Should the United States create a school voucher program?
1. Betsy DeVos has been confirmed as secretary of education, after a historic tie-breaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence. DeVos became the subject of controversy because of her position on school vouchers. She supports allowing federal funds to follow students wherever they go, even if they decide to attend a privately run school. Vouchers have been supported by many elected officials on the right because many public schools are currently failing at properly educating students.
2. Opponents of school vouchers argue that the money should go to making public schools better, rather than shipping students to a private option. Additionally, many private schools are also religious in name and curriculum. That situation presents an issue when considering the First Amendment. In DeVos's confirmation, two Republican senators voted against her. Both are representing rural states. Vouchers tend not to help children in rural areas because there is often not another option outside of the local public school.
3. So, are school vouchers the solution to America's public education problem?
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The latest Macbook Pros are really efficient. Type in the first few letters of a word and all sorts complete thoughts pop up. It might be great in a simple Google search or typing up a report. Law bar test software ExamSoft says Apple's Touch Bar is too helpful for law students taking the exam. In fact, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania, and New York have banned using the MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar altogether. Other states are requiring test takers to disable the feature pre-exam.
President Barack Obama highlighted a record high school graduation rate this week. In the 2014-15 school year, about 84 percent of high school seniors graduated. This is a 1 percent improvement over the previous year and has increased 4 percentage rates since the 2010-11 school year. With more students graduating from high school, there are more Americans seeking high education as well.
ITT Technical Institute will close all of its campuses, creating the largest college shut down in history. The for-profit college chain will displace about 35,000 students and 8,000 employees. After a string of lawsuits against ITT Tech, the Department of Education banned the college from enrolling new students last month. The school also faced new, rigorous financial requirements from the government. If displaced students can't find an educational institution that will accept their transfer credits, they have the right to cancel their loans.
The California Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that maintains teacher tenure and seniority-based layoffs. Teacher tenure in public K-12 schools has been somewhat controversial in the education policy debate. While teacher unions support keeping tenure, many education reform proponents say tenure is a contributing factor in failing schools. Without tenure, the process of firing bad teachers would be simpler and easier. This would give schools the opportunity to improve academic performance. The California Supreme Court didn't rule on the case, leaving the decision ultimately to the state legislature.
Supreme Court split on affirmative action
1. The Supreme Court's docket is filled to the brim with controversial hearings regarding abortion rights, the death penalty, unions and more. But first, the Supreme Court is tackling affirmative action in the case of Fisher v. University of Texas. Abigail Fisher, a white UT hopeful, is suing the university for "reverse racism," claiming their admission policy, which takes a student's race into account, is an example of "reverse racism."
2. If Justice Antonin Scalia's remarks yesterday were any indication of the court's opinion, things aren't looking great for UT. For more than a decade, the university has relied on an affirmative action admission plan that admits a student in the top ten percent of his or her graduating class, which increases racial diversity at the university.
3. So, is UT's admission process racist? Or should diversity be a priority for the nation's top universities?
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Hey there, neighbor: MLK monument planned atop Stone Mountain
1. Stone Mountain, easily the nation's largest tribute to Confederate soldiers, is getting a new neighbor, but not everyone is hopping on the welcome wagon. Plans have been announced for a Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. monument to sit atop the summit of the mountain, creating a juxtaposition of ideals at a place where Ku Klux Klan members were known to burn giant crosses.
2. This isn't the first time Stone Mountain has been in the news this year, you know. After the church massacre in Charleston, S.C., protests erupted around the tribute to Rebel soldiers. Confederate supporters were quick to come to the monument's defense. The new MLK project is already being met with fevered opposition, one member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans even called the monument's plans insulting.
3. So, is the new MLK monument a good idea? Tell us what you think.
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Ahmed Mohamed's arrest: Is fear outweighing our freedom of expression?
On Monday, 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed, a student in Irving, Texas was arrested by police for bringing a digital clock that he made to school, after one of his teachers suspected it to be a "hoax bomb."
Mohamed, a ninth-grade student at MacArthur High School, said that his hobby is inventing and he brought his clock to school in hopes of demonstrating his skills to his teachers. Instead, he was handcuffed by cops, questioned without his parents, and taken to juvenile detention.
The incident has created a social media uproar— the hashtag #IStandWithAhmed started trending on Twitter and has resulted in more than 100,000 tweets. Even President Obama joined in on the conversation, tweeting "We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great."
Cool clock, Ahmed. Want to bring it to the White House? We should inspire more kids like you to like science. It's what makes America great.— President Obama (@POTUS) September 16, 2015
It's hard to understand why the adults in charge didn't do a little more due diligence before they took him out in handcuffs (his English teacher decided it was a bomb, but his engineering teacher could have vouched for the device), and why they interrogated him without his parents. It's also hard not to wonder if their reaction would have been the same if his last name weren't Mohamed. Reasonable fears and an abundance of caution are admirable, but not at the expense of common sense. We live in a free country and that freedom requires vigilance, but it also requires that we master our most irrational fears, and respect the freedom of others, including Ahmed Mohamed.
Ahmed's story has a happy ending; charges were dropped and he's a social media star with invites to visit Facebook and MIT, so the trauma of today's arrest will probably be short lived. But not everyone caught up in a misunderstanding like this one fares so well in the end.
What do you think? Is fear getting the best of us? Or should authorities always assume the worst, no matter what?
Your Thoughts?Weigh In.
Are you currently staring at your newly-framed diploma, dreaming of the millions of dollars coming your way? Keep dreaming, says a new study from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. The center concludes that even with a shiny college degree, securing high-paying employment is becoming increasingly difficult over time. The study relied on data from the United States Census Bureau to disprove the notion that America's economy is in need of highly-skilled workers. In fact, it argues the opposite: highly-skilled workers (read: those with degrees) are often left settling for work below their skill level or pay grade. Raise your hand if you've ever felt personally victimized by the slow-adapting work force? *raises hand*