- -01-14-05 Senators Investigate Use of Education Funds (MSNBC News)
"The [Education] department, through a contract with the public relations firm Ketchum, hired [commentator Armstrong] Williams to produce ads, featuring [Education Secretary] Paige, that promoted Bush’s No Child Left Behind law. The contract also called for Williams to provide media access for Paige and to persuade other black journalists to talk about the law."
"Federal law bans the use of public money on propaganda."
"As part of a contract worth more than $1 million with Ketchum, the Education Department paid for a video that appeared as a news story without making it clear the reporter was hired to promote No Child Left Behind. The agency also paid for ratings of news reporters, with points for stories that make the law, the Bush administration and the Republican Party look good." 1-05
- -06-23-05 Military Collecting Data on High School Students (ABC News)
"Working with the private marketing firm BeNow, Inc. of Wakefield, Mass., the Pentagon has created a huge database of millions of high school students, aged 16 to 18."
"But privacy advocates say it violates a federal law that restricts the government's ability to gather personal information. They say they understand the military's need to recruit but this type of information-gathering goes too far."
"A growing number of parents were already upset about the military's recruiting techniques. A little-known provision in the 2002 'No Child Left Behind' education law requires every public school to provide the military with the names, addresses and phone numbers of students."
"Last month, Louise Wannier went to her daughter's high school to submit an opt-out letter, which prohibits recruiters from accessing personal information."
"She learned today about the new database, which may have much more information on her daughter than she'd ever imagined." 6-05
- -11-16-05 Foreign Graduate Student Applications Down (International Herald Tribune)
"According to a recent survey, more foreign graduate students enrolled in American universities this year than last, but their numbers remain far lower than they were in 2002."
"Foreign graduate students, particularly those who study science or engineering, are a boon to the American economy and education system." 11-05
- -12-15-05 U.S. Has 11 Million Not Literate in English (Fox News)
"About one in 20 adults in the U.S. is not literate in English, meaning 11 million people lack the skills to handle many everyday tasks, a federal study shows." 12-05
- Pennsylvania Voters Oust Intelligent Design Supporters (USA Today)
"Voters came down hard Tuesday on school board members who ordered a statement on intelligent design read in biology class, ousting eight Republicans and replacing them with Democrats who want the concept stripped from the science curriculum."
"Eight of the nine school board members were up for election Tuesday. They were challenged by a slate of Democrats who argued that science class was not the appropriate forum for teaching intelligent design." 9-05
- Bush Education Program a Disappointment (New York Times)
"The first nationwide test to permit an appraisal of President Bush's signature education law rendered mixed results on Wednesday, with even some supporters of the law expressing disappointment."
"From 2000 to 2003, before the federal law took full effect in classrooms, the percentage of fourth graders scoring proficient in math rose eight percentage points, compared with four points this year, Mr. Jennings said, and the percentage of eighth graders proficient in math rose three points before the law, compared with the one-point rise this year." 'The rate of improvement was faster before the law,' Mr. Jennings said. 'There's a question as to whether No Child is slowing down our progress nationwide.' " 10-05
- Federal Court to Make a Landmark Ruling on Science (MSNBC News)
"The Pennsylvania case is probably the most important legal situation of creation and evolution in the last 18 years,' said Eugenie Scott, executive director of the National Center for Science Education, which opposes challenges to the standard model of evolution."
" 'This will be the first legal challenge to intelligent design, and we’ll see whether they have been able to mask the creationist underpinnings and basic orientation of intelligent design,' she said. Regardless who wins, 'it will have quite a significant impact on what happens in American public school education.' ”
"This is where things get sticky, because it all boils down to a basic argument over just what is evolution and what is religion." 9-05
- House Votes to Cut Education (CBS News)
"Lawmakers voted Wednesday to cut federal aid to education for the first time in a decade as the House narrowly passed a spending bill that would freeze or cut back a wide variety of domestic programs."
"Programs funded under President Bush's No Child Left Behind education law would face a 4 percent cut, while aid for special education and Title I funding for disadvantaged children would be frozen at last year's levels, assuming the across-the-board cut is imposed."
"The 215-213 vote caps a successful drive by Mr. Bush and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill to trim the budgets of most domestic agencies below prior-year levels. And, after years of bundling appropriations bills into omnibus measures, Republicans managed to get the process back on track and pass the 11 annual spending bills as stand-alone measures." 12-05
- How One Town Will Fund College (CSMonitor.com)
"Kalamazoo is only the second US city, after Washington, to offer full-tuition scholarships to its graduates." 11-05
- One Laptop Per Child (Laptopical.com)
"Thanks to the vision of Nicholas Negroponte, founder of MIT's Media Lab, and the innovative design and structure ideas of a handful of his colleagues, a lightweight, $100 laptop with WiFi wireless networking is set to arrive in Third World countries -- soon."
"This cheap laptop will be light; have no disk drives, but a gigabyte of main memory, using flash memory for storage; and be battery-free, using a crank to get your information loaded. Oh, and mesh networking capability is also in the works."
"The folks at E Ink in Cambridge, Mass., plan to make a plastic, tough, flexible video screen; Linux is offering its operating system for free; and Advanced Micro Devices has agreed to provide a microprocessor." 11-05
- Schools Moving Toward a K-8 Model (ABC News)
"Philadelphia eighth-graders at the K-8 schools scored significantly higher on state tests than their middle school counterparts, studies by the Philadelphia Education Fund show. And nationally, crime takes off in middle schools, where it's 30 percent higher than in elementary schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics."
" 'Middle-grades children in K-8 schools do far better than they do in middle schools,' Vallas said, 'both academically and behaviorally.' " 8-05
- Teacher Pay Tied to Test Scores in Houston (USA Today)
"Houston became the largest school district in the country on Thursday to adopt a merit pay plan for teachers that focuses on students' tests scores."
"By a 9-0 vote, the Houston school board approved a plan that offers teachers up to $3,000 in extra pay if their students show improvement on state and national tests. The program could be expanded to provide up to $10,000 in merit pay for teachers."
"The teachers' union doesn't approve of the plan, saying it focuses too much on test scores and is too complicated." 01-06
- UN to Supply World's Rural Poor with Internet Access (Christian Science Monitor)
"Effort to link the world's rural poor to the Internet with a $100 computer gets a boost from the United Nations." The program is called "One Laptop per Child." 11-05
- USA Slips in International Standing in Education (CBS News)
"The United States is losing ground in education, as peers across the globe zoom by with bigger gains in student achievement and school graduations, a study shows."
"Among adults age 25 to 34, the U.S. is ninth among industrialized nations in the share of its population that has at least a high school degree. In the same age group, the United States ranks seventh, with Belgium, in the share of people who hold a college degree."
"By both measures, the United States was first in the world as recently as 20 years ago, said Barry McGaw, director of education for the Paris-based Organization for Cooperation and Development. The 30-nation organization develops the yearly rankings as a way for countries to evaluate their education systems and determine whether to change their policies."
"Given what the United States spends on education, its relatively low student achievement through high school shows its school system is 'clearly inefficient,' McGaw said."
- Women Now 57 Percent of Graduates (USA Today)
"In May, the Minnesota Office of Higher Education posted the inevitable culmination of a trend: Last year for the first time, women earned more than half the degrees granted statewide in every category, be it associate, bachelor, master, doctoral or professional." 10-05