Monday, April 17, 2017

How Federalism Can Give Head Start a New Start

Rep. Jim Banks below is making a brave try but it will do no good.  Academic aptitude is almost entirely inherited.  You can't make an Einstein out of a gangbanger. The results mentioned below are pretty good proof of that.  Nothing works when you are up against genetics

Wherever one sits on the ideological spectrum, we all agree that our children deserve access to a high-quality education.

The American economy will not grow without qualified workers and our democracy will not thrive without an informed citizenry.

This is critical to the very idea of America—everyone should be free to reach as high as their talent and work ethic will take them, regardless of where one begins in life.

Too often, underprivileged families lack the opportunity to enroll their children in pre-kindergarten programs, and many students from these families begin their education behind their peers.

A common fear is that this initial achievement gap may never be closed during the child’s education and the student may never reach his or her full potential.

The Head Start program, created in 1965, was intended to close this gap. One of the pillars of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, Head Start attempts to alleviate the education gap between low-income children and their peers by providing comprehensive early childhood education services.

The program also provides medical and nutritional services while engaging parents in their child’s education.

Funding and enrollment in the program have skyrocketed since its inception. In fiscal year 2015, Head Start had nearly 1 million enrollees and received $8.6 billion in federal funding.

Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions, these investments have failed to improve academic achievement for far too many low-income students.

A recent long-term study of the Head Start program by the Department of Health and Human Services tracked 5,000 three- and four-year-old children from pre-K to third grade and found no improvement in language skills, literacy, math, or overall school performance by the time enrollees entered third grade.

The study demonstrated similar non-effects in socio-emotional development, health, and parenting outcomes.

This report concluded:

… there were initial positive impacts from having access to Head Start, but by the end of 3rd grade there were very few impacts found for either cohort in any of the four domains of cognitive, social-emotional, health and parenting practices. The few impacts that were found did not show a clear pattern of favorable or unfavorable impacts for children.

It is clear that Head Start needs a new start, and we need a new approach to early childhood education. To do that, I am introducing the Head Start Improvement Act.

The bill would give states full control of how they spend Head Start dollars and is a companion bill to legislation introduced by Utah Sen. Mike Lee.

If our bill were enacted, states would be free of the strings that always accompany money earmarked for federal programs, and they would have the flexibility to ensure pre-K dollars flow to where they will be used most effectively.

State legislators in Indiana and across the country support this concept.

Indiana state Sen. Luke Kenley, a leading voice on education issues in my home state, recently shared with me that “turning these funds into a block grant would be a benefit to both state and federal budgets, and a tremendous step forward in providing a good pre-K program to the children of Indiana.”

Federal regulations and mandates have not improved education outcomes for low-income children. Putting more money into central planning will not lead to better outcomes for these kids.

Instead, we need to empower the laboratories of our democracy, the states. They are in the best position to know how to design and fund pre-K programs for their unique populations, and we will only see successful pre-K policy if they are given the flexibility they need to succeed.


Muslim professor Areej Zufari, who lied about and persecuted Christian student, resigns

The intensely bigoted and fraudulent Professor Areej Zufari has resigned.

The Muslim professor who was accused by one of her students of asserting that Jesus’ crucifixion never took place and that Christ’s disciples did not believe he was God has resigned from Rollins College.

Rollins College President Grant Cornwell told the Orlando Sentinel that Professor Areej Zufari “resigned this semester because of the hateful threats and emails and phones messages she was getting. I think it’s a terrible injustice, but I do respect her decision.”

Zufari was at the center of a national controversy over the suspension of student Marshall Polston, 20, a Christian student in her class who challenged her claims — so much so that she took to accusing him of harassment. She filed a police report against him and told officials he made her feel unsafe, after which Polston was suspended.

According to the March 24 suspension letter, handed down right after Zufari’s police report was filed, Polston’s unspecified “actions have constituted a threat of disruption within the operations of the College and jeopardize the safety and well-being of members of the College community and yourself.”

Campus officials then reviewed Polston’s case after a weeklong battle over what Polston called “unfounded allegations” and he was reinstated. Polston’s lawyer said at the time the college should investigate wherever Zufari should remain at the school, given her “malicious assassination” of his client’s character.

Zufari remains a full professor at Valencia College, the Sentinel reports. Her past connections with radical Islam, meanwhile, have become a point of concern among some watchdog groups.

As for Polston, now President Cornwell tells the Orlando Sentinel that Polston’s suspension had to do with some unrelated “vulgar” and “mean-spirited” social media comments he made to a fellow student.

Polston balked at that assertion, writing on Facebook the same morning the Sentinel published its story: “The Orlando Slantinel is FAKE NEWS and full of lies!”

The young man’s attorney, Kenneth Lewis, also rejected the college’s reasoning, telling the Sentinel the Facebook post was “nothing” and “a total joke” and the classroom dispute was the real reason for the suspension.


Australia: Schools program promoting homosexuality to be dumped by NSW Government

THE controversial Safe Schools program is set to be axed with the NSW government replacing it with a ­broader anti-bullying program.

To be implemented in the third term, the proposed new resource will equip teachers with tools to target all kinds of bullying and discrimination, while also empowering vulnerable students from becoming radicalised.

State Education Minister Rob Stokes has already sounded out stakeholders, including in the Catholic Schools sector, about the design of the new program that will be peer reviewed over the coming weeks.

Unlike the sexual diversity and gender fluidity focus of the Safe Schools program, the new resource will aim to equip teachers with tools to target all kinds of bullying.

A government source said the shift to a broader-based program was being done in recognition that homophobia was not the sole cause of bullying in the playground. “The new program is about stopping all kinds of bullying,” the source said.

“It could be bullying ­because someone is overweight, or wears glasses, or is transitioning sex, but the overwhelming message is that it is not OK (to bully). The program will include lesson plans and material that can be tailored by teachers as required.”

Dedicated funding for the anti-bullying strategy is ­expected to be put aside in the next state Budget, with federal funding for Safe Schools due to run out on June 30.

Still in draft form, the NSW program will be peer reviewed by child psychology experts such as Dr Michael Carr-Gregg, retired school principals and various education stakeholders.

However, the State government faces a battle with the Commonwealth government, with federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham understood to have refused to decommission the Safe Schools website.

The move to a broader anti-bullying program in NSW comes as the Victorian government expands on the existing Safe Schools models for continued use in its schools.

The Victorian model retains the focus of the original program of ensuring schools are safe places for all students, ­“including LGBTI students”, and are “free of homophobia and transphobia”.

The Safe Schools program was widely condemned for the appropriateness of its teaching material, such as The Gender Fairy story where primary schoolchildren as young as four were advised that only they could know whether they were a boy or a girl.

Supporters of the Safe Schools program accused its critics of being “homophobic” and “transphobic”.

Mr Stokes declined to comment last week.


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