(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
Freak accident at Ghana waterfall kills at least 18
(CNN)A freak accident at a popular waterfall in Ghana has killed at least 18 people, according to local authorities.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)
(CNN)A freak accident at a popular waterfall in Ghana has killed at least 18 people, according to local authorities.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)
Newly minted Education Secretary Betsy DeVos had a hard time getting inside the District’s Jefferson Middle School Academy last week when protesters briefly blocked her from entering. But at the end of her visit — her first to a public school since taking office — she stood on Jefferson’s front steps and pronounced it “awesome.”
A few days later, she seemed less enamored. The teachers at Jefferson were sincere, genuine and dedicated, she said, they seemed to be in “receive mode.”
“They’re waiting to be told what they have to do, and that’s not going to bring success to an individual child,” DeVos told a columnist for the conservative online publication Townhall. “You have to have teachers who are empowered to facilitate great teaching.”
DeVos, who has no professional experience in public education, is an avowed proponent of voucher schools, charter schools, online schools and other alternatives to traditional public schools. Teachers across the country have been galled by what they see as her lack of faith in — and understanding of — the public schools that educate nearly nine in 10 of the nation’s children.
Jefferson educators found her comments about their work hard to take: On Friday evening, the school responded to DeVos via its Twitter account, taking exception to the education secretary’s characterization of Jefferson teachers.
“We’re about to take her to school,” the first of 11 rapid-fire tweets said.
The tweetstorm singled out teachers like Jessica Harris, who built Jefferson’s band program “from the ground up,” and Ashley Shepherd and Britany Locher, who not only teach students ranging from a first- to eighth-grade reading level, but also “maintain a positive classroom environment focused on rigorous content, humor, and love. They aren’t waiting to be told what to do.”
“JA teachers are not in a ‘receive mode,’” the tweets concluded. “Unless you mean we ‘receive’ students at a 2nd grade level and move them to an 8th grade level.”
An Education Department spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson, who accompanied DeVos on her visit to Jefferson, offered praise after the visit for the “dynamic classroom instruction” they both witnessed there.
Asked Saturday to respond to DeVos’s comments about Jefferson teachers, Wilson provided a statement:
I’ve worked in schools for my entire professional life — as a teacher, principal, and superintendent. I have learned from much experience what it takes to prepare students for college success. The teaching and learning at Jefferson will put our students on a path to college, successful careers, and beyond. I see that. Our teachers see that. Our students see that. And our parents see that. Defying expectations takes experience and a lifelong dedication to all students. DCPS is rich with educators who have this experience.
“I find it very interesting that the chancellor saw teachers that were pushing rigorous learning, students asking each other high-level questions and cultivating high-level responses, and teachers who take initiative and give their lives to the education of these children,” said Jefferson teacher Caroline Hunt. “DeVos saw something so different. … Maybe if DeVos knew more about education she would realize just how amazing the students, teachers and staff are.”
Jefferson is five years into a turnaround effort and is one of the fastest-improving schools in the city’s public school system. While fewer than half of students are meeting or approaching grade-level expectations, according to new Common Core tests, the school’s growth has won it classification as a “rising” D.C. school.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE BBC)
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)
INDIA Updated: Jan 28, 2017 01:00 IST
As police dispersed the mob and detained three of the teachers on charge of instigating the mob and preventing a public servant from discharging duty, it moved to nearby Guskara-Ausgram Road and blocked the road.
A section of the crowd also attacked the policemen with bows and arrows as a force tried to lift the blockade, the officer said.
The blockade, which went on for several hours, was lifted after police released the three teachers and promised to look into charges of high-handednes against the IC of Guskara police station.
Locals alleged 15 teacherz and 20 students were injured in police lathicharge during the agitation but the police denied there was any lathicharge.
Superintendent of Police Kunal Agarwal said police were looking into the allegations of highhandedness and action would be taken if anyone was found guilty.
The teachers and locals alleged police did not take action to stop unathorised construction near the school gate.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)
There is something sickening about a case the Supreme Court just heard about a boy with autism and what level of public education he — and other students with disabilities — deserve.
Here’s some background: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act is a federal law requiring public schools to provide children with disabilities a “free appropriate public education.” Students in special education get “individualized education programs, or IEPs, or blueprints that spell out supports and goals for each child. The Supreme Court ruled decades ago that IEPs must lay out plans that provide some educational benefit, but it didn’t set a benefit standard, and lower courts have been divided over what it should be. Some have required a substantial — or “meaningful” educational benefit — while others require only a de minimis — or anywhere above trivial — educational benefit.
Now the Supreme Court — which held a hearing in the case Wednesday — is being asked to decide on a standard, which is essentially the same as deciding whether the United States really cares about providing all students a free and appropriate public education, and whether it is wholly committed to helping families that have children with disabilities.
These are the facts of the court case, which could affect millions of children with disabilities and the public schools they attend:
A boy named Drew was diagnosed with autism at age 2, affecting his cognitive functioning, language and reading skills, and his social and adaptive abilities. From preschool through fourth grade, he received special education services in schools in Colorado’s Douglas County district.
By fourth grade, his parents saw his behavior get increasingly worse. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, which got involved in this case, said fourth grade was “especially rocky.”
Drew exhibited multiple behaviors that inhibited his ability to access learning in the classroom. In the past, he has climbed over furniture and other students, hit things, screamed, ran away from school, and twice removed his clothing and gone to the bathroom on the floor of the classroom.
Drew’s parents said that although they saw some progress in Drew, it was minimal, so they pulled him from the public school system and placed him in a private school that used interventions that experts consider effective for many children with autism. Reports about his progress under an intervention called ABA were very positive, with “great” behavioral gains that led to an ability to pay more attention in class, complete math and verbal skills work and interact with peers and teachers.
Under the federal law called the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), parents can seek tuition reimbursement from the school district and can win if several conditions are met. One of them is that their son wasn’t getting enough “educational benefit” from the public schools. Drew’s parents applied for reimbursement — arguing that the public district had not provided him with a free and appropriate public education. They were denied by the school system. That started a trek through the courts, leading to the Supreme Court, which is reviewing a 2015 decision by the 10th Circuit, which upheld the school system’s decision, using a very low standard for educational progress.
What is enough educational benefit? That’s what the Supreme Court is being asked to consider, and that, when you think about it, is where this case gets ugly.
Remember that we are talking about young people with disabilities — some of them so severe that a child might, for example, have the intellectual capacity of a 6-month-old, or have frequent disruptive seizures — and their families, some of whom have daily burdens that others can’t begin to imagine.
So is minimal educational benefit enough? You may not know exactly what “minimal” is, buy by definition, you wouldn’t want that to be the standard for your child. Is “some” benefit — which courts have said means progress that is barely above trivial — enough for your child — or somebody else’s? Or do students with disabilities deserve a standard requiring “meaningful” benefit and if so, what does “meaningful” mean? Should the standard be “appropriate”? During the Wednesday hearing, nine different standards were mentioned in the proceedings within a half-hour period.
Should children with any disability be at the mercy of a standard that depends on the federal appellate jurisdiction in which his school district is located?
The Supreme Court justices on Wednesday seemed to be dissatisfied with the 10th Circuit’s ruling that public schools can meet IDEA requirements by providing an education to students with disabilities that is more than trivial, but there was no seeming direction indicated about what standard they do think makes sense.
It is understandable that school districts have a difficult time trying to appropriately implement IDEA, not only because of the nebulous standards but also because it has never been fully funded. According to the New America Foundation’s EdCentral (footnotes removed):
In the IDEA legislation, Congress set a maximum target for the federal contribution to special education spending equal to 40 percent of the estimated excess cost of educating children with disabilities. Thus, if the program were “fully funded,” the states would receive their maximum grants, calculated at 40 percent of the national average per pupil expenditure (APPE) times the number of children with disabilities served in the school year 2004-2005, adjusted for population changes. Under the act, the count of children with disabilities cannot exceed 12 percent of the state’s total school population.
For FY 2014, IDEA federal funding covered 16 percent of the estimated excess cost of educating children with disabilities, less than in FY 2008 when federal funding covered 17 percent of the cost and well below FY 2009 when additional funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act covered 33 percent of the cost. IDEA Part B “full funding” for FY 2014 would have amounted to approximately $28.65 billion, or roughly $17.17 billion more than was actually appropriated. The shortfall in IDEA funding has been assumed by the states and local school districts.
Yet there is something chilling about some of the debate about this issue. The debate is being played out in legalese — there’s lots of talk about “procedure” — in the world of words rather than people. As Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said in Wednesday’s hearing: “What is frustrating about this case and this statute is we have a blizzard of words.”
A blizzard of words that seem to fly right over the actual people being affected. As Gary Mayerson, a civil rights lawyer and board member of Autism Speaks, an advocacy organization, said in this article by my colleague Emma Brown: “I can’t even believe that this is really a question for the court to wrestle with.”
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘TRIPPING’ AND THE WASHINGTON POST)
States with medical-marijuana laws have fewer traffic fatalities than those without, especially among younger drivers, a new study has found.
You would think crash rates might be higher, supposing that more drivers are, too — especially around midnight, when a run to a 7-Eleven becomes necessary.
But, no. Researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health found an 11 percent reduction in traffic fatalities on average when examining places that have enacted medical-marijuana laws — 23 states and the District of Columbia. The presence of medical-marijuana dispensaries also correlated with fewer traffic fatalities, the study found.
Silvia Martins, a physician and associate professor who was the study’s senior author, theorized that lower traffic fatality rates in states with marijuana laws might be related to lower levels of alcohol-impaired driving as people, especially younger people, substitute weed for booze.
There was little evidence of a reduction in the traffic fatality rate for people 45 or older, who are disproportionately represented in larger numbers among enrollees in state medical-marijuana programs. The largest drop in traffic fatality rates in states with medical-marijuana laws occurred among drivers ages 15 to 44.
“We found evidence that states with the marijuana laws in place compared with those which did not, reported, on average, lower rates of drivers endorsing driving after having too many drinks,” Martins said in a written statement. She said other factors that might help explain the correlation could be the “strength of public health laws related to driving, infrastructure characteristics, or the quality of health care systems.”
The researchers cautioned, however, that not all states with medical-marijuana laws experienced declines in traffic fatality rates. California and New Mexico had initial reductions of 16 percent and 17.5 percent, respectively, after the passage of medical-marijuana laws but then saw gradual increases in their traffic fatality rates.
The study, which was published online in the American Journal of Public Health, analyzed National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data on traffic fatalities from 1985 to 2014. The researchers took into account factors such as whether the states had graduated driver licensing laws, as well as median household income, unemployment rates, laws increasing the speed limit to 70 mph or more, laws on enforcing the use of seat belts, and bans on using cellphones and texting while driving.
The researchers undertook the study as more states passed medical-marijuana laws — nine between 2010 and 2014 — and concerns were raised about the possible effect on public safety. Previous research, for example, found that marijuana use caused drivers to weave in traffic more often and have slower reaction times; studies also found that drivers who were high tended to reduce speed and increase headways — suggesting that the users were aware of their marijuana-related impairment and were trying to compensate.
Read more of Tripping:
Revelation Chapter #3
Today in this article I would like to discuss the third chapter of the Book of Revelation, to discuss the words written so that we can understand their meanings. Chapter #3 is a lot like chapter #2 was in that it is directed at three particular Churches back at the end of the first century A.D.. In the last chapter of this Book, #22 in verse #10 the Lord told the Apostle John “Do not seal the sayings of the Prophecy’s of this book: for the time is at hand.” There are those who teach in today’s Churches that this Book is not meant to be understood, that it is just a bunch of signs and symbols. I grew up in a Church which taught this, yet such a belief is contrary to the teachings of Jesus Christ who dictated the contents of this Book to the Apostle John. Some of the teachings within this Book do go contrary to the teachings of the Church I grew up in, I wondered even back then if this is the reason they wanted to keep this a ‘closed’ book. This Book is like all books in the sense that you must slowly read it if you are to have any hope of understanding it. Yet, at least in my own personal opinion, I believe that a person needs to read all of the other 65 Books of the Bible first before you can grasp the understanding of some of the issues written here in the Bibles last Book. The Book of Revelation has 404 verses in it, of those 404 verses 278 contain references to the Old Testament. True understanding of the Scriptures of God are given to people through the eyes and heart of the Holy Spirit. If a person reads God’s Scriptures through ‘the eyes of the flesh’ there is very little chance that the person will understand what the Holy Spirit is actually saying.
After this third chapter ‘the Church’ will not be mentioned anymore here in this Book, the reason is that after this time ‘The Church” will no longer be here on the Earth, it will be in Heaven. Now I would like to get into these last three Churches of the seven the Lord was addressing in chapter number two, then we will be done talking about these seven Churches. These three Churches that this chapter are revolved around were located in Asia-Minor, they were located in Sardis, Philadelphia, and Laodicea. Sardis is located in modern-day Greece, the other two are in modern-day Turkey. First let’s look at what The Lord had to say to the Church in Sardis. The Lord told John “To the Angel of the Church in Sardis write; these things saith He that has the Seven Spirits of God and the Seven Stars. I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are really dead.” “Be watchful and strengthen the things you still have that are about to die. For I have not found your works complete before God.” “Remember therefore how that you received and heard, hold fast to that, and repent. For if you do not pay attention, I will come unto you as a thief, and you shall not know what hour I come unto you.” “There are a few among you even there in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in White: for they are worthy.” “He that overcomes this world shall be clothed in White Raiment; and I will not blot out their name out of the Book of Life, but I will confess his name before My Father and before His Angels.” “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”
Friends there is no great mystery what The Lord is saying to the people at the Church in Sardis, nor in what He is telling us. The Lord in this letter is pointing out these folks good and their bad points. On the things that they are doing that are good and pleasing to Him, He tells them to continue in these ways. Yet on the things they are doing which are displeasing to Him, He tells them to stop doing those things, to correct their ways. Now here is the ‘kicker’ to those who believe in the fallacy of “once saved always saved.” Chapter three verse number five where The Lord said “and I will not blot out their name out of the Book of Life.” After we die and go before God at our judgement our names must be in ‘The Book of Life”, or we will be cast into Hell at that time. This verse makes it rather plain that one’s name can be removed from this Book. Please do not fall for the Demonic teaching of once saved always saved, it simply is not true, that teaching is not the teaching of God.
Let’s move onto the second Church, the one in Philadelphia that is in modern-day Turkey. The Lord said “To the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia write; these things says He that is Holy, He that is True, He that has the Key of David. He that opens and no man can shut, He that shuts and no man can open.” “I know your works: behold, I have set before you an open door, and no man can shut it. For you have a little power and have obeyed My Word and you have not denied My Name.” “Behold, I will make them of the Synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews and are not, for they do lie. Behold I will make them come and worship before your feet, then they will realize that I have loved you.” “Because you have kept the word of my patients, I will also keep you from the hour of temptation, which shall which shall come upon the whole world. To try them which dwell upon the Earth.” “Behold, I shall come quickly. Hold fast to that which you have so that no man can take your Crown.” “To he that overcomes I will make him a Pillar in the Temple of God. He shall no more go out, and I shall write upon him the name of God, and the name of the City of God which is the New Jerusalem which shall come down out of Heaven from God and I will write upon him My new name for him.” “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”
Philadelphia did not receive the rebuke that almost all of the other Churches received because God was pleased with the work that they were doing. Philadelphia was a Church that wasn’t just attending a once a week service then sitting on their hands the rest of the week doing nothing to help save those that were living their lives around them, they were getting God’s Word out, outside of the Church walls. Yet if you will notice The Lord did warn them about becoming lazy, complacent in their work for Him. Just as with the other Churches we are shown the fact that we can ‘lose’ our Crown if we are not careful. Remember God’s teachings, there is no such thing as once saved always saved!
Now let’s go onto the seventh of the Seven Churches on the Lord’s list here at the beginning of the Book of Revelation, this last Church is the one that was at Laodicea. “To the Angel of the Church in Laodicea write; these things saith the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the beginning of the Creation of God. “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I wish that you were one or the other.” “So then because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” “Because you say you are rich, and increased in goods, and have need of nothing, you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.” “I advise you to buy from Me gold that is tried in the fire so that you may be rich and clothed in White Raiment so that you may be clothed so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear, and anoint your eyes with eye salve so that you might see.” “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefor and repent.” “Behold I stand at the door and knock, if any man hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will eat with him and he with Me.” “To him that overcomes this world I will grant him to sit with Me in My Throne, even as I also overcame and have sat down with My Father in His Throne.” “He that has an ear let him hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches.”
My friends, is there really anything that is written in this letter that is too difficult to understand? The Church at Laodicea had become large and filled with people who were wealthy and they felt safe in their size and their wealth. You know, if there was no such thing as a ‘God’, if all that humans did was live and die and then, there was nothing, this loving the dollar thing might actually be of some value. But, there is a God, and that God is not a person’s bank account. Even if we are a person who goes to Church every week and call ourselves a Christian, if we do not do ‘the works’ of Jesus, we are nothing but lukewarm water. ‘Christians’ who live their lives like this are really nothing but dead men/women walking and they are to blind and self-absorbed to know that they are walking on a plank above an active volcano. These Churches are teaching what I call “feel good religion.” To many Churches here in America have become businesses first, if Preachers teaches things that are uncomfortable to the people sitting in the pews many of those people will quit going to that Church and when this happens the money they were putting in the ‘offering plate’ leaves with them. To many Churches ‘Leaders’ are afraid to teach messages that are uncomfortable to ‘the flock’ for this reason. I have a question for every one of us, which do we fear more, a reduction in our income, or the wrath of God? The Lord’s Church (His Bride) must be a House of Worship and a House of Prayer first for it to be a God-fearing and God-loving Church/Bride.
I am going to close this article tonight with the words that are inscribed on the wall of a Church in Lübeck Germany. It is only 13 sentences but I think it is an excellent way to close this article tonight. My question to you is, what do you think of them?
Thus Speaks Christ our Lord to us:
You call Me Master, but you do not obey Me.
You call Me Light, but you do not see Me.
You call Me The Way, but you do not walk with Me.
You call Me Life, but you do not choose Me.
You call Me Wise, but you do not follow Me.
You call Me Fair, but you do not love Me.
You call Me Rich, but you do not ask of Me.
You call Me Eternal, but you do not seek Me.
You call Me Noble, but you do not serve Me.
You call Me Gracious, but you do not trust Me.
You call Me Mighty, but you do not honor Me.
You call Me Just, but you do not fear Me.
If I condemn you, do not blame Me!
Lukewarm Christians turn away would be Christians by how they live their lives. When we say we are Christians but we walk after the ways of the Devil these would be Christians see this and they turn away from Christianity. These lukewarm actions cost more than just your own Soul to be condemned, it costs the Souls of those around us who see our ‘works’ and flee from the teachings of God because of our evil ways.
The assignment was simple—to write a persuasive essay defending the actions of the Ku Klux Klan—yet the reactions to it were anything but. Parents of the 12- t0 14-year-old students who were given the essay prompt at the Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee (BEAM), a charter school in Wisconsin, were startled enough by the…
The Book Of Revelation
Just as the first Book of the Bible (Genesis) is the book of the beginning of all things, the Book of Revelation (the last Book of the Bible) is a book about the end of all things. A term I have personally used quite a bit when explaining Biblical things about this “End” of all things here in Revelation is that what is being described is “the end of this current system” that we all live in. What we are shown in the Book of Revelation is the ‘fulfillment’ of God’s plan for you and I, us humans. Throughout the Bible, Old Testament and the New, there are many Books with Prophecies written within them. For me personally my favorite books of Prophecies that I really like are the Books of the Prophets Isaiah, Daniel and Samuel in the Old Testament and the Gospel of John and the Book of Revelation in the New Testament. In case you have wondered about it, the title Revelation means “the unveiling or disclosure.” This Book was written by the Apostle John, the last of Christ’s Apostles and the only one that was not murdered for his teachings about Jesus. When this Book was written John was on the eastern Mediterranean island of Patmos, a rocky little island that the Romans sent nonviolent prisoners to, basically exiling these people there. The reason that this old man had been exiled there was because he would not quit preaching about Jesus. The New Testament was written in the Greek language and in the Greek the title of this Book is Apokalypis, the English translation is Apocalypse.
Revelation centers around many visions and symbols of God’s resurrected ‘Christ.’ Among the issues that are being explained to us is that only Christ has the authority to judge those who have lived upon the Earth and no one else. We are also shown that only He, through His righteousness has the authority to remake the Earth and to Rule it for ever more. In chapter number one it is made plain to both the Apostle John and to us that it is the Lord that is giving these signs and wonders and information to John for all of us. In Chapter one verse number one it is stated that this Book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ and this is fitting being this Book came from Him and centers on Him. The Book begins with a vision of His Wisdom, His Glory, and of His Power. In chapters 2 and 3 this Book, this Letter, to us shows us that He and He alone has authority over all of the Church. For those of you whom do not know this, “The Church” is “The Bride” of Christ that He will be coming back from Heaven to Claim. In chapter one Jesus “calls out” the names of seven of the larger Churches in Asia minor which is in current day Turkey. They are listed in a clockwise order as it was customary for important letters to be sent from one Congregation to the next, to the next in such a clockwise pattern. In Chapters number 2 and 3 The Lord spells out His issues with each one of these Congregations, He points out things that they are doing wrong and that they need to correct or they will be destroyed. This circular message is to the Congregations of God then, and to all of us now. The Lord is spelling out flaws in the Congregations that must be stopped.
When we get to chapter #5 Jesus is shown as the Lamb of God that was slain and is now alive and is worthy to open the ‘Book of Judgement.’ In chapters 6-18 we are shown how The Lord will pour out His Wrath upon the whole Earth for the sins that have filled the Earth. Chapters 19-20 explains to us that Jesus The Christ will return to the Earth in His Power and His Glory to judge His enemies and that He will destroy and condemn them. In the last two chapters #21 & 22, The Lord spells it out that He will come down from Heaven and Reign forever from the “New Jerusalem” which will come down to Earth from Heaven. This “New Jerusalem” will be located where the current day Jerusalem sits. In case you are wondering, when this is done there will be no current day Jerusalem, as Jesus told His Apostles in the 22nd chapter of Matthew, “there will not be one stone here left upon another.” Remember the surface of the Earth is going to be cleansed “melted” with a fervent heat, all the works of man, will be no more.
In this Book it is very obvious that it was written with a flavor of the conflict between the first century Church and the Roman government power of the time. It is also obvious that in the bulk of the Book/Letter, in chapters 4 through 22, that it is a Holy Spirit Inspired look into the events that will come before the Second Advent of Christ. This “Tribulation Period” spoken of is two sets of 42 months, or 84 months total which equals to 7 years. I plan on writing an article on all 22 chapters individually, this is why I have not gotten into more details about the different information contained within each chapter. This article today is meant as an overview if you will of the things I intend to spell out in the upcoming letters to you. For now I am going to close with a quote from Chapter 21 verses 3 & 4. “And I heard a great voice out of Heaven saying, Behold the Tabernacle of God is with men, and He shall dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them, and be their God”.—“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shall there be anymore pain: for the former things are passed away.”
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