2000 NAEP science scores remained flat among 4th- and 8th-graders, while 12th-graders' scores tumbled. Results released in November showed that just 53% of high school seniors scored above the basic level, a decline of four percentage points from 1996. Eighth-grade scores improved one percentage point, while 4th-grade scores were unchanged. George D. Nelson, director of science education for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, told Education Week "the vast majority of our students today are learning very little science."
Special education teacher Lori Hatfield of Lake Fenton, MI, sued parent Ronald Riley for stating his opinions about Lake Fenton schools and teachers on a web site. Riley created the website, which accuses Hatfield of "using poor judgment" and of being "a dud" as a teacher, after pulling his 13 and 17-year-old daughters out of Lake Fenton schools last summer. In her lawsuit, Hatfield claims she was hurt professionally by Riley and that his web site has caused her both physical and emotional suffering. Riley charges that the suit is being backed "financially and morally" by the school district in response to his opposition to a $30 million millage election March 12.
Organizers of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City offered 12,000 free condoms to the 2400 Olympic athletes. The condoms were available at the Olympic Village medical clinic and clinics at other venues, as well as from organizations including the Gay and Lesbian Community Center.
Utah State Rep. Katherine Bryson has introduced a bill making it a misdemeanor for teachers to imply or require that a student "take a psychotropic drug as a condition for attending school." Bryson believes too many Utah children are taking Ritalin and that schools are at least partly to blame. Bryson's bill would also prohibit educators from making reports to the Utah Dept. of Children and Family Services without contacting parents.