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November 18, 2015

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..... t l PAGE 4 THE FLORALA NEWS - WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2015 II I The Florala News' editorial section is intended to provide our readers and citizens as com- plete an opportunity to express themselves with as few restrictions as possible. Profani direct or implied, and attacks on one's person rather than on actions or deeds are not ac- ceptable. Publication on this page in NO WAY REFLECTS AGREEMENT OR ENDORSE- MENT BY THIS NEWSPAPER, m I by Dr. Paul Kengor the country, that is enough to make them the larg- filiated Muslims who attacked last week are bla- Some time ago a former student emailed me a est religious group, given that Belgium, like most tant jihadists. They aren't patient enough to wait video clip that I now show my Major European of Europe, has rapidly de-Christianized. Imran's for their babies to grow to adulthood. They're not Governments course. It's a five-minute news piece group expects Muslims to be the majority in Bel- awaiting a demographic time-bomb to bring Islam by Dale Hurd of CBN News, a conservative Chris- glum within 20 years, to Europe. They want 'victory" now. They are hap- tian outlet--the rare kind of place where you see Notably, that rise is coming from nothing un- pily (yes, happily) willing to detonate themselves reports like this. The piece was on radical Islam in usual among Muslims. They are simply reproduc- at this very moment. Their method is bombs rather Europe, specifically in Belgium, and it was based ing, whereas natives of Belgium, like natives of than babies. They don't want victory via life by out- on Hurd's interview with a Muslim leader in Brus- Europe, are not. For many modern Europeans, sex growing native Europeans. They want victory via sels, the very heart of modern Europe, of secular is about recreation, about fully separating inter- death by killing native Europeans. Europe, of the European Union, and of everything course from reproduction, about having as much Regardless of those violent methods, Islam is Islamic fundamentalists despise about Europe. sex as possible without the undesired outcome of poised to triumph in Europe in the long-run. Over "Allah makes the laws and tells us what is al- a child. For faithful Muslims, sex is still about ba- time, a native population that fails to do the most lowed and what is forbidden," Abu Imran told bies. rudimentary thing of any native population--that Hurd. Like many major European cities, from London is, give birth to the next generation--will by sheer Imran is leader of Shariah for Belgium, and in- to Oslo, the most popular baby name in Brussels sex and math give way to the outsiders who have sists there's no such thing as a "democratic Mus- last year was "Mohammed." In fact, reported Dale entered the country and are giving birth to the next lim." Such a notion, he maintains, is as absurd as Hurd, "Mohammed" was the most common baby generation. Muslims in Europe can make love, not a "Christian Jew" or "Jewish Muslim." "It's impos- name in BrusSels each of the last four years. I do war--love that brings babies rather than blocks sible." not see that trend changing anytime soon. babies. Imran says that real Islam and Shariah law are Dale Hurd noted in his report that Shariah for The clashes we are witnessing between ex-Chris- "inseparable." Belgium is a "small group that a lot of people do tian Europeans and current Muslim Europeans is Imran's group wants what it calls "Belgistan," not take seriously." I bet they are now. just the start. The Europe of the 21st century is and foresees Brussels as an "Islamic capital" Obviously, I'm sharing this with readers now going to be extremely chaotic. within mere decades. He cites numbers to back because the ringleaders of the terrorist assaults in his optimism. Imran says that in some cities in France last week the worst attacks inside France Belgium, such as Antwerp, 40 percent of the chil- since World War II were reportedly based pre- dren in schools are Muslim. And though Muslims cisely in Brussels. comprise only 25 percent of religious believers in Unlike Mr. Imran and his group, the ISIS-af- by Dr. John Hill In the Alabama State House, the familiar re- frain surrounding public education is that the leg- islature has failed to ever "fully fund" it. The impli- cation, of course, is that we cannot and should not expect positive outcomes from our public schools. This philosophy has been refuted by an enormous body of academic research and, last week, was spe- cifically disproved by a report released by the U.S. Department of Education. The report, the National Assessment of Educa- tional Progress, or NAEP, is published every other year by the National Center for Education Statis- tics. By testing students in all fifty states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia on a variety of subjects such as math, reading, and science, the NAEP allows states to compare the academic prog- ress of its students to the progress of students in other states. What the NAEP says about Alabama's educational competitiveness underlies the need for our citizenry to reassess the link between what is spent on public K-12 education and what we get in return for our investment. Alabama's rankings on the NAEP in math and reading have largely collapsed. Since 2000, rank- ings in math for fourth and eighth grade students fell from 35th and 32nd place, respectively, to 51st and 50th place in 2015. Reading scores for Alabama students have been more of a mixed bag. The national ranking of fourth grade students has remained flat at between 39th and 40th place, but by the eighth grade have slipped from 38th place to 46th place from 2002 to 2015. Over the same fifteen-year period, Alabama's expenditures on public education continue to trail the national average. Since 2000, the inflation- adjusted gap between what Alabama spends per student on education and the nation as a whole has increased, from $1,760 to $2,500 in 2014. In the 2013-2014 school year, Alabama spent $8,841 per student on public education, less than thirty- eight other states and the District of Columbia. Simple comparisons like this make it tempting to conclude that inadequate funding is the cause of Alabama's woeful rankings, yet the NAEP scores disprove such an explanation. First, what Alabama spends per student on edu- cation has risen substantially in the past fifteen m years. Even after accounting for the disastrous economic effects of the Great Recession, Alabama's per-student spending increased by an inflation- adjusted 14% between 2000 and 2014. Alabama's spending on K-12 public education totaled almost $5.7 billion, or 18% of the state's $31 billion bud- get (excluding employee benefits). Yet, the state's rankings in reading and math have not improved. Notably, over the last decade, the state spent an average of $25 million per year on the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative (AMSTI) alone. Second, most of the eleven states that spent less per student than Alabama in 2013-2014 reported higher NAEP scores in almost every category in 2015. Specifically, all of them reported higher scores in math, eight had better scores in fourth grade reading, and had higher scores in eighth grade reading. An ses conducted by NAEP in earlier years for scie =ce and writing show similar- ly disappointing results for Alabama. If increased spending isn't the key to better scores, perhaps state leaders should focus more on how education funds are allocated. Some Ala- bama administrators and teachers cite rigid for- mulas and earmarks that can handicap their abil- ity to move additional resources directly to the classroom. Others note the state's habit of creat- ing new programs and initiatives year after year that (BEGIN ITAL.) must (END ITAL.) be funded to solve our problems. While well-meaning, these programs often discount the complex roots of cau- sation and attempt across-the-board fixes rather than targeted ones. Furthermore, appropriators often fail to impose any stringent accountability when renewing funding for these programs. The latest NAEP scores should motivate us to move beyond blaming our results on funding and focus instead on how to best use our existing re- sources to improve student outcomes. - Dr. John Hill is Senior Research Analyst for the Alabama Policy Institute (API). API is an in- dependent non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservc(- tion of free markets, limited government and strong families.To speak with the author, e-mail john@ or call (205) 870-9900. Editor, began over 75 years ago. To our knowledge, there's Once upon a time, our parents and neighbors never been a cancellation. felt led to have a Thanksgiving Supper, on Thanks- Although the supper is held at Damascus giving night to come together to thank God for His Church on County Road 4, it isn't a church spon- goodness and to have a time to fellowship with sored event and there is no "program" as such. neighbors. We just enjoy a fellowship meal together and stay Those meals were celebrated in the church yard reminded that we are neighbors and we do care at Damascus. The large "scalding pot", used to about each other. dress hogs in, was filled with grease (or probably The supper is open to anyone who would like to lard). The men brought in squirrels, birds, etc. and come. Meats, wild and tame, are provided. Usu- did the frying. The ladies came with side dishes to ally, leftovers from family dinners are brought in share. Us kids would run around and play until we and shared, so there's no need for a lot more cook- would get so cold, we would huddle by the fire for a ing! few minutes to warm. As our culture has changed (deteriorated might Those of us, descendants of the original plan- be a better word), it's easier to ignore those that ners, still meet to thank God and to continue the may live next door. Our lives are truly so much tradition of our forefathers. We believe this supper see LETTER page 5 The Florala News - Dr. Paul Kengor is professor of political sci- ence and executive director of The Center for Vision & Values at Grove City College. His latest book is Takedown. His other books include 11 Prin- ciples of a Reagan Conservative, The Communist: Frank Marshall Davis, The Untold Story of Ba- rack Obama's Mentor and Dupes: How America's Adversaries Have Manipulated Progressives for a Century. 27 32 52 62 WantThe Best .Do Deal On TV DISH! & Internet? CallNowandAskHm~! where availab/e 1-800-318-5121 ...... d sh Stat~Poim Media THEME: THANKSGIVING sound 6. Done in loads ACROSS 7. Brewery order 1. Internet posts 8. Glasses, for short 6. =Kilroy ___ here" 9. Give the cold shoulder 9. =Put a __._ in it!" 10. =The Simpsons" palin- 13. "Raspberry " by drome Prince 11. C in NYC 14. Matterhorn, e.g. 12. St. Peter's symbol 15. Loosen laces 15. Done on a Christmas 16. Social class or position morning 17. =All the Light We Cannot 20. Plural of tarsus __._" by Anthony Doerr22. " the fields we go" 18. Like professor Sherman 24. No-good Klump 25. *Cranberry concoction 19. *In 1941 Thanksgiving 26. Top dog moved to this Thursday 27. 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