Two weeks ago, Maryland State Senators passed "Andrew's Law," a provision named for former Blair student Andrew Helgeson, that would require every Maryland high school to have an automatic external defillibator. State legislators have taken the first step to improve an inadequate environment for student health in schools but why stop at defibrillators? MCPS should make cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid training a requisite for all teachers at all levels of education in the county.
While legislators engage adults about issues they think voters care about, they can be quick to leave students out of the democratic process and overlook their concerns. Although most students do not vote, they do represent a large portion of the population - but even in an area as politically active as Montgomery County, their views are rarely heard.
Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito, a staunch conservative, replaced moderate Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on Jan. 31. In his career as a judge, Alito's radical ideology has fueled an archaic, reactionary interpretation of the Constitution that he seems to value over the common good of the American people.
A student brings home a perfect report card. It is an ideal situation: Parents and child are happy, and MCPS is patting itself on the back for successfully educating another pupil. But, this situation also illustrates one of the main tools MCPS uses to maintain its reputation for stellar academics: grade inflation through letter grading.
"In line with local laws and policies, parts of the result are not listed." Written in Chinese characters, this message appears across the bottom of a web page after a search. Unfortunately Google, a company that has prided itself on its accurate, unbiased web searches, has hypocritically decided that censorship is acceptable when there is money to be made.
Gone are the "good old days" of our parents' youth when the movies that Hollywood made were actually good, original ideas, or at least did not focus entirely on sex and violence. Although most critics believe that the increasing presence of violence and sex in films is the biggest issue in the movie-making industry, the real problem is the lack of new ideas.
In an attempt to limit overcrowding, a zoning ordinance passed Dec. 29 requires Manassas, Virginia residents to live only with immediate family members. After being widely criticized as discriminatory, the ordinance was suspended, according to a Jan. 5 article in The Washington Post. That such a law was passed in the first place is evidence of an emerging pattern of growing prejudice towards immigrants, a pattern perpetuated by current immigration policy.
He's been writing in support of Advanced Placement (AP) tests for over two decades, formulated a controversial and nationally respected ranking system for high schools based solely on the number of AP tests administered, declared APs the catalyst of a golden age in American education and said that APs will soon overtake the SAT as the standard measure of high school learning. But Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews is no sellout. He's a utilitarian.
School Superintendent Jerry Weast snuck one by the Board of Education earlier this semester by imposing a regulation that prevents teachers from showing movies rated R and PG-13 to high school and middle school students. Between this and the "sex-ed video" debacle, Montgomery County Public Schools seem to be headed down a path in the wrong direction.
What ever happened to the golden days of professionalism in sports? Gone is the era when the NBA's Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing were heroes to young athletes. In today's money-centered sporting world, kids have more bad role models than good role models to look up to.
To participate in Montgomery County high school athletics, students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average. For some student-athletes this isn't a problem, but for others the academic requirements are a formidable hurdle. Some people argue that academics should not play a role in determining who gets to play sports and that the best athletes in a school should represent it in athletic competition, but others believe that school takes precedence. Students, parents and administrators all have an opinion on this contested topic. So the question is, are these academic restrictions justified?
Walking into the Giant mid-October, looking to purchase some Halloween candy for pre-Halloween taste testing (for the safety of the children, of course), I stopped short. Towering before me was not any sort of ghost, ghoul or goblin or even black and orange banners that might be expected around Halloween. There weren't even any turkeys, pilgrims or traditional Thanksgiving decorations. Instead, I found myself face-to-face with a towering inflatable Santa Claus snow globe.
It's impossible to say which elements of this bloated pop culture of ours will find traction in a future whose tastes we can only predict. No one can say for sure if Harry Potter will join Sherlock Holmes, Frodo and Dracula on the short-list of great British fictional characters, or if the works of J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis will be held in equal esteem. But this is a distinct possibility. It wouldn't surprise me either if future PhD theses explored everything from the septet's religious symbolism to its social and political allegory to its treatment of the teenage psyche. There hopefully won't be a lot of it, but there will be Harry Potter scholarship. One of these days.
Sudan is a topic of controversy and horror - a country packed with more death and terror than a thousand scary movies. Why then do United Nations officials seem more scared by the concept of entering the country than the actual crimes being committed?
Joseph Wilson, the CIA envoy sent to confirm the Africa claim in 2002, wrote an editorial to the "New York Times" about the Iraq-Niger deals being false. This attempt of righting the wrong caused more harm than good. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff and national security advisor, leaked the Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative to several journalists. Libby sought to discredit Wilson believing his actions to be subversive, blurring his purpose, and ruining the career of his wife, Plame, by revealing her position at the CIA.
Thirty-one percent of students nationwide ages 12 to 17 know someone their age who carries a gun. In just one year, 20 percent of all public schools experienced at least one violent crime. In the 1997-1998 school year, 20,286 physical attacks involving weapons occurred at schools.
George W. Bush has always billed himself as a "uniter, not a divider." Now, at long last, the President has lived up to his promise: the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has united secularist liberals and hard-line conservatives — against his decision.
Remember that awful Diflucan commercial with the middle-aged women running up and down escalators in distress, all to the beat of the nauseating "Gotta Go"? theme music? Maybe you don't; after all, its infamy did put an abrupt halt to the annoying advertisement, and we haven't really seen much more of that campaign from the bladder fixer-upper. But now, whether wanted or not, we Blazers can't help but wonder why we constantly find ourselves singing the catchy jingle during the school day.
While it is painful to look at the gas pump these days, we may indirectly benefit from $3 to $4 gas prices. In response, people may start to walk more and consider alternative energy sources, such as hybrid vehicles, over gas-guzzling SUVs. But these environmentally beneficial changes are futile if we just use the rise in gas prices as an excuse to drill for oil in Alaska.
Blazers frustrated by America's course in Iraq have probably been itching for an event like Saturday's anti-war march on and near the National Mall. It is a chance for Blazers to voice their displeasure with what most consider to be a tragic and misguided policy, and a chance for the American anti-war movement to show its strength and organization. But anybody considering taking part in this event must take heed: they won't be marching for what they think they are marching for.
Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana two weeks ago, leaving roughly 80 percent of the city underwater and thousands of helpless residents stranded on their rooftops waiting for government rescue. Where was the government? Instead of responding immediately with all available resources, the government was hog-tied as congressmen and lawyers in Washington D.C. argued for days over the legitimacy of relief efforts. Although rescue workers were eventually able to evacuate and transport the majority of the residents to safety, the government response took its toll, resulting in unnecessary sickness and death. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the agency in charge of handling disaster relief efforts, should look back on Hurricane Katrina as a reminder to never hesitate or ignore the threats of a natural disaster in the future.
In a 1989 essay State Department planner Francis Fukuyama made an ambitious claim; a sweeping and overarching declaration of not just the end of fifty years of ideological warfare, but millennia of human intellectual development; a claim simple in concept, but infinitely complicated in its implications. In an essay entitled "The End of History," Fukuyama postulated that the democratic revolutions of 1989 were "not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government.
To honor the four-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, Silver Chips Online invites its readers to post comments regarding the tragic event. What has the terrorist attack changed? How does it still affect your life? Has the meaning of the event changed in the eyes of the American public in the four years? We invite anyone visiting our site to answer these questions and leave your thoughts in this public reflection of 9/11.
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