Auditors are going to give a close once-over to the Racine (Wis.) Unified School District's agreement with a private consulting firm that, it turns out, has overbilled the district by $125,000. The firm had been hired to run the district's business office and (ironically) to help it find ways to save money. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel first reported on the matter on May 7. In a May 15 editorial, the Journal Sentinel applauds the district's decision to review its agreement with with the Public Business Consulting Group: "The Racine auditors should look very carefully at this contract. And other ...


Under a partnership with the Maryland Historical Society, students at Doris M. Johnson High School in Baltimore are uncovering new chapters in black history, Gregory Kane writes in a column in the Baltimore Sun. The historical society has partnered with the school for the past three years to explore a variety of topics in Maryland history. For the past two years, the Annie E. Casey Foundation has underwritten the project, which is called "Keep on Movin' Toward Freedom: The 'Free' State's Struggle with Equality." This week, students gave oral presentations on their research. Among their topics: the "March on Annapolis" ...


For the last several years, politicians, policy officials, and educators have been stressing the need to improve math and science education so American students can compete in a global economy. Here’s a new book that attempts to make science cool—and a lot more palatable—for teachers, parents, and students who think the sciences too technical. Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Natalie Angier’s new book, The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science, discusses science in a reader-friendly way, providing the lowdown on issues like global warming and bird flu. The book also skips through chemistry, biology, ...


Truancy is a problem all across the country and newspapers are finally drawing attention to the issue. The Hartford Courant takes a look at the problem, discovering that 2,000 local students are absent from school each day without excuses. But the story cites programs tackling chronic truancy, including Hartford’s Truancy Court Prevention Project. Last month we wote about truancy problems in Indianoplis....


The New York Times offers a moving video story about a 13-year-old Utah boy who hopes to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee for an unusual and heartbreaking reason. Kunal Sah, an 8th grader, wants to draw attention to the plight of his parents, who were deported to India. Because of this, he is training for the competition in anger, reports the video, titled "American Album: Spell Utah," (5:38) Sah lives in a Ramada Limited hotel in Green River, Utah, with his uncle and aunt. He hopes to win the bee, draw the attention of President Bush, and open ...


It's good to be glamorous—of that, the students at Seattle's Franklin High School can have no doubt. Thanks to being named the West's "most glamorous high school" in a recent Verizon Wireless-sponsored contest, Franklin High was treated to a special concert by pop star Fergie (of Black Eyed Peas fame). "Franklin High School, you got styyyle!" Fergie told the crowd gathered in the school gym, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports. Franklin's principal worked with the singer's team to censor songs "not suitable for the school house." And Fergie herself acknowledged: "We're using the clean versions of the songs, definitely." The ...


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