Under the Dome

Forest unhappy with DPI's response to his 40-page letter about Common Core

File this under: Ask and ye shall receive.

Back in July, Lt. Gov. Dan Forest sent a letter to the Department of Public Instruction with 67 questions about the Common Core State Standards, the new learning goals adopted in North Carolina and most other states. Forest has been a critic of the Common Core, which has become a favorite target of the Tea Party and conservative talk show hosts.

Forest asked State Superintendent June Atkinson for the answers by the start of this school year.

His letter was not 67 simple questions, however. Including appendices, the letter ran on for 40 pages and the questions had more than 150 sub questions and requests for documentation.

Earlier this month, he got answers. He described the DPI response Thursday in a news release and YouTube video: 12 boxes with 40,000 pieces of paper with references to 134 websites, 320 separate reports, 40 presentations, a blog post and a thumb drive. Apparently he didn't want to read it all.

“If the Lieutenant Governor, who is a member of the State Board of Education, has questions dismissed in this manner, imagine what will happen this school year when an individual parent or teacher asks these same questions," he said. "It is unclear to me, why a Department that is supposed to promote the Common Core Standards is hiding behind mountains of information and not offering clear, concise, common sense responses to very reasonable questions."

It was government bureaucracy at its best, Forest said.

And he vowed that he would mail a copy of the DPI response to every legislator, school superintendent, school board member and county commissioner in the state.

Dome wants to know who will pay for the postage.
—Jane Stancill


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Coach Bags Outlet

Shezanne Cassim, the American jailed in the United Arab Emirates after posting a video parody, was sentenced Monday to one year in prison and a fine of 10,000 UAE dirhams (approximately $2,700).
The young American living in the UAE has been imprisoned since April, his family says, for posting what was intended to be a funny video on the Internet.
He was accused of defaming the UAE's image abroad, according to The National, the country's main English-language newspaper.
The video in question is a 19-minute short that pokes fun at a clique of Dubai teens who are influenced by hip-hop culture. In the 1990s, the label "Satwa G" was coined for a group of suburban teens who were known to talk tougher than they really were.
The video depicts a look at a "combat school" in the suburb of Satwa, where these "gangsters" are trained. The training includes how to throw sandals at targets, using clothing accessories as whips, and how to call on the phone for backup.Cassim's family says the 29-year-old has been charged with endangering national security.The charges were not read out in court. UAE officials would only say "Mr. Cassim was charged under the UAE's penal code. Anyone charged with a crime under the laws of the UAE is entitled to the fair trial protections contained in the UAE's constitution."
Cassim, from Woodbury, Minnesota, moved to Dubai in 2006 after graduating from college to work for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
He and some friends made and posted the video online in 2012. He was arrested in April. He was interrogated and arrested in Dubai before being transferred to a maximum security prison in Abu Dhabi. His family says it was five months before he was notified of the charges against him.

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