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Education Briefs 
Repeating a grade improves academic performance vis-à-vis promotion, according to a Manhattan Institute report released in December. The study analyzed Florida 3rd-graders who failed the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and concluded that pupils who were held back got more out of school and performed better on standardized tests than they would if they had been promoted.

Spelling bee cancelled, then reconsidered. The Lincoln, RI school district last year decided to eliminate this year's spelling bee for grades 4 to 8. "It's about one kid winning, several making it to the top and leaving all others behind. That's contrary to No Child Left Behind," explained assistant superintendent Linda Newman. Furthermore, educators' organizations now frown on competition at the elementary school level and are urging participation in activities that avoid winners, she said. A new superintendent has decided to reconsider the cancellation. (WoonsocketCall.com, 1-27-05, 2-1-05)

Stripping promoted at middle school career day. A career day speaker at Jane Lathrop Stanford Middle School in Palo Alto, CA listed "stripper" on a handout of potential careers and told 8th-graders that strippers can earn as much as $250,000 a year. He explained that a larger bust —ð whether natural or augmented — has a direct relationship to an exotic dancer's salary. The principal subsequently wrote a letter to parents stating that the talk should not have occurred. (sfgate.com, 1-14-05)

Study quantifies edge of minorities, athletes and legacies in college admissions. In examining admission decisions at three unnamed private research universities, sociology professor Thomas Espenshade found that being black is worth roughly 230 extra points on the SAT I test; being a recruited athlete is worth about 200 points; Hispanic applicants get an average bonus of 185 points; and legacy status translates to 160 points. Asian applicants are at a disadvantage, comparable to a loss of 50 points. The study is part of the National Study of College Experience funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

March 2005 Education Reporter
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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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