Thursday, March 18, 2010

Breaking Some Nuns' Bad Habits

Statements from nuns are flying around Capitol Hill as the health care debate moves toward a final vote. A small group of unorthodox nuns, no doubt at the urging of Democrats who are seeking divine intervention, re-issued a statement on Capitol Hill wrongly claiming that the Senate bill doesn't cover elective abortions. In response, the Council of Major Superiors of Women Religious, an order of more traditional nuns, issued a statement in support of the position of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). The Vatican was so disturbed by the sisters' letter that it released one of its own, warning America that the only group who speaks on the Church's behalf in Congress is the USCCB.
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Putting Private Info on Government Database

Far more personal information on students than is necessary is being collected by public schools, according to the Fordham Law School Center on Law and Information Policy, which investigated education records in all 50 states. States are failing to safeguard students' privacy and protect them from data misuse. Some states collect a lot of data that has nothing to do with student test scores, including Social Security numbers, disciplinary records, family wealth indicators, student pregnancies, student mental health, illness, and jail sentences. A couple of states record the date of a student's last medical exam and a student's weight.

The Fordham study reported that this collection of information is often not compliant with a 35-year-old law, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). The only punishment for a FERPA violation is for the Department of Education to withhold federal education funding, but the Department has never done that. The building of databases that track students from pre-school through entry into the workforce began with the emphasis in the 1990s on testing and standards, and was expanded under "No Child Left Behind" mandates. This data collection has been proceeding at what observers call a "breakneck pace" under the Obama Administration because of the offer of federal grants awarded through the Race to the Top competition, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and $250 million in Stimulus funds.

Fordham law professor Joel R. Reidenberg, who oversaw the Fordham study, said that states are "trampling the privacy interests of those students." He warns that years later, when these kids are adults, information from their elementary, middle and high school years can easily be misused by hackers and others.

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Sunday, March 14, 2010

Still Not Convinced?

Some people still want to deny what is going on in our churches and who can blame them. It cuts right through our hearts to find out ours churches (and our money) have been involved in such sleazy groups. What is happening in our churches is nothing new. Jesus had to clean out the churches in his time and now it is our time to do the same.

In Our Churches - Read Article

Community Builders vs. Community Organizers - Read Article