California Students Could Succeed Again With School Choice

Cross-posted from the NSCW Blog

When people think of California, they envision a place marked by idyllic weather, insurmountable wealth, friendly people, and world- famous attractions. It is undeniable that the Golden State has led the way for job growth, endless opportunities, and innovation. California is quite enviable – why else do people flock here? Nevertheless, one area was left untouched in this period of prosperity: education.

A state greatly overridden by teachers unions and virtually nonexistent school choice laws, California is in great need of education reform. Heritage Foundation reports that California is reluctant to embrace private school choice options, although it is more hospitable to public school choice options. Nearly 351,000 students are enrolled in the state’s 941 public charter schools, signaling the minimal albeit important presence of school choice here.

Compared to other states, California ranks near the bottom in quality of education. In 2009, it was ranked 48 of 50 in terms of sending graduating seniors to four-year colleges. Additionally, teachers unions dictate the course of education and remain hostile to outsiders like school choice proponents. As a result, school choice policies hardly penetrate into the state.

Continue reading at the NSCW blog

Ron Paul is wrong: Ahmadinejad’s Iran is armed and dangerous

My latest from the Washington Times Communities

Linked at Center for Strategic and International Studies on September 21, 2011.

How Conservative Activists Can Support Israel on Campus

Cross-posted from Young America’s Foundation’s The Quad Blog:

“For the people of Israel and America are historic partners in the global quest for human dignity and freedom. We will always remain at each other’s side.” – President Ronald Reagan

Israel continues to face attacks here in the United States and abroad.  In May 2011, President Obama declared that Israel return to her pre-1967 borders—a move that would make the nation’s borders indefensible.  Virulent anti-Semitism is on the rise at our nation’s universities. Furthermore, Israelis are constantly attacked by “Palestinian” terrorists.

The question beckons: how should young people stand with Israel on campus?

Conservative activists, compelled to challenge the status quo, can present alternative viewpoints to their student peers. Here are three ways to be an Israel advocate on your campus:

1) Bring a YAF speaker to campus

The best way to stand with Israel on campus is to bring a pro-Israel speaker to campus. Young America’s Foundation boasts a fantastic speaker list, including pro-Israel speakers like David Horowitz​, Nonie Darwish​, Dennis Prager​, and Robert Spencer.

With the help of Young America’s Foundation, I hosted David Horowitz to campus (UC-San Diego) in May 2010. The  famous exchange between Horowitz and a female member of the Muslim Students Association made Fox News’ Beck and Hannity shows.

2) Host a ‘Stand With Israel Week’

If you really want to impact your campus, host a week dedicated to Israel in March or May. Events for the week can include: building a Wall of Lies to counter your campus’ “Apartheid” wall, inviting Israeli Consulate Generals or IDF soldiers to speak on campus, and showing the documentary “Iranium.”

Foundation activist Mike Cunningham held a weeklong event at Purdue University and succeeded in delivering a pro-Israel message to campus.  Amid criticism, he persevered and held great events. Watch the video  here.

3) Write a pro-Israel Op-Ed

Holding a successful pro-Israel event cannot be accomplished without good press. Write a column for your campus paper or local newspaper to promote pro-Israel events on campus.

Foundation activist Aaron Marcus has been a tireless fighter for Israel at Rutgers University. As the “Marcus My Words” columnist for the Daily Targum, Marcus has challenged and equally succeeded in countering anti-Semitic, anti-Israel views on campus.

There are many ways to be an Israel advocate on campus. Start a CUFI chapter, work with Zionist Organization of America, or go to an AIPAC conference. The possibilities are endless.

Be sure to stand with Israel this school year!

Gabriella Hoffman is a student at the University of California in San Diego and a blogger for the Washington Times. Gabriella has hosted numerous conservative events on her campus and attended many of the Foundation’s conferences and seminars. Follow her on Twitter @Gabby_Hoffman.

10 Years After 9-11: My Thoughts

On September 11, 2001, I was en route to Moulton Elementary when I heard the news about the attack on the twin towers. I was only in the fifth grade. My dad, sister, and I were listening to Bill Handel on KFI AM 640. We were in disbelief when we heard the news. My dad thought Handel was joking as usual (this liberal host usually rants about how much he loves Clinton and Obama). Nevertheless, Handel was serious. The news alerts that followed on KFI confirmed that America was under attack by Muslim terrorists who were determined to carry out jihad.

It was absolutely scary to bear the reality that terrorists had attacked New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania. Although in California, I felt the impact of the devastation like the rest of America. It was awful and heart wrenching to see the smoke, people falling out of the World Trade Center buildings, and rubble.  The terrorists who attacked us committed the worst atrocity ever wrought on American soil.

Ten years later, we must not forget that terrible day. We must be stronger, less complacent, and more proactive. We must preserve our American traditions. Most of all, we must continue to pursue, capture, and punish all terrorists and their enablers.

Here is a great tribute to 9-11 from Budweiser. The iconic Clydesdale horses illuminate all things Americana, strong-willed, and valiant:

I leave you with the following : Never forget those 3,000 lives lost. Never surrender our freedoms to political correctness. Never appease to enemies. Never back down or surrender your strength. Never forget 9-11. God Bless the USA. ♥