According to multiple media reports, Rep. (R-OH) John Boehner will resign the speakership on October 30th.
The move comes as the government braces for another potential government shutdown next week- this time surrounding the issue of funding of Planned Parenthood.
This is a developing story, Rise News will update this story throughout the day.
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By Staff Report
By Raphael Blet
Last week, the Education Bureau (EDB) announced that the controversial Primary Three Territory-wide System Assessment (TSA) might be resumed following public consultations.
Parent and teacher groups threatened to “boycott” the TSA, citing an unnecessary pressure given to the students.
Figures showed that out of 112 people surveyed, 86 per cent expressed their concern.
Meanwhile, EDB officials called on members of the public to better understand the TSA, they also said that they received “positive feedback”.
The TSA was temporarily suspended for consultation following a strong opposition from both parents and teachers.
However, public consultations have long been regarded as paper tiger.
So what’s really wrong with Hong Kong’s education system?
Administration, administrators and bureaucracy: a lifelong problem
As we all know, teachers, students and parents are rarely those in charge of deciding for the future of education, the job being given to “officials”.
Presuming that the people in charge of overseeing the education system are “professionals” in the matter, it would be acceptable for us to give them the commands.
After all, when we board an aircraft, we likely trust our pilots.
Well, the reason why we trust our pilots is due to the fact that they know what aviation is all about, thanks to their extensive training.
But, in spite of their passion and extensive knowledge, pilots do not guarantee our journey to be safe.
Why? Well… air traffic controllers also play a huge part in the process.
Only by having air traffic controllers who are professionals of aviation can we guarantee a safe journey. Otherwise, accidents would occur more often.
This analogy is applicable to the education sector.
While teachers are professionals in their field of research, it isn’t sufficient to provide a quality education to students as it is necessary for those in charge of administering it to be professionals of the sector.
Unfortunately, whether it is in Hong Kong or elsewhere, education ministers are rarely issued from the field.
Those who are have usually no teaching experience.
This is indeed the problem currently faced by Hong Kong.
In addition, the territory’s small size makes the problem even more visible.
What we need is administrators who are knowledgeable in the field.
Only then will the problem improve.
When will these administrators understand that they are doing more harm than good to education?
When will they understand that all their policies, reviews and implementations only had counter-effects on students?
It might seem illogical, but the separation of powers should be extended to education. In other words, education should be independent from the administration, so as the judiciary.
Education: a business?
Sadly but truly, education (especially in Hong Kong) has turned into a profit making institution or in other words: a merchandise.
Simply look at the number of education “fairs” held in Hong Kong every year and you will understand.
Education should be treasured, not merchandised.
As we would commonly say for a masterpiece: it is “inestimable”, the only difference being that education should be accessible to all.
In addition to this, many trends have seen the light of day, one of them being pre-school interview preparations for two year olds!
Yes, we are not even talking about interviews, we talk about interview preparation for pre-school entrances.
Is it really the new selling point we want for our education?
The population’s role: we are all responsible
Criticizing the “system is an easy task given the subjectivity of the term. What about self-reflection?
While a significant number of parents and students stand for education (therefore against the current system), another portion seems to accept it as it is while at the same time, briefly complaining about the “system”.
First off, we should remember that there is no offer without demand and the current system only prevails due to the morally inactive state of some people.
It might be harsh for us to reflect on the reality, but we need to assume that some parents care more about prestige than they do about their child’s development and happiness.
Look at tiger mothers: this isn’t due to the so called “system”, it’s all about one’s mentality and greed.
A research conducted by Almudena Sevilla, professor of economics at Queen Mary University of London, revealed that some tiger mums suffered from psychological disorders linked to unhappiness.
On the other hand, some of the students (of all ages) who are currently complaining about the so called “system” of today might be the tiger parents of tomorrow.
Unfortunately, as human beings, we have an instinct of wanting our children to go through the same nonsense that we went through. Some might say: “I’ve gone through this, there is no reason why you can’t”.
That’s the main problem.
We need to be willing to change our own mentality before changing the system. Only by doing so will the system change.
For the time being, those fighting to improve the education of the next generation should continue to raise awareness on the issue and push for changes.
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.
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By Morgan Parker
With the 2016 presidential election quickly approaching, it’s about time I raise my hand and toss my two cents onto the table.
Because I’m Canadian, so I think I have a reasonably unbiased view of the dramatics and posturing going on down there.
Also, when I look at the economic climate and political culture happening in your country, I see some similarities with what the US is dealing with today and what we dealt with a year or so ago.
Allow me to state my disclaimers.
I’m not a politics guy.
My wife holds a bachelor’s degree in political science (in my defense, I didn’t discover that ghost in her closet until after we were engaged), which offsets my own ignorance. And, as mentioned above, I’m Canadian.
But my specialty is economics and common sense, which have nothing to do with my nationality.
There are two obvious parallels between the US today and Canada in 2015 when we hit the polls.
The first parallel is that when we elected Justin Trudeau, our economy was pretty strong.
Not the kind of economy where you felt it was 2007 all over again. But it was strong enough.
Despite some soft jobs numbers for May, the US economy is doing alright.
So JT (Justin Trudeau, not Justin Timberlake who would also make for a pretty cool president, or “prime minister” as he’s officially known in Canada, and kudos to my wife for the clarification) had the tailwind of a strong economy at his back just as Trump does today.
But more importantly (and this would be the second parallel) JT used the nation’s political discontent to push him over that line into the prime minister’s office.
Canada’s political system was broken in 2015, just like yours is right now, and as voters we were fed up with it.
And that is exactly what’s working in Trump’s favor today. It’s what got Barrack Obama elected; I remember sitting in front of the television with wide eyes and thinking that BO had something nobody else had: an argument for accountability and transparency.
The problem with BO is that accountability and transparency have no place in the political domain.
To incorporate those things into your campaign is like promising the return of unicorns and Vikings with free rides for everyone (cotton candy on weekends, anyone?).
Anyway, as Canadians, we sent a pretty strong message in 2015.
Oh yeah, we elected a kayak instructor to the prime minister’s office. In fairness, JT was also a school teacher but in the same way we think of Trump as a real estate developer first and a TV personality second, I think of our prime minister as a kayak instructor first and a teacher second, not that either of those careers qualifies him to run a country.
My common sense tells me the reason we elected JT had little to do with wanting to learn how to tackle white water rapids, and even less to do with our paranoia about children-drowning incidents on family canoeing trips.
My spidey senses suggest we elected a pretty boy because we were fed up with the status quo.
Our conservative government not only lacked personality, but our minority government called elections whenever someone couldn’t get along—now, JT smacks people into line, according to the media.
Plus we were tired of going to the polls during hockey season.
I’m worried that’s the same mistake my US neighbors might make.
A lot of people like Trump and, in their defense, if BO couldn’t bring back unicorns or the Vikings, much less deliver on his promise of accountability and transparency, how much trouble can Trump cause for the greatest nation on the planet?
You’ve had celebrity presidents before (one with an airport, schools, libraries and maybe even movie theaters named after him).
On a serious note, times have changed. Celebrities might no longer have what it takes to serve as the face of your nation. Think about it: Our economy is global now. Domestic actions come with global consequences. Remember the financial crisis? It crippled entire countries, many of them larger than Rhode Island.
The world also makes the US an easy scapegoat.
Today, everyday Americans have incredible power, and sending a message to the White House that you’re tired of a lack in accountability and transparency (like we are in Canada), you’re fed up with the rhetoric and abuses of power (like we are in Canada), you’re no longer willing to take the heat for your politicians’ blunders and inadequacies (like we are in Canada) is not an easy solution.
Trust me, my kayaking-lessons-for-life card doesn’t count for much when I’m visiting Florida in the winter.
In Canada, I wish we had united better.
I wish we’d had the foresight to see how the world would view our young, inexperienced leader when he advises on nuclear strategies, military actions, economic sanctions, and any other very real thing that has very real consequences somewhere else.
People, we’re not kayaking down the Mississippi with a pound of weed in our backpacks singing kumbaya to make things better; we’re sitting at the table with the world’s most powerful leaders, people who don’t take “you’re fired” very lightly.
This November, think it through.
Make informed decisions about your leadership. Times have changed, and it’s more important than ever that your great nation takes a stand and sends the right message, not just to the White House, but to the globe.
Morgan Parker spent twelve years sifting through boxes of research before sitting down and writing a novel titled 1986. Parker has written seven other novels since 2012 (including the popular Violets & Violence and Surviving Goodbye) and is praised for his unique voice and storytelling ability. For more info on Parker visit, www.officialmorganpar
RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. You can write for us.
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Tuscaloosa police released officer body camera footage of the cop at the center of a controversy that has been roiling the west Alabama city since early November.
The officer and a group of other cops conducted a rough arrest on three University of Alabama students after the police were called to an off campus apartment in the early hours of Nov. 8 because the students were allegedly playing music too loudly.
The incident came to light after the student newspaper, the Crimson White obtained and published a series of brutal cell phone videos.
The videos show multiple Tuscaloosa police officers grab three students out of an off campus apartment and throw them onto the concrete hallway where they are arrested and one is tased and beaten with a nightstick.
Tuscaloosa’s chief of police Steve Anderson quickly called for an internal investigation of the three main officers involved and put them all on paid administrative leave while the matter was being looked into.
WATCH: Tuscaloosa Police Storm Into Dorm And Arrest Three Students, Taser One
“Based on what I’ve seen, the individual did not have to exit the apartment,” Anderson said according to AL.com.
When he was asked if the officers had the right to go inside of the apartment, Anderson responded, “Based on what I’ve seen, no.”
While the footage released Wednesday didn’t show anything “earth shattering” according to Anderson, it was still important to make public the footage for the sake of transparency.
WATCH: Police Body Camera Footage of Tuscaloosa Rough Arrests
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