Florida mother sues school district over daughter's tattoo. A West Palm Beach 13-year-old allowed a classmate to create a 2 1/2 x 3 1/2" flower tattoo on her shoulder during art class with "a needle he found" while the teacher and fellow students watched. The girl's mother wants the school district to reimburse her for the HIV, syphilis and hepatitis tests the child underwent after the procedure, and for the $2000 it will cost to have a plastic surgeon remove the tattoo.
Alabama pediatricians adopt resolution against forcing schoolchildren to watch advertising. The state chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics' has resolved that schools should not sign contracts obligating students to view ads during class time in exchange for supplies and other materials. The Alabama chapter plans to present its resolution to pediatricians in other states and will work for its adoption by the national organization.
Education is high on voters' list of concerns. A national survey taken in February shows that education is "the single most important issue" among the American people. While 42% approved of increased funding for education, only 38% favored a greater federal role, and 35% said the federal government's role should shrink. Forty-nine percent of those polled favored education savings accounts, which would transfer some education dollars to allow tax breaks for parents.
Billionaire CEO donates $100 million for online university. Michael Saylor, the 35-year-old head of Microstrategy, a computer software company based in Vienna, Virginia, plans to include lectures from the world's "geniuses and leaders" in his nonprofit cyber hall of higher learning. He plans to donate more of his $13 billion fortune to the project over time and has invited other philanthropists to contribute. Unlike existing Internet degree programs, Saylor's courses will be free of charge.
Colorado College is offering a Lego-building test in lieu of the SAT for some admissions. The program is part of a national experiment to attract students who may not otherwise qualify for college admission because of failing standardized test scores. Groups of 8-10 students individually view a robot on display in a room separate from the testing room. The group must then build a replica of the robot from memory in 10 minutes using Legos. Principals, teachers and college admissions personnel evaluate the group's work. Other paperless tests include conflict resolution exercises and personal interviews. Participating colleges are expected to enroll about 100 students as a result of the experiment.