Top News

Reshaping Alabama's Education System

Former Hanceville student Miranda Robertson made good grades and got all the inspiration she needed from her high school experience to eventually return as a teacher’s aide in the Cullman County school system. What she didn’t get? A diploma. Robertson would have graduated in 2005, and though she got to walk and received a certificate of attendance, she still couldn’t technically graduate because she failed one section of a certain standardized test. It didn’t matter that she made As and Bs every year — what she really needed was a passing mark on the Alabama High School Graduation Exam.

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Maine Town Seeks Taxes from Private School

Maine's highest court will hear arguments this week on whether a private boarding school in central Maine should pay property taxes on facilities it rents to outside groups. The town of Hebron is appealing a Superior Court judgment that Hebron Academy is a "literary and scientific" institution and that most of its real estate is exempt from local property taxes.

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School Lunches to be Allowed Unlimited Meats, Grains

The Agriculture Department is responding to criticism over new school lunch rules by allowing more grains and meat in kids' meals. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told members of Congress in a letter Friday that the department will do away with daily and weekly limits of meats and grains. Several lawmakers wrote the department after the new rules went into effect in September saying kids aren't getting enough to eat. School administrators also complained, saying set maximums on grains and meats are too limiting as they try to plan daily meals.

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Neb. Officials Avoid Charges in Failure to Report Sex Abuse

Three western Nebraska school officials accused of failing to report allegations that high school wrestlers sexually assaulted a young teammate at a summer wrestling camp will not face charges, an attorney for two of the officials said Friday.

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Ark. Lawmakers Face Crowded Education Agenda

Court rulings on student transfers and school funding will collide with the desire of charter school and voucher advocates to take advantage of a new Republican majority when Arkansas legislators tackle education issues next year.

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High School's Condom Fliers Prompt Review by Principal

The principal of a Massachusetts high school is reviewing a school-sanctioned sexual education course after a parent complained that a flier about the class advocated condom use. According to the Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield High School Principal Tracey Benson received the complaint from parent Bruce Radke, who saw a list of 32 phrases -- described as "Condom Sayings" -- that was passed out to about 15 students, including Radke's daughter Aleisha, a junior at the school.

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Tacoma (Wash.) School Officials Push to Save SPARX

Officials say Tacoma (Wash.) middle school kids will be the big losers if money to save the after-school SPARX program can't be found. "It has a positive impact on our student body," said Jon Kellett, principal of Jason Lee Middle School. "Any after-school programming can help kids find their niche." Krestin Bahr, director of middle schools for Tacoma Public Schools, added: "It's been an effective model. It's a time for kids to explore who they are."

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Tutoring, College Prep Offered to Conn. Student-athletes

Student-athletes in all grades are hoping to soon get a boost from Greenwich Education Group, which will set up shop at Sono Field House in South Norwalk to help the students improve academics and prepare for college. The Greenwich-based firm, which currently provides students and parents throughout the state with a myriad of academic services — including academic tutoring, test prep and college counseling — will soon take over the 52,000 square foot indoor sports and special events facility and offer a fee-based educational services to student-athletes.

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Florida Tragedies Highlight Training Need

The accidental deaths of two special needs students from Hillsborough County Public Schools in Tampa, Fla. this year are shedding light on the need for comprehensive, mandatory emergency preparedness training for paraeducators. In October, 11-year-old Jennifer Caballero, a middle school student with Down syndrome, was found hiding under the bleachers during gym class by a coach, who two weeks earlier had complained to the assistant principal that the exceptional student education (ESE) aides were inattentive. The coach brought her to the aides, and asked them to keep an eye on her.

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Fiscal Cliff: Ky. Education, Schools Could Take Major Hit

Spending reductions caused by the fiscal cliff would be devastating for Kentucky’s public schools, officials say. According to the Kentucky Department of Education, federal funding for public schools would be reduced up to $61 mil­lion per year for the next 10 years, affecting more than 1,350 jobs and nearly 130,000 students. Higher education officials in Kentucky and Indiana also are warily eying the fiscal cliff talks.

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