Last week, you may have seen this picture. It has garnered a lot of attention on the Internet and has even been publicized on Fox News and other prominent news outlets. If you haven't seen it, this is a picture of a woman moments before she went into an abortion clinic and ended the lives of twin baby girls. Why would this woman choose to end the lives of her baby girls? She said that she wanted to terminate the pregnancy becasue she already had two daughters and "didn't want anymore girls."
As we heard this story at the national center for life and liberty, we were heartbroken over the fact that these babies tragically died that day. But the reality is that thousands of babies—just like these twins—die every day in America.
The Common Core curriculum movement is an attempt to centralize and standardize what children will learn across the country. Common Core defines what every child should learn from grade to grade and includes teacher evaluations that are tied to federally funded tests. These tests are designed to ensure school compliance. The reaction? Not much common consensus. States and others are pushing back.
In its first term, the Obama administration announced a federal incentive program for schools called “Race to the Top.” Public schools who wanted to compete for the funds had to agree to adopt Common Core standards in teaching and testing.
Most states have adopted the Common Core, but some are pulling back. To date, 45 states have adopted the reading, math, and writing standards. Many are having second thoughts, however, seeking to slow implementation or prevent adoption. At the federal level, Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, along with seven other senators, signed a letter calling on their colleagues to stop funding the implementation of Common Core.
As homeschoolers, why is Common Core a bad idea? From a big-picture perspective, it is another instance of Washington overstepping boundaries. It is the individual states that have educational sovereignty. State school boards of education are elected or appointed to determine education policy. They should not cede that authority over to the federal government.
Common Core is a concern for homeschoolers. Students who take national, standardized tests—whether to assess yearly progress or to earn college admission—will be tested based on the teaching and methodology of the Common Core.
Furthermore, Americans will pay a high cost for common core—not just in the books and teacher training. We simply can’t afford this. The Pioneer Institute estimates that, cumulatively, states will be on the hook for about $16 billion in implementation costs. Do state budgets have the room to accommodate this at this time?
Just last week, New York education officials reported that students across the state failed miserably on new reading and math tests meant to reflect the more rigorous standards, with fewer than a third of students in public schools passing the new tests. Other states will release their evaluations over the next year.
We need to slow down the train. The issue needs further study as to the effectiveness of these standards. Just last week, Indiana Governor Mike Pence (R) took steps to withdraw the state from participation with the testing arm of the Common Core standards, joining a growing list of states to step away.
Parents who cherish their educational choice should make their thoughts known to their legislators.
You are invited the Return America rally at Zion Hill Baptist Church in Marion, NC, on August 8 at 7 P.M.! The church is located at 1036 Zion Hill Road, Marion, NC.
Attorney David Gibbs III will join Dr. Ron Baity for this special service. This will be an informative service where participants will be updated on current events and a special announcement will be made about one of the most crucial cases in North Carolina. We especially encourage every pastor within driving distance to attend and bring along as many people as possible! A special gift will be given to all attending pastors.
This Return America Rally is critical in view of present events both nationally and here in North Carolina. Please make arrangements to attend this most important event. We hope to see you there!
On Friday August 2, 2013, the National Center for Life and Liberty filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court on behalf of Town of Greece, New York, where the town was sued for opening its town meetings in prayer. NCLL filed this brief on behalf of eight other county commissions and town councils who have had a practice of opening meetings with legislative prayer, and who have also been sued for violating the Establishment Clause and the legal principle of “separation of church and state.” The eight legislative bodies being represented by NCLL are the Board of Commissioners for Carroll County, Maryland; Board of Commissioners for Cobb County, Georgia; Board of Commissioners for Rowan County, North Carolina; City of Lakeland, Florida; County Commission for Franklin County, Missouri; Forsyth County, North Carolina, Board of Commissioners; Hamilton County, Tennessee, Board of Commissioners, and the Franklin Select Board, Franklin, Vermont.
Attorney David C. Gibbs III, attorney of record for NCLL’s Supreme Court amicus brief, said, “We believe it is unconstitutional to ban prayers in Jesus’ name at legislative meetings. Having judges or legislators censor any prayers violates hundreds of years of religious liberty and free expression in America.” Americans have offered prayers in Jesus’ name in legislative meetings for all the hundreds of years that America has existed as a nation.
The Supreme Court’s decision in the Town of Greece v. Galloway case will set the standard for legislative prayer for the entire nation. NCLL’s amicus brief argues that courts should view the legislative prayer opportunity from the point of view of the intent of the legislators, not the viewpoint of a few people who are offended by hearing the name of Jesus in a prayer.
NCLL’s position is the same position Sam Adams—Massachusetts patriot and organizer of the Boston Tea Party—took when faced with hearing a prayer from someone he disagreed with theologically at the First Continental Congress in 1774. Sam Adams said he “was no bigot, and could hear a prayer from [any] gentleman of piety and virtue, who was at the same time a friend to his country.” In fact, the prayer prayed that day in 1774 by Rev. Jacob Duché of Philadelphia ended in the name of Jesus and, therefore, some courts would ban a local legislator from even reading that prayer today. This is an outrageous legal outcome. Please join NCLL in praying that the Supreme Court will make the right decision in this case.
The National Center for Life and Liberty has offices in Dallas, Texas; St. Petersburg, Florida, and Washington D.C., with five Centers: the Center for Life Defense, the Center to Advance the USA, the Center for Church Liberty, the Center for Homeschool Liberty and the Center for Christian Education. NCLL’s website is www.ncll.org and its attorneys can be reached by telephone at 888-233-6255.