2015 came to a close with something many people thought theyd never see: The end of the No Child Left Behind Act, the federal education law that no one seemed to like, but that was long overdue for replacement because no one could agree on how to change it.
Ninety years ago today, the Scopes Monkey Trial, immortalized on stage and screen, drew to a close. But while the most famous battle ever over evolution and perhaps the most famous trial of all time ended nine decades ago, the war between evolution and creationism continues.
Students in Jefferson County, Colorado began walking out of school last week to protest a proposal to ensure that the Advanced Placement programs history classes "promote citizenship, patriotism ... (and) respect for authority." Simultaneously, the nation has been observing Banned Books Week, intended to shine a spotlight on campaigns to remove controversial books from libraries, including at schools.
It seems easy: collect data, process data, publish data, and everyone becomes better informed and wiser. It’s seductive, and it was clear listening to President Barack Obama and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) that both are under data’s spell when it comes to budget-busting higher education. But the main college problem isn’t a shortage of useful information -- it’s massive federal student aid discouraging its use.
With the recent revelations of a prominent scientist using dirty tricks against global-warming skeptics, the overheated climate debate has taken another ugly turn. Worse, the scandal reveals that our children’s minds may be the newest battleground in the unending global warming war.
If you look just at dollar signs or rhetoric to measure the education success of Barack Obama’s first one-hundred days, then the President should get an A. Base it on meaningful reform, however, and he’d be lucky to get a passing grade.
President Obama is famously tough to pin down on a lot of issues. So how much of what he said in his widely praised education address a few days ago can we believe heralds true change, and how much was really just savvy politics?