|Back to July Ed Reporter|
|NUMBER 150||THE NEWSPAPER OF EDUCATION RIGHTS||JULY 1998|
Textbooks are in short supply in Maryland's Prince George's County public schools. A study found that nearly a quarter of the county's 182 public schools have a critical shortage of textbooks in key subjects such as math and social studies. Superintendent Jerome Clark promised to address the problem, but voiced what has become the philosophy of some educators: "Students can learn without books by using other materials such as computers, science and math kits, and workbooks. Everything cannot be textbook-driven." His response provoked outrage among parents and school board members.
New Standards of Learning (SOL) exams in Virginia include multiple-choice questions that emphasize basic skills. Spelling and grammar, plus skills in math, science and social studies were tested this spring on 200,000 5th-, 8th- and 11th-graders at public schools throughout Virginia. State Board of Education officials are reviewing the results this summer to determine what constitutes a passing grade. The SOL tests could become the determining factor in whether schools keep their accreditation, and passing the tests will become a high school graduation requirement in 2004.
The Rutherford Institute has filed suit on behalf of a Washington State teacher who was fired in 1995 for resisting OBE. Dr. Barbara Kosiec has an exemplary teaching record of nearly 30 years in Washington public schools. In 1993, she joined the Pasco school system, where Outcome Based Education has been implemented since 1987. Dr. Kosiec made every effort to incorporate OBE into her teaching, while continuing to voice her reservations about the system.
City University of New York (CUNY) is considering dropping remedial education classes. Last fall, 63% of incoming freshmen at CUNY's four-year campuses and 86% at its community college campuses failed placement tests in reading, writing and math. At issue is the role colleges should play in teaching students what they should have learned in high school to prepare them for college-level work.