Arizona

Arizona

Arizona Students Might Be Taking Bible Classes if New Bill Passes

Lately, the state of Arizona has been coming out with some pretty conservative laws, such as its immigration laws and definition of when life begins. Now, the state is taking moves that might spread its conservation reach into education.

That state’s Senate approved House Bill 2563 on April 12, 2012. This bill will create a new high school class in public and charter schools where students read and learn about the Bible and the role it has played in Western culture. House Bill 2563 passed in February of this year and is now sitting on Governor Jan Brewer’s desk, where it will either be signed into effect or thrown out.

So will this class just be a lot of Bible-thumping? Not exactly. If the bill passes, the state’s Board of Education must create an elective class that will be offered for high school students called “The Bible and its influence on Western Culture.” Students who choose to take the class would learn the impact the Old and New Testaments have had on history, literature, government, and other aspects of Western society throughout the ages.

According to Republic state Rep. Terri Proud, the teachers who teach this class will only be able to use the Bible “in a very restricted way.” Read the rest of this entry »



Arizona Bill Suspends Professors for Swearing

sign indicating that swearing is not allowedArizona college professors may have to start watching their mouths.

A newly-proposed bill, called the “G-Rated” bill, would make it legal to suspend teachers at public institutions if their speech or conduct is not “proper.” An instructor could be penalized if he or she “engages in speech or conduct that would violate the standards adopted by the Federal Communications Commission concerning obscenity, indecency and profanity if that speech were broadcast on television or radio.”

On the first offense, the instructor would be suspended for a week without pay. On the second offense, he or she would be slapped with a two-week suspension without pay and expulsion for the third.

Proposed by Arizona Republican Sen. Lori Klein, it would restrict any “person who provides classroom instruction” starting with preschool teachers all the way up to college professors.

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The State of Arizona Uses a New Test to Determine If Students Are Ready for College

High school students in Arizona might have a bigger worry than if they will win their football games this year. A new study reveals that many of them are not on track to pursue a college education.

In January 2011, the ACT Explore standardized test was given to almost 20,000 eighth-grade students and it showed that many of these students are likely to not be able to pass a college entrance exam, even though 62 percent hope to pursue a four year degree. The test also surveys the students about their interests in order to be able to offer advice concerning future careers. However, if the students are not able to pursue a higher education, their future career options will be limited.

How should the schools combat this discouraging news? Many are planning on using the results to place students in remedial or advanced high school classes, depending on how the students did on the exam. Sadly, this means that about a third of the students will be placed in advanced classes for math and reading, while half will be on track for English classes. The worst of the news concerns science: only 10 percent of the students are on track for this subject.

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Arizona Shooter Jared Lee Loughner’s Mental Health Points to Greater Need in Colleges

Brooke Randolph, LMHC is a private practice counselor and mental health expert for DietsInReview.com.

Much has been speculated about the mental health of Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old man accused of shooting Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several others over the weekend in Arizona. It has been interesting to me to read the journalists’ attempts at gathering symptoms and making an assessment. It is true that late teens and early twenties can be the time when more severe mental illnesses reveal themselves. I am not ready to diagnosis him. I have not, like Dr. Jeff Victroff, read Loughner’s writings or viewed the videos attributed to him on YouTube.

One thing discussed in several articles is the fact that his behavior in class made several other students at Pima Community College uncomfortable, to the point that he was required to have a mental health evaluation prior to returning to class. It appears that Mr. Loughner was not evaluated and did not return to class. I would guess that Pima does not have a counseling center that could have completed the evaluation for Mr. Loughner; although, this was probably only one of many reasons why he did not follow through with this recommendation. Read the rest of this entry »



Executed Convict’s Last Words a Shout Out to College Team

prisonA convicted killer from Oklahoma gave some unusual last words before his death on Oct. 26.

“Well, I’d like to say thank you to my family for being here and all my friends, and Boomer Sooner,” Jeffery Landrigan said, an obvious University of Oklahoma fan.

After the U.S. Supreme Court lifted a stay delaying his execution for a murder he comitted in 1989, 48-year-old Landrigan was put to death by lethal injection at a prison in Florence, Arizona.

He was given the injection after his last meal of steak, fried okra, french fries, ice cream and Dr. Pepper. Read the rest of this entry »



Hispanic History Banned in Arizona [VIDEO]

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne

In a state already rife with immigration battles, Arizona is banning Mexican-American studies and other “ethnic” studies classes from being taught in high school. The law will go into effect on December 31st. The law will prohibit any classes that “promote the overthrow of the United States government … promote resentment toward a race or class of people … (or) advocate ethnic solidarity instead of treatment of pupils as individuals.” Any school that does not comply can have 10 percent of its funding withheld.

Educators dedicated to keeping a Hispanic perspective alive in high school curricula are fighting back. Eleven teachers from Tucson, Arizona, are suing the state board of eduction and superintendent this week, calling the new law “anti-Hispanic.”

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne defended the ban. “In the lawsuit, they claimed that this legislation constituted discrimination,” Horne told CNN. “It’s exactly backwards. The idea behind the legislation is that students need to treat each other as individuals … and not what race they were born into.” He further claims that the classes teach students that Arizona “is occupied territory that should be given back.”

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Teachers Allowed to Hit Students in 20 U.S. States

the 20 states allowing student hitting

The 20 States in red currently allow teachers to legally hit their misbehaving children

Most parents recognize that even in the most well-respected and established education institutions, their children will inevitably misbehave, which will subject them to punishment in accordance to the school’s disciplinary guidelines.

In fact, in most instances, parents, teachers and administrative professionals understand and agree that negative reinforcement is sometimes deemed necessary when disciplining a disruptive pupil. Most, however, envision a trip to the principal’s office or a missed after school activity an appropriate punishment.

One thing they probably don’t envision is a child being hit with a belt or wooden paddle as an appropriate punishment for misbehavior. Read the rest of this entry »



Treasures 4 Teachers Fills a Need for Arizona Schools

Teachers 4 Treasures

Teachers 4 Treasures

Every year teachers reach into their own pockets to pay for school supplies, arts, crafts and other items that they need to teach their students classroom lessons. Kids can’t learn without the necessary school supplies, like pencils, paper, pens and notebooks. But with recent school layoffs and salary cutbacks, it is getting harder and harder for cash-strapped teachers to dip into their own cash reserves for school supplies.

And in Arizona, the picture is not pretty.

More than half of all K-8 students cannot afford lunch, much less basic educational tools and supplies. On average, the state’s schools budget less than five cents per student daily for supplies.

But Treasures 4 Teachers, a grassroots non-profit organization is determined to change these sobering statistics. Here’s how.

Read the rest of this entry »



Obama’s Race to the Top Finalists Announced

UPDATE [1/27/11]: President Obama discussed the success of Race to the Top in his State of the Union address on January 25th. “Race to the Top in the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning…and Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that’s more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.” Since the program’s initiation, it has help 25,000 schools nationwide and 13.6 million students, according to White House statistics.

School budgets have been stretched tight with the nation’s recent economic recession. Last year in my hometown, Wichita, KS, several schools were forced to give up yearly field trips. And this year, the school district is proposing to do away with driver’s education. Hopefully with Obama’s Race to the Top competition, some states will be able to lessen this financial strain.race to the top

As of July 27, eighteen states and the District of Columbia could win part of the $3.4 billion in education grants to assist in an overhaul of education policies.

In this second round of the competition, federal officials say they anticipate 10 to 15 winners that will receive federal financing. The winning states will be revealed in September.

Here are the 19 finalists: Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Carolina. Read the rest of this entry »





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