Gilbert Watch Blog
- May 2, 2017
- AZMerit High Stakes test now accounts for 90% of a school’s letter grade
An article published on April 28, 2017 in the Arizona Daily Independent, reports on a recent vote by the Arizona State Board of Education to use the results of Common Core-aligned AZMerit high stakes test to grade public schools.
Arizonans Against Common Core, Mommy Lobby AZ, and Opt Out AZ, released a statement after the vote: “Parents advocating for their children and teachers are dismayed by the A-F Accountability plan adopted by the Arizona State Board of Education. One high stakes test now accounts for 90% of a school’s letter grade. This decision reveals the SBE believes parents are incapable of selecting schools on their own. Few other factors matter to the state; however, parents make thoughtful school choices based on their own values, research, and judgment.”
So, the AZ. State Board of Education is using the controversial, unvalidated, one-size-fits all, secretive, high stakes AZ Merit to “evaluate” every public school in Arizona. The only people who have seriously donned their thinking caps are SBE board member Jared Taylor, Choice Academies president Ms. Lisa Fink, and commentators “Listen to a Mom” and Edward Cizek. The letter grade a school receives using AZ Merit scores as the most critical criteria, will be useless to parents. Do the board members actually believe otherwise? What a waste of time, effort, and money. Ms. Fink, who is quoted extensively, uses Consumer Reports as an example of what truly passes for an evaluation of a product. I would add that we use far more criteria evaluating the nutritional value of canned soup and cereal.Click here to read more
- April 16, 2017
- The Case for Christ - Trailer and Interview with Lee and Leslie Strobel
- Click here to read more
- April 14, 2017
- Born to Die
April 14, 2017
Born to Die
“For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
Especially as noted in the gospel of John, Christ identified many reasons why He had been born. Consider the following sampling of verses and references. First and foremost, Christ came to redeem those who would believe: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). But under that umbrella of redemption come many other aspects.Click here to read more
- April 7, 2017
- Members of the Freedom Caucus Speak Out about the AHCA's Bait and Switch
When the House of Representatives, mostly led by members of The Freedom Caucus, recently refused to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), it seemed like a treasonous debacle to the American people. Even President Trump expressed his anger. Several Pro-Life groups supported the AHCA, because it would have defunded Planned Parenthood.
But, what the American people didn't know was that the American Health Care Act would not have accomplished its primary mission and promise: Repeal and Replace ObamaCare.
The American Health Care Act was a kludge of a health-care policy. Described as a way to simultaneously repeal key elements of the Affordable Care Act and replace them with market-oriented reforms, the bill in its final form managed to do little of either. Freedom Caucus members were particularly concerned about the willingness of House leaders to leave the vast majority of Obamacare’s regulations on the books — after Republicans spent seven years promising that the party would “repeal and replace Obamacare.” Even the rationale that the AHCA would be better than nothing was hard to justify; it probably would have further destabilized the individual market, while millions fewer would have been insured. See It's Wrong for Trump to Blame Conservatives.
Even as Obamacare continues funding Planned Parenthood, the foundation supporting abortion is weakening through other means. Since the AHCA's defeat, President Trump has taken action to defund a UN agency that supports forced abortion. Also on March 31, Congress voted to "restore the ability of states to stop one stream of our tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood and redirect it to community health centers that provide comprehensive primary and preventive health care.” See Major Victories for Life and Bill Passes to allow states to redirect funds away from Abortion Clinics.
And, on April 7, 2017, Judge Neil Gorsuch was confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards tweeted that Gorsuch's confirmation is "the worst" because Gorsuch has written that "the intentional taking of human life by private persons is ALWAYS wrong." See Why Justice Gorsuch will have an immediate (and big) impact on the Supreme Court.
Hear what several members of Congress, including the House Freedom Caucus, have to say about the disastrous flaws in the AHCA, and why they must be corrected.Click here to read more
- April 2, 2017
- Can Muslims and Christians Live Together in Peace?
Please join Mr. Aaron Atwood, vice president of Advancement for Summit Ministries as he interviews Dr. Mateen Elaas. Mateen was the second of four children born to a Syrian Muslim. While studying at the University of Wisconsin, he began a search for God. Mateen was guided by Christians who pointed him to Christ. "Read the four gospels of the New Testament. Get to know Jesus," they said. He did. Eventually, he became a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. As is common in Middle Eastern families, he soon paid a high price for his newfound faith: isolation from his father for more than a decade. Today, Mateen works with churches and Christian groups eager to learn about Islam, its claims and challenges, and how to share the gospel winsomely and effectively with Muslims. He is eager to respond to opportunities for teaching and training Christians in these timely matters. Read more about Mateen Elaas.Click here to read more
- March 21, 2017
- Announcing Website for New Beginnings Pregnancy and Parenting Center
Since 1994, New Beginnings Pregnancy and Parenting Center in Payson has been meeting the needs of young women who find themselves pregnant. The Center now has a website which provides detailed information on its free services. Click HERE.
New Beginnings offers faith-based loving support to women, men, teens, and families in our community.
All services are FREE, including Pregnancy Testing, as well as Educational programs that cover Prenatal Care, Parenting, Sexual Integrity, Life Skills, and Bible Lessons. New Beginnings provides a safe place where clients can talk confidentially about their concerns and fears, and introduces them to the facts about pregnancy, abortion, and adoption.
Parenting Points are earned for each completed lesson. These Points can be spent in the onsite shops where clients will find diapers, formula, clothing, toys, furniture, strollers, maternity clothes, etc., all of which have been donated by Payson's caring community.
For more information, please visit the New Beginnings Pregnancy and Parenting Center website.
See Also:Click here to read more
- March 21, 2017
- Arizona Origin Science Association Meeting March 28
(Originally scheduled for March 21, this meeting will take place on March 28 instead.) The Arizona Origin Science Association (AZOSA) will be meeting Tuesday, March 28 at 7:00 pm at the Payson Public Library Meeting Room. Mike Riddle, president of the Creation Training Initiative, will present "4 Power Questions to ask an Evolutionist." If you have anyone in your circle of influence who likes to challenge your views on biblical origins, posing these 4 questions will provide you with evidence that your opponent will not be able to disprove!
Further, these 4 foundational questions establish why evolution cannot be defended scientifically and must rely on faith.
The seminar shows how the layperson can successfully witness to an evolutionist.
This meeting, as with all AzOSA meetings, is open to the public and is FREE!
The featured speaker, Mike Riddle, has a B.A. from Colorado State University, and an M. Ed. from Pepperdine University. In addition to being president of the Creation Training Initiative , Mr. Riddle is also an Adjunct Staff member for Answers in Genesis.
For more information, call or email Michael Calcagno, the AzOSA Gila Division VP, at 503-476-2300 or email@example.com.
Please visit the AZ Origin Science Association website.
God is Good... All the Time!