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Military discipline = high test scores. A report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) shows that the Department of Defense Dependents schools and Domestic Dependent Elementary and Secondary Schools scored extremely high in reading and writing among U.S. students in 2002. The high test scores are attributed to an environment of cohesiveness and discipline in military communities, even though many students come from single-parent homes or families in which a parent is deployed on active duty. Test scores of minority students were especially impressive, with African-American and Hispanic students ranking first, second, or third on each test.

The number of male teachers in America's classrooms has reached a 40-year low. The Associated Press reported (8-28-03) that a survey by the NEA shows that only two of every 10 teachers is a male. Only one in 10 is a minority, although about half of students are male and nearly 40% are minorities. One reason for the discrepancy is that some public school compensation is deferred, which many men find unappealing. The NEA cites the main factor as the ability to earn more money with less stress in other fields.

Poplar Bluff, MO, School District apologizes for strip searches. Last January, 10 junior high school girls ranging in age from 12-15 were strip searched at Poplar Bluff Junior High School after $55 given to a teacher by another student for safekeeping turned up missing. The 10 were singled out for the searches despite the fact that none of them was seen in the area where the money was taken. The girls were forced to pull their shirts up over their heads and pull down their jeans so that a school nurse could search under their bras and around the waistbands of their panties. Part of the settlement of claims filed by eight of the girls included an acknowledgment by the school district that the searches did occur. No other students or teachers were searched, nor were their belongings.

San Ramon, CA, replaces DARE with 'Character Counts.' Character Counts!The new program is less expensive than DARE and allows participants to decide the best way to teach the Character Counts' "pillars" of trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring and citizenship. Since 1993, 115 cities, communities or counties have adopted the program, which targets children from preschool to 12th grade and covers issues such as peer pressure, bullying, and the danger of meeting strangers on the Internet. The 20-year-old DARE program focuses on drug use and violence prevention in the 5th and 6th grades.

September 2003 Education Reporter
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