Israel's Haredi Schools Get Standardized Testing? As YNet reports, Israel's ultra-Orthodox religious schools, which receive public money, will have to take standardized tests -- as ordered by the Supreme Court. A judge said that such schools "should start taking things seriously, or face the consequences." Why, you ask, do I bring you news from across the planet? It's an interesting parallel to an ongoing debate on our own soil. In the U.S., there has been much talk over whether private schools that receive public-school vouchers or tax credits should be held to the same standards as their public school peers. Obviously the structure is different, and in Israel there's no public-private distinction between the schools. But it's still fascinating to watch.
I'm a believer in performance funding for state institutions of higher learning, at least where some measure of sense is displayed in devising the appropriate formula.
Teachers are down these days, and budgets are depleted. To keep current teachers and attract new ones, school districts across the country must get creative to show their teachers that they are valued and supported.
As Tennessee has shown, our children, our teachers, and our country will be better off when school leaders and educators finally undertake the challenging task of creating a meaningful and useful system for supporting and evaluating our nation's teachers.
This year, let's all be alert. Be active. Use your power as one citizen and vote. Don't let anyone take it away from you. Let's mount an urgent and systematic state-by-state fight against the latest kinds of disenfranchisement.
Eighty-seven years after the notorious Scopes trial, the Tennessee legislature recently passed a bill encouraging teachers to present the "scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses" of topics that arouse "debate and disputation" such as "biological evolution."
We live in the 21st century, the century of biotechnology. Without an appropriate understanding of evolution, students will be at a disadvantage in the workforce. And without an understanding of anthropogenic climate change, how can we expect Tennessee children to grow up to become members of an informed electorate?
Tennessee's new law invites creationist teachers to interject religion into science classrooms -- and forbids administrators from stopping them.
Oklahoma and Tennessee's legislators' most recent attacks on evolution started in each state's legislative session in 2011 and were carried forward into this year's sessions.
These anti-evolution bills undercut any hope that we might produce a scientifically literate citizenry.
As Latinos are the fastest growing minority in the U.S., it's critical that we invest in the institutions that are building up this skilled workforce in America.
What speech has a Tennessee school decided must be banned?