All Posts Tagged With: "Education"

Tom Harkin Dissembles on Higher Education

Bumped up from TCR:Iowa.  – Ed.

Our esteemed Senator Harkin has been holding some hearings on for-profit colleges back in D.C., and now he has penned an editorial for the Des Moines Register. In full disclosure, I dislike Tom Harkin. Intensely. Then again, back in 2008, Charles Grassley voted for the TARP bailout, and now I don’t like him either.

But, back to the junior Senator from Iowa; Senator Harkin penned an opinion-editorial decrying the high tuition, poor student outcome, and massive debt of the students of for-profit colleges. If somebody would be so kind as to pass this on to the right honorable gentleman, would Senator Harkin please explain why his criticisms of the for-profit colleges are not extended to all colleges? Why does …


Arne Duncan and DOE’s End Around Congress to Change FERPA, Invade Student Privacy

arne duncanThis article was originally posted at Caffeinated Thoughts.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and the educrats at the U.S. Department of Education know that Congress would never vote to codify the changes they seek in the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) so they’re changing up regulations in order to do so.  They want to allow private and invasive information to be gathered on students and families in order to supply the workforce.

This has nothing to do with improving the education that children receive.  The sole purpose for these changes are to data mine and pass that information along to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Labor who will then provide it to the private sector …


How To Fix Our Schools

I’m not one to spend time commenting on something as innocuous as a movie, but I just finished watching something that was both compelling and surprising.

Davis Guggenheim’s documentary “Waiting For Superman” had my attention for the entire 111 minutes, and I learned some important things about the successes of some alternative charter schools, the bureaucratic nightmares that have impeded some schools from succeeding, and most importantly the devastating stranglehold that the teacher’s unions exert in ensuring that teachers are as demotivated as possible.  The story of the attempts by the District of Columbia school district to partner with the teacher’s union to create a pathway to success is scandalous, and clearly ensures that failing teachers never have to be held accountable.

I get why


Biblical Worldview of ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’

Prior to the start of the school year, a parent very wisely asked me to write an article which essentially responds to the following question – “How can a Christian effectively respond to ‘Walking with Dinosaurs: The Life Experience,’ a traveling stage show which depicts dinosaurs as they lived prior to extinction?”

The “Walking with Dinosaurs” production is described by the producers as a “dazzling arena spectacle of unprecedented size and quality,” and it is scheduled in Des Moines for October 1-5 at the Iowa Events Center.

What’s the rub?!  Why any controversy?!  Dinosaurs are cool!  Dinosaurs fascinate people, particularly schoolchildren.  “There’s no harm in studying dinosaurs,” you might say.

Don’t be so sure.  In a sense, you are exactly right.  The archeological record obviously …


Don’t Check Your Brains at the Schoolhouse Gate!

On August 19, 2008, I joined a panel of Christian school educators on Steve Deace’s WHO AM-1040 Radio program to discuss a recent California Supreme Court ruling which upheld The University of California system’s right to deny college credit to students who had taken Christian school science classes which used textbooks teaching the biblical account of creation.

The specific books in question were published by Bob Jones University, a long-standing Christian university, and A Beka books of Pensacola, Florida – a prominent publisher of Christian school textbooks. In the California Supreme Court ruling, the written judgment stated that these textbooks do not promote “critical thinking,” apparently because the textbooks indicate that any information which is inconsistent with biblical truth should be dismissed as falsehood. The …


McCain’s Acceptance Speech

A lot of you have seen the speech, some have not.  Overall, high marks for contents.  Very high.  I think he brought out the right issues, positions, and comparisons with Obama.  He’s working out the differences, which he needs to continue to do.  Probably the three key areas that he addressed and should continue to address:

  1. Key distinctions between Democrats and Republicans on social and economic issues.
  2. Demonstrable track record in leading and doing the right thing both in policy and ethical behavior.
  3. Bipartisan attitude and effort in pooling ideas and working with all sides to find the best solutions.

Clearly, the convention floor was energized.  I would say (as others have also said) that the presentation was not as strong as the content.  I’d …


Gustav Gives Us An Obama Dry Run

My husband has been after me to contribute my thoughts to his blog instead of just hashing them out with him. After reading the story “Obama: My donors can help victims” in the Des Moines Register today, I decided it was time.

I confess I was taken in by Obama’s message of change. I believe our country and both the Democratic and Republican parties are all at a crossroads which will determine a lot of things for the future. While we may still be considered a “superpower” in military might, we have sadly lagged behind the rest of the world in education, economic growth and dare I say the overall physical health of Americans. We do have a great health care system and I wouldn’t …


Can’t Spell? Let’s Make It E-Z On You.

This story (page 1 of Friday’s WSJ) takes the cake.  And it’s the last line that sums up why I’m frustrated by it:

We just want to make it [English] a little easier to spell.

Changing the spelling of words to be phonetically exacting is just wrong.  That way, you don’t have to know to spell “there”, “their”, or “they’re” correctly.  It would be “thair”.

It’s bad enough that many children would love a life sitting in front of video games all day without a care in the world, without a stitch of work to do, without any effort.

But it is fundamentally aggravating to see fully grown adults attempting to march the children down into that pit.

It’s not just the spelling issue itself, …


How Important Is Parenting?

I’ll admit that my experience in parenting is lame.  My 15-year-old niece spent a year in our home.  Our appreciation for parents skyrocketed within a week.

That said, I think we have significant challenges in raising a generation of people in our society that will carry on the American model of self-sufficiency, determination, competitiveness and aggressive success that created a nation and fuels the greatest society in the world.

I believe, however, that the gradual attempts of the past 100 years on the part of rich intellectual liberals to mold a less aggressive (read “pacified”) society is already crippling our ability to succeed.  A combination of Eugenics, Social Engineering, the Liberal Capture of Education, the General Rebellion on college campuses in the 60’s, “Give Peace …


Academic Freedom?!

New Writer
Dr. Bob Stouffer is Superintendent of Des Moines Christian School in Urbandale, Iowa, and the newest addition to The Conservative Reader’s Editorial Team.

On Monday, April 14, 2008, I was privileged to join a large theater audience in Des Moines for a special viewing of Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, a documentary by Ben Stein which will premier throughout the city, starting at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 18.

Security on Monday night was tight. We were expected to show a photo ID. A man waved a wand cautiously over each individual to insure that no recording instruments would result in pirating of the film. Women could not bring their purses into the theater.

The audience was privileged to hear from Dr. Guillermo …


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