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Education Reporter

Education Briefs 
Must you 'believe in yourself' in order to succeed? Not in math, concludes the Brookings Institution. A 2006 report compared the self-esteem and math skills of students in 46 nations. 39% of U.S. 8th-graders and 6% of Korean 8th-graders expressed confidence in their math skills; but the Korean students did far better on international math assessments. Of the ten countries where students were most confident, only the U.S. and Israel had above-average test scores. (Washington Post, 10-18-2006)

Virginia's NCLB funding is in peril as six districts challenge federal rules on reading tests for non-English-speaking students. These six districts have high proportions of immigrant students; in Harrisonburg 39% of students are still learning English. The districts don't want to give their non-English-speaking students the Standards of Learning test, but the federal government currently requires that they do so. State and federal officials will consider several solutions that might help the districts keep their funding. (Richmond Times-Dispatch, 2-23-2007)

Chicago's Mayor Daley has called repeatedly for mandatory all-day kindergarten in Illinois. He was quite open in January about the motivation for such a measure. "I can't tell a young mother with three children or another couple, 'You can only send your kids a half day.' 'A half a day? I'm working. My husband's working. I only get a half a day? What do I do with the other half a day?'" The mayor did not address whether mandatory all-day kindergarten would help children, or the concerns of families who don't want the program. (Chicago Sun Times, 1-7-2007)

New York City will open a public school dedicated to Arabic language and culture. The school, Khalil Gibran International Academy, hopes eventually to serve 500-600 students in grades 6-12, and to offer half of its classes in English and half in Arabic. (Fox News, 2-14-2007)

March 2007 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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