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CCSS Fatigue Being Exploited by Religious Right, Gay Teen Denied Her Senior Yearbook Picture, Pledge Court Decision, Tablet Technology: Required Readings 05.18.14

A new report is out this week from the Southern Poverty Law Center about how the Common Core is being used as a rallying cry for those with ideological opposition to secular, public schools.  The director of the SPLC was interviewed by, and she provided a cogent and articulate synopsis of how the legitimate debate about issues related to the Common Core is being hijacked by the extremely conservative right.  If you see public education as a place where religion does not belong, that reflects a more diverse society, promotes responsible, evidence-based sex education, and serves the most vulnerable students, you must read this interview.  Those who oppose the above idea of public education are organized, well funded, and have a long history.  There are legitimate reasons to support or oppose the CCSS, but ideological opposition is intentional and deceptive in creating straw men to flood the conversation.

A San Francisco Catholic School has a narrow view of gender (shocking, I know!)  The school is striking a senior girl’s picture from the yearbook and graduation, because she chose to wear a tuxedo instead of a dress.

Atheist and Humanist parents in Massachusetts have lost in an effort to remove the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance.  The state’s highest court classifies the words as more patriotic than religious, and noted that the voluntary nature of the pledge does not make it unconstitutional.

Samsung announced an education specific version of its Galaxy 4 tablet to provide schools a tablet option that will work in an environment with limited IT support.  I look forward to the day that my students are using a tablet to access information that has been traditionally in a textbook, to interact during lecture, to interact with classmates when solving a problem, and to provide me with instant assessment information (like Universities are using RIFD devices).  When that day comes, I will be the first on DonorsChoose writing a grant for a classroom set.

Required Readings are a list of links that you might find interesting! Look for them to appear every Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Have some links you’d like to share? Submit them on our contact form!

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Keith is a high school Chemistry and Biology teacher for an urban public school district in an area of the country where pants are called “britches.” Though he has a degree in Percussion Performance, he teaches science because he thinks that a well honed skeptical toolbox is necessary for a more informed citizenry and a more just and prosperous society. When he’s not in the classroom, he spends all his time with his wife and two children, attempting to become the first person in the world to be both a perfect husband and father.

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