I just read Cathy Lynn Grossman’s essay on “Is it the ‘National Day of Pray Our Way Only’ now?“.  For those of you who missed it last week (myself included), US District Judge Barbara Crabb handed down a decision in “Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc., [FFRF]  v. President Barack Obama and White House Press Secretary Robert L. Gibbs” that the National Day of Prayer [NDP] violates the First Amendment’s prohibition on government endorsement of religion.

FFRF did not sue file the suit against Barack Obama, but against President George W. Bush, Jim Doyle, Shirley Dobson, chair, National Day of Prayer Task Force, and White House Press Secretary Dana Perino back before the election in 2008.  Since the “President” is being sued, rather than the individual, the decision is handed down to the president at the time, hence defendant Barack Obama.  Barack Obama is planning on signing the annual National Day of Prayer order anyway (he did so last year and irritated lots of people by emphasizing diversity).  Of course, he irritates others by acknowledging it in any way, which I’m sure we will hear about shortly. Continue reading

Some of us are heading in the right direction. . .

If you’ve ever been driving somewhere and have gotten really lost—I mean nothing looks familiar, don’t know how I got here, and have no clue how to get where I need to go lost—and then, due to maps, a helpful stranger, or blind luck, you experienced the profound relief of finding yourself on the right road heading in the right direction, you’ll understand a little about how I felt when I saw the headline, “Panel Proposes Single Standard for All Schools.”

Finally, in an era of national standardized tests (that I am not arguing in favor of—I am just acknowledging their reality), there is a growing realization that there should be a common set of educational standards.  The only two states that are not participating in the process are Texas and Alaska (but more about that later).

For those of you working outside of K-12 education, you may not be familiar with the labyrinth that is the US Education “system.”  Continue reading