State schools chief to appeal California High School Exit Exam ban to state high court

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Friday, May 19, 2006State schools Superintendent Jack O’Connell has his lawyers working “around the clock” to prepare to ask the State Supreme Court to overturn a lower court judge’s ban on using the California State High School Exit Exam as a graduation requirement, he said today.

“In an effort to seek resolution of this issue as quickly as possible, I have asked my attorneys to appeal directly to the California Supreme Court,” said O’Connell in a prepared statement, “They are working around the clock to prepare those papers, and we expect to file within 24 to 30 hours. This is a remarkably fast turnaround for an appeal of a ruling that was made less than a week ago.”

Most appeals of a Superior Court decision go to an appellate court first.

Last Friday, Alameda County Superior Court judge Robert Freedman ruled against maintaining the California High School Exit Exam as a condition of graduation for the class of 2006, saying that the law requiring high school students to pass the test is unconstitutional because economically and racially disadvantaged students weren’t offered equal educations and therefore didn’t have an equal chance to pass.

In his statement, O’Connell acknowledged that some students need more help than others, but said the test should stand, anyway: “We know that some students at some schools need extra attention to overcome challenges brought to the classroom and challenges within the schools they attend. We agree those students must have every option available to them to learn the skills on the exam. But I strongly disagree that the remedy for students still struggling to pass the exam is to simply hand them a diploma whether or not they have learned what they need to know.”

Arturo J. Gonzalez, the San Francisco attorney who persuaded Freedman to stop the use of the test, told reporters that Freedman had ruled correctly and that the state should give up and let the students graduate. “There is no basis for the Supreme Court to take diplomas away from 45,000 students who have passed all required courses,” he said in an email exchange with the James Logan Courier. “To do that, they would have to find that Judge Freedman abused his discretion. Given the overwhelming evidence in support of his ruling, I do not think that any of the seven justices will find an abuse of discretion.”

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said he supported O’Connell’s bid to reinstate the test and would “put the full weight of my administration behind reinstating the California High School Exit Exam graduation requirement.”

O’Connell, who wrote the law, wants the requirement to be enforced against this year’s would-be graduates who haven’t yet passed the test and so is set to ask the State Supreme Court to immediately stay Freedman’s injunction to allow the state to withhold high school diplomas as originally planned.. At last count, the ruling affects about 47,000 California Seniors, including about 70 from James Logan High School.

“The decision came as more than 1,100 California high schools prepare for graduation ceremonies,” he said, “It created confusion and uncertainty not only for seniors in the class of 2006 but for juniors in the class of 2007.”

Cynthia O’Brien, who oversees testing at James Logan High School, told The Courier she wants the confusion to end. “If the Exit Exam is going to go forward, then it needs to go forward. If not, then it needs to be cancelled completely,” she said last week.

“Many students now wonder whether they should enroll in summer school or plan to take a summer administration of the exit exam,” he said, “Administrators and teachers are left wondering whether students who need the extra assistance will bother to enroll. And students who should be buckling down to learn the skills they need to succeed in college or the workplace have now been told they can get a diploma whether or not they have those skills.

“It is our responsibility to all of California’s children, especially our disadvantaged and minority students, to equip them with the most basic skills they will need in college, in work and in life,” said Schwarzenegger. “ Postponing the exam graduation requirement will hurt our children in the long run by depriving us of the best tool we have to measure how well schools are doing their job.”

He said he’s budgeted more money to help students pass the test: “My 2006-07 budget will add $7.7 million for three additional administration of the exam and we will also provide $65 million this year to give students at risk of failing the exam the support they need to pass it.”

The high court has 90 days to decide whether to hear O’Connell’s appeal once it’s filed, but could act more quickly if it chooses.

Former U.S. governor Palin signs TV deal with Fox News

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

According to a report by the New York Times that has now been confirmed by Fox News, former United States governor of Alaska and 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has signed a multi-year deal to work as a news contributor for American television station Fox News. The deal is effective immediately, and Palin will reportedly contribute regularly to all Fox stations. The monetary terms to the deal have not yet been disclosed, but the agreement is rumored to be for three years.

“Governor Palin has captivated everyone on both sides of the political spectrum…,” said Bill Shine, Fox News’s vice president of programing,”We are excited to add her dynamic voice to the Fox News lineup,” he added in his comments.

Does Fox News contain fair and balanced news as Sarah Palin suggests?
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As well as contributing, Palin will also be hosting a new program slated to air on Fox News. Called Real American Stories, the series will portray stories of overcoming obstacles during current times and through current social or economic problems that may be going on at the time. The series has no planned release date, but will air sometime within 2010.

Palin released a statement herself Monday afternoon. “I am thrilled to be joining the great talent and management team at Fox News. It’s wonderful to be part of a place that so values fair and balanced news,” she said.

After serving as mayor of the town of Wasilla, Palin was elected governor of Alaska in 2006. U.S. Republican candidate John McCain picked Palin to serve as his running mate in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, where she and McCain lost to Democrat Barack Obama and his running mate Joe Biden. In July 2009, she resigned from the governor position of Alaska governor, possibly opening up a run for U.S. president in 2012.

Seeds placed in Norwegian vault as agricultural ‘insurance policy’

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a vault containing millions of seeds from all over the world, saw its first deposits on Tuesday. Located 800 kilometers from the North Pole on the Norwegian island of Spitsbergen, the vault has been referred to by European Commission president José Manuel Barroso as a “frozen Garden of Eden“. It is intended to preserve crop supplies and secure biological diversity in the event of a worldwide disaster.

“The opening of the seed vault marks a historic turning point in safeguarding the world’s crop diversity,” said Cary Fowler, executive director of the Global Crop Diversity Trust which is in charge of collecting the seed samples. The Norwegian government, who owns the bank, built it at a cost of $9.1 million.

At the opening ceremony, 100 million seeds from 268,000 samples were placed inside the vault, where there is room for over 2 billion seeds. Each of the samples originated from a different farm or field, in order to best ensure biological diversity. These crop seeds included such staples as rice, potatoes, barley, lettuce, maize, sorghum, and wheat. No genetically modified crops were included. (Beyond politics they are generally sterile so of no use.)

It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks.

Constructed deep inside a mountain and protected by concrete walls, the “doomsday vault” is designed to withstand earthquakes, nuclear warfare, and floods resulting from global warming. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg called it an “insurance policy” against such threats.

With air-conditioned temperatures of -18 degrees Celsius, experts say the seeds could last for an entire millennium. Some crops will be able to last longer, like sorghum, which the Global Crop Diversity Trust says can last almost 20 millenniums. Even if the refrigeration system fails, the vaults are expected to stay frozen for 200 years.

The Prime Minister said, “With climate change and other forces threatening the diversity of life that sustains our planet, Norway is proud to be playing a central role in creating a facility capable of protecting what are not just seeds, but the fundamental building blocks of human civilization.” Stoltenberg, along with Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, made the first deposit of rice to the vault.

“It is very important for Africa to store seeds here because anything can happen to our national seed banks,” Maathai said. The vault will operate as a bank, allowing countries to use their deposited seeds free of charge. It will also serve as a backup to the thousands of other seed banks around the world.

“Crop diversity will soon prove to be our most potent and indispensable resource for addressing climate change, water and energy supply constraints and for meeting the food needs of a growing population,” Cary Fowler said.

Author Amy Scobee recounts abuse as Scientology executive

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Wikinews interviewed author Amy Scobee about her book Scientology – Abuse at the Top, and asked her about her experiences working as an executive within the organization. Scobee joined the organization at age 14, and worked at Scientology’s international management headquarters for several years before leaving in 2005. She served as a Scientology executive in multiple high-ranking positions, working out of the international headquarters of Scientology known as “Gold Base”, located in Gilman Hot Springs near Hemet, California.

Wikinews 2014: An ‘Original reporting’ year in review

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014With the English-language Wikinews continuing to increase the amount of original content published, we take a look back at some of the eighty-plus original reports from our contributors during 2014.

Furry fans flock to Further Confusion 2007

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

San Jose, California –Cell phones, cigarette lighters and glowsticks are raised in tribute as Circle of Life begins playing. Soon cheers drown out the song as the multicoloured performers appear on stage. A somewhat unusual introduction; but this is no ordinary show, and these are no ordinary attendees. This is Further Confusion, the second largest furry convention in the world.

The volunteer organizers have something to cheer about, too; Furry fans have gathered from far and wide at the DoubleTree Hotel to indulge their love of anthropomorphics, and Further Confusion’s 9th year is its largest, with a paid attendance of 2061. Their gains mirror those of Midwest FurFest, a similar convention held in Schaumburg, Illinois which grew 35% last November.

Both events feature art shows and auctions, live puppetry performance, masquerades, variety shows, games and parades, as well as panels that range from science and technology to society, sex and spirituality. Filling out the schedule, the hotel walls are lined with announcements of public and private room parties for separate groups. At night, the disco floor fills with dancing cats, dogs, and dragons.

For some, dressing up plays a large part of the convention – almost 300 brought a full costume. There are few professional mascots here, though, and only one or two of the costumes would be recognized by even the most avid cartoon-watcher. Instead, each act is planned and performed by other attendees, wearing “fursuits” of their own design. Many play off the year’s secret-agent theme — “Fur Your Eyes Only”.

Other fans seem content to restrict themselves to small accessories — perhaps some combination of paws, ears, or tail. Each fur bears a 3″x2″ badge detailing their personal character, or “fursona“. Often these characters are better-known than the people who play them.

It may seem lighthearted, even frivolous, but these conventions are becoming big business. Furry fans spent over $180,000 for lodging during the five days (Jan 18-22) of Further Confusion, and another $50,000 at the art auction. Attendees also purchase all manner of merchandise from attending dealers and artists, from on-the-spot art commissions and comic books of all ratings to prints, sculptures, and plush toys – even their very own fluffy tail.

Of course, any business has risk, and conventions can drain wallets when the sums just don’t add up. The first furry con, ConFurence in Southern California, ran successfully for over a decade, but cost its new organizer an estimated $60,000 in its last four years due to falling attendance before folding in 2003.

Anthropomorphic Arts and Education board member Peter Torkelson says that won’t happen to Further Confusion. Indeed, the convention ran a healthy surplus of almost $30,000 on $125,000 revenue last year, allowing it to pay off the last of its old debts and save for the future. As Torkelson explains: “The idea is if for some reason, say an earthquake happens, and it cripples the revenue stream, the convention will be able to survive into the next year. It does help our staff to know that we have [a reserve].”

The reserve also gives AAE the financial flexibility to fund charities throughout the year, a big part of its 501(c)(3) mandate. Over the nine years of the convention, attendees have raised over $60,000 for a variety of animal sanctuaries, wildlife refuges, and the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.

Further Confusion’s hopes for the future are high. Chairwoman Laura Cherry noted that, unlike previous years, the board has “gone all out” for next year’s tenth anniversary, booking as many rooms as the hotel could offer. The host for 2009 has yet to be decided, but for many fans the question was not whether the current hotel will reach a limit, but when – and where – the convention will find a new home.

How To Find Local Security Doors &Amp; Windows Supplier}

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Curtains

Submitted by: Kerry Reimers

A building is made up of so many parts; the door is an important part of that. It keeps us indoors and safe, making us sleep well to enjoy other features of the house. Now-a-day, security doors and windows are easily available in the market with high level features. It can be different shapes and sizes. You can find it anywhere in the Sunshine Coast, there is interias professionals are available who provides your doors and windows installation services for your home. The security doors supplier has a variety of door selections that are built for not only strength and safety but also beauty and appeal. All of Sunshine Coast professional contractors are affordable, efficient, and will surely get the job done right. They can provide services in the Sunshine Coast for you in a few hours. Security screen doors sunshine coast supplier keeps adding new security system every day, wherever you find security doors and windows as per your requirement. There you can also do price comparison between foreign doors and local ones with all the pros and cons of both types. Steel securities doors are very famous security system in the Sunshine Coast are known to withstand weather conditions more resiliently because of the materials superior durability. Furthermore, steel security doors and windows are fully recyclable, require very minimal maintenance to maintain their appearance and functionality also not too much costly and It is easily available in a variety of styles and colors to match nearly any home design, and provide an incredibly higher level of home security than all other types of doors on the market. With steel security door system, the Sunshine Coast home owners can expect to see their home’s property value, security, and curbside appeal increase significantly in just a short period of time.

You can find the best Crimsafe security door and windows suppliers in the Sunshine Coast by using the following ways, but not limited to;

1. Your References:

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Your local references can be able to provide you information about the security doors and windows suppliers. Your local reference should be your friends, relatives, office staffs and neighbor. You can contact with trained security doors and window specialists, they can help you to install security doors and windows and especially focusing on the most popular styles of steel security doors cores on the market today.

2. Online Portals and Websites

There are many online portals and websites is available which provide you best security appliances supplier with their contact details. Depending on your specific requirement of security screens Caloundra you can contact to knowledgeable contractors or security doors supplier to provide the most suitable steel security doors for your purposes.

3. Commercial Advertisements:

An Advertisement and a local newspaper is also one best option to find the best security doors and windows supplier in your local place. Using commercial advertisement you can get the information about the security doors suppliers and speak with the professional steel security doors in the Sunshine Coast contractors during your free estimate about your home’s particular needs to get the perfect doors for you.

4. Crime Safety Department:

Crime safety department can also be a good place to find the information about security screens sunshine coast suppliers and appliances. They can also provide you the references with their contact details of local security doors and windows suppliers in the Sunshine Coast. Most police departments recommend shrubs be cleared from near doorways to reduce the chance of a burglar being hidden from public view. Burglaries are always a concern for homeowners. Hence always keep in touch with this department and update your home security system also keep your doors locked and secure. If your front and back doors are hollow, you need to replace them immediately.

About the Author: North Coast Blinds & Security is the premier supplier of window coverings and security screens and doors on the Sunshine Coast. They supply a large range of products to suit all styles of home. The friendly team can provide expert advice plus a free measure and quote followed by prompt and professional installation. The products come in a large variety of colours, shapes and sizes and are manufactured in our factory at Kunda Park. Visit here for more Information :


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New Zealand mosque murder suspect appears in court at Christchurch

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Sunday, March 17, 2019

An Australian, Brenton Tarrant, aged 28, appeared in Christchurch District Court, New Zealand yesterday, charged with one count of murder pertaining to a mass shooting in Christchurch on Friday, which caused the death of at least 50 people. Judge Paul Kellar ordered the accused remain in custody until his next court appearance on April 5.

Police alleged the accused performed two attacks. The first attack reportedly was in Al Noor Mosque at about 13:40 local time (0040 UTC), which left at least 42 people dead. The second attack reportedly was in Linwood Mosque, killing at least eight people, on the same day. Brenton Tarrant did not apply for bail. Further charges may be laid in the future, police said.

Police arrested the accused in the neighborhood of Strickland Street, 36 minutes after the mass shooting in Al Noor Mosque according to police. After his arrest on Friday, Brenton stayed in the Christchurch central police station overnight before appearing in court on the next day.

Brenton Tarrant had a valid gun licence allowing him to buy weapons, ABC reported. According to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Brenton had a licence for the five firearms he allegedly used for the attack — two semi-automatic, two shotguns, and one lever-action. Professor Greg Barton, Chair In Global Islamic Politics in the Faculty of Arts and Education at the Deakin University, said “The attacker was using a couple of guns, one was a shotgun, one was an AR-15 — that’s the so-called civilian equivalent of the M-16. It’s an assault rifle”. The authorities seized these firearms.

Prime Minister Ardern said at a press conference yesterday morning the gun laws should be changed. She said, “I have instructed ODESC [Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Coordination] to report to Cabinet on Monday on these events with a view to strengthening our systems on a range of fronts including, but not limited to, firearms, border controls, enhanced information-sharing with Australia, and any practice reinforcement of our watchlist processes.”

Brenton also allegedly released an anti-Muslim document online, outlining political motivation, prior to the murders. Social media have been struggling to censor the alleged gunman’s videos of the murder, according to reports.

Latest trial of the One Laptop Per Child running in India; Uruguay orders 100,000 machines

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Thursday, November 8, 2007

India is the latest of the countries where the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) experiment has started. Children from the village of Khairat were given the opportunity to learn how to use the XO laptop. During the last year XO was distributed to children from Arahuay in Peru, Ban Samkha in Thailand, Cardal in Uruguay and Galadima in Nigeria. The OLPC team are, in their reports on the startup of the trials, delighted with how the laptop has improved access to information and ability to carry out educational activities. Thailand’s The Nation has praised the project, describing the children as “enthusiastic” and keen to attend school with their laptops.

Recent good news for the project sees Uruguay having ordered 100,000 of the machines which are to be given to children aged six to twelve. Should all go according to plan a further 300,000 machines will be purchased by 2009 to give one to every child in the country. As the first to order, Uruguay chose the OLPC XO laptop over its rival from Intel, the Classmate PC. In parallel with the delivery of the laptops network connectivity will be provided to schools involved in the project.

The remainder of this article is based on Carla G. Munroy’s Khairat Chronicle, which is available from the OLPC Wiki. Additional sources are listed at the end.


  • 1 India team
  • 2 Khairat
    • 2.1 The town school
  • 3 The workplace
  • 4 Marathi
  • 5 The teacher
  • 6 Older children, teenagers, and villagers
  • 7 The students
  • 8 Teacher session
  • 9 Parents’ meetings
  • 10 Grounding the server
  • 11 Every child at school
  • 12 Sources
  • 13 External links

Effort to end monkey-ing around on Delhi’s subway

Posted by: AiRc8Vhp  :  Category: Uncategorized

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

New Delhi authorities hope a fierce looking primate will solve the problem of mischievous monkeys infilitratring the city’s subway system. The Hindustan Times reports that langurs will be used to scare away their smaller cousins. A langur-wallah (or handler) is being paid 6,900 rupees (US$ 167) a month as a retainer and “will be called in whenever there is a monkey problem” says Anuj Dayal of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. “There are too many monkeys” said Mr. Dayal.

In June, a monkey reportedly crawled through some pipes and into a subway car jumping around and making faces at passengers who were evacuated to another car while staff chased the creature.

Delhi is known to suffer from trouble brought on by monkeys. The animals are reported to invade homes, schools and government offices in the city. Scores of animals have moved in as the city expands into surrounding forests. In an effort to control the problem, the Delhi administration captured about 500 monkeys and took them to the outskirts of the city last year.