Rep. Jim Bridenstine (R-Okla.) claimed on Monday that Common Core, a bipartisan effort to raise America's failing educational system and create national standards, is actually an evil plot by the federal government to "indoctrinate" and spread "socialism."
In reality, Common Core was started by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
According to The New York Times, Common Core was created to stop states from “lowering standards to make it easier for students to pass tests and for schools to avoid penalties under the 2002 federal No Child Left Behind law” signed by President Bush.
"No Child Left Behind" actually punishes schools with failing students by denying them funds, which results in lower test scores.
According to Right WingWatch.org (audio below), Rep. Bridenstine opposes Common Core because of his belief in American exceptionalism, a right wing claim that God has blessed America as being special.
Of course, "America" and "exceptionalism" are never mentioned in the Bible. The term actually came from writer Alexis de Tocqueville in the 1800s.
Rep. Bridenstine also tried to twist the phrase "Common Core" to make it sound below average and akin to socialism.
"You don’t have the federal government controlling opinions and indoctrinating students and teachers with what they want the public to learn, and basically what they want the public to learn is that which is ‘common’ which is why it’s called Common Core," claimed Rep. Bridenstine.
"I believe in exceptionalism and I think what Common Core does is it brings it all down to the lowest common denominator," added Rep. Bridenstine.
"It’s much like socialism. Socialism has been spreading poverty equally across the world and that’s not what we believe in," said Rep. Bridenstine. "We believe in exceptionalism and that’s what our country should be advancing, not commonality."
Of course, Common Core actually sets common education standards and doesn't stop anyone from "advancing."
Students from Phillipsburg High School in New Jersey recently posed for a picture featuring the lynching of a black practice wrestling dummy.
The photo shows seven white teens surrounding the hanged black dummy, which wears the T-shirt of the school's wrestling rival, Paulsboro High School, notes The Philadelphia Inquirer (video below).
Two of the teens have their hoods pulled up to a certain degree, while a third young man is saluting.
"Upon conclusion of the investigation, actions were taken by the district consistent with its policies," said Phillipsburg School District Superintendent George Chando, who wouldn't say what those "actions" were, noted LehighValleyLive.com.
Paulsboro School Superintendent Walter Quint learned of the picture on Tuesday and spoke with Chando.
"He was disappointed, upset, embarrassed," Quint recalled. "Hopefully, he's going to find some young men just made a bad decision."
"Any time something happens like this, it hurts the whole program," added Quint. "Kids, teachers, coaches, fans. What took place in that picture is not what takes place in the gymnasium."
However, some comments on social media sites have defended the students because the practice dummies only come in dark colors, but that doesn't explain the rope and noose.
"[Racism] manifests itself a little differently than it may have 30 years ago," said Charles Boddy, of the Warren/Sussex County branch of the NAACP. "It mutates, but it's still a cancer."
Brian Farnan, a student at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, recently had to apologize when he emailed a parody GIF video of President Obama kicking a door to his fellow students.
Along with the GIF (below), Farnan wrote the caption, “Honestly midterms get out of here,” noted Legal Insurrection.
Apparently some students felt the fake GIF, which aired on “The Tonight Show” last year (video below), was racist.
An unidentified student issued a formal complaint against Farnan for committing a “micro-aggression.”
The decision to force Farnan to apologize was made by an “equity commissioner,” reports The Daily Caller.
“Despite the innocent intentions influencing my decision to use this particular image, I have come to recognize the negative implications of adding the GIF image within this given context,” wrote Farnan in his apology letter.
“By using this particular image of President Obama, I unknowingly perpetuated this living legacy and subsequently allowed a medium of [Student Society of McGill University] communication to become the site of a microaggression; for this, I am deeply sorry,” added Farnan.
However, another student at the school is offended that Farnan had to apologize, according to the campus paper's website, The Bull & Bear.
That student wrote in a letter:
If I learned anything at McGill, it’s that a vocal minority has deemed us all to be both oppressed as well as oppressors. The radical social culture which we, the silent majority, despise has dominated both SSMU and our campus politics for years. Brian Farnan’s latest email is no exception. We have come to a point where the radicals at McGill have hijacked campus politics, pushing their agenda on their Macs and smartphones.
A shocking poll released today found that one in four Americans are unaware that the Earth revolves around the Sun.
The poll, conducted by the National Science Foundation, surveyed more than 2,200 people, notes AFP.
Only 74 percent knew that the Earth revolved around the Sun, according to the results released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.
The survey included ten questions about science, which Americans scored a 6.5 on average.
Less than half Americans know or believe that human beings evolved from an earlier species of animals, also known as evolution.
CNET reports that only 33 percent of Americans said science should get more funding from the government.
In 2013, The New York Times reported that 40 percent of Americans did not know that Obamacare was actually a law (since 2010).
Newsweek reported in 2011 that 29 percent of Americans couldn’t name the vice president, 73 percent didn't know why the U.S. fought the Cold War and 44 percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights.
Americans are good at a lot of things – business, football, eating, and making muscle cars, to name a few.
Want to know something thing we’re not good at? Science. For all of our money and international prowess, America is ranked just 17th in the world in science education. Not good.
In 2010, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called America’s mediocre educational rankings “an absolute wake-up call for America.”
“The results are extraordinarily challenging to us and we have to deal with the brutal truth,” Duncan said. “We have to get more serious about investing in education.”
Well, here we are four years later and still not doing much better. The National Science Foundation just released the results of their latest scientific survey, and the findings are embarrassing. Let’s take a look at what some of our fellow countrymen and women think about science.
One in four Americans doesn’t realize the earth revolves around the sun. Let that sink in. It’s been over 400 years since Copernicus proved that all planets revolve around the sun, yet over a quarter of people in the richest nation on earth don’t know it.
21% of respondents answered that the sun revolves around the earth, while 7% were humble enough to admit they didn’t know the answer.
Next up: light.
Despite the best efforts of Queen, Chris Brown, and your science teacher, nearly one in four Americans doesn’t know that light travels faster than sound. It is a basic fact that nothing in the known universe travels faster than the speed of light. Einstein told us this over 100 years ago.
Here are two more head-shaking findings.
63% of respondents thought antibiotics kill viruses as well as bacteria.
43% said that electrons – tiny, negatively charged particles inside of atoms – were bigger than atoms. 37% were unsure which particles were bigger, and just 20% answered the question correctly.
The survey asked participants nine basic scientific questions. The average score was a 6.5 out of 9 – good for a 72%. America was three points away from getting a D on a test of things we should have learned in 5th grade.
Patrick Bryan Mitchell, 18, was arrested last Friday when officials at South River High School in Edgewater, Md. discovered an unloaded shotgun in the back seat of his car.
Mitchell claims he forgot about the gun, which was from a hunting trip the night before.
South River High School students came to school on Monday wearing camouflage and orange T-shirts which said “#FreeBryan,” reports the Capital Gazette.
Some students hung posters to show their support, but school staff removed them.
According to WUSA 9, the gun was discovered when a school administrator was checking cars for permits and noticed a shotgun shell and part of a gun underneath some clothes in the back seat of Mitchell's car.
The cops were called and Mitchell was arrested after police officers found an unloaded 12-gauge shotgun and shells in his car.
Police also found two Vyvanse pills, which is used to treat ADHD, for which Mitchell did not have a prescription.
The teen was charged with possession of a dangerous weapon on school property and possession of a controlled substance, notes The Baltimore Sun.
Even though school authorities found there was no ill intent, Mitchell may still face expulsion for the gun.
Blogger Elizabeth Esther told "Fox & Friends" this morning that schools should not force children to give every child in their class a Valentine’s Day card to prevent hurt feelings.
Mommyish.com reports that a New Jersey elementary school recently said that children had to bring Valentine's cards for each classmate.
“Valentine’s Day is about expressing your unique heartfelt feelings for your special loved one,” Esther told "Fox & Friends" host Elisabeth Hasselbeck, notes RawStory.com (video below).
“You can’t make life 100 percent fair,” stated Esther. “Why not let them experience a little of that, like, ‘Wow, okay,’ while they’re young and the stakes are low rather when they’re 20 years old and they’re still expecting everyone to give them a Valentines.”
However, Jessica Gottlieb, a parenting expert, said the universal cards help kids from feeling isolated.
Gottlieb recalled that her mother was a teacher and supports the policy.
“Believe me, [kids] experience plenty of rejection day in and day out,” Gottlieb claimed. “There’s absolutely no reason to be excluding them.”
The principal at Coed-y-Brain Primary School in Llanbradach, Wales claims that some students, as young as six, are “initiating games that involve simulating rape and sexual intercourse” because of the video game Grand Theft Auto.
Teachers at the school asked the children, ages 6-11, what they were playing in the school yard, notes the South Wales Evening Post.
The kids reportedly told the teachers that they were doing scenes from the Grand Theft Auto V video game, which has sold more than 32 million copies around the world, but is labeled for users "Over 18."
According to the South Wales Argus, school principal Morian Morgan (pictured) recently sent a letter to parents about the “extremely concerning behavior” of students, which included a "detailed discussion of drug use."
However, none of the children were disciplined.
In his letter, Morgan also claims that children are “acting out scenes from the game which include the strongest of sexual swear words," “having conversations” about sexual acts and “play acting extremely violent games that sometimes result in actual injury."
“Until I went online and checked the content of this game, I thought it was just a bit of swearing and some shooting and I think some of the parents will tell you that they have been equally naive," added Morgan.
“It became more concerning because this newest version (GTA V was released in September last year) seems to be even more shocking than the previous games," wrote Morgan.
Millions of Americans deny global warming exists, but millions do believe that astrology is "scientific," according to a new study.
The National Science Foundation's 2014 Science and Engineering Indicators study says that only 55 percent of Americans in 2012 did not think astrology was scientific.
According to Mother Jones, 31 to 45 percent Americans, depending on their age group, believe that astrology is either "very scientific" or "sort of scientific."
More than half of Americans, ages 18 to 24, are most likely to believe astrology is at least "sort of" scientific, notes UPI.
In comparison, 92 percent of people in China do not believe astrology is scientific.
The highest percentage of Americans who did not believe in astrology was scientific was in 2004, when 66 percent did not believe in it.
Blake Brockington, 17, was named East Mecklenburg High School’s first transgender homecoming king last Friday.
The crowning happened in the school gym in Charlotte, N.C. (video below).
“Throughout my life I haven’t always been treated equally as a male, so I’ve always wanted this and everybody has told me I couldn’t do it," Brockington told WCNC. "Even my peers have said, ‘You are a girl,’ even though I’ve always identified myself as a male."
Brockington lives with a foster family because his biological family recognizes him as a female based on his phenotype.
"I hope this makes everybody know that they can be themselves regardless of what anybody else says," Brockington explained to WBTV. "Even though you go through some things and you have some negative encounters in your life, anything's possible."
Donald Smith, Brockington’s foster father, told WCNC, “He really is hoping that it helps those behind him going through the same challenges and struggles.”