela and John McCartney sent an application to Waubonsee Community College seeking permission to pass out leaflets on its campus promoting their Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, a group organized by Lela that advocates that homosexuality is immoral. After submitting the required details about the leaflets to the administration, the administration sent them back a letter denying their request later that month.
Although Lela and McCartney had been previously granted permission in 2003 and 2005 to pass out the promotional items for the organization on the WCC campus, the school's letter of denial in January of 2014 stated that group's message conflicted with the message of the school and that school could not allow them to hand out their leaflets on its campus. more >>
John Whitehead once wrote, "Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see." Christian parents understand that their children's education helps frame the "living message" they become, so many of them—like my wife and I some 25 years ago—decide to homeschool them. Homeschooling has now gone "mainstream," with celebrities like Will and Jada Pinkett Smith joining millions of Americans who choose homeschool over public education. Surprising to many is the high rate of minority homeschooling and that 70 percent of survey respondents cite a nonreligious reason as the top motivator in their decision to home school.
One of the hallmarks of the homeschooling movement has been the high level of student outcomes, with homeschoolers consistently scoring higher on standardized tests and college graduation rates about 10% higher than their public school peers. Yet, one of the questions that often perplexes homeschooling parents is whether or not the program of study they have chosen meets or exceeds the academic standards of their local school district. The latest academic standards' issue that homeschooling families face relates to the newly adopted Common Core State Standards. More than 40 states are currently using the standards; setting a higher academic bar than most states had in place, and homeschoolers now must respond to these standards, as standardized tests like the SAT and ACT will likely align to them.
The standards have become contentious in some Christian circles, and homeschoolers have often been at the center of the controversy. Homeschooling mom Jenni White led the charge against Common Core in Oklahoma, and her group, "Restore Oklahoma Public Education," was at the forefront of the repeal of Common Core recently signed by Governor Mary Fallin. Megan King of Lawrence, Kansas pulled two of her three sons out of their public elementary school, in part, because of the math standards, and she co-founded Kansans Against Common Core. Other parents see the standards as real progress. Physicist Chad Orzel, in a blog entitled "Thanks, Common Core," was grateful to report that his daughter was now "actually understanding the meaning of the process," and not just learning rote problems. John Tuma, a board member of the Minnesota Association of Christian Home Educators writes that, "The 5th grade (Common Core) standard that says, 'Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text' is not the problem." He goes on to write that: "The fact that the curriculum is tied to the Common Core Standards is not the problem either, but rather it is what worldview the curriculum is tied to that we should be concerned about." Tuma concludes, "Frankly, obsessing about public-school standards is just a bad idea for homeschoolers." more >>
Churches in the United Kingdom will be celebrating the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta by focusing on the Christian influence of the document.
Both the Church of England's General Synod and other church officials have called on England to remember the church's involvement in the Magna Carta's creation.
The Right Rev. Alan Smith, the bishop of the Diocese of St Albans, sent a letter in January about his concern over the church's role being minimized in popular memory of the 1215 political milestone. more >>
Common Core is a "good idea gone bad," Mike Huckabee wrote in his new book, God, Guns, Grits, and Gravy. He explained what he meant by that in a Monday interview with the Christian Post, and talked about his plans for a presidential run in 2016 and why he wrote the book.
He begins the book by recalling the Summer of 2012 Chick-fil-A protests over owner Dan Cathy's defense of biblical marriage. Huckabee helped to organize an August 1 counter-protest of sorts at the time called "Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day," which led to a 200 percent increase in sales on that day. Later, Huckabee said, he was disappointed in Cathy for saying he would never publicly defend biblical marriage again.
"For many who had stood for free speech in showing appreciation for Chick-fil-A, it seemed the company was choosing to abandon them and opt for 'no speech,'" he wrote. more >>
The Rev. Franklin Graham, head of Samaritan's Purse and son of renowned evangelist Billy Graham, feels that other religions are being brought to the forefront in the U.S. while Christianity is being pushed back.
Graham appeared on WNCN News to discuss his recent comments on Duke University's decision to end its policy on having an Islamic call to prayer at the campus' Christian chapel.
He also stated that the U.S. is a nation 'built on Christian principles and that Americans need to embrace those principles. more >>
A state-funded free Christian school in the United Kingdom will be forced to shut down after government inspectors deemed the school "inadequate" and claimed that the school's students displayed "discriminatory views" toward people of other faiths.
After the British government created new guidelines for how school inspectors rated schools, inspectors were told to evaluate schools, in their annual Ofsted inspection reports, on how school's promote "British values."
After inspectors visited the Durham Free School, which educates 94 students aged 11 to 13, last November, it was deemed that the school did not meet the required standards for just about every aspect of the inspection: leadership and management, behaviour and safety, quality of teaching and achievement of pupils. more >>