Navajo Presidential Race Shaken By Language Gap

Navajo Election
“Language is the embodiment of culture, and tribal languages contain history, cosmology, traditional values and identity,” as stated in this NPR article. So, does electing a presidential candidate who isn’t fluent in Navajo language undermine the traditions and culture of the Navajo people? Or does it create an opportunity to represent the other side (the majority of youth) of the language gap within the Navajo nation? This article explores the debate surrounding Chris Deschene, a non-fluent Navajo speaker, running in the the upcoming election of the President of the Navajo Nation. There is a longstanding law that disqualifies any presidential candidate that is not fluent in the Navajo language. This is in an effort to preserve the Navajo culture and history, and many feel that the President should certainly be the public embodiment of their culture. Others feel that to disqualify someone for this reason sends a very negative message to the rather large Navajo population that is not fluent in the language, many of whom have experienced language loss due to the past movements to “kill the Indian, save the man.”


CD 479: Policy Post 1

This article discusses Prop 45, which is included in the November 4th ballot this year, and gives arguments for both sides.  Proposition 45 also known as Insurance Rate Public Justification and Accountability Act, essentially gives the California Insurance Commissioner the power to approve or disapprove health insurance rates before they take effect. Question is, should one individual have the power to control health insurance rates imposed by health insurance companies?

http://ballotpedia.org/California_Proposition_45,_Public_Notice_Required_for_Insurance_Company_Rates_Initiative_(2014)


Changing Sex Education Curriculum

Should we change our sex education curriculum to the ones that can fit with our current society? Recently, Clark County School District in Nevada is considering on changing their abstinence-based curriculum to a more medical accurate approach, with education on homosexual and transgender. This article talked about the controversies on sex education in K-8 schools and different perspectives from both opposers and supporters of this matter. The article includes the fact that the district’s opt-in policy — requiring parent approval for sex education — excludes many students who might not get medical accurate sex education elsewhere. It also included the points of views from students, who pointed out that the abstinence-based sex education did not improve the increasing rate of birth from young mothers. Overall, I think that because our world is changing into a homosexual accepted society, sex education should change its paradigm as well. If children learn about sexual difference from early on, it may reduce the chance of bullying and equalize people’s opinions on homosexuality and heterosexuality.

Here is the link of this article:

http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/ccsd-s-secret-sex-education-talks-fuel-parent-ire


4-day School Week, Yeah or Nah?

This article is about the Mohawk Trail Bill that was drawing public’s attention this week. A rural Massachusetts school committee, Mohawk Regional School Committee, is in decision of moving towards a four day school week. In order to do so, they are asking a local state legislator, Michael Buoniconti, to introduce a bill to state representative, Paul Mark, to allow this movement, due to the fact that they are restricted by the state education law, which requires public school to hold classes 180 days per year. While the 4-day school week movement has been going on for years, Buoniconti studied both the academic achievement comparison and financial budget saving between regular public school and schools with 4-day school week. Since he found no negative impact of 4-day school week on academic achievement levels and the movement has a reputation of saving education budget spending, Buoniconti decided to ask Mark to file the proposed legislation in January next year.

Link of this article: http://www.recorder.com/news/townbytown/plainfield/13865921-95/mohawk-mulls-bill-for-4-day-school-week

With some further research, I also found another article, which was published four years ago, talking about the supporting and opposing factors on 4-day school week movement when Peach County in Georgia decided to test on 4-day school week system in 2010. In this article, some professionals think that education movement should be about improving instruction instead of saving money. However, the article listed the benefits of having a 4-day school week system, including drastically decreased transportation costs and student discipline incidents.

Link of this article: http://www.education.com/magazine/article/4-day-school-week/


After Protests Over History Curriculum, School Board Tries To Compromise

For weeks now, Colorado high school students have been protesting over a school board member who made a proposal saying that AP history classes should promote “patriotism and…the benefits of of the free-enterprise system” and should not “encourage or condone civil disorder.” Students were saying they did not want their history censored.

You can find the article here


Marijuana Legalization United Democrat-Republican Running Governor

“Hickenlooper’s Republican opponent, Bob Beauprez, agreed with his stance against the substance, although both candidates acknowledged their duty to enforce the voter’s decision.” After all the excitement about Colorado legalizing not only medical marijuana but recreational marijuana too, I was surprised to learn that both Democratic and Republican candidates running for governor both think that marijuana legalization was a bad idea and did not support it. Read more about this at: http://dailysignal.com/2014/10/07/marijuana-legalization-united-democrat-republican-running-governor/