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Inside Evangelical Leaders’ Private White House Dinner

On the eve of the first National Day of Prayer of his presidency, Donald Trump invited his closest evangelical advisors to join him for a private, long-awaited dinner celebration at the White House.

For the first time since they formed last June, the members of Trump’s campaign advisory board were meeting together not in weekly phone calls but in person, and having already accomplished what a year ago many thought was a long shot.

Less than four months into Trump’s presidency, their biggest hope of getting a conservative Supreme Court justice on the bench had been reached, and their supporters’ other objectives were in sight. As they gathered in the Blue Room, news was spreading through Washington that Trump was preparing an executive order to relax prohibitions on religious organizations’ political activities, and the House of Representatives was preparing to vote on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

Most of Trump’s evangelical advisory board flew in for the event, including Trump’s longtime spiritual advisor Paula White, Southern Baptist pastor Robert Jeffress, evangelist Franklin Graham, Focus on the Family Founder James Dobson, former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, South Carolina televangelist Mark Burns, Faith and Freedom Coalition chairman Ralph Reed, and others. They were joined by top White House officials, including Vice President Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon.

Guests at Trump’s table included White, Jeffress and Marcus Lamb, CEO of the Christian television network Daystar. “We asked him questions, I asked things about the health care bill, he indicated that he was very positive about the passage of that tomorrow,” Jeffress says. “The overall tone was positive. … We could not be more delighted with the progress the president is making.”

The evening, guests say, was more a celebration of their victories so far than a discussion on future policy. Trump took photos with the guests in the Red Room, Graham kick off festivities with a prayer, and a dinner of shrimp scampi with parsley butter, red wine braised short ribs, and wild ramp gnocchi was served. White presented Trump with a gift on behalf of the group from the Museum of the Bible, a framed page of an original King James Bible from 1611 A.D., “a Bible which as you know was commissioned by a political leader in service to the church,” she said.

Acclaimed evangelical musician Steven Curtis Chapman performed his songs “Be Still and Know” and “The Lord’s Prayer.” Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, gave a benediction, and Trump then invited everyone up to the residence for a brief after party, complete with a tour of the Lincoln bedroom and the Truman balcony, before shaking hands again.

“It was a reunion more than anything,” Bachmann says. “For people of faith, there was so much trepidation about what would happen in this election. They really felt that if Mrs. Clinton had prevailed it would have spelled a diminution of the nation, the nation would have morally suffered.”

The evening reaffirmed the bond Trump has forged with evangelical and social conservative leaders who propelled him victory in November, one based on shared policy ambitions and often couched in prayer events. Jeffress, who preached a private sermon for Trump the morning of his inauguration, addressed the group briefly, reminding Trump, “Mr. President, we are going to be your most loyal friends,” and “We thank God every day that you are the president of the United States.” Trump at one point took the podium to a standing ovation, and spoke of the large numbers of evangelical voters who elected him in November. Exit polls showed 80% of white evangelicals backed Trump.

On Thursday morning, the leaders will gather again, this time in the Rose Garden for the signing of Trump’s latest executive order. “This won’t be a token and this won’t be a bone that is thrown,” Bachmann says. “We will see the goal of preserving religious liberty fulfilled.”

“Tomorrow is going to be a really big day, sometime between 11 and 11:30 in the morning, the President will sign an executive order that will administratively repeal the Johnson amendment and repeal the Obamacare restrictions on conscience and religious freedom, and about 90 minutes to two hours later, the House of Representatives will repeal Obamacare and defund Planned Parenthood,” Reed says. “That’s about as big a day as the social conservative movement has had in its history.”

Original post can be read here: http://time.com/4766485/national-day-prayer-white-house-dinner/

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Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, President of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Commends President Trump’s Executive Order That Rolls Back Johnson Amendment

 

“This new executive order not only signals President Trump and Vice President Pence’s commitment to fighting for and representing the Evangelical community, but also the larger struggle for religious liberty.”

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez

WASHINGTON, May 4, 2017—Rev. Dr. Samuel Rodriguez, who participated in today’s National Day of Prayer service and will deliver tonight’s benediction at the Capitol, applauds President Trump’s executive order aimed at increasing religious freedoms and rolling back the Johnson Amendment.

“I was honored today to stand next to our president, vice president and many of our nation’s faith leaders as we gathered for the National Day of Prayer. This administration has gone to great lengths to signal their commitment to listening to and befriending America’s faith community. I can tell you every Christian leader who was at the White House today feels welcomed, heard and valued. There is a new tone in Washington, and it’s yet another reason I am so honored to be delivering tonight’s National Day of Prayer benediction at the Capitol.

“This new executive order not only signals President Trump and Vice President Pence’s commitment to fighting for and representing the Evangelical community, but also the larger struggle for religious liberty. For years now, people of faith—especially Christians—have been essentially told that their faith has no place beyond their front door. A subversive oppression has taken a hold of our nation and sincerely held beliefs are subject to not only social ridicule but also legal retribution. I strongly support the president’s position and urge Congress to throw their support behind a full repeal. Our job is not yet done.

“I believe the freedom of religion—for all religions and even no religion at all—is the cornerstone of our republic. The right to believe and to act on belief is at the very heart of human freedom. By signing this executive order today, the president has stood not only for religious liberty, but for a freedom upon which so many other rights rest.”

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Samuel Rodriguez Urges People to Look at Facts Behind 23-Y-O Dreamer’s Deportation to Mexico

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, one of six faith leaders who spoke at President Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony and the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, has issued a statement regarding the widely reported deportation of a 23-year-old Mexican dreamer.

(Photo: Reuters/Mark Makela)A sign is displayed in support of Angela Navarro, an undocumented Honduran-born immigrant with a deportation order, who moved into West Kensington Ministry Church with her family – her husband and two U.S. born children, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, November 18, 2014. Navarro, who has “always lived in fear” of deportation said on Tuesday she moved into a Philadelphia church as part of a national civil disobedience action aimed at pressing President Obama on immigration reform. Navarro is the ninth undocumented immigrant who has taken refuge in a church recently as part of what activists are calling the New Sanctuary Movement. Organizers offer sanctuary in churches because federal guidelines prohibit arrests in sensitive areas unless there is a threat to public safety or national security.

Last week, it was reported that federal immigration agents may have “ignored” President Donald Trump’s pledge to protect undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children from deportation and deported a man named Juan Manuel Montes-Bojorquez, who had lived in the U.S. since he was 9 and received Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals status under the Obama administration.

According to USA Today, Montes-Bojorquez’s deportation was the first documented case of a dreamer being deported under the Trump administration.

Rodriguez, the lead pastor at New Season Church in California, issued a statement following the report that said he is “hugely alarmed” by the reports of Montes-Bojorquez’s deportation and separation from his family. Montes-Bojorquez is now believed to be staying with his aunt and uncle in Western Mexico.

“As the investigation on this incident remains unresolved, we must wait until we have the facts and not jump to conclusions,” Rodriguez said.

(Photo: The Christian Post/Sonny Hong)Rev. Samuel Rodriguez on the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission panel on “Hobby Lobby and the Future of Religious Liberty,” at the Southern Baptist Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, June 9, 2014.

“I will reiterate my position that the Trump administration has promised to not touch our Dreamers’ or separate good families,” Rodriguez added. “As such, I ask our leaders to get to the bottom of this issue to determine whether the deportation of Mr. Montes-Bojorquez violated this promise, and, if his deportation was indeed unwarranted, to immediately reunite him with his family.”

According to the San Diego Tribune, Montes-Bojorquez filed a federal lawsuit last week that claimed he was deported twice in February.

The lawsuit claims that the first deportation was when he was approached by a border officer in Calexico and the second came when he tried to re-enter the U.S. a day later.

The lawsuit also claims that Montes-Borjorquez was first apprehended in Calexico when he was leaving a friend’s house and approached by an officer on his way to a taxi stand. The lawsuit claims that he had forgotten his wallet with his authorization card in his friend’s car and was prevented from going to get it and was later deported.

A statement released by the Department of Homeland Security last week states that there are no records to verify Montes-Borjorquez’s claim that he was first apprehended on Feb. 18 and deported through the port of entry in Calexico. Records only verify that Montes-Bojorquez was apprehended as he climbed the border fence in downtown Calexico on Feb. 19. DHS said that “he admitted to agents that he had illegally entered the United States and was arrested.”

“There are no records or evidence to support Montes-Bojorquez’s claim that he was detained or taken to the Calexico Port of Entry on Feb. 18,” the statement reads.

Montes-Bojorquez was approved for DACA in 2014, with an expiration date of Jan. 25, 2018, the DHS statement acknowledged. However, the statement claims that Montes-Bojorquez “lost his DACA status when he left the United States without advance parole on an unknown date prior to his arrest by the U.S. Border Patrol on Feb. 19.”

“According to his interview with the Border Patrol, conducted in Spanish, he entered the United States on Feb. 19 and he acknowledged that he understood the questions that he was being asked,” the statement reads. “Departing the country without advance parole terminates the protections Montes-Bojorquez was granted under DACA.”

Additionally, DHS claims that Montes-Bojorquez never informed border agents of his DACA status during his interviews and was repatriated to Mexico on Feb. 20.

The Daily Caller reports that Montes-Bojorquez was convicted of shoplifting last July and sentenced to probation. Additionally, he has also received three convictions for driving without a license.

Although Rodriguez is in favor of stopping illegal immigration and opposes offering amnesty to illegal immigrants, he has criticized the Trump administration earlier this year after reports indicated that a large percentage of undocumented immigrants targeted in ICE raids earlier this year hadn’t committed any serious crimes.

He told The Christian Post in March that conversations he had with the Trump transition team led him to believe that God-fearing and law-abiding undocumented immigrant families would not be affected by the deportation policies.

“[T]here was a percentage, a number of great God-fearing, hard-working people who were not criminals who don’t even have a traffic violation that were deported,” Rodriguez said. “These are egregious stories.”

“We are looking at, for example, a mom whose kids were born here and whose kids don’t even speak Spanish. The mom who came here legally with a visa and the visa expired and she never got a deportation order was deported,” he continued. “These kind of egregious stories are the stories taking place. That is why I oppose it. I really want our president to fulfill his entire promise.”

Rodriguez’s church in Sacramento implemented a “safe haven” program this year that offers anyone in the community, including illegal immigrants, who feel like they are in need of safe haven a place to take shelter.

“The safe haven is for everyone in the community — those who are victims of domestic violence, those that are fleeing gang activities, any family that believes their family is threatened. It could be internally or externally,” he told CP. “I want to distinguish that from sanctuary churches that are explicitly committed to opening up their doors to people that are undocumented. We are not going to ask you if you are documented or undocumented. If you are coming to our church and say, ‘I need safe haven,’ without asking you any questions, we are going to provide safe haven.”

Original article can be read here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/samuel-rodriguez-23-year-old-dreamers-deportation-mexico-181800/

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Major Free Exercise Case Before Supreme Court Tomorrow

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Pauley to decide whether excluding churches from public grant program violates the First Amendment’s Free Exercise Clause and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch, who replaced Justice Antonin Scalia, took the bench for the first time on Monday, and tomorrow he will be on the bench in time to participate in what could be a major case involving the Free Exercise of Religion.

Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia, Missouri, which operates a preschool and daycare with a public playground, applied to a state grant program that helps nonprofits install recycled rubber playground surfaces. The church applied for the Missouri Scrap Tire Program in 2012 to replace the gravel surface of its playground to provide a safer and more accessible playground for children. However, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources rejected its application, citing a clause in Missouri’s state constitution that bars the use of state funds “directly or indirectly, in aid of any church, sect or denomination of religion,” despite having ranked it fifth out of 44 submissions in a competition that resulted in 14 grants. The church sued in federal district court, arguing that its exclusion was a violation of free-exercise and equal-protection rights. The district court rejected Trinity Lutheran’s claims, ruling that to do otherwise would raise “antiestablishment concerns.”

At issue is whether the government can exclude a qualified church from a grant program that uses neutral criteria for approving awards solely because the applicant is a church? There is a split among the federal courts of appeal on this issue, which the High Court is expected to resolve.

Liberty Counsel filed an amicus brief in the U. S. Supreme Court, on its own behalf and for the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference-CONEL, to end discrimination against churches.

“If the government were permitted to discriminate against Trinity Lutheran Church in this case, then some would extend this case to allow the government to withhold police and fire protection, water and sewer service, or street and sidewalk maintenance,” said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. “The government could also disqualify religious hospitals from Medicare or Medicaid funds to treat patients. It is time to end discrimination against churches and Christian viewpoints,” said Staver.

Original articel can be read here: http://canadafreepress.com/article/major-free-exercise-case-before-supreme-court-tomorrow

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Protecting foreign aid shows our nation’s greatness

What do the Archbishop of New York, a group of Nashville singer/songwriters, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and this ordinary pastor here in Memphis all share in common? We, along with about 100 others, are using our voices to call on our congressional representatives to reject recent proposals put forward by President Trump in his budget blueprint. In particular, we are calling on Congress to protect the International Affairs budget.

Many might wonder why this matters. The rhetoric of “America First” has certainly been a hot topic in our national discourse over the past year.

The president’s proposed cuts to the International Affairs budget loses sight of the fact that foreign assistance, saves innocent lives, makes us safer, helps to create jobs here in America, and, most importantly, is fundamentally the right thing to do for the strongest, most successful country on earth.

Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C., and meet with some of the members of our Tennessee congressional delegation. I went because my Christian faith compels me to speak up for the people of our planet who are not as lucky as we are to live here. I have a moral obligation to speak up for the poor, hungry, vulnerable, and displaced men, women, and children of our world who are supported through the International Affairs budget.

This piece of our government’s monetary pie accounts for less than 1 percent our overall spending. To cut that slice smaller, particularly when it deals with programs that help alleviate the suffering of millions, is a step in the wrong direction.

In recent years we have seen the number of people on our planet living in extreme poverty cut in half. The International Affairs portion of the federal budget helps make this happen. Additionally, it provides vital resources to help stop the spread of diseases like HIV and AIDS as well as Ebola. There are real consequences that come from drastic reductions in funding for this kind of work. Human rights are undermined. Religious freedom is threatened.

As a nation, does that make us look better or worse in the eyes of the world? More importantly, how does that make us look in the eyes of our Creator?

Our nation’s budget reflects our nation’s character. The food we share with the hungry, the medicine we offer to those who are sick, and the hand we extend to the ones trying to climb out of poverty: these are all expressions of our character and values.

As a pastor in our community committed to promoting the common good, I hope we will call on our congressional leaders to do what is right for our nation, our international neighbors, and our souls. There isn’t a faith tradition practiced here that says anything other than to speak up for the poor, the stranger, and the dignity of every human being.

Join me in asking our elected leaders to do what is right. Revise the budget blueprint the president has proposed. Protect the International Affairs budget. Speak up for the most vulnerable people on the planet. In doing this we have the opportunity to reflect our highest values as citizens of a nation that is truly great.

Dr. Stephen Cook is the Senior Pastor of Second Baptist Church in Memphis.

Original post can be read here: http://www.commercialappeal.com/story/opinion/2017/04/19/protecting-foreign-aid-shows-our-nations-greatness/100618328/

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SENATE CONFIRMS DAVID FRIEDMAN AS U.S. AMBASSADOR TO ISRAEL

Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition congratulates David Friedman on his Senate Confirmation as Ambassador to Israel.

Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition (HILC) helped secure David M. Friedman’s confirmation as Ambassador to Israel, making him the first of President Trump’s selected foreign emissaries to take his post.

Many anti-Israel organizations pressured the Senate to defeat Friedman’s nomination. Ambassador Friedman earned the support of 52-to-46 of the Senate including two Democratic Senators, Sens. Robert Menendez (N.J.) and Joe Manchin III (W.Va.).

In mid-January, NHCLC/HILC Leadership gathered twenty of its national leaders with leadership from Christians United for Israel for an emergency Washington Summit to lobby in support of Friedman’s nomination.

On January 31, 2017, HILC hosted more than 70 Evangelical heads of major evangelical organizations in Washington D.C. to meet with David Friedman and to mobilize the grass root effort for his support.

Additionally, we launched Action Alerts to encourage phone calls and e-mails to Senators.

Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Ron Dermer, posted his congratulations on Twitter, saying he was “looking forward to working closely with you to make the U.S.-Israel alliance stronger than ever.”

Netanyahu tweeted, “New US ambassador to Israel David Friedman will be warmly welcomed as President Trump’s representative and as a close friend of Israel.”

NHCLC/CONEL is the world’s largest Hispanic Christian organization. It serves as a representative voice for the more than 100 million Hispanic Evangelicals assembled in over 40,000 U.S. churches and another 500,000 congregations spread throughout the Spanish-speaking diaspora. For additional information, visit http://www.nhclc.org.

The Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition is a subsidiary of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC/CONEL) is the largest pro-Israel International Latino Christian organization in America and in the world. HILC’s mission is to engage, empower, and equip the Latino Christian evangelical community in full support of Israel and the Jewish community around the world. http://www.hispanicisraelcoalition.org ​​​​​​​

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Secretary DeVos should make the education of minority children her No. 1 priority

Dr. Andrea Ramirez, Executive Director of the NHCLC’s Faith and Education Coalition, encourages Secretary DeVos to ensure that marginalized children are the Department of Education’s highest priority. #FoxNews #NHCLC #FaithandEducation [READ ARTICLE HERE:http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/03/18/secretary-devos-should-make-education-minority-children-her-no-1-priority.html ]

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Christian leaders ask Congress to reject Trump’s foreign aid cuts

More than 100 Christian leaders, including 2017 inauguration speakers Cardinal Timothy Dolan and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, are calling on Congress not to support cuts in President Trump’s budget to America’s foreign assistance programs that they argue make up less than 1 percent of the federal budget.

“It is our moral responsibility to urge you to support and protect the international affairs budget,” the faith leaders wrote in a letter to Congressional leaders. “… We cannot turn our backs on those in desperate need.”

Trump’s budget calls for cutting the budgets at the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development by 28 percent, down from 37 percent from a draft version of the budget the Trump administration released last month.

The budget proposal is only a blueprint with no enforcement mechanism. But it still amounts to a first shot in Trump’s battle with Congress over spending priorities.

The Christian leaders signing the letter to House and Senate leaders represent the Catholic and evangelical communities, including priests, pastors, heads of faith organizations, recording artists and authors. Dolan, a Catholic cardinal and archbishop of New York, opened Trump’s inauguration with a prayer. Rodriguez, who heads the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, read from the Sermon on the Mount at the inauguration.

With the budget process moving to Capitol Hill, the leaders stressed that the United States must remain that “shining city on a hill” that “brings hope to poor, hungry, [and] vulnerable.”

“America is blessed with fertile land, abundant natural resources, a strong economy and faithful citizens who value religious freedom,” they wrote. “But beyond our borders, many countries experience unparalleled suffering and loss of life due to extreme poverty, disease, natural disasters and conflict.”

The leaders pointed to the 65 million people who have been displaced worldwide, the most since World War II, in addition to the 795 million people in poverty across the globe who “go to bed hungry every night.”

The group sent the letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.; Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.; and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Others who signed the letter include: Leith Anderson, the president of the National Association of Evangelicals; Rich Stearns, president of World Vision USA; Bishop Gregory Mansour, chairman of the board of Catholic Relief Services; Amy Grant and Michael W. Smith, a prominent Christian singer/songwriter team; Dr. George O. Wood, the general superintendent of Assemblies of God; Dr. Ronnie Floyd, immediate past president of the Southern Baptist Convention; and Jonathan Reckford, the CEO of Habitat for Humanity.

Original post can be read here: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/christian-leaders-ask-congress-to-reject-trumps-foreign-aid-cuts/article/2617557

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More than 1,000 pray for Fresno’s elected, appointed leaders in annual prayer breakfast

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, serves as keynote speaker.

More than 1,000 people gathered at the Fresno Convention Center Tuesday for the annual Fresno-Clovis Prayer Breakfast.

They expressed thanks for the blessings the region has enjoyed and prayed for elected and appointed leaders, such as Mayors Lee Brand (Fresno) and Bob Whalen (Clovis), county Supervisor Brian Pacheco and county schools Superintendent Jim Yovino. Also invited were Sheriff Margaret Mims, Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer and Matt Basgall, Clovis police chief.

The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, was the keynote speaker. The conference is the nation’s largest Hispanic Christian organization, representing more than 40,000 churches.

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A discussion on the challenges facing Hispanic education today

A Q&A with David Park of Learning Heroes: parents are the key to education

Last week, during President Trump’s address to a joint session of Congress, he declared education to be “the civil rights issues of our time,” echoing similar statements by past Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush. I couldn’t agree more.

Hispanics and other minorities comprise a growing proportion of the student population in America, and yet their test scores continue to lag dangerously behind white counterparts. As such, education equality is the frontline of the battle for America’s future. That’s why this week I want to highlight the incredible work of David Park of Learning Heroes, to get his perspective on this critical issue. My hope is that his insights will give parents practical tools they can use to help ensure their child’s success in the classroom.

SR: What do you see as the greatest challenges in education today?

DP: There are certainly challenges in education, but there are also tremendous opportunities – so let’s start there. We know from our national survey, Parents 2016, that K-8 parents and guardians have high aspirations for their children. 83% of African American parents and 90% of Hispanic parents believe that a two- or four-year college degree is very important.
A big challenge, however, is that too many young people are still unprepared for success after high school. In fact, 60% of first-year college students need to take remedial courses to help them catch up to a college level. Research also shows that parents play a critical role in their child’s academic progress – and that’s where Learning Heroes comes in.

SR: How does Learning Heroes help parents to get involved?

DP: At Learning Heroes, our number one goal is to equip parents with information, resources, and simple actions to take to support their children’s success. According to a RAND study, families may have four-to-eight times more impact on student achievement than teachers (and teachers are obviously incredibly important). But many parents need some help identifying what they can do to best support their child in school.

The first step for parents is to understand where your child excels and where he or she needs additional support. As a group, 87% of Hispanic parents believe their child is at or above grade level in math (NAEP scores tell us reality is 26%); and 84% in reading (reality is 21%).

SR: How can parents get a more accurate picture of their child’s academic achievement?

DP: Together, teacher feedback, grades, parent observations, and the upcoming annual state test results can give parents a good picture of whether their child is performing at grade level and whether he or she will be prepared for success next year. Our website, BeALearningHero.org features tools and resources in English and Spanish from trusted organizations all in one place – organizations such as Scholastic, National PTA, GreatSchools and others.

SR: After so many states adopted new standards, how are we now testing students?

DP: The Common Core debate has left a lot of parents confused about testing standards. The bottom line is that each state must measure every child’s progress in reading and math in grades 3-8 and at least once during grades 10-12.

SR: Why is the annual state test so important?

DP: Annual state test results help parents understand how prepared their child will be for the next grade. Combined with grades and classroom work, the state test can help a parent know how well their child is meeting grade level expectations in math and English Language Arts.

SR: What are some tips for parents as they help their children get ready for the annual state test?

DP: Parents can help reduce anxiety and uncertainty by checking out sample test questions or even reviewing a practice test, all of which are available at our website. We’ve also created an online guide, “Ready for the Test,” which is available in English and Spanish. “Ready for the Test” includes lots of other state specific information and tips – from looking at last year’s test results, to talking to the teacher about the test, tackling test nerves and more.

SR: What are some other Learning Heroes resources in English and Spanish? How have you seen these strategies benefit both children and parents?

DP: Most of our resources are available in both English and Spanish. A good example of a helpful English/Spanish resource is our Readiness Roadmap, which was developed in partnership with Univision and National PTA. The Readiness Roadmap is a guide that helps parents understand each stage of their child’s development—from what children are expected to know each grade year and how parents can support social, emotional and academic learning at home, to starting the college planning process and more.

Based on an initial study conducted earlier this year and from what we’ve seen in communities where we’re working, we know that the strategy of meeting parents where they are and providing them with actionable resources is having a very significant and positive impact in terms of parent knowledge, skills and actions on behalf of their child’s academic success. The fact of the matter is, parents are the key and the data supports this. That’s why Learning Heroes exists, to help parents help their children succeed.

Faith and Education Coalition is an initiative of the National Hispanic Christian Leaders Conference (NHCLC), with 2,568 members representing almost 3,000 local churches in 44 states.

Original article can be read here: http://www.univision.com/univision-news/opinion/a-discussion-on-the-challenges-facing-hispanic-education-today

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