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Instant penalty for truancy
BBC News (UK)
October 3, 2003
Parents caught with a child out of school could face an on-the-spot fine of up to 100 pounds.
The fines could be imposed by head teachers, police or council officers in England.
No Child Left Behind Act demands the impossible
The Capital Times (WI)
by Nancy A. Allen
October 2, 2003
Suppose we had laws that required that every automobile sold be defect-free;
...that every person who entered a hospital be cured; or that every individual be thin, healthy and cavity-free. Furthermore, suppose we attached sanctions to these laws, perhaps in the form of fines for individuals or threats of government takeover or the replacement of all employees for businesses. No one would seriously consider such foolish laws.
Public Schools Harm Parents
by R. Cort Kirkwood
"Schools," a friend recently observed during a chat about home-schooling, "have a tendency to infantilize parents."
Rational 40-year-old adults, he observed, are more worried about science projects and grades than the kids. Through schedules and activities, parents are slaves to the school.<br><br>This is true for all schools, public or private, but the public schools have taken things a step farther. In Philadelphia and elsewhere, the schools are "grading" parents and how they raise their children.
He needed an A; she needed to be fair
The Christian Science Monitor
by Debra Bruno
An A, I told them, was achieved by hard work, not a checkmark to acknowledge work completed.
At first, he thanked me for my comments. How could he do better- We talked for a few minutes. Then he dropped his bombshell: "I'm taking a really heavy load this semester." Science, math, economics, a language. In short, he needed an A in English or he'd lose his scholarship and be forced to drop out. He figured English was his best bet for a not-too-difficult A. He paused, smiling.
Pawlenty wants 'super teachers' at worst schools
Saint Paul Pioneer Press
by John Welsh
Gov. Tim Pawlenty proposed Wednesday staffing the state's most difficult schools with "super teachers'' who could earn up to $100,000 through bonuses.
The teachers would have to give up such union protections as tenure, allowing them to be fired at will. The teachers also would have to be willing to let student test scores be a key factor in how much they're paid. In return, the teachers could reap some of the largest nonadministrative salaries in public K-12 education today.
Shrinking From Choice
The New York Sun
October 1, 2003
The Department of Education, it seems, doesn't know quite what to do with all of the children who have a right to transfer out of failing schools under the federal No Child Left Behind law.
The city's dilemma is not difficult to understand.The federal law has established a right to transfer into a non-failing school, but it's beyond the Congress to will into existence more successful schools or more seats therein. The city has managed to slide by so far only by dint of the low rate at which parents are asking for transfers. Ahead of this school year, the parents of only about 8,000 out of 300,000 children in low-performing schools asked for and received transfers - that's fewer than 3% of those eligible and only about 0.6% of the 1.2 million children in New York City's public school system. Some have claimed that the Department of Education did not do enough to inform parents of their choices the last time around; one group even filed a class action lawsuit against the city.
How Federal Law Dooms a School In the Bronx
by KATHLEEN LUCADAMO
Seven years ago, parents in the Riverdale-Kingsbridge section of the Bronx rallied to improve a local middle school and add a neighboring high school.
The goal was clear: create a high-performing community school so parents wouldn't need to send their children to private or specialized public ones.<br><br>No Child Left Behind, threatens to reverse the community's progress, parents say. This month, the school was labeled in need of improvement by the state and under federal guidelines because a small group of youngsters failed eighth-grade exams.
Families Pay Price for Government Spending
by Wendy McElroy
September 30, 2003
The modern two-income family is no better off than the one-income family from decades ago.
Social engineering includes the child abuse industry and the sexual harassment industry. Critics refer to them as "industries" because their enforcement policies have established bloated and expensive bureaucracies that slurp at the public trough. The cost to taxpaying families is immense.
Concise, Cogent, Contentious
by Jay Mathews
Short Essays, Selected for Some State Exams and Soon the SAT and ACT, Get Mixed Reviews
Sara Stevens is a very bright high school senior who wants to be creative in her writing. Like most American teenagers, though, she knows what will get her the best grade. "The essays have to be made-to-order, with topic sentences and a thesis and a conclusion," she said. "That's what the teacher wants to see, so that is what I write."
Testing company to be fined
Las Vegas Sun (NV)
September 29, 2003
Harcourt was fined $425,000 last year for making mistakes in grading the tests of high school students.
The performance of Harcourt Educational Measurement, the Texas-based testing firm used by the state, has been unsatisfactory and the company should be fined up to $483,000, the state Board of Education decided Saturday during its meeting in Las Vegas.
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