Friday, August 26, 2005
BACK-TO-SCHOOL NEWS BRIEFS: LAPTOP LULU IN ATLANTA
This may be instructive for Nebraskans in more ways than one: the superintendent of a large public-school district in Atlanta announced his immediate resignation, effective today, because of a huge controversy over his plan to give laptop computers to all students in Grades 6-12.
The Nebraska connection: OPS, Westside and other districts have new, free laptop programs on large and small scales. At least so far here, though, there haven’t been lawsuits over the funding mechanisms, allegations of bias and deception in the bidding process, or a sharply-divided school board, as is the case in Atlanta.
The superintendent, Joseph Redden, is a retired three-star Air Force general who won raves a few years ago when he began to attack low test scores among disadvantaged pupils in the Cobb County schools. His first move is one that would make a lot of sense in OPS: he paid $1,000 bonuses to inner-city teachers, counselors, social workers and instructional specialists to try to address the staff turnover problem in low-income schools. He also gave significant new power to principals and made other businesslike changes.
Result: Cobb County now posts its highest average ever on the SAT, above the national average, and is offering other innovations such as online courses.
The Cobb County public schools are a lot like OPS: a mix of high-performing suburban schools, and low-performing, low-income schools with growing numbers of non-English speaking pupils.
Redden’s approach drew the most fire, ironically, from educators, who didn’t like having a career military person in the top job and vow to replace him with an educator.
The district has 104,000 students, 13,000 staff members, and Redden was paid $197,000.
‘MATERNA-TEEN’ CLOTHES FOR 65 GIRLS AT ONE SCHOOL?
Sixty-five girls at a high school in Canton, Ohio, are pregnant, according to a report from World Net Daily. That’s 13% of the student body. School officials say they are baffled as to how it is happening, though one hopes they don’t mean that literally:
Hey! All I can say is . . . what do you . . . excuse the expression . . . EXPECT? The “bring it on” style of comprehensive sex ed that’s in place in most high schools is shamefully lurid, ridicules chastity, and now is forcing us to reap the damaging, lascivious propaganda that’s been sown in the hearts and groins of our young, at taxpayer expense.
Eww! Eww! Ewwww! Good citizens just HAVE to start demanding that schools teach G-rated, abstinence-only sex ed, or we’re just going to see more appalling stats like this – and pregnant girls sitting in class with belly-button piercings. Eww! Eww! Ewww!!!
THE HOMESCHOOLING HOLOCAUST IN GERMANY
Nebraska is said to have among the most stringent homeschooling statutes in the nation. But thankfully, our approach to homeschooling is nothing like what’s going on in Germany. Here are excerpts from an account from an author friend of mine, Bruce Shortt:
A letter dated Wednesday from a German dad: “Our legal fight for homeschooling and religious freedom here in Germany is pretty much over. We just relocated 8 families into Austria after the government took custody of three families and are going after the others. But this is not all. The government is pursuing these families in Austria, asking the Austrian government to insure that the mandatory school attendance laws be inflicted on these families in Austria even though homeschooling is legal there. This would mean that the families would not be able to avoid the horrible social agenda that is also in the Austrian public schools. Germany seems to have made a deal already with France to control German's living in France. Thing is, Germany is the financial power of the EU so they have a pretty strong voice.”Letter dated May 21: “On Monday, a Baptist family living in Paderborn is scheduled to appear in court. The judge has already made known that he is going to take custody of their 9 year old child and give it to the state, placing the child in an orphanage because, for religious reasons, the family has removed the child from school. Their 19 year old son was lost through the public schools. Now that they are experiencing problems with their 9 year old they decided to bring him home and try to save him in the faith.”Letter dated April 20: “Today, two mothers were taken to prison in the state of Nordrhein-Westfalen. They were not homeschoolers but were charged with keeping their children from fulfilling the mandatory school attendance laws of their state. Their crime? They refused to allow their children to participate in a very, very ungodly school theater piece. First they received fines. When they refused to pay the fines they were handcuffed and taken to jail. One mother's husband is in the hospital for a very serious lung operation. He like the other father will face jail when his wife finishes her punishment in prison. When she was brought to the police station the officer in charge told her to go home and not tell anybody. Why? Because she was brought to prison with her baby. She still nurses her baby.The other mother remains in jail. She has 12 children. The next step is to take the children away!
. . .
“A professor of Bielefeld University, Christoph Gusy, was quoted in a news article to say ‘private schools have to prove that they are able to provide the state educational goals. All forms of education that do not enforce these goals are inherently unlawful. The duty to attend public school does not reserve the right of individual decisions of basic rights.’ Folks, this means that private schools in Germany must carry out the state's dictates and that the mandatory school attendance is not limited by the basic rights found in the German constitution. In other words religious and conscience and parental rights according to the constitution do not supercede in any way the mandatory school attendance laws. There are articles in our constitution that guarantee religious and conscience and parental rights but no article that dictates a mandatory school attendance. Never-the-less: Schulpflicht ueber alles! (mandatory school attendance above all else)”Yesterday, in Hamburg, a 9 year old girl's Muslim parents contested that their little girl should be made to wear a swim suit to attend the co-ed swim course in her school - which they believed to be a sin. The state argued that it was in the best interest of the child to learn to swim. The judge ruled that the state is principally entitled to ‘follow its own educational goals independent from the beliefs and wishes of the parents.’. . .
Shortt concludes with this chilling quote from a German pro-family activist:
”It doesn't get much worse than when, last week, two social workers and a judge visited a family in Paderborn in an attempt to force them to send their child back to school. One of our attorneys was present and quoted the law that would allow this family to homeschool their child. The judge immediately retorted that he didn't want to hear about the law.”You know what they say about the mid-20th Century Holocaust over there: NEVER AGAIN. I’d like to add: NEVER HERE.
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