Week of March 27


Riley Narsh

“King Lear” comes to life as Kaitlyn Frerking and Kelsey Rolofson (12) portray the tragic death of Cordelia for Kara Mueller’s sixth hour AP Lit. class, Nov. 16. “Acting out a scene adds more life to it because when you’re reading a scene in class, it can get boring, and you might not get the whole feeling of it,” Frerking said. “I love AP Lit. because my class is small, so we’re all like a little family, and we can goof off.” Reading is just one of the four skills tested by the Program for International Student Assessment Field Test conducted March 28.


Know: Eureka hosted the Program for International Student Assessment Field Test, March 28. EHS is one of about 70 schools in the United States to be selected for the test this year. Over 20 EHS students took the assessment.

Inform: P.I.S.A. tests the academic skills of 15 year-olds in over 70 countries every three years. The program, hosted by the National Center for Education Statistics, randomly selects half a million students to take part in the study, which consists of a three-hour test in reading, math, science and financial literacy. In return for the test, the participants earn $25 and a certificate from the U.S. Department of Education for four hours of community service. EHS will get $250 for taking part in the assessment.

Care: The test is designed for governments and administrators to see how their schools are preparing youth to be successful adults. P.I.S.A. uses 15 year-olds because it is the average age of students who are nearing the end of being legally required to attend school. The last time the P.I.S.A. test was conducted, only 177 schools across the country participated. The specific student data collected not shared with teachers, schools or districts since the objective is to look at performance globally.


Know: The plan to repeal Obamacare was pulled before voting even took place, March 24.

Inform: Republicans have opposed Obamacare, also known as the Affordable Care Act, since it became effective in 2010. Members of the House of Representatives were to vote to repeal Obamacare, but Speaker Paul Ryan chose to pull the vote right before it was to take place. President Trump repeatedly blamed the Democratic Party for their lack of support of the repeal, although the House has 237 Republicans and only 193 Democrats. Trump’s current plan is to watch Obamacare “explode,”  (search for “explode” once you load his feed), which will bring repeal opponents to their senses, according to Trump.

Care: According to the Congressional Budget Office, by 2026, 24 million fewer people would be insured under the new GOP health care bill than under Obamacare. This sudden drop may occur quite quickly, with potentially 14 million dropping as soon as next year. Currently, there are only 28 million uninsured Americans under the Affordable Care Act. It is estimated that by 2026, 52 million would be uninsured, assuming the GOP bill passes in the future. However, the GOP bill would reduce federal deficit by $337 million dollars over the next ten years. Insured Americans pay over a $1000 “hidden tax” a year which covers health care for the uninsured. The GOP bill would not only affect the insured, but would also impact the uninsured if passed because they would lose the care they currently receive when in need.


Know: Thousands of Russians protested the current government and corruption within it, March 26.

Inform: These protests, composed mostly of teenagers, was the biggest since rallies to stop Vladimir Putin’s third re-election occurred five years ago. Publicly assembling in Russia is a fine line, and if one crosses, the penalties are serious. New protest laws were introduced in 2014 and state that repeated violations may result in fines or prison. A video of Gleb Takmakov, a Russian fifth-grader, speaking at one of the protests already has over 140,000 views. Takmakov urged a change in the entire government, not just Putin. Authorities detained over 600 protestors and arrested 500.

Care:  Russia’s 1993 Constitution declares the country a democracy, although during Putin’s third term as president he continues to restrict individual freedoms. Protesting is a thin line in Russia. Luckily, in the United States, citizens’ right to protest are protected by the First Amendment. Citizens have exercised these rights in both joy and anger over the recent presidential election, inauguration and recent executive orders. America’s First Amendment is a cornerstone of its democracy. Although Russia claims to be a similar democracy, its citizens’ rights are extremely limited.