Will Oklahoma ban AP US History? (photo: AP)
Judd Legum | Think Progress | Reader Supported News | February 19, 2015
n Oklahoma bill banning Advanced Placement U.S. History would also require schools to instruct students in a long list of “foundational documents,” including the Ten Commandments, two sermons and three speeches by Ronald Reagan.
The bill, authored by Oklahoma Rep. Dan Fisher, designates a total of 58 documents that “shall form the base level of academic content for all United States History courses offered in the schools in the state.” Many of the texts are uncontroversial and undoubtedly covered by the Advanced Placement U.S. History course, such as the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and Gettysburg address. But the bill also has an ideological and religious bent. In addition to 3 speeches by Reagan, the curriculum as includes a speech by George W. Bush but nothing from any Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson.
Fisher’s bill was approved by the Education committee on an 11-4 vote.
University of Pittsburgh, ranked the most expensive public university in the US according to Department of Education data, 2014. (photo: University of Pittsburgh)
Rebecca Shabad | The Hill | Reader Supported News | February 19, 2015
en. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Tuesday called for a “revolution” in higher education funding that would involve free tuition for freshmen and sophomores at all public colleges and universities.
“We need a revolution in the way higher education is funded,” Sanders said at Johnson State College, a public school in Vermont, according to his office.
Sanders, who is mulling a 2016 White House run, said rising college costs are preventing young people from going to college and are leaving many students in debt.
“This is absurd. This is absolutely counter-productive to our efforts to create a strong economy,” he said, adding that the United States is lagging behind other countries where college is free.
Protesters gather outside the DC office of the NRA, which has called for guns in schools. (photo: Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images)
Catherine Thompson | Talking Points Memo | Reader Supported News | January 30, 2015
egislation filed last week in Texas would allow teachers to use deadly force in order to protect school property, the Houston Chronicle reported.
State Rep. Dan Flynn (R), who’s previously fought to roll back concealed handgun license requirements, filed the Teacher’s Protection Act authorizing educators to use deadly force to protect themselves or another person on school grounds.
The bill would also authorize the use of deadly force to protect school property and shield any teacher who uses deadly force from prosecution should they cause injury or death.
Texas law already offers immunity from discipline to teachers who use “reasonable” force against a student, according to the Chronicle. State law also allows any adult to carry a firearm in a school with the principal’s permission.
Maxwell Tani | Huffington Post | January 16, 2015
A Mississippi school board has rewritten the district’s rules on school clubs after a student expressed interest in forming what the superintendent called “gay clubs.”
According to the Clarion-Ledger, a student at Brandon High School in Rankin County approached a teacher about starting a Gay-Straight Alliance chapter, which is aimed at creating safe spaces for students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. According to the teacher, the student sent the proposal for the new club to school administrators.
On Wednesday, the Rankin County School Board voted to require students to get permission from parents before joining clubs. Officials deny that they knew about the club before making their decision, although superintendent Lynn Weathersby met recently with county administrators and the school board attorney to discuss how to legally “limit organizations like that on campus that we don’t want to endorse and don’t want.”
Robin Marty | Care2 | Truthout | January 14, 2015
Like many people, when I graduated from college I walked away with a degree, no idea where to find a job, and about $25,000 in student loan debt. This was 1999, and I was lucky: I found entry level work at a non-profit within two months and was earning a living wage (though not a generous one) before my student loan payments left their grace period. Even when job loss came, I was able to continue those payments, and, once I found a higher paying job, I then accelerated them. I hit my number one goal of paying off my loans before I had kids by exactly one month, sending that final check in four weeks before my first child was due.
I recognize now how lucky I was to at least start post-college employment before the recession truly hit, although a number of job losses in my first few years of work slowed down my path to financial stability. One thing I always think about, however, is how that first job I took wasn’t right for me, but was the job I jumped for in part because I knew that I had a clock ticking on waiting debt payments, and that putting those loans on hold would only create more debt down the road.
These days, I’m saving for my own children’s college funds, and working on a different goal: a plan to keep my kids as far away from student loans as possible, or keep their post school debt to a minimum, so that they can try to find work they love, versus just a job. Since I’ve left college, tuition in our nation’s institutions have exponentially increased, and a Bachelor’s degree no longer carries the heft it used to just 15 years prior.