Eagle Forum

Education Reporter

Education Briefs 
Governor Jeb Bush has introduced a phonics reading initiative for K-12 students called "Just Read, Florida." The plan follows the framework established by the congressionally-mandated 2000 National Reading Panel report, which outlines five essential components of elementary reading instruction: 1) phonemic awareness, 2) phonics instruction, 3) fluency, 4) vocabulary and, 5) text comprehension. Bush's plan calls for new textbooks and other materials, and teacher training. New elementary school teachers will be required to take at least 12 semester hours of reading course work in order to be certified.

The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) includes "sexual orientation" in its definition of "diversity." NCATE accredits roughly half of America's teacher training programs, making it the largest organization of its kind in the U.S. According to Robert Holland, writing in the Feb. 2002 issue of Education Matters, a publication of the Association of American Educators, four of the six NCATE standards involve multicultural diversity and the fifth standard includes sexual orientation. "The NCATE standards repeatedly emphasize the necessity for teacher trainers and future teachers to exhibit the correct 'dispositions' with regard to diversity," Holland stated.

A Connecticut state legislator agrees to kill a controversial homeschooling bill. Nearly 1,000 homeschool supporters flooded the state Capitol in March for a hearing on the bill, and legislators were bombarded with negative telephone and email messages. The legislation would have required parents to notify the state of their homeschooling plans, including details about subjects and instruction schedules. Parents would also have been forced to have their children's performance assessed by an independent source. In the wake of the opposition, state Rep. Cameron Staples, co-chair of the Connecticut legislature's Education Committee, promised to recommend that the proposal be dropped.

inside this issue . . .

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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