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.

The superintendent of the Wayland, Massachusetts, school district has thumbed his nose at the atheist Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF), saying that he will continue to allow the Wayland High School band to play “God Bless America” at patriotic-themed events at the school. The classic patriotic Irving Berlin song, made famous during World War II by Kate Smith and sung with the same gusto by millions of Americans ever since, was played by the school band both on Pearl Harbor Day and Memorial Day, prompting a letter of warning from the FFRF, after a parent of a student supposedly complained about the song.

The atheist group, which is notorious for threatening school districts and municipalities with lawsuits under the (usually accurate) assumption that the local government entities will be too intimidated to mount a challenge, insisted that the school district was somehow violating the First Amendment's supposed separation-of-church-and-state clause by allowing the music.