¿Como se dice “shameless pander” en español?
Whose side are you on, Senator? Dumb question. Whosever side is most expedient, of course.
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District cuts its ties with Va. companyBy Susan Snyder
Inquirer Staff Writer
The Philadelphia School District said yesterday it would sever ties with K12, the Virginia company that came under fire earlier this school year after its cofounder made controversial comments about aborting black babies.
The company's $3 million contract to provide elementary science curriculum materials expired yesterday, and the School Reform Commission will not extend it, as the administration originally had planned to do, officials said.
A majority of commission members voted in November to honor the contract - eliciting an outcry from some community members - but indicated they would review it when it came up for renewal. None of the members who supported the contract in November returned calls yesterday to explain why they opted to discontinue the relationship with K12.
"The commission considered whether to terminate the contract at that point even though it would have meant a financial penalty, and the majority said they were not willing to do that," district spokeswoman Cecilia Cummings said. "As of today, the contract is no longer in play."
Cummings declined to say why.
"I can't comment beyond that," she said.
The controversy started in September when William Bennett, cofounder of K12, said on his national radio show: "If you wanted to reduce crime... you could abort every black baby in this country."
ODESSA — Dozens of students have already signed up and district administrators are testing a pilot course as a West Texas school district prepares to offer a high school class on the Bible, officials said.
The Ector County Independent School District approved the elective course in December, despite opposition from critics who condemned the course as Christian proselytizing instead of education.
About 60 students from two high schools have signed up for the course, which will be offered next fall, district spokesman Mike Adkins said. The semester's schedule includes the class for each period of the day, but that could change depending on demand, he said.
Ian Roark, the district's social studies coordinator, is taking the online version of the course to test out the curriculum. He described the course as "non-devotional" with a focus on history and culture related to the Bible.
The district selected a course developed by North Carolina-based National Council on Bible Curriculum in Public Schools that uses the King James version of the Bible.
Critics said the selection showed favoritism toward Protestant Christianity.
Roark, who will oversee the implementation of the course, said students can use any version of the Bible they're comfortable with.
"Basically you are free to use whatever version of the Bible you and your family would like for you to use as a student," he said.
Sen. Florence Shapiro, the Plano Republican who heads the Senate's education committee, said she plans to attach a proposal that increases accountability for Texas schools to her chamber's version of a tax overhaul.
One proposal — to reconstitute campuses deemed academically unacceptable two years in a row — is tougher than what the federal law requires. Under Shapiro's plan, a campus intervention team would decide which, if any, of the existing faculty could remain.
If the school has had the same principal for the past two years, that principal must go.
The school also could be subject to management from a private, nonprofit company or face being closed.
"How can you leave a school open that's failing our children?" Shapiro said. "If a school has been low-performing for at least two years, in my view, that's a bad school."