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STOP SIGNS ARE FOREVER: The cultural Civil War

There’s something sickly poetic about the northern media telling southerners they’re not allowed to have their Confederate flags anymore. It’s not irony, though I’m sure there’s a good word for it: The North overruling the South on a beloved symbol of the South’s refusal to be ruled. A better writer would know the word.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Playing politics

Say what you will about the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage Friday, but the derelict responses from Texas’ state leaders were simply ridiculous. I’m looking at you, Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton. Instead of figuring out what the state needed to do to comply with the high court’s ruling, these two took the opportunity to score cheap political points.

LARRY PHILLIPS: Hunting license changes, controlled burns among issues addressed by Legislature

The 84th Legislative Session came to an end on June 1. There were 6,276 bills and 200 constitutional amendments filed this session. Of these, 1,322 bills have been sent to the governor and are awaiting either his approval or veto. Over the next few weeks, I will write about some of the legislation that was passed this session.

Get teachers to reform public schools

For years we’ve heard that our public schools are failing our children. States across the nation report declining student test scores and politicians, especially in conservative governed states, have enacted legislative solutions vowing to ensure “no child is left behind” and demanding greater accountability from teachers.

Contests and Promotions

The Wedding Expo
The Wedding Expo
Herald Democrat Wedding Expo 2015

Preparation paid off on testing for SISD

With more than 7,000 students in Sherman schools, and diversity that’s unmatched in the area, it takes focus, forethought, and a tremendous amount of hard work to prepare students for a variety of assessments. The state created seven different assessments that are specifically designed for general education and unique groups of special education, English language learners, and other students — such as those with dyslexia, AD/HD or temporary physical disabilities — who need accommodations.

MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: Understanding the mysteries of prayer

Prayer has always been a mystery to me. C.S. Lewis says that when we pray, the prayer enters the “fabric of eternity.” He even seems to say that we can pray for those long gone — like Abraham. I’m not sure of that, but I am certainly not sure how prayer works. God seems to respond sometimes, but other times he does not — at least, he doesn’t respond as I want him to.

TEA’s mid-year change affects DISD scores

Understanding the state accountability system for public education, established by the Texas Education Agency, is a difficult and complex task. It becomes even more challenging when the agency makes adjustments to the system in the middle of the school year, but that is exactly what happened to Texas public schools this year.

D Day remembered

We just observed Memorial Day, a time when remember all the military men and women who have given their lives fighting for their country. There is another military day that we remember every year that took place 70 years ago at Normandy when Operation Overlord, also known as D-Day, signaled the beginning of the end to World War II in Europe.

MOMENTS WITH THE MINISTER: Be the church

I like going to and leading worship services outside the building we normally call “the church.” This week I attended a convention and the opening worship service was held in a hotel ballroom. Later this month I’ll attend another convention where about 5,000 people will gather in a convention center in Des Moines to worship God together.

LARRY PHILLIPS: Session draws to a close

The 84th Legislative Session comes to an end on Monday. The last day of session is called “sine die,” which means the legislature adjourns until the next legislative session. This past week was the deadline for bills to be passed by either chamber. All conference committee reports have to be adopted by midnight Sunday, and only corrections can be made on the last day of session.