It's official: Congress passed a debt-ceiling deal, and the president signed it. While this is certainly preferable to the
country defaulting on its obligations, it's not an
inspiring piece of legislation.
Some education reformers are trying to shift
the focus from test scores to the broader circumstances of children's
lives. One idea emphasizes schools as places where children connect with
the broader society.
political leaders fight about the federal budget and the debt ceiling, some
religious leaders are certain that the poor are in peril from funding cuts.
They've signed petitions, held vigils and sought audiences with legislators.
One group took the next step yesterday to get attention--a sit-down protest in
the Capitol rotunda.
When reports started circulating that Republican
presidential contender Michele Bachmann was a member of a congregation in the
Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, I thought: this could be interesting.
Arabic is an official Israeli language. About half of Israeli Jews have heritages stemming from Arabic-speaking countries. Despite this, only about 10 percent of Israeli Jews understand Arabic well, even though one poll indicated 58 percent of Israelis think it is important to learn the language. The Israeli school system teaches a formal version of the language, not the dialect used on the streets. Gilad Sevitt has attempted to rectify this gap with a series of free YouTube videos teaching Arabic with the name Madrasa (school in Arabic). The language instruction videos have become popular, especially with 18- to 34-year-olds. Palestinians, Jordanians, and Saudis have also used it in reverse, to teach Hebrew. Groups have formed on Facebook and in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to study the videos together (The Christian Science Monitor, July 17).