Massachusetts

Massachusetts

Controversy Surrounds New Sex-Ed Website MariaTalks.com

A new sexual education website is drawing significant attention in Massachusetts. While not part of any public school curriculum, lawmakers are urging state funding to be pulled from the project. The site, MariaTalks.com, was created by the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts and is geared towards giving teens the lowdown on all subjects related to sex. Funding from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health was used to create the site but controversial literature is creating a heated debate about the use of public money.

The site was created to be a resource for teenagers with questions about sex; in words they understand. The information is organized by teenaged characters that have concerns, questions or curiosities about sexual topics. “Maria” is the narrator of the site and is portrayed as an 18-year old female who shares answers to questions she has asked her aunt “Lucia” who is a medical doctor. Maria is joined by several of her friends portraying various characters with sexual concerns including fear of STDS, fear of pregnancy, questions about birth control, same sex relationships, etc.

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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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