New U.S. Department of Education guidelines could make college exams illegal based on minority performance. According to an article in the May 16 Wall Street Journal by Edward Blum and Marc Levin of the Campaign for a Color-Blind America Legal Defense and Education Foundation, educators "have been put on notice that if minority applicants are admitted to their universities in smaller numbers because their SAT scores are too low, colleges must get rid of the SAT or, at best, minimize the weight it carries." Blum and Levin reference the "irrefutable" fact that standardized tests "are a reliable predictor of academic success." They write that the Clinton Administration is seeking to "destroy American universities' admissions standards," and that the new guidelines will "put the nation's finest universities on an escalator heading down."
Homeschooled student wins National Geography Bee. David Beihl, a 13-year-old from South Carolina, is the first homeschooler to win the championship round of the 11th annual national competition. David received a $25,000 scholarship from the National Geography Society and a seven-day trip to Australia from Bank One, this year's corporate sponsor. The competition initially involved 5 million 4th through 8th graders.
Nearly four million American children are now taking Ritalin, according to the April/May issue of Policy Review. Ritalin has been used for years to treat Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), the catchall syndrome for children who fidget, squirm, have difficulty concentrating, interrupt others, and lose things. A new study from the University of California at Berkeley finds that children on Ritalin are at increased risk of abusing other drugs. Professor Nadine Lambert followed nearly 500 children for 26 years, and contends that Ritalin makes children's brains more susceptible to addictive drugs such as cocaine, which doubles the risk of abuse. Syndicated columnist Maggie Gallagher writes that teachers are "the chief pushers of Ritalin," because children "become more focused and compliant" while taking the stimulant drug.