Figuring out why the Tony Blair Faith Foundation is spending so much money on a few schools in Utah isn't so difficult if you spend some time talking with Jodi Ide. Blair's foundation recently flew two high school principals and 10 teachers, including Ide, from the Canyons School District to Washington, D.C., for training on how to implement the "Face to Faith" pilot program. Plans are in the works to offer the program this fall at Brighton High School, in Cottonwood Heights and Hillcrest High School in Murray. Face to Faith uses technology and video conferencing to bring U.S. students together with students from places like Pakistan, Jordan, Lebanon and Indonesia to talk about global issues and religion. If the latest survey from the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life is correct, about 64 percent of the people reading this article may be surprised to learn that comparative world religion classes may be taught in public schools. In fact, Ide has been teaching such a class at Brighton for five years. Even the students who take her elective class were surprised at first at how open they could be about religious beliefs in a public school setting.
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