Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

New study: Teens with involved fathers more likely to graduate from college

Here’s an article by W. Bradford Wilcox from the American Enterprise Institute.

Excerpt:

Family scholars from sociologist Sara McLanahan to psychologist Ross Parke have long observed that fathers typically play an important role in advancing the welfare of their children.[2] Focusing on the impact of family structure, McLanahan has found that, compared to children from single-parent homes, children who live with both their mother and father have significantly lower rates of nonmarital childbearing and incarceration and higher rates of high school and college graduation.[3] Examining the extent and style of paternal involvement, Parke notes, for instance, that engaged fathers play an important role in “helping sons and daughters achieve independent and distinct identities” and that this independence often translates into educational and occupational success.[4]

Likewise, a US Department of Education study found that among children living with both biological parents, those with highly involved fathers were 42 percent more likely to earn As and 33 percent less likely to be held back a year in school than children whose dads had low levels of involvement.[5] But little research has examined the association between paternal involvement per se and college graduation.

I investigated that association by using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add Health), a study of a nationally representative sample of adolescents who were in grades 7–12 in the 1994–95 school year.[6] The Add Health data indicate that young adults who had involved fathers when they were in high school are significantly more likely to graduate from college.

[...]Compared to teens who reported that their fathers were not involved, teens with involved fathers were 98 percent more likely to graduate from college, and teens with very involved fathers were 105 percent more likely to graduate from college (see figure 1, which adjusts for socioeconomic background).[7] Clearly, young women and men with more engaged fathers are more likely to acquire a college diploma than their peers without such a father.

I would think that fathers are helpful for keeping children out of trouble, warning them away from threats, helping them to do their homework and get jobs, and showing them the value of work and frugality. I think that in general, fathers have a concern that their children will not be able to provide for themselves and will starve. They tend to try to push their kids into harder subject areas that pay more, instead of letting the kids decide what makes them happy. And it’s good for kids that fathers do those roles – it makes a difference.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , ,

Is public school a viable option for Christian parents?

A couple of quick anecdotes from Yahoo News first, then we’ll see the numbers.

Excerpt:

Take the case of Petrona Smith. She says in a lawsuit that she was fired from teaching at Bronx PS 211 in March 2012 after a seventh-grader reported that she’d used the “N” word, according to The New York Post.

‘Negro.’

Smith doesn’t deny using the word. But she argues that everyone uses it, when speaking Spanish. She was teaching the Spanish words for different colors, and the color “black” in Spanish is “negro.” She also taught the junior high school students, in this bilingual school, that the Spanish term for black people is “moreno.” And by the way, Smith, who is from the West Indies, is black.

And more:

The Akron Public Schools Board of Education voted in January to pursue the firing of Melissa Cairns. She was a math teacher at Buchtel Community Learning Center.

The school district said that Ms. Cairns posted a photo on her personal Facebook page which showed 8 or 9 out of her 16 students with duct tape across their mouths. The caption read: “Finally found a way to get them to be quiet!!!” The district says a colleague of Cairns’ notified a supervisor of the photo.

[...]This past week, Cairns was officially fired because “She showed a lack of good judgment. Her conduct was unbecoming of a teacher,” Akron Public Schools spokesman Mark Williamson told Newsnet5.

He went on to explain it wasn’t the use of the duct tape, but the posting of the photo of children on Facebook that showed poor judgement.

As you know, you can’t fire public school teachers for incompetence or sexual abuse of children.

Excerpt:

He worked just one year as a full-time teacher in New York. But he has collected nearly $1 million for 13 years for doing almost nothing.

Aryeh Eller, 46, a former music teacher at Hillcrest HS in Queens, is the longest-sitting “rubber room” teacher in the city. He was yanked from the classroom in 1999 and confessed to repeated sexual harassment of female students, according to a 2000 investigative report.

[...]Since his 1999 suspension, he has collected $943,000, plus health and pension benefits — and the total will hit $1 million this year.

Now let’s see if this focus on political correctness instead of results is working for taxpayers and students.

The Wall Street Journal:

Over the last four decades, public education spending has increased rapidly in the United States. According to the Department of Education, public schools spent, on average, $12,922 per pupil in 2008, the most recent year for which data are available. Adjusting for inflation, that’s more than double the $6,402 per student that public schools spent in 1975.

Despite that doubling of funds, just about every measure of educational outcomes has remained stagnant since 1975, though some have finally begun to inch upward over the last few years. Student scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)—the only consistently observed measure of student math and reading achievement over the period—have remained relatively flat since the mid-1970s. High school graduation rates haven’t budged much over the last 40 years, either.

You can find more data to flesh out those claims linked at the Heritage Foundation think tank.

To remove any doubt, just take a look at the libertarian Cato Institute’s graph on public school spending vs scholastic achievement. We are are wasting money indoctrinating kids in political correctness. The extra money that we are spending on education isn’t going into making students smarter or more productive.

Filed under: Polemics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

New study: marriage and church attendance help kids finish high school

From the Marriage & Religion Research Institute. (I grabbed the PDF in case it disappears)

Excerpt:

The 1997 National Longitudinal Survey of Youth shows that students who now worship weekly and who grew up with two married parents are most likely to have received a high school degree.

Examining current religious attendance and structure of family of origin, 93 percent of students who grew up in intact married families and who attend weekly religious services have received a high school degree. Only 68 percent of students from all other family structures who never attend religious services received a high school degree. Eighty-nine percent of those who never worship but grew up in intact families and 81 percent of those who attend religious services weekly but come from other family structures received high school degrees.

Examining current religious attendance only, 87 percent of students who attend weekly religious services received a high school degree. In contrast, only 70 percent of those who never worship received a high school degree. Between these two extremes are those who attend at least monthly (81 percent) and those who attend less than monthly (76 percent).

Examining structure of family of origin, 91 percent of individuals who grew up with married biological parents received a high school degree. They are followed by those who grew up in a married stepfamily (80 percent), those who grew up with a single, divorced parent (76 percent), those who grew up in a cohabiting stepfamily (68 percent), those who grew up with an always-single parent (63 percent), and those who grew up in an intact cohabiting family (60 percent).

See the original article for footnotes, including links to other studies that confirm this finding.

The reason why this matters is because finishing high school is very important in order for people to avoid being poor.

Black economist Walter Williams explains.

Excerpt:

Avoiding long-term poverty is not rocket science. First, graduate from high school. Second, get married before you have children, and stay married. Third, work at any kind of job, even one that starts out paying the minimum wage. And, finally, avoid engaging in criminal behavior.

If you graduate from high school today with a B or C average, in most places in our country there’s a low-cost or financially assisted post-high-school education program available to increase your skills.

Most jobs start with wages higher than the minimum wage, which is currently $5.15. A man and his wife, even earning the minimum wage, would earn $21,000 annually. According to the Bureau of Census, in 2003, the poverty threshold for one person was $9,393, for a two-person household it was $12,015, and for a family of four it was $18,810. Taking a minimum-wage job is no great shakes, but it produces an income higher than the Bureau of Census’ poverty threshold. Plus, having a job in the first place increases one’s prospects for a better job.

Finishing high school is a major factor to prevent poverty, but research shows that the greatest preventer of child poverty (and child abuse) is marriage. Marriage stability also increases with regular church attendance. So, church attendance promotes both the completion of high school as well as the stability of marriage. Therefore, regular church attendance prevents poverty by helping two of the causes of poverty-avoidance.

Now… should we expect the secular left to promote church attendance based on this evidence? I think not.

One other point. The more marriage declines, the more children are raised without fathers, which makes it much less likely that children will accept the faith of their parents, leading to lower church attendance for the children of these fatherless homes. It’s a vicious cycle. The policies of the left that undermine marriage stability, like sex education, taxpayer-funded abortion, no-fault divorce and single motherhood welfare, actually cause the decline in church attendance that drives marriage rates and high school graduation rates down.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Tuesday night webcast explores why young people are leaving the church

Details here on Frank Turek’s blog.

Why are 75% of youth leaving the church after high school?
What can you do about it?

Get answers January 19th from Dr. Frank Turek, co-author of “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” and founder of CrossExamined.org. Frank will be joined by Josh McDowell, Dr. William Lane Craig, Dr. Bill Dembski, Dr. Mike Adams and others who will equip you the critical information you need keep yourself and your family firmly grounded in the truth.

Tuesday, January 19, 6:30-10 p.m. CENTRAL time: Live on 200 radio stations (http://action.afa.net/Radio/) and simulcast here: http://action.afa.net/Webcast/WebcastPlayer.aspx?id=2147491014

And in a later post more details: (there is a trailer in this post, too)

This Tuesday, January 19th I’ll be hosting a live radio and internet simulcast event called Church Dropout: Overcoming the Youth Exodus. The producers at the American Family Association tell me that this program will draw an audience of over 200,000 to hear and see evidence for Christianity. The program is intended to help reverse the trend that 75% of Christian youth leave the church after high school.

And that post also has speaker biographies:

We’ll start the evening with the man who is currently the best debater on our side, Dr. William Lane Craig (http://www.ReasonableFaith.org). Bill does scores of college events every year, and he provides great resources on his website. You need to hear Bill’s evidence for the existence of God– irrefutable!

We’ll then turn to one of the founding fathers of the Intelligent Design movement– Dr. Bill Dembski (http://www.designinference.com). Bill has two PhD’s, but he’ll show us very simply how life points to an intelligent designer, and how most of the so-called “evidence” for macroevolution is based on materialistic and counter-factual philosophical assumptions.

My third expert guest will be Dr. Mike Adams, a Christian professor on a secular campus (Yes, there are a few!) and one of the most popular conservative columnists on www.Townhall.com. Mike gets students motivated to make a difference for Christ! He will give us advice on how to prepare yourself (or your child) for the radically anti-Christian environment found on many college campuses (he’ll make you laugh too!).

We’ll then cap the show with one of my all-time heroes of apologetics– his books helped bring me to faith– the one and only Josh McDowell (www.Josh.org). Josh will give us very helpful insights on the importance of relationships to a young person’s faith. Josh is not only the most popular apologist but also the most passionate!

Here’s a little bit about Frank Turek:

Frank Turek is the founder and president of CrossExamined.org and its primary presenter. Frank is a dynamic speaker and award-winning author or coauthor of three books: I Don’t have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, Correct, Not Politically Correct and Legislating Morality. He hosts a TV program each week called I Don’t Have Enough Faith to Be an Atheist that is broadcast Monday nights at 8:30 pm Eastern on the NRB network, DirecTV Channel 378. CrossExamined with Frank Turek is a live call-in radio program that airs on 126 stations every Saturday morning at 11 am eastern time. Frank also writes a column for Townhall.com and has appeared on many TV and radio programs including: The O’Reilly Factor, Hannity and Colmes, Faith under Fire, Politically Incorrect, The Bible Answerman, and Focus on the Family. A former Aviator in the U.S. Navy, Frank has a Masters from George Washington University and a Doctorate in Apologetics from Southern Evangelical Seminary.

I am familiar with the work of all 5 of these guys. These are 5 of my favorite Christian in the whole world. If anyone can tell you directly why young people are leaving the church, it’s these guys. I hope you can tune in!

Filed under: Events, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Democrats will push amnesty to give 12-20 million illegal aliens citizenship

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made the announcement.

Story from the Wall Street Journal.

Excerpt:

One of the toughest issues is likely to be what to do about millions of illegal immigrants already in the U.S. Ms. Napolitano called for a “tough and fair pathway to earned legal status,” including “registering, paying a fine, passing a criminal background check, fully paying all taxes and learning English.”

Not included in her list was a requirement that illegal immigrants leave the country, and re-apply for legal entry. In 2007, many members of Congress said they couldn’t support a program of mass legalization in the face of opposition from constituents and activist groups critical of easing the road to legal immigration for those who had already violated the law.

Lamar Smith (R-TX), the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, voiced concern in a statement Friday about Ms. Napolitano’s proposals. “How can they allow 12 million illegal immigrants to take jobs that should go to citizens and legal immigrants?” he said.

Why do people oppose illegal immigration?

Consider this article posted at the Heritage Foundation by Congressman Lamar Smith.

Excerpt:

Today, anywhere from 12 million to 20 million illegal immigrants are in the U.S.–enough to populate America’s three largest cities, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Half a million more enter illegally every year.

Those who would do us harm respect no borders. For instance, four of the 19 terrorists who attacked us on September 11, 2001, were in the country illegally. Border security equals national security.

Illegal immigrants also depress wages and often take the jobs of legal workers. According to the Center for Immigration Studies, low-skilled workers lose an average of $1,800 a year because of competition from illegal immigrants for their jobs. That’s a huge economic hit.

The highest unemployment rates among Americans are in the occupations with the highest number of illegal immigrants. Almost one-quarter of all African-Americans and 40 percent of all Hispanics do not have a high school degree. These low-skilled legal workers are the victims of porous borders.

Some say there are jobs Americans won’t do. But that demeans Americans who work hard in every occupation. Any honest job is a worthy job.

There is another cost to illegal immigration besides lower wages and lost jobs. Communities and taxpayers pay the bills for their education, health care, and government benefits. Overcrowded classrooms, long waits at hospital emergency rooms, and expensive government services result from a failure to secure our borders.

In California alone, hospitals spend over $1 billion a year on health care for illegal immigrants. And the National Research Council has found that an immigrant with less than a high school education will, over his or her lifetime, impose a cost on taxpayers of $89,000. It is unfair to force legal residents and taxpayers to continue to pick up the tab.

Some say the taxes illegal immigrants pay offset the costs of providing them education, health care, and government benefits. But, at their low wages, most illegal immigrants don’t even pay taxes. And when they do, their taxes don’t cover other government services, like maintaining highways, providing for our national defense, and taking care of the needy and elderly.

Also, at their wages, if illegal immigrants participate in Social Security, they will get back $100,000 more than they pay in, further bankrupting the system for everyone else. The cost of illegal immigration is staggering. And it is growing by the minute.

Gateway Pundit comments on what Democrats stand to gain from pushing through another amnesty. I feel badly for all the skilled immigrants who play by the rules and have to wait for years and pay thousands of dollars for green card processing fees. My understanding is that you can only apply for a green card through marriage or employment, and employers almost never sponsor workers due to Department of Labor regulations. I am for increasing legal immigration of skilled immigrants who work hard and play by the rules.

Filed under: News, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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