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EDUCATION REPORTER
Number 134 March 1997
inside this issue . . .

Conference Explains Problems with
Goals 2000 and School-to-Work

WASHINGTON, DC - Representative Henry Hyde (R-IL), Chairman, House Judiciary Committee, hosted an education conference entitled What Goals 2000 Means to the States on February 12 on Capitol Hill.

The purpose of the event was to describe how federal laws, especially Goals 2000, School-to-Work, and Medicaid, are upsetting parents as the federal money flows to schools. State legislators and education experts spoke to an audience of mostly congressional staff members.

Rep. Hyde opened the conference with an overview of the Marc Tucker "Seamless Web" plan that would change the mission of the public schools from teaching children knowledge and skills to training them to serve the global economy in jobs selected by workforce boards.

Tucker's plan is contained in a now famous 18-page "Dear Hillary" letter written on Nov. 11, 1992. It calls for "remold[ing] the entire American [public school] system" into "a seamless web that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone," coordinated by "a system of labor market boards at the local, state and federal levels" where curriculum and "job matching" will be handled by counselors "accessing the integrated computer-based program."

The School-to-Work Act was the first major focus of the morning session. Robert Holland, reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, spoke on "What's Wrong with School-to-Work?" He called this 1994 federal statute "part of a managed economy and data-collecting network that poses grave dangers to Americans' liberty and their privacy." He also warned that, based on historical experience, the concept of government tracking children into jobs selected by economic planners "simply does not work."

Holland's address was followed later in the morning by Michigan State Representative Harold Voorhees, whose topic was "What School-to-Work Means at the Local Level." He vividly described the difference between traditional education and the plan to "train" students under school-to-work.

Goals 2000 was the second major subject of the morning session. Dick Brewbaker, representing Alabama Governor Fob James, spoke on "Why Alabama Rejected Goals 2000," and Arkansas State Senator Peggy Jeffries spoke on "How Goals 2000 Plays in the States."

Attorney Kent Masterson Brown gave an eye-opening address on "How Foundations Leverage Taxpayers' Money." Brown described how the Robert Wood Johnson and other wealthy foundations promote their agenda through state legislatures, school boards, and school districts by lobbying and grant-giving tactics that would be illegal if done by corporations.

Three Congressmen who are members of the House Education and Workforce Committee addressed the conferees. Rep. Ron Paul (TX) spoke on "The Federal Role in Public Schools." Rep. Lindsay Graham (SC) spoke on "Are We Getting a Good Return on Our Investment?". And Rep. Pete Hoekstra (MI) spoke on the education hearings he is conducting across the country to find out what works and what doesn't work.

Oregon State Representative Ron Sunseri enlightened the audience with a presentation on "Certificates of Mastery vs. Diplomas." He described how the master school-to-work plan is to eliminate high school diplomas and replace them with Certificates of Mastery, without which a student would not be able to get a job.

California State Representative Steve Baldwin spoke on "Let's Assess School Assessments." The chairman of the California Legislature's education committee described how tests have changed and no longer are a guide to academic knowledge or achievement, but actually test students' attitudes and political correctness.

Pennsylvania State Representative Sam Rohrer opened up a new area of concern when he spoke on "The Medicalization of the Schools." He described how the public schools are milking Medicaid in order to bring socialized medicine into the schools, where it will be available to all children, not just children in poverty.

Roxanne Petteway of California spoke on "School Computers" and Virginia Miller of Pennsylvania described "The Implications of the NCEE's Human Development Plan." NCEE is the National Center on Education and the Economy, whose president is Marc Tucker.

The consensus was that the conference brought information to Washington, DC that Members of Congress and their staffs had never heard before. The speakers traveled to Capitol Hill because of their belief that it is important for Members of Congress to know what happens in the states to the money that Congress appropriates; is it doing good or causing mischief? The day-long conference provided important answers.

The Goals 2000 event was sponsored by American Association of Christian Schools, American Conservative Union, American Family Association, Christian Coalition, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum, Family Research Council, Heritage Foundation, Home School Legal Defense Association, Right to Read Foundation, and Traditional Values Coalition.

Goals Report Posts Unimpressive Results
National Goals Panel Focuses on National Standards and Assessments

WASHINGTON, DC - The National Goals Panel has released its 1996 report, which focuses on the theme of "Setting Standards and Creating Assessments at the State and Local Levels." Michigan Governor John Engler presided as Chairman of the Panel during the 1995-1996 term.

In 1989, President Bush and the nation's governors met in Charlottesville, VA for the first Education Summit and agreed to set National Education Goals, six of which were established in 1990. The list was later expanded to eight goals in the Goals 2000: Educate America Act signed by President Clinton in 1994. The National Goals Panel was also created in 1990 to monitor national and state progress toward the National Education Goals through the end of the decade.

In his Feb. 4 State of the Union Address, President Clinton advocated national standards and assessments as his number-one point in his 10-point education plan. According to Ken Nelson, executive director of the National Education Goals Panel, this theme was chosen because the third National Education Goal cannot be accomplished "without setting higher academic standards and developing appropriate assessments."

The National Education Goals Report shows only modest improvements in accomplishing the goals. These include: more babies are born with a healthier start in life, more families are reading and telling stories to their children regularly, mathematics achievement has improved among 4th and 8th graders, and more students are earning degrees in math or science.

In other areas, the nation has regressed. Reading achievement at the 12th-grade level has declined. Fewer secondary school teachers have a degree in the subject they teach. The gap in college completion rates between white and Hispanic students has widened. Threats and injuries to teachers have increased and more teachers report disruptions in class.

Areas that show no change include the gap in preschool participation rates between high- and low-income families, the percentage of high school students using alcohol, the high school completion rate, and the percentage of parents who report being involved in activities at their child's school.

Copies of the complete 1996 Goals Report are available at http://negp@goalline.org/ or http://www.negp.gov.

Recent Research Supports Phonics

BIRMINGHAM, AL - Two national leaders in the fast-moving field of reading disabilities addressed the annual conference of the Learning Disabilities Association of Alabama that convened at the University of Alabama at Birmingham on Jan. 31.

Declaring reading failure to be a "public health problem," Dr. Reid Lyon noted that 80% of school children with learning disabilities have primary deficits in reading, and 90% of these reading deficits are associated with linguistic deficits. Whereas 50% of young children can learn no matter how they are taught to read, 40% are labored readers and 20% have great difficulty learning how to read. "These problems are not developmental," said Lyon. "76% remain lousy readers if they aren't caught by nine years of age."

Lyon is a research psychologist and chief of the learning disabilities and child development branch at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) within the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Lyon's research program has produced a growing body of highly replicable findings in the areas of early reading acquisition and reading disabilities that have been reported in over 2,000 refereed journals.

The 1985 Health Research Extension Act resulted in a new charge to the NICHD to improve the quality of the research by conducting long-term, prospective, longitudinal, and multidisciplinary research. This involves over 100 researchers in medicine, psychology, and education in approximately 14 different research centers. His branch has brought rigor and scientific validity to the area of learning disabilities, and his research projects have led to major discoveries.

Dr. Joe Torgeson is a professor of psychology and director of the Center for the Study of Reading and Reading Disabilities at Florida State University. He has over 100 publications on the subject of learning disabilities and serves on the editorial board of three professional research journals. Dr. Torgeson was recently awarded one of two five-year grants from the NICHD to study the prevention and remediation of reading disabilities in children.

Converging research reveals that phonemic awareness is the most potent predictor of success in learning to read. "Phonemic awareness," explained Torgeson, "is the ability to notice, think about, or manipulate the individual sounds in words." One in five children lack phonemic awareness and are unable to segment words and syllables into phonemes and therefore do not develop the ability to decode single words accurately and fluently.

Because phonemic awareness is a necessary precursor for learning to read, teachers should begin teaching it directly at an early age. Phonemic awareness is not phonics, but is critical to phonics instruction and can be taught with very positive results using explicit instruction.

However, phonemic awareness followed by whole language instruction is not sufficient to prevent reading disabilities according to Torgeson's research. "Good readers don't predict or guess based on context," he said. Sampling the text and using context to "predict" words characterized the behavior of poor readers, not good readers who read every word and rely extensively on the letter-sound relationships. "Explicit, systematic, and intensive instruction is better," he explained.

Other significant finds of the NICHD research include:

  • IQ, mental age, perceptual styles, race, or parents' education are all weak predictors of reading success.
  • Children with reading disabilities and children of poverty seem to benefit from the same type of instruction, i.e., explicit, systematic phonics.
  • As many girls as boys have difficulties learning to read. More boys are identified by teachers in school because of their tendency to be more rowdy and active then girls.
  • Changing instruction from whole language to explicit, systematic phonics at the classroom level is more effective in reducing reading problems than tutorial programs. In order to avoid reading failure, the focus should be on prevention at the classroom level, not intervention at the tutorial level.
  • A balanced instructional program composed of direct instruction in phonological awareness, phonics, and contextual reading is necessary for gains in reading skills to be achieved.

Along with teaching phonemic awareness followed by assessment at an early age, teachers should teach each letter-sound correspondence explicitly (explicit instruction means that a sound or phoneme is isolated for the children); teach only the most frequent, highly regular sound relationships; teach blending explicitly; and use connected, decodable text for children to practice the phonics they learn. Decodable text is composed of words that use the letter-sound correspondences the children have learned to that point and a limited number of sight words that have been systematically taught.

Each research study within the NICHD network must follow the most rigorous scientific procedures. Theories are tested by doing everything to try to prove the theory incorrect. This is in contrast with the tendency in education to present untested hypotheses as theories before any testing has occurred. Research bias is reduced by the sheer number of people involved.

"Instead of arguing over phonics vs. whole language, the question we must deal with," said Lyon, "is, 'What does it take for a human to learn how to read?'"

Reported by Joan Kendall

For a synthesis of the NICHD research on reading, write Dr. Doug Carnine, NCITE, University of Oregon, 805 Lincoln, Eugene, Oregon 97401.

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Education Briefs

Parents in Pana, IL celebrated the Feb. 7 rejection of their district's request for Goals 2000 funding (see Education Reporter, Dec. 1996). Although the rejection made no mention of the highly-publicized parent protest, a board member said that the angry superintendent blamed the loss of the grant on the parents.

SIECUS has issued an urgent action alert in response to the abstinence-only programs provided for in the new welfare law (see Education Reporter, Feb. 1997). The memo urges SIECUS advocates to call the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Bureau to say "that abstinence-only programs are ineffective and that you want effective comprehensive sexuality education programs for young people in your state. Encourage your State MCH Bureau not to accept funds for the restrictive abstinence-only programs" (italics in original).

Another zero-tolerance rule has snared another unsuspecting victim. Kindergartner Al-Licia Saunders of Silver Springs Shores, FL received a one-day suspension for bringing a nail file to school so she could be like her older sister. Nail files officially qualify as weapons under the district's policy.

The Minnesota PTA has endorsed a new film called "It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School." The documentary, premiered Nov. 14 in Minneapolis, teaches young children through a relativistic moral framework not to fear or discriminate against gays and lesbians. The San Francisco Chronicle applauded the documentary, calling it a political "stick of dynamite."

Minnesota's gay rights law may require 4-H clubs to sign a pledge to enforce gay rights. Parents across Minnesota are objecting to a requirement by the University of Minnesota Extension Service's 4-H program that would not exempt youth-oriented public organizations from signing the pledge. The legislature has already exempted non-public youth organizations from the state's gay rights statute.

Channel One Emphasizes Ads Over Knowledge

BALTIMORE, MD - Two new studies sharply criticize Channel One, the program viewed daily by 8 million students, as heavy on advertising and light on news.

The two studies were conducted separately by sociologist professor William Hoynes of Vassar College and by media expert Mark Crispin Miller of Johns Hopkins University. Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, a watchdog group based in New York City, coordinated the research.

Hoynes and Miller analyzed 36 shows from 1995 and 1996 that contained a total of 91 news stories and 177 on-camera sources. Hoynes reported that news made up 58% of the programming while ads, a news quiz, promotional activities, music, and banter filled the remaining 42% of air time.

The research reveals that, of Channel One's time allotted for news, only 20% was spent covering "recent political, economic, social, and cultural stories." The remaining 80% of news coverage included sports, weather, and natural disasters.

Professor Hoynes reported that the news on Channel One should not be taken seriously. "It is dubious whether such news provides educational or civic benefits to either students or educators at schools that receive Channel One," he wrote. "Instead of taking the news quality of Channel One for granted, this research suggest that we need to systematically study Channel One programming to determine the nature of this news."

Each 12-minute program, watched by an estimated 40% of the nation's teenagers, contains two minutes of commercials.

"Its real function is not journalistic but commercial, said Miller in "How to Be Stupid: The Teachings of Channel One." "[The news] is meant to get us ready for the ads," he wrote. "It must keep itself from saying anything too powerful or even interesting, must never cut too deep or raise any really troubling questions, because it cannot ever be permitted to detract in any way from the commercials."

Channel One's most extensive reporting focused on social issues that concern teenagers, such as drinking and pregnancy. Such issues, noted Professor Hoynes, are presented as "simplistic morality tales."

In defense of the program, Channel One spokeswoman Claudia Peters dismissed the research results as irrelevant. "Channel One," she said, "has been evaluated and reviewed by educators in 12,000 schools nationwide and renewed at a rate of 99%. A recent study by the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan found that 93% of all teachers would recommend Channel One to other schools and teachers."

Peters also noted that the program has received over 100 education and journalism awards, including a George Foster Peabody Award in 1993 for a story on a young woman with AIDS.

Since 1990, when Whittle Communications introduced Channel One into middle and high schools, the program has stirred up controversy over the role of commercial television in the classroom. New York has banned Channel One from its public schools.

Channel One provides schools with 19-inch television sets, two VCRs, wiring, and a satellite link free of charge. In return, Channel One's contract requires each school to show the broadcast each school day.

Especially controversial is the fact that students in subscribing schools cannot avoid watching the daily program. Marianne Manilov, executive director of Center for Commercial-Free Public Education, said, "They will tell you that the students don't have to watch, but in practice they can't opt out. Channel One is promoted as an educational tool, but I would question its value."

K-III Communications purchased Channel One in 1994 for $250 million. According to Peters, advertisers pay $185,000 to air a 30-second commercial.

Clinton Makes Education His Soapbox
'Call to Action' and Budget Point Toward a Federal Takeover of Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In his Feb. 4 State of the Union Address and 1998 budget proposal, President Clinton tapped into the public's genuine concern over education by outlining an ambitious plan that calls for a record $51 billion for federal education-related programs.

Clinton devoted one-fourth of his one-hour address to his 10-point "Call to Action for American Education" (see box). The proposed plan covers the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

In his first point, Clinton called for a "national crusade for education standards . . . representing what all our students should know to succeed in the knowledge economy of the 21st century."

High academic standards are the Education Department's first priority, said Secretary Richard Riley, and Goals 2000 is "the cornerstone" on which school officials will set and raise standards.

"What Bill Clinton has done has gone way beyond where the country was even at the Education Summit at Palisades last year," said Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy and co-director of New Standards, which has drawn up voluntary standards for the nation's schools. "He's saying that not only do we need standards, we need national standards. That would have been almost unthinkable even a year ago."

Analysts on both sides say Clinton's call for national standards and assessments has more potential than anything else in his proposal to improve education. Chester Finn Jr., senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former assistant secretary of education under President Bush, praised "the most controversial [part of the program], which was the test."

Diane Ravitch, who served as an assistant education secretary in the Bush administration, as well as Michigan Governor John Engler also welcomed the idea. Groups representing big business, such as the National Alliance of Business and the Business Roundtable, lauded the President's plan.

Not everyone believes Clinton's ideas are constructive. Parents fear they mean the nationalization and federalization of education.

"Adding another test is not going to, by itself, improve anything," said Monty Neill, association director of the testing watchdog group FairTest.

Clinton hopes to avoid the appearance of a federal curriculum by focusing on math and reading, two subjects that are widely recognized as basic, necessary skills. In his proposal, the federal government would design national tests for 4th graders in reading and for 8th graders in math.

To get testing into classrooms as early as 1999, the administration has devised a strategy to circumvent Congress and use accounts, such as the Fund for the Improvement of Education, that allow the Department of Education wide latitude in spending.

"We are trying very deliberately to create a climate in which this can move forward without causing everyone to refight the old battles," said Michael Cohen, education advisor to the president. "We want to get this done."

In a January 22 speech made to Northbrook, IL students, teachers, and parents, Clinton declared, "We can no longer hide behind our love of local control of the schools and use that as an excuse not to hold ourselves to high standards." After that visit, Clinton assigned Mr. Cohen, Secretary Riley, and Undersecretary of Education Marshall Smith to create a plan to implement the new tests.

Finn expressed skepticism over Clinton's idea of recruiting one million tutors into a national Reading Corps, discussed in Clinton's third point. "He seems to have this screwy idea that because two-and-a-half million teachers who are paid to do this stuff are not very good at it, that sending a million amateurs into the classroom is going to make a difference," he said.

Commentator Stephen Chapman says that "asking volunteers to teach 9-year-olds to read is like asking citizens to pitch in at the Post Office so mail deliveries won't take so long. It utterly misses the point."

In his address, Mr. Clinton proclaimed, "I ask all the nation's governors, and I ask teachers, parents and citizens all across America, for a new nonpartisan commitment to education because education is one of the critical national security issues for our future, and politics must stop at the classroom door." Mr. Clinton is heavily supported by teachers' unions, arguably the most powerful constituency in the Democratic Party, making up 12% of the delegates at last year's Democratic Convention.

The President promised to organize a conference with his wife, Hillary, this spring to discuss research on how infants develop intellectually "in the first few days of life" and how parents can respond to ensure their newborns get a quick start on learning. "We already know that we should start teaching children before they start school," he said, reflecting the first of the National Education Goals: Every child should start school ready to learn.

Representative Bill Goodling, chairman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, said, "There's no question that education is the sexiest thing out there right now, and the President knows that. But I think people have to ask how much of this is new and how much is just more of the same."

Mr. Clinton's spending initiatives in his 1998 budget of $1,690,000,000,000 would increase federal education funding by 40% by 2002, the same year the budget is to be balanced. His education crusade includes tax credits, deductions, and federal scholarships, dubbed by The Los Angeles Times as "a higher education entitlement for millions of middle-income Americans."

Clinton's spending proposal for the Education Department of $39.4 billion represents a $10 billion increase over the 1997 appropriation, which Republicans funded at $743 million more than the President's original $25.6 billion request (see Education Reporter, Feb. 1997). The proposed $51 billion includes programs such as employment training and Head Start run by the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services in addition to those run by the Education Department.

Total expenditures on elementary and secondary education have increased over 200% in constant dollars since 1960. By 1993, SAT scores had dropped more than 70 points since 1960. Currently, the government finances 760 federal education programs across 39 federal agencies at a cost of $120 billion. About 230 of these are in the Department of Education. The federal government already funds 32 federal programs on literacy.


Clinton's 10-Point 'Call to Action'
  1. Promote national standards reflecting what all students must know to succeed in the 21st century and create voluntary new national tests of student achievement in math and reading.

  2. Provide funding to help the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards meet the goal of certifying 100,000 teachers as masters in their profession.

  3. Help more children learn to read through the America Reads initiative, which calls for 1 million volunteer tutors to make sure every child can read by the end of the 3rd grade.

  4. Expand Head Start to 1 million children by 2002.

  5. Create 3,000 charter schools by 2000.

  6. Teach character education and support school uniforms, curfews, and zero tolerance for guns and drugs in schools.

  7. Provide $5 billion to help communities pay for $20 billion in school construction over the next four years.

  8. In an effort to make 14 years of education universal, give federal tax credits and deductions for post-high-school study, allow expanded IRAs that can be tapped tax-free for education, and increase Pell Grants for needy students.

  9. Pass a "GI bill" for American workers to promote skills training.

  10. Connect every classroom and library in America to the Internet by 2000.
Officials Misuse Waivers to
Inflate Test Scores

LANSING, MI - Officials at Muskegon Heights Middle School admit to skewing the results of a statewide test by asking the parents of low-achieving students to sign test waiver forms.

Administrators of the urban, predominantly black middle school identified students who had a history of poor test results, poor attendance, poor reading skills, or were repeating their grade. They then asked their parents to exempt them from taking the Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP), the state's measuring stick of student progress. Districts whose students perform poorly on the MEAP risk losing state accreditation and money.

Since 40% of 7th graders did not take the test last fall, the overall percentage of students who scored "satisfactory" on the MEAP significantly improved. Test scores were celebrated in a district-wide newsletter without any mention of the waivers.

Muskegon Heights officials defend the scheme, saying they were trying to level the playing field in the annual MEAP comparison with other schools. They argued that it is unfair to compare schools that have large numbers of failure-prone children with those who do not. This way, both the students and the district look good.

"We need to stay focused on those children who do well," said Celeste Parker, curriculum director for the district. "You can have good students who have not worked hard all along, and then those who are not prepared . . . pull down your scores."

"Once a black school does well, they automatically say you cheated," Parker said. "We expected this to happen."

School administrators justify their actions by saying that failure-prone students could risk further dejection by taking a test they simply have no hope of passing. "I would challenge anyone to give a student with a second-grade reading level the 7th-grade MEAP test," said Muskegon Heights Middle School Principal Danny Smith. "It just contributes to the child's already poor self-esteem."

"I can't think of anything worse for self-esteem [than] to tell someone to stay home and not take a test because they were not up to their standards," responded Pat Masserant, deputy press secretary for Governor John Engler.

Muskegon Heights Board member Yvonne Hill thinks the school district should concentrate on getting the students to come to school and helping them learn rather than writing them off. "What are we telling these kids-that they are failures and they shouldn't come back to school?" asked Hill. "Are we encouraging cheating for our children?"

The Michigan Department of Education believes that all children should be tested in order to check their progress or lack of it. Diane Smolen, director of the state's testing program, said the exemptions were meant for students with disabilities, not for students who fear failure. Soliciting waivers is unethical, state educators say, but no written law forbids the practice.

"You exempt students on the parents' request. The district shouldn't solicit parents to ask for it," said Peggy Dutcher of the Michigan Department of Education, assessment consultant for the MEAP.

The MEAP is given to Michigan students in the 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th grades to test their abilities in science and writing in the spring and reading and math in the fall.

Record numbers of parents in the Birmingham and Troy school districts are exempting their children from taking the state's High School Proficiency Test, just introduced last year. Unlike the Muskegon Heights incident, most of the students have at least a 3.0 grade point average according to Shirley Bryant, Birmingham's Community relations director.

Students who score above a certain level are deemed proficient and have a seal affixed to their diploma. Those who score below that level are given "novice" or "not-yet-novice" status. Students who earn a novice score have it stamped on their transcript. If a student gets a waiver, nothing appears on the transcript.

Parents believe that their children may be branded as failures regardless of their grade-point average or college entrance exam scores. Parent Sue Morden, who signed a waiver for her daughter Laura, 16, a junior in the Birmingham district, said, "I just felt I was doing her a disservice until the state can come in and talk to us parents about what this could mean to our children in the future."

Test tampering is not limited to Michigan. The school board in Fairfield, CN suspended elementary school principal Roger Previs for inflating student scores by changing students' test answers. Stratfield, an award-winning elementary school, consistently outscored other Connecticut schools on skills exams. The school board spent $100,000 to investigate Previs after the publisher of the Iowa Test of Basic Skills accused the principal of tampering with the tests of 3rd- and 5th- graders last year. The erasure rate on Stratfield answer sheets, it was found, was three to five times higher than the rate of other leading Fairfield elementary schools. A similar pattern of tampering was discovered on the school's Connecticut Mastery Test results.

Writer Dares to Expose D.A.R.E.

"Don't You D.A.R.E." is the title of a remarkable 8-page article in The New Republic of March 3, which exposes the long-suppressed record of the most widely used drug education program. It tells how DARE has encouraged schoolchildren to inform on their parents, thereby breaking up families. It tells how DARE persuaded newspapers to publish false information, in one case resulting in the Washington Post having to pay large money damages to the family it libeled.

The article reports that DARE's budget this year is $750 million, of which about $600 million comes from federal, state and local taxes. DARE's usual format is 17 weekly lessons taught in the 5th or 6th grade by uniformed policemen trained by DARE. DARE boasts that it is now in 70% of the nation's school districts. It is strongly endorsed by President Clinton, the Democratic Party Platform, and Clinton's Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey.

The New Republic article exposes the fact that study after study has concluded that DARE simply does not work. Students who go through the program are just as likely to use drugs as those who don't.

The New Republic details a long list of bullying tactics used by DARE to silence and intimidate is critics, destroy their professional reputations, and ruin their careers. Professors, researchers and journalists have all been the targets of hard-ball tactics that have become known as being "Dared." They've been the victims of personal attacks, epithets, anonymous phone calls at strange hours, graffiti messages on their homes and cars, and even harassment of their children. One researcher found the words "kid killer" and "drug pusher" etched into the paint of his car.

The article tells about the remarkable successes DARE has had in "spiking," i.e., squelching, reports of criticisms of DARE. The National Institute of Justice commissioned the prestigious Research Triangle Institute to study DARE, but when the conclusion came back negative, the Justice Department refused to publish it.

DARE was even able to kill an expose on NBC-TV Dateline. When the CBS-TV Evening News aired a short segment critical of DARE, TV screens suddenly went blank in an area where DARE was being hotly debated. DARE advocates do not deny responsibility for the blackout.


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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