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Why Are Public Schools Messed Up? It’s People Like THIS.
Posted: 10 July 2009 03:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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MikeD - 10 July 2009 02:49 PM

Hello. Reading this I have to agree that this is nuts. The “Christian” idea of “Reclaiming America for Christ” is nonsense and to have education distorted like this is dangerous. I have a question though: I understand the separation of church and state in this country and I think it’s great, but why don’t they just teach “ethics” classes in public schools, educating people about religion, ethics, etc. It’s done like that in Germany and apparently in Canada too I heard someone mention on these boards. That way they would remove this whole controversy. The religious people won’t have to be afraid that there are “no morals” in school and biology is taught next to religion, in context I mean. Or is there something in the American Constitution that would not allow this?
Thanks!

Unfortunately, Christians in America are a complicated bunch. It’s not just ethics they want taught. They want to ban the teaching of evolution specifically and also ban the teaching of the big bang theory and other scientific matter. They want schools to teach that the earth is 6,000 years old, and was made in a few days by God.

At the root of it all, my personal feeling is that they want to ban the teaching of science because it contradicts the Christian bible and teaches children to think critically for themselves, instead of following the bible and their parents blindly with no questions asked. I feel this approach of blind obedience raises ignorant children and puts them in danger throughout life.

American public schools have no shortage of ethics lessons, at least in my experience. My eight-year-old is given seminars and classes on friendship, being a good citizen, community outreach and charity programs, bully prevention programs, safety, racial and religious diversity, and buddy programs where they are paired up with handicapped or mentally disabled children.

I consider myself lucky to live in an area of the country where it is rare that science classes are challenged. For others with children in public school, it is a constant fight to keep the science classes up to par to prepare their children for college. I’ll fight with them when I can, and I give financial support to organizations that help to keep evolution and other critical science lessons in our schools. The decisions made by other school systems trickle down to the rest of the country, and they will make a big difference in the next generation.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 10 July 2009 04:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Mmh… I think I understand. What I can’t quite understand is that the Christians here are so radical. I mentioned in my introduction that I myself believe in God and have no problem with religion, but one of the reasons I distanced myself here from a lot of “Christians” is that they are nutty. - I just thought “religious education” in the public school system might change some thinking. I don’t have kids so I don’t know. But from what you write public school seems a good place with no need for “extra ethics” ... It differs from state to state though I assume. New England up there seems to be quite European in their public policies.

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“In dark ages people are best guided by religion, as in a pitch-black night a blind man is the best guide; he knows the roads and paths better than a man who can see. When daylight comes, however, it is foolish to use blind, old men as guides.” (Heinrich Heine)

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Posted: 10 July 2009 04:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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I should clarify that when I say “Christian” I am speaking of the more fundamentalist Christians advocating for this type of school system, not the more moderate or liberal Christians who tend to co-exist peacefully in the school systems with parents of different or no religion.

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Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story. Others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.    - Lex Luthor

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Posted: 14 August 2009 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Charter School’s New Chief Touts Church-State Separation

By Gal Beckerman
Published August 12, 2009, issue of August 21, 2009
http://www.forward.com/articles/112035/

[...]

Starting on August 24, [Maureen] Campbell, 49, will be fulfilling the tricky role of principal of New York City’s first Hebrew-language charter school. It is a project already fraught with controversy for the boundaries it pushes. Many organizations, from the American Civil Liberties Union to the Anti-Defamation League, will be watching closely to make sure the school does not become — as its detractors fear — a cover for promoting Jewish identity with public funds. The fact that the school will be housed in the squat, red-brick Zvi Dov Roth Academy, a building that hosts a synagogue in addition to the yeshiva, only adds to the provocative quality of the project. . . .

There is sure to be even more skepticism about the school, now that the ethnic makeup of its first incoming class of 150 first graders and kindergarteners is being made public. The school’s charter spoke of expecting the student body to “reflect the population of the target community,” which is 47% black, 13% Asian, 12% Hispanic and only 27% white. But according to statistics provided by the school, 61% of its students are white, and of those, an overwhelming number speak Russian or Hebrew as a first language at home and have parents who were born in the former Soviet Union or in Israel. . . .

These numbers suggest that the school is a big draw for the large population of Russian Jews who live in the local school district, which includes Brooklyn’s Sheepshead Bay and Brighton Beach. Predominantly secular but self-identified as Jewish, the Russian immigrants could see in the Hebrew Language Academy a free avenue for encouraging Jewish continuity. . . .

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Posted: 24 August 2009 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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This is exactly how neoconservatives govern. The neoconservatives follow the old Regan adage “government is not the solution to our problem, it is the problem,” like its the eleventh commandment. They justify filling important positions with ideological imbeciles because any mistakes their lackeys make only further their point that the government can do nothing right. The predicament this country is in is that most people are already cynical enough from past government shortcomings and failures, that they get duped into electing people who believe that government is permanently broken. Electing a cynical politician is a self-fulfilling prophecy, because at the very least that politician will do nothing to change the status quo, at the very worst they will only ruin the system further.

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Posted: 24 September 2009 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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(More on NYC’s new Hebrew-language charter school, which is supposedly not mixing religion and state thanks to planned careful teaching and thanks to the removal of religious emblems in the synagogue where it rents space.)

Shul Resists Eviction by Charter School: ‘Now the Word of God Is Erased,’ Cries an Elderly Congregant

By Gal Beckerman
Published September 23, 2009, issue of October 02, 2009.
http://www.forward.com/articles/114915/

The 18 men praying together early on a recent Friday morning, wrapped in tefillin and tallitot, didn’t exactly look like squatters. . . .

But an eviction notice, now partly ripped off the door, reveals that the congregation was ordered by its landlord to evacuate the premises by September 1. . . .

After 33 years of daily prayers in the auditorium of Yeshiva Rambam, a private religious high school, Machzikei Torah is being pushed out by the yeshiva to make room for a new, more reliably paying tenant: the Hebrew Language Academy.

Despite having opened only weeks ago, the Hebrew Language Academy is already being closely watched as one of the country’s first representatives of the much-buzzed-about push to establish publicly funded Hebrew charter schools. But the academy’s residence in a building occupied by a yeshiva, paired with its Hebrew-language focus, has posed some hurdles, given the requirement that it adhere to the separation between religion and state. . . .

Brooklyn’s Hebrew Language Academy is the nation’s second Hebrew-themed charter school. The first, Florida’s Ben Gamla Charter School, was launched in 2007. The Brooklyn school, which opened its doors August 24, is being partly bankrolled by leading Jewish philanthropists. . . . The school by law must enroll students irrespective of their ethnic and religious background.
. . .

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