April 2007 Archives

While many schools are going high-tech with several computers in a classroom, one substitute teacher is facing jail time because, she says, she isn’t plugged in to computer technology. On a PBS teachers’ blog, host Andy Carvin laments the plight of substitute teacher Julie Amero who is now facing decades in prison because she’s alleged to have allowed middle school students to look at pornography online in class. Ms. Amero says the school’s Internet filters weren’t working the day she was teaching a Connecticut English class, and pornography sites continued to pop up on the computer...


The Boston Globe is reporting on a Massachusetts teen who has been barred from bringing a woman as her date to the prom at her Catholic high school. Officials at Bishop Feehan High School in Attleboro, Mass., say that same-sex couples are not allowed at the prom. Student Rosanne Strott says she’s being discriminated against because she is bisexual. George A. Milot, superintendent of schools in the Diocese of Fall River says that is not the case. "The school has the right to make rules in the best interests of the students. We teach tolerance towards people who may ...


After a barrage of criticism, the Deer Park, N.Y., school board has opted to allow the staging of a “new and sanitized” version of a controversial school variety show it initially cancelled, according to Newsday. The board has also reached an unspecified agreement with the teacher who was in charge of the show. Jennifer Barrios writes in "Crowd Supports Deer Park Teacher Over Show" that students and parents turned up in force at an April 24 board meeting to support teacher Alex Mesimeris, who was pulled from his teaching duties and assigned administrative tasks after the variety show was ...


The greening of the nation’s schools continues to generate headlines. The San Francisco Chronicle writes that schools are going increasingly green, but quotes the executive director of the Berkeley-based Green Schools Initiative as saying that the movement is “fragmented, with individual schools or districts addressing energy waste and environmental inefficiency in schools, but few statewide efforts doing the same.” The article notes that “California made it easier [last year] for districts to build green schools by allocating $100 million of a $10 billion school facilities bond to help districts” cover green building costs. Chronicle staff writer Jill Tucker visits ...


The Indianapolis Star's editorial board has done a good job analyzing the problem of empty seats in classrooms, by taking a hard look at truancy in their area. Through a series of in-depth editorials (look in the right-hand column for this series), the newspaper analyzes reasons for truancy and the long-term effect on the community. The paper also provides additional comments by editorial writers in their opinion blog, Expresso, where you can check out reader response. To round out the package, there's audio (listed at the bottom of the package) from parents, a judge and school officials who deal with ...


If you’ve been to any public school cafeteria lately, you’d know that despite the national discussion about childhood obesity, you’ll still find pepperoni pizza, chicken nuggets, hot dogs, tater tots and a host of unhealthy foods on the menu. Schools often complain that when they provide healthier foods students either don't want it on their lunch tray, or else they pick it up but don't actually eat it. The Washington Post reports on an interesting phenomenon that could up the amount of healthy food kids eat: ask them if they want it. This health column describes a ...


One week after the Virginia Tech tragedy, school safety is the topic on everyone’s minds. But the Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass., offers a different take on the issue in its story, “Wasted Resources? Some educators question whether police presence in schools can curb violence.” In the piece, staff writer Rebecca Correa examines whether students and faculty feel—and are—safer when police officers are in-house. A student tells Correa that there is a deterrent effect. “For kids that even think of doing anything, they know there’s a cop in the school,” he says. But Bill Preble, ...


Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings made an appearance on Meet the Press with Tim Russert over the weekend to talk about the shooting of 32 people at Virginia Tech and lessons that can be learned about school security issues and the diagnosis and treatment of students with mental illness. Ms. Spellings shied away from a suggestion by Mr. Russert that schools might want to look at national security standards for some type of warning system, saying that a “one size fits all approach” isn’t the way to go. She also said the Department of Education is preparing a report ...


As the news about the devastating school shooting at Virginia Tech continues to trickle out, the tragedy not only evokes memories of past shootings, but also renews the debate among bloggers about how to keep both younger students and those in college safe. The Chronicle of Higher Education’s blog has all the latest news. Current Events in Education talks about the loss of innocence when it comes to the safety of schools and links to this timeline for school shootings around the world. Eponymous Educator uses the shootings as an opening to look at gun control....


The Global Campaign for Education is kicking off a full week of events aimed at convincing those in power that education is a basic human right for students around the world. During the week of April 23, the U.S. chapter of the group will bring 65 youth activists to town to meet with members of Congress and lobby them on the importance of education for students everywhere. The Action Week Web site includes lesson plans and the organization is also offering a free DVD of the PBS series Wide Angle’s documentary called “Back to School.” The 2003 documentary ...


Following up on a recent post about the fight against childhood obesity, some schools are measuring body mass indexes as part of routine health programs. While the fight against extra pounds on children is one embraced by most, the use of BMIs and other fat detectors is controversial, as body-conscious students begin to compare their measurements. Some experts worry this could lead to eating disorders, but some school officials using the measurement say they’ve had few issues....


This year, English novelist and poet Tobias Hill became a writer-in-residence at the famed boys’ school Eton College. The Guardian features several installments from Mr. Hill’s diaries that give a whiff of the atmosphere of the illustrious English boarding school. The first diary entry provides a glimpse at Mr. Hill’s nervousness at teaching at Eton. The second provides some insight on how Mr. Hill is going about teaching boys to appreciate poetry....


A new, $500 million effort is getting underway to help cut childhood obesity, according to NBC News. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is putting up big bucks to help find ways to keep children active and stop them from developing serious health problems that go along with packing on extra pounds. The battle against childhood obesity is going on on many fronts: Education Week reports on what school nutrition groups are up to, and snack food makers say they're going to put healthier foods in school vending machines....


Here’s a unique artistic opportunity for students in Sacramento, Calif: create art using maggots. Entomologist Rebecca O'Flaherty wants students to love maggots as much as she does, so she lets them dip the insects in paint. The maggots make art by crawling across the canvas trailing the colors of the rainbow. NPR's All Things Considered reports that students seem to lose their squeamishness early on in the study of the canvases they are creating....


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