News & Views - Jan, 2002 Issue (page
DROPOUTS HIGHER THAN BELIEVED?
(November 13, 2001) The Manhattan Institute and the Black Alliance for Educational
Options released a study concluding high school graduate rates are lower than the 86% presented by the National Center for Education
Statistics for 1998. Pointing out that the National Center statistics include GED and other alternative as the same as high-school
diplomas, they found that by looking just at high school gradates, the national graduation rate from high school is only 74%.
ON LINE SPECIAL HOME SCHOOL EDUCATION
2001) Chris Sewell founded the “Special
Education Homeschooling Resources Vault” so parents who are homeschooling and/or tutoring special needs children can access educational
tips submitted by parents and teachers to help ADD/ADHD, deaf, hard-of-hearing, autistic, reading impaired, dyslexic and learning
impaired children receiving. This members-only web site is updated weekly.
STUDIES ON SMALLER SCHOOLS
(December 2001) A study available through the Heartland
Institute, found that although many studies indicated, “smaller schools can provide higher student achievement in a safer and
more disciplined environment—and they can do so cost-effectively.... a majority of parents and teachers did not regard reducing school
size as a pressing education reform, even though more than 80 percent agreed smaller schools are better at spotting troubled students.”
FUNDING FROM TUITION TAX CREDITS
(December 12, 2001) The National
Center for Policy Analysis, describes how in Arizona, schools are receiving funding by “taxpayers who make a voluntary donation
to a school tuition organization (STO) of their choice receive a matching (dollar-for- dollar) tax credit up to a maximum of $500.
Thus when taxpayers make a $500 contribution, they reduce their state tax payments by $500.” STOs are required by law to give
at least 90% of their revenue to scholarships or grants for students to attend private schools. This tax credit mechanism is
being closely looked at by several other states.
STATE WILL RUN PHILADELPHIA'S SCHOOLS
(December 22, 2001) Jacques Steinberg reported for The New York Times, that the
governor of Pennsylvania has assumed responsibility for the city’s long-troubled public school system. In a state takeover believed
to be “the largest such action of its kind,” Philadelphia will eventually put a five-person, state-controlled panel in charge of its
district of 220,000 students, one of the 10 largest urban systems in the nation. This arrangement is expected to lead to the hiring
of Edison Schools, a private company, as a systemwide consultant and manager of several dozen schools. State Governor, Mark S. Schweiker,
said such extreme action was necessary because more than half of the city’s students failed to achieve a basic level of comprehension
on state reading and math tests.
TEEN HELP IN THE NEWS
(December 26, 2001) Lou Kilzer, a staff reporter for the Rocky
Mountain News, writes of a girl and other children being pulled from a boot camp program in Mexico called High Impact, and alleges
the program had deplorable conditions and is closely associated with Teen Help and the World Wide Association of Specialty Programs
(WWASP). In a statement released on the Strugglingteens.com
discussion Board, Ken Kay, President of WWASP asserts High Impact is not owned or marketed by Teen Help, and the “article was riddled
with blatant inaccuracies and falsehoods.” Lou Kilzer has written several articles in the past critical of WWASP and Teen Help.
WEB SITE CATCHES PLAGIARISM
(December 31,2001) University of Minnesota, University of California, Duke,
and Cornell professors have signed up for students to turn their papers in to www.turnitin.com,
which compares the papers by students with material in their database and on the web to catch inadvertent unattributed quotations
and plagiarism. Some professors see it as a teaching tool to help teach students to understand proper use of intellectual property.