WASHINGTON – An advocate of the Common Core, who had influence in the development and state adoptions of the set of state standards in 2009, said that most supporters of Common Core today would agree that the standards would be better off if the federal government had never gotten involved in incentivizing states to adopt them.
Although The Common Core began as an initiative by the The National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), opponents argue the federal government is forcing its influence on state school curriculum by holding ransom a share of the $4.3 billion in "Race to the Top" education funding, which led to 45 states initially implementing all the standards. (Three states, Indiana, Oklahoma and South Carolina, have since pulled out, and Minnesota adopted the English, but not the math, standards.)
Chris Minnich, current executive director of CCSSO and the council's strategic initiatives director of standards assessment and accountability in 2009, told attendees of an American Enterprise Institute panel on Wednesday that most supporters of Common Core believe that the Common Core should be a state-led effort and should not have been federally incentivized. more >>
I believe youth ministry is facing mission-drift when it comes to missions work. Far too many of our younger youth leaders view the "missionary" as an ancient relic of a bygone era whose place is as a dimly lit picture in the foyer of a steepled church on a "Go ye into all the world" wall. Missionaries are either ignored, marginalized or viewed as a necessity to pacify older tithers in the church and keep them happy.
But 50 years ago missionaries were considered the risk-takers, revolutionaries and radicals in the church who would go into the highways and byways of foreign countries risking life and limb for the sake of the gospel. That's a far cry from today where they are often relegated to, at best, well-meaning but ineffective peddlers of Christianity and, at worst, an evangelistic brand of white colonialists trying to impose an American way of ministry on a not-so-receptive audience.
Sadly, in years past, this stereo-type had been earned in some quadrants of missions work. Yes, there were (and in some cases still are) those missionaries who've done harm to the Name of Christ by preaching the right message in the wrong way. more >>
John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, has said that he's "deeply ashamed" over allegations of child abuse by a former dean in a recently published report that has revealed "systemic failures" by the Church of England in dealing with such cases.
"I have already been in contact with those who gave evidence to the inquiry regarding their alleged abuse by Robert Waddington. As I have said to them, I am deeply ashamed that the church was not vigilant enough to ensure that these things did not happen, failing both to watch and to act, where children were at serious risk," York said, according to The Guardian on Wednesday.
The report by Judge Sally Cahill made abuse allegations against the late Very Rev. Robert Waddington, formerly dean of Manchester. It stated that at least two men made claims in 1999 and sometime in 2003-2004 that they had been abused as children. The acting Archbishop of York at the time, Lord Hope of Thorne, and other church officials were criticized for not acting on the allegations, and therefore putting other children at risk, BBC noted. more >>
A very excited toddler dressed up in a Minion from the famous film "Despicable Me" does something extremely adorable. You will definitely watch it more than once and laugh for hours.
It seems this little boy is having trouble walking and balancing himself in his Halloween costume. So eventually he falls over, though he isn't hurt. But, says something extremely funny that everyone who watches will remember. Not even his mother in the other room can hold her laugh in.
The family sent this video to "America's Funniest Home Videos" and it was a hit! His Minion costume will get him lots of candy for Halloween! more >>
Dutch Christians have boycotted a Netherlands church for displaying an exhibit they believe encourages anti-Semitism.
Named "Room No. 4" the exhibit was brought to Utrecht's Domkerk Church, one of the Netherlands best-known places of worship, by the Dutch Coalition for Palestinian Children in Israeli Detention. The exhibit features adult models tied up in ropes to portray jailed Palestinian children who are in Israeli detention facilities.
Earlier this month, Hebe Kohlbrugge, a member of the church, joined other Christians in the protest by boycotting the exhibit due to what he believes to be a permeating anti-Jewish sentiment from the piece. more >>
A well-known atheist has written a children's book in response to the wildly popular, Heaven Is for Real, focusing on the idea that there is no afterlife and that this life is all there is.
"Depending on how you choose to read it, 'Me & Dog' is either: 1. A sweet little book about a boy who goes on a walk with his dog, and accidentally steps on the dog's tail, and the dog apologizes because it has an adorable, fundamental misunderstanding about the nature of existence; or 2. An insidious, deviant little parable brainwashing vulnerable innocents into doubting the existence of God," author Gene Weingarten wrote for the Washington Post.
Weingarten, with the assistance of Eric Shansby, wrote Me & Dog to counter the immense popularity of Heaven Is for Real, which tells the story of a pastor's son who believes he died, went to Heaven, and lived to tell the tale. The Christian book, originally written for adults, was such a best-seller that it was adapted for all ages and even turned into a movie. It reached No. 1 on the New York Times bestseller list in 2010 and stayed there for 10 weeks. more >>