Education

An Atlanta math teacher allegedly offered students the answers to a test because she thought they were “dumb as hell,” the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported August 29. Shayla Smith, a former fifth-grade teacher at Dobbs Elementary School, was responsible for overseeing students while they were taking state-sponsored tests, and all tests monitored by Ms. Smith were reportedly blotched with questionable erasure marks, amounting to a “practically impossible frequency of changes from wrong to right [answers],” according to the Atlanta paper.

Among all types of U.S. educational institutions, Americans believe that public schools offer the worst quality of education, according to a new Gallup poll released August 29. In addition to public education, the survey examined four types of U.S. schooling: charter schools, independent private schools, parochial or church-related schools, and homeschooling.

Bill Nye “the Science Guy,” the techno-geek turned actor who turned kids on to science through an innovative weekly show that aired on PBS during the 1990s, has lately become a secular evangelist, preaching to parents about the dangers of allowing their children to be sucked into believing that someone bigger than man created the earth.

In an online video entitled “Creationism Is Not Appropriate for Children,” produced by Big Think, a secularist “online knowledge forum,” Nye claims that the “denial of evolution is unique to the United States,” and insists that “your world becomes fantastically complicated if you don't believe in evolution.”

Much of the focus on the student-loan debt crisis has been placed on new graduates, but according to a new report, the federal government has been honing in on another demographic of debtors: retirees. The Debt Collection Improvement Act of 1996 granted the federal government authority to withhold a fraction of their Social Security payments if retirees owe defaulted debt to the government — including student loans.

Conservative billionaire Charles Koch is going public with his massive efforts to influence politics in the short run and the direction of the country in the long run. Partly because of his determination to redirect the freedom conversation and partly because his efforts are beginning to have an impact, Koch is now coming into the public square with his beliefs and efforts. In the short run, he hopes his efforts will first show up in the November elections, but he also is working to influence the elections of 2016, 2020 and out.

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