After a debate over new teacher contracts collapsed on September 9, 20,000 public-school teachers in Chicago’s education system went on strike, leaving hundreds of thousands of students without schooling or supervision. Karen Lewis, president of the Chicago Teachers Union, said later that day they had made progress on resolving many provisions in the contract, but “we have failed to reach an agreement that will prevent a labor strike.”
The federal government, via the U.S. Department of Labor, is dispersing $75.7 million in taxpayer-funded grants to offer high school dropouts vocational training in construction, healthcare, information technology, and other in-demand occupational fields.
Writing about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to review a discrimination lawsuit filed against the University of Texas, two conservatives — Roger Clegg and John Rosenberg — argue that efforts to achieve racial “diversity” on college campuses are nothing more than reverse discrimination against whites and Asians.
School administrators in Baltimore, Maryland, have spent $500,000 in the last year and a half to party hearty on the taxpayers’ dime, according to a recent report in the Baltimore Sun entitled "City school credit, procurement cards show culture of spending." They even spread the wealth at such noted educational establishments as Hooters.
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.
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.
Christian Bible and book publisher Thomas Nelson announced that it has pulled a book by noted conservative historian David Barton on Founding Father Thomas Jefferson for what it claimed were factual issues with the text.