Monday, March 28, 2011
Vote Expected Next Week on Extension of D.C. School Choice Program
Families from across the District of Columbia called on Members of the U.S. House of Representatives to restore the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (OSP) and provide hope to thousands of low-income children.
According to D.C. Parents for School Choice, legislation sponsored by House Speaker John Boehner (the SOAR Act) will likely lead to higher graduation rates for low-income D.C. children, higher parental satisfaction rates with education, increased achievement in reading, and a significant improvement in D.C.'s public schools. A vote on the legislation is expected by next week.
"We call on all Members of Congress to put the interests of children and families first and to vote 'yes' on Speaker Boehner's legislation," said Virginia Walden Ford, executive director of D.C. Parents for School Choice. "It is morally outrageous that President Obama, D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, and special interests have waged a battle against a program that helps low-income children who live just blocks from the White House. Passing the SOAR Act will right this grievous wrong."
The program, which allows low-income parents the opportunity to use vouchers and send their children to high-quality private schools, has yielded significant, positive results.
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Education's Institute for Education Sciences, the program yielded 91 percent graduation rates for students who used their scholarships - more than 30 points higher than the graduation rates for students in conventional public schools. More than 3,300 children have benefited from the program since its creation in 2004.
A poll released earlier this year demonstrated that more than 74 percent of District residents want Congress to reauthorize the program, and more than 8,000 residents have signed petitions urging the OSP's restoration.
"Parents across the country are watching Congress right now to see if their Members will do the right thing and stand courageously with children who only want a better future - or if they'll side with richly-funded special interest groups that place adults and the status quo above the needs of low-income families," Walden Ford said.
A companion bill in the U.S. Senate is sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins, Dianne Feinstein, and Lamar Alexander.
Virginia Walden Ford is the Executive Director of D.C. Parents for School Choice. She is an African-American single mother who almost single-handedly lobbied Congress to enact the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program after she secured a private scholarship for her son, William, who later went on to graduate and then serve our country in Iraq. Virginia is a fellow at the Heritage Foundation and also speaks on behalf of the Foundation for Educational Choice. She was an advisor to John McCain’s presidential campaign in 2008. Interestingly, she’s from Little Rock, Arkansas and was in the second group of children to integrate Little Rock Central High School. [more...]
Posted by Sandy Frazier at 6:32 AM
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
THE QUR'AN DILEMMA
COMPELLING BOOK SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON THE QUR'AN
Radical Islam, Sharia Law, Jihad are all common themes often raised and discussed whenever Islam is at the forefront of current events in the U.S. However, all of these labels share the same foundation: The Qur'an.
How is one to know the truth about The Qur'an - the most controversial holy book in the world today, especially post-9/11? Now, the average person who wants to understand the controversies and myths surrounding The Qur'an will be able to know the truth by studying The Qur'an Dilemma - a critical analysis unlike any other. The top editor of this 10-year-long research project, Al Fadi, is available for interviews to analyze and discuss this comprehensive new guide on the teachings of Islam.
This extensively researched commentary examines Islam's holiest book, challenging serious readers to ponder its true origin and purposes as they increase their knowledge of Islam and its teachings.
- Is The Qur'an a book of peace or a blueprint for terror?
- Is Islam's holy book an inspired message from God or a political agenda?
- How is the role of a woman actually defined in The Qur'an?
- Does The Qur'an really advocate tolerance for people of other faiths?
This first volume investigates the first nine chapters of The Qur'an. Each chapter contains the text of The Qur'an complemented with these well-annotated elements:
- Introduction, which outlines major subjects and key political, historical, social, or controversial issues;
- Critical analysis of key verses, which focuses on relevant historical accounts, linguistical errors, scientific information, and literary structure, coherence, and cogency;
- Variant readings of certain verses, which highlight differences in syntax, word choice, and meaning among current common readings of the Arabic text, emphasizing those variations that differ from the codification made by the 'Uthman committee; and
- Abrogated verses with analytical comments, which explain the ramifications of such nullified verses on their subsequent authority and understanding.
This volume also contains nine articles to provide readers with the necessary background and context concerning key topics and issues of The Qur'an, including "Compilation of The Qur'an," "Women in The Qur'an," and "The Qur'an and People of Other Faiths." The last section of this book contains a comprehensive collection of resources and references, included selected readings, a "Who's Who" section, a glossary of definitions, timeline and maps, index and endnotes (the complete documentation of the Arabic and non-Arabic sources used in the research for this book).
Though The Qur'an Dilemma uses Islamic classical references to satisfy the scholar, this commentary is written in a fluid language that will interest, inform, and enlighten the average reader.
ABOUT THE EDITOR: Al Fadi is a scholar and expert on Islam, and a leading Middle East analyst. He has a Masters in Biblical Communications, Engineering, and is a teacher of Islam. He is also the Director of The Qur'an Project Group and a guest speaker for national churches and mission conferences' events on the topic of Islam. He has been on numerous Arabic satellite TV shows and is a frequent guest on radio and TV throughout America, educating the U.S. on the topic of Islam and The Qur'an.
Posted by Sandy Frazier at 7:08 AM