|NUMBER 135||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||APRIL 1997|
A Goals 2000 grant to the Ruidoso Municipal School District in New Mexico is funding a "Teacher Dream Fund." Over 100 teachers across the state are pursuing their own professional development "dreams," which include attending workshops on portfolio assessment, taking courses on integrating technology into instruction, participating in thematic learning institutes, and designing field trips.
Another study identifies early, direct phonics instruction as the best determinant of reading success. Barbara Foorman, the study's author and a researcher in educational psychology at the University of Houston, showed that first graders who were taught explicit, systematic phonics in the early stages of reading outpaced their peers in reading achievement.
A vote by the school board of the Orange Unified School District in California to end "native-language" classes may signal the demise of bilingual education. The state Board of Education has already granted waivers to two districts near Orange. In a study conducted by the Center for Equal Opportunity last year, more than 80% of Hispanic parents favored their children learning English instead of Spanish.
"American heritage" bills are cropping up around the country that would authorize or require the display and teaching of particular historic American documents. Legislators in at least six states introduced bills that would prohibit school officials from censoring the religious content in such documents as the Declaration of Independence, the Federalist Papers, and the Mayflower Compact.
Home school mom Dara Dana defeated NEA-supported Barbara Casey for a New Mexico state legislature seat in the Nov. 5 elections. Casey, a public school superintendent and six-term incumbent, had sponsored a bill hostile to home schoolers during the previous session.
Correction: The date of the source for Clinton's 10-Point 'Call to Action' in last month's issue (p. 3) should be listed as 2/12/97 instead of 2/19/97.