Despite threats of an ACLU-driven lawsuit, seniors at Louisiana’s Bastrop High School continued a tradition of prayer at the school’s graduation ceremony. One of the graduates had demanded that the prayer be canceled, and the ACLU had followed up by contacting school officials to make sure the prayer was scratched from the commencement.
A New York City special education teacher has said that her faith and spirituality provoked harassment, teasing, and finally, wrongful termination last June. Though the school claims that Anita Wooten Francis was fired for grabbing a child, Francis insists that the school manufactured that story in order to hide the real reason for her termination: her Christian beliefs.
Despite the powerful influence of the teachers’ union in New York City, education officials in NYC are in the process of developing new standardized tests that will be administered to students and will be used to assess teacher performance.
Although the United States is generally recognized as having a free-market, capitalist economy, many services are provided by various levels of government, rather than by the private sector, which means that those services are delivered according to the socialist economic model. The American public school system provides a classic example of how that plays out. The so-called “central planners” determine what is to be taught and how it is to be taught, with virtually no input from consumers (parents and students). In fact, in the rare instances when said consumers attempt to make their preferences known, such as objecting to the use of a certain book in the curriculum, it is not at all uncommon for the teachers, administrators, and school board to “circle the wagons” and repel them.
The Department of Education released a proposal last month that dramatically alters the 1974 Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which guarantees the privacy of student records. Critics of the proposal contend that it infringes upon student privacy and allows the government access to what should be private information.
The Department of Education touts FERPA as a law that “protects the privacy of student education records.” The current law assigns complete control over students’ educational records to the parents until students reach age 18, when the rights are then transferred to the students.