|Back to April Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 123||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||APRIL 1996|
Goals 2000 legislation may not be completely voluntary for the states after all. When Alabama Governor Fob James announced he would return the state's share of Goals 2000 funding ($6.6 million) and cease all participation in it, U.S. Education Secretary Richard Riley replied that dropping out is allowed only "if the appropriate authorities so decide." Riley has determined that the unelected State Superintendent Edward Richardson, who is "actively considering" spending the money, rather than Governor James, possesses the proper authority to make the decision to reject the funds.
Alabama Governor Fob James sent 800 copies of Darwin on Trial by Phillip Johnson to all the state's science teachers as a scientific counterbalance to controversial biology textbooks. The Alabama Course of Study for Science now requires that explanations of the origins of life be taught as theory rather than fact. (See Education Reporter, Dec. 1995.)
Republican legislators in California would like to penalize high schools for grade inflation as a form of consumer fraud. A 1993-94 study of freshmen at the 22 campuses of the California State University system showed that nearly 50% of first-time freshmen need remedial courses in math, English, and writing. Many students graduate from high school with above B averages but still need remedial classes. Legislators proposed that high schools pay 100 percent of the cost of remedial work for students who receive a 3.8 or higher grade point average in college prep classes. Proponents of the legislation blame the remediation problem on the emphasis on self-esteem and the failure of bilingual education.
College freshmen are more conservative on certain issues than in years past. According to the Higher Education Research Institute, student support for legalized abortion and casual sex has dropped over the past 7-10 years. An all-time high attended a religious service during the past year.