Thursday, January 28, 2010

German homeschoolers granted political asylum in US

A German couple who fled to America so they could homeschool their children have been granted political asylum by a US immigration judge. The decision, announced Tuesday in Memphis, clears the way for Uwe Romeike, his wife and five children to stay in Tennessee, where they have been living since 2008.

German state constitutions require children to attend public or private schools, and parents can face fines or prison time if they do not comply.

Mr Romeike, an evangelical Christian, said he believes the German curriculum is "against Christian values".

Mike Donnelly, a lawyer with the Home School Legal Defence Association advocacy group, said he hoped the ruling will influence public opinion in Germany.


'Gay' plan for bathrooms called 'moral insanity'

'Activists demanding private mental delusions be accepted as public policy'

A Christian organization in Maine is asking its constituents to protest a state proposal that would give boys who call themselves girls full access to girls' restrooms, locker rooms and cheerleading squads.

The Christian Civic League of Maine said in a statement the "latest demand by the homosexual lobby is quite intolerable, having sunk to the level of an impossible absurdity." "Gay activists are now demanding that young girls believe and publicly acknowledge that a biological boy in their locker room is, in fact, a girl," the group said. "Gay activists are now demanding that their own private mental delusions about sex be accepted as public policy. By issuing this demand, radical homosexual activists are asking all of us to participate in a form of collective moral insanity, a mass delusion spread by the homosexual lobby and their misguided – and perhaps malevolent – enablers in Augusta," the group said.

The proposals were developed on behalf of homosexual interests after a conflict developed in one school. The Bangor Daily News reported a fifth-grade boy at Asa Adams School had been given permission to use the girls' restroom. He then was subjected to "harassment," according to the Maine Human Rights Commission. The school tried to reach a compromise by designating a special restroom for the boy, instead of allowing him to continue to use the girls' restroom. But the move brought a determination of discrimination from the state agency.

The Maine Human Rights Commission proposed a set of guidelines that would require schools "to allow young children to have access to facilities of the opposite sex. Under the proposed guidelines, boys who self-identify as female will have access to girls' sports teams and cheerleading squads, girls' bathrooms, and girls' locker rooms."

The Christian Civic League of Maine said it is "appalled by the latest outrage by radical homosexual activists." "Less than two weeks after Bruce LaVallee-Davidson was convicted of shooting South Portland resident, Fred Wilson, after a night of homosexual debauchery, gay activists have disclosed new state guidelines requiring schools to allow young children to have access to facilities of the opposite sex," the organization said.

"In arriving at the proposed guidelines, the MHRC consulted with homosexual lobbyists, the Maine Office of the Attorney General, and principals and superintendents during a closed-door meeting on December 15, 2009. The MHRC will take up the guidelines again on March 1st, and has promised that hearings on the matter will be open to the public. Although the recommendations are offered to public schools, colleges, and other educational institutions in the form of 'guidelines,' schools which violate the 'guidelines' will be brought before the commission, and may be subject to further legal action," the family organization warned.

The organization said all Maine parents should attend the hearings and meetings "and voice their strong opposition to the proposed guidelines." "Further, the League calls on all citizens to protect their vulnerable children from the homosexual lobby and their enablers in Augusta by contacting their state legislators and stating their firm opposition to these proposed Maine Human Rights Commission 'guidelines,'" the group said.

This is not the first time the argument has arisen. WND previously reported when the city council of Tampa, Fla., voted unanimously to include "gender identity and expression" as a protected class under the city's human rights ordinance, leading some to fear the council has opened the city's public bathroom doors to sexual predators masquerading as protected transsexuals.

A statement from the American Family Association explained, "Tampa Police arrested Robert Johnson in February 2008 for hanging out in the locker room–restroom area at Lifestyle Fitness and watching women in an undressed state. The City of Tampa's 'gender identity' ordinance could provide a legal defense to future cases like this if the accused claims that his gender is female."

WND also reported on a similar plan adopted by fiat in Montgomery County, Md., in which opponents feared the law would open up women's locker rooms to men who say they are women. The issue also has come up in Colorado, where Democrat Gov. Bill Ritter signed into law a plan that effectively strikes gender-specific restrooms in the state. And city officials in Kalamazoo, Mich., only weeks after adopting a "perceived gender" bias plan have abandoned it in the face of massive public opposition.


The social class effect on education now clear in Australia too

Leftism leads to some odd outcomes. To avoid making poor schools look bad, the Australian government classifies schools on a social class basis. Schools in wealthy areas are compared with other schools in wealthy areas and poor schools are compared with poor schools. And hey presto! It doesn't matter much whether the school is a government one or a private one. Schools drawing on wealthy areas all do well, with only random differences between them. Once again we find that social class is by far the biggest influence on educational outcomes. Why? Rich kids tend to be smarter and kids from wealthy areas also tend to be better behaved. There are not many disruptive ferals or "minorities" in wealthy areas. Note that Australia's Leftist Prime minister sends his kid to a private school. Leftist politicians do the same the word over, despite it being against their ideology. "Equality" is only for "the masses". Some pigs are more equal than others, as Orwell said

PUBLIC schools in wealthy areas are outperforming some of the nation's most expensive and prestigious private schools in reading and writing, according to the Rudd government's controversial new My School website. But Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's old school, Nambour High in Queensland is struggling, with Year 9 results below the average of all schools national literacy test results across Australia in writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy.

For the first time, the national literacy and numeracy tests of nearly 10,000 public and private schools are available for parents to compare online and the results are in many cases surprising. The website, which has been criticised by some teachers and principals, went live at 1am this morning and has experienced some technical problems. Education Minister Julia Gillard said today the technical difficulties reflected the fact that parents were “voting with their fingertips” to log on and check their school at 3am, 4am and 5am. “What that means is around the country parents were hungry for this information,” she said. “The site is experiencing huge demand. Obviously people are very enthusiastic to jump on the My School website and to have a look at their local school. So if people try again, obviously we're trying to space demand during the day.”

The deputy prime minister said while she had the greatest respect for teachers she was determined not to buckle in the face of teachers' unions threats to disrupt NAPLAN tests this year in a protest against the site. “The AEU has called this one wrong,” she said.

The website uses complex methodology to compare statistically similar schools to reveal some private schools are "coasting" by performing above the average of all schools but in some cases below the performance of similar schools. For example Geelong Grammar's Toorak campus in Victoria, which charges nearly $30,000-a-year in Year 12 fees and was once attended by Prince Charles, performed substantially below the average of similar Year 3 schools in spelling. It was also below the average of similar schools in reading, grammar and numeracy.

A comparison with other similar schools claims Year 3 students results at Geelong Grammar were "substantially below" the performance of similar public schools at Camberwell Primary in Melbourne, Castle Cove Primary in NSW, Epping North Public School in Sydney and Stirling East Public School in Adelaide. By comparison, students at the James Ruse Agricultural High School in Sydney, a selective public school for the "gifted" performed substantially above the average of similar schools and all schools in Australia across all measures.

In WA, girls at the Presbyterian Ladies College at Peppermint Grove, where fees can top $18,000-a-year, were below the average of similar schools in Year 5 reading, spelling and grammar and substantially below average in Year 5 and Year 7 numeracy. However, the school remained above the average of all schools across Australia.

At the Cranbrook School in NSW, where media heir James Packer once attended, students were below the average of similar schools in Year 9 results for reading, writing, spelling and grammar. However they were substantially above the average across all schools in Australia.

In Adelaide, students attending the prestigious Prince Alfred College, which educated cricketing greats the Chappell brothers, Year 3 and Year 5 results were below the average of similar schools in reading. Year 5 test results were also below the average of similar schools in writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation.

At St Peters College boys school in Adelaide, which boasts of "three Nobel laureates, forty one Rhodes scholars and eight state premiers", results were below the average of similar schools in writing, spelling and grammar for Year 3 NAPLAN results. By Year 5 results had improved with students outperforming all schools but still close to the average of similar well-heeled schools.

In the ACT, Radford College, a private school Mr Rudd's son Marcus attends, students outperformed similar schools in reading, writing, grammar and numeracy. Tony Abbott's old school St Ignatius Riverview at Lane Cove in NSW, students performed substantially above the average of all schools but below the average of similar schools in Year 9 results for writing and grammar.


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