Education News: September 28, 2007
Following are some of the top headlines from the world of education for the week ending September 28, 2007.
Bush Signs Sweeping Student Loan Bill into Law, Adding an Asterisk
(Source: The Washington Post, 9/28/07): President Bush signed a bi-partisan student loan bill into law this week, cautioning that the increase in loans will mean necessary cuts elsewhere in the federal budget. The law lowers subsidies to lending companies and curbs the interest rates on loans over several years. It also provides loan forgiveness for people who go into public services jobs. Loan services officials are up in arms over the changes.
Kids Who Don’t Fit Mold
(Source: The Baltimore Sun, 9/28/07): The Individual Differences in Learning Association is a group formed by parents of GTLD students—gifted and talented and learning disabled. This newly noticed segment of the population consists of students who have special learning gifts combined with learning problems such as ADHD. One mother who is a member of the group describes how her son began reading Harry Potter at age four. This support network of parents is currently producing a film about how to most effectively educate GTLD students.
Teenager Released in Louisiana Case
(Source: The New York Times, 9/28/07): A case of six black defendants beating a white young man in Louisiana has taken a new turn as the district attorney has dropped adult charges against one of the defendants. Mychal Bell, a 17 year old, will no longer be tried as an adult and he will face potential prison only until he is 21 rather than the 15 year conviction that an adult would face.
Few Students Switching Schools Under 'No Child' Law
(Source: The Washington Post, 09/27/07): In Northern Virginia this fall, approximately 170 students transferred out of low-performing elementary schools to schools with better academic records, as permitted by the No Child Left Behind Law. Surprisingly, only 1.2% of the 5.4 million eligible children nationwide take advantage of this opportunity.
‘Education is Best Investment’
(Source: The St. Petersburg Times, 9/25/07): While traveling around the country giving talks, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is dispensing a piece of advice that will make teachers everywhere cheer: “Education is the best investment.” Bernanke, a former professor at Princeton University and the husband of a teacher, believes that our economy needs to keep itself competitive by investing in education and continuing education.
A Tamer of Schools Has Plan in New Orleans
(Source: The New York Times, 09/24/07): Despite the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina, the Recovery School District in New Orleans is finally gaining ground. New district superintendent Paul Vallas, who has a history of turning struggling school systems around, is working to transform schools into community centers for students, most of whom live in poverty. His goal is to provide three meals a day, as well as eye care, dental care, and a safe space.
The Fees for the Bus Go Up and Up
(Source: The Boston Globe, 9/23/07): In the Boston, Massachusetts area, parents are being faced with increasing rates for their children to ride the public school bus to school every day. School district plans vary from charging a daily fee of $1 to high school students (not to exceed $180 per year), to charging a lump sum for each student riding the bus. Some districts set in place a cap amount for families with multiple students who are riding buses. Parent reactions are varied, with some supporting the attempt to make buses self-sustainable and others decrying the new developments.
Education and Schools Are a Focus for Edwards
(Source: The New York Times, 09/22/07): At a recent appearance in Iowa, presidential candidate John Edwards criticized No Child Left Behind and announced his plans to revamp America’s public schools. His plan includes incentives of up to $15,000 to attract teachers to high-poverty schools, reduced class sizes, a national university to train teachers, and “education SWAT teams” that would quickly transform failing schools.