August 2005 Archives

The Dallas school board recently approved a policy that will require some elementary principals--in schools where at least half the students are English-language learners--to learn how to speak Spanish. This sounds good in principle to many educators. But others, particularly those grounded in the realities of school administrators' lives, are wondering in the wake of the board's vote just how practical and realistic this requirement will be. For starters, will school principals, who typically work 50-60 hours a week simply taking care of business at their schools, have the time and energy necessary to become "proficient" (a policy requirement) in ...

A recent study by Harvard University's School of Public Health suggests that fast-food chains in the Chicago area tend to set up shop near schools. This is a troubling finding given the concerns about obesity in this country, especially among urban children. Some fast-food company officials have said they do not deliberately place their restaurants near schools. Still, you have to wonder ... Thousands of hungry teenagers with spare cash ... The alluring scent of french fries and greasy burgers. What do you think? Can schools do anything to prevent fast-food restaurants from setting up shop across the street?...

The Henrico County school district's one-time sale of about 1,000 Apple iBooks for $50 each turned into a potentially dangerous stampede in which potential buyers shoved others to the ground, in an attempt to get an edge on the deal. The embarrassing display of human nature attracted the attention of national media such as ABC and NBC News. The whole mess kind of begs the question: Why didn't the district just put the machines up for sale online? Surely, that would have been a safer option than having thousands of people jostling to get a top spot in line....


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