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A growing nationwide movement is underway to make public libraries more "family friendly." Fairfax County, VA mother Karen Jo Gounaud protested the availability of a gay-oriented newspaper, the Washington Blade, to children at county libraries. She is now the leader of the new national organization called Family Friendly Libraries whose purpose is to keep public libraries accountable to taxpayers who foot the bill.
Money and hoopla did not help the nation's largest teachers union, the National Education Association, to win a school board election in Wilkensburg, PA. In an effort to oust a private company hired to save a failing elementary school, NEA candidates spent 10 times more in campaign money than incumbents, bused in teachers for rallies, and barraged airwaves with radio ads. However, the incumbents won and the company stayed. Says one winning incumbent Emma Madison: "It shows how much people want to try new ideas for schools."
Less than half of Americans know that the earth orbits the sun annually, according to a survey sponsored by the National Science Foundation. Participants in the survey had an especially difficult time defining scientific terms. Only 9% could explain a molecule, and only 21% understood DNA.
Recent revisions to the U.S. History Standards show little change from the original bias toward multiculturalism. Cosmetic changes include dropping the "s" from "the American peoples" and moving teaching examples (such as those on feminism from Ms. magazine) to a classroom supplement (but still part of the new Standards package). However, the original Standards are in the hands of 32,000 teachers.