Where am I?

February 18th, 2012 | 0 Comments

I mostly post at Raising Real Men – the home of our book, which was Christian Small Publishers 2011 Book of the Year. Come join us there.

You can also find me at Raising Real Men on Facebook and Raising Real Men on Twitter.

Interview on Carolina Journal Radio

December 3rd, 2009 | 0 Comments

CJ Radio recently broadcast my interview (actually taped several months ago) discussing the nonpublic education law in North Carolina.  My segment starts at the 31:44 mark here.

Educational choice making tiny steps in North Carolina

October 14th, 2009 | 0 Comments

My article on educational choice initiatives in the General Assembly this year appears in the October issue of Carolina Journal.  It’s in the online edition this morning:

School Choice in N.C. Takes A Small Step Forward in 2009

By Hal Young

October 14, 2009

RALEIGH — The movement to allow greater access to educational alternatives and programs, by expanding charter schools, providing tax credits for educational expenses, and giving homeschooled students more opportunities to participate in public school sports did not advance this year.

However, says House Republican Leader Paul “Skip” Stam, R-Wake, for the first time in many years, some of these proposals made it out of committee, and one had an up or down vote on the House floor. It’s a small step for a big concept, but it’s a start. …

UPDATE: The article was picked up for reprint by the Heartland Institute’s School Reform News. It’s online here.

Sunlight on N.C. Testing

August 24th, 2009 | 0 Comments

This is big news — North Carolina’s Department of Public Instruction has posted the test forms and answer keys for its End of Grade and End of Course standardized test program:

http://www.dpi.state.nc.us/accountability/testing/releasedforms

The program has suffered from its inception from two practices – the tests are only standardized to North Carolina, and DPI makes a regular practice of adjusting results for tests already administered.  Everyone looks great at the end, until you start comparing EOG and EOC results with pesky outside standards like ITBS, NAEP, the ACT, or international test instruments.

What they also don’t tell you is that these tests do not meet the legal requirements for homeschoolers, and they never have.  Home educated and private school students in North Carolina are required to take nationally standardized  tests … no fooling around with those.

A Metrical Isaiah 40

August 20th, 2009 | 0 Comments

Why pour’st thou forth thine anxious plaint, despairing of relief,
As if the Lord o’erlook’d thy cause, and did not heed thy grief?
Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard, that firm remains on high
The everlasting throne of Him who form’d the earth and sky?

Art thou afraid his pow’r shall fail when comes thy evil day?
And can an all-creating arm grow weary or decay?
Supreme in wisdom as in pow’r the Rock of ages stands;
Though him thou canst not see, nor trace the working of his hands.

He gives the conquest to the weak, supports the fainting heart;
And courage in the evil hour his heav’nly aids impart.
Mere human pow’r shall fast decay, and youthful vigour cease;
But they that wait upon the Lord, in strength shall still increase.

They with unweary’d feet shall tread the path of life divine;
With growing ardour onward move, with growing brightness shine.
On eagles’ wings they mount, they soar, their wings are faith and love,
Till, past the cloudy regions here, they rise to heav’n above.

 

– Isaiah 40:27-31, in The Psalms of David in Metre (Glasgow: William Collins, Sons, & Co., 1866).  My sons John Calvin and Caleb bought me this well-preserved volume from their trip to Boston in July.  It proclaims itself on the title page as “More plain, smooth, and agreeable to the text than any heretofore.”  Maybe; there are some awkward renderings in here, but there are some very good ones too.  I liked this one from the back of the book.

A Summer Hiatus

August 20th, 2009 | 0 Comments

I’ve taken an unannounced summer hiatus on this blog to work on a book project with my Beloved Wife Melanie.  The book is almost ready for the printers, we have enthusiastic endorsements from early reviewers and a stack of pre-publication orders, and everything is gearing up for serious promotion in the coming months.  Raising Real Men: Surviving, Teaching and Appreciating Boys will be available direct from the publisher in October and can be pre-ordered now from the website.  And if you’re on Facebook, we have a growing discussion group on our fan page, here.

Building Codes in the Bible

June 29th, 2009 | 0 Comments

There are other items that can be related to building and safety codes but this has always been the basic direction in my mind:

When you build a new house, then you shall make a parapet for your roof, that you may not bring guilt of bloodshed on your household if anyone falls from it. — Deuteronomy 22:8

I read a couple of things here:

1. A parapet is a reasonable requirement as a precaution against accidental injury. Inattention or a casual event like stumble or slip could result in a tragedy. Come to think of it, bodies hurtling from the sky are a hazard to the public in the street, too.

2. The rule applies to new construction; it doesn’t seem to require retrofitting existing structures. That might be a good idea, of course, but this regulation stops short of requiring it.

3. Nowhere is it required that structures be idiot-proof. A simple parapet doesn’t prevent anyone from sitting or walking along the edge, and it doesn’t stop a jumper. There is a presumption that the occupants or users will act with some reasonable prudence on their own part. It might also be assumed that the hazard is self-evident in most cases; a healthy respect for height is common enough that it doesn’t have to be taught except to children — which are short enough to be stopped by a parapet.

Some food for thought when contemplating OSHA, NEC, and the like.

The Blessing of God on the Business and Comforts of Life

June 17th, 2009 | 0 Comments

If God succeed not, all the cost
And pains to build the house are lost;
If God the city will not keep,
The watchful guards as well may sleep.

What if you rise before the sun,
And work and toil when day is done,
Careful and sparing eat your bread,
To shun that poverty you dread;
‘Tis all in vain, till God hath blest;
He can make rich, yet give us rest.

Children and friends are blessings too,
If God our Sovereign make them so.
Happy the man to whom he sends
Obedient children, faithful friends!
How sweet our daily comforts prove
When they are season’d with His love!

– Setting of Psalm 127 by Isaac Watts

A Biblical Rationale for Science

May 29th, 2009 | 0 Comments

The works of the Lord are great,
Studied by all who have pleasure in them.
His work is honorable and glorious,
And His righteousness endures forever.
He has made His wonderful works to be remembered.

Psalm 111:2-4a

Education Tax Credit Has A Catch

May 19th, 2009 | 0 Comments

My story in the May issue of Carolina Journal appears online this morning:

The state of North Carolina spends just over $5,600 per year for each student enrolled in public schools. A bill sponsored by House Minority Leader Paul Stam, R-Wake, offers to split that cost with parents who take their children off the public school rolls and educate them elsewhere.

The catch, of course, is that it does nothing for the 169,000 students already being taught at home or in private and Christian schools. 

H335, the Tax Fairness in Education Act, was part of the Republican educational agenda this session.  Like similar efforts from earlier sessions, the bill did not make it out of committee by last week’s crossover deadline so it has effectively died for this session.