Today is the National Day of Prayer, a day set aside for silent reflection and prayer in a variety of forms. However, this spiritual day has been clouded by the presence of various controversies, from a Wisconsin judge’s ruling that it’s unconstitutional to disinviting Reverend Billy Graham’s evangelical son, Franklin Graham.
Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) told Congressional Quarterly May 4 that a Senate floor vote on his Keep Our Educators Working Act of 2010, S. 3206, is likely in the coming weeks. The bill is designed to prevent layoffs of municipal school teachers whose jobs are threatened by reduced local property tax revenues by appropriating $23 billion in federal funds during fiscal 2010 to the states for local educational assistance.
The Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) is embroiled in a battle over textbook content that, media reports claim, could dictate public school curricula nationwide. As the single largest textbook purchaser in the country, Texas is a major decision-maker regarding content of books available on the market, since publishers naturally cater to their most lucrative client. Republicans on the SBOE have made headlines in recent months overturning what they call a "subtle trend" toward liberalism and negativity about America in the high school social studies curriculum.
The Supreme Court has decided to hear an appeal of a Circuit Court decision in February of last year to strike down a California statute that bans the sale or rental of violent video games to minors. The California law specifically bans the sale or rental of video games deemed “excessively violent.” California State Senator Leland Yee of San Francisco warned that allowing minors access to very violent video games could affect the brain development of the child.
Standardized tests are not a perfect tool to measure academic achievement or intellectual ability. But standardized tests represent a serious attempt to objectively determine how much a student has learned and how well his mind works in certain defined areas.