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Education Reporter
Education Briefs 
California students forced to sing New Age song. The Pacific Justice Institute has filed a complaint against the Pajaro Valley School District on behalf of parents of a kindergarten student who was forced to sit on the ground during a forestry field trip and sing: "Where I sit is holy. Holy is the ground. Forest, mountains, river -- listen to the sound. Great spirits circle all around me . . . Ancient mother, I hear you calling . . . Ancient mother, I hear your laughter. Ancient mother, I taste your tears." The parents say the song is based on the Wiccan religion, and that they were denied a public hearing on the incident by the school board.

Vice President Al Gore wants to make dropping out of high school illegal. He called this proposal "the heart of my education agenda as president." Forbidding students to drop out before age 18 would essentially double the amount of time most of them must attend high school. Gore also supports mandatory preschool and has vowed to "change the whole way that we approach learning in America."

A report issued last fall shows most students cannot write. Results of the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP) writing tests given in 1998 showed that 22% of 12th graders and 16% of 4th and 8th graders scored below "basic," failing even "partial mastery of the knowledge and skills" expected for their grade levels. Only 1% of American students scored in the "advanced" range. Achievement levels were set by the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB).

Pro-evolution forces are well-funded. Professor Jonathan Wells, a molecular biologist at the University of California-Berkeley, looked into the amount of public money doled out for research based on Darwins theory of evolution. He found that the amounts spent by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Energy exceed $10 billion. His research was prompted by the charge that "Creationist forces are better financed than the evolutionists."

inside this issue . . .

Education Reporter is published monthly by Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund with editorial offices at 7800 Bonhomme Ave., St. Louis, MO 63105, (314) 721-1213. The views expressed in this newsletter are those of the persons quoted and should not be attributed to Eagle Forum Education & Legal Defense Fund. Annual subscription $25. Back issues available at $2.

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