NYC expands successful ban on social promotion. Noting that his threat to hold back failing 3rd- and 5th-graders had spurred record increases in reading and math scores, New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced in July that he will extend the policy to 7th-graders.
High school class work is not very difficult, says a large majority of students in an online nationwide survey of teenagers conducted by the National Governors Association. Almost two-thirds say they would work harder if courses were more demanding or interesting, according to the survey results released in July.
64% of Americans believe creationism should be taught alongside evolution, according to a Pew Research Center poll released in August. The summer also saw President George W. Bush and Senate Majority leader Bill Frist (R-TN) indicate support for teaching "intelligent design" along with evolution. Austrian Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn wrote in the New York Times in July that Catholicism requires belief in "purpose and design in the natural world," not an "unguided" evolutionary process. A poll by the Louis Finkelstein Institute for Social and Religious Research found that 60% of physicians reject the Darwinian view that humans evolved without any supernatural involvement and 65% of physicians believe that "intelligent design" should be allowed or required to be taught along with evolution.
British school allows up to five f-words per class. Parents were informed in August of the astonishing policy of Weavers School in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire. Once the limit is exceeded, "the class will be spoken to by the teacher at the end of the lesson." Some parents called the rule "ludicrous." "What next?" asked a member of Parliament. "Do we allow people to speed five times or burgle five times?" (dailymail.co.uk, 8-29-05)
U.S. schools now teach an estimated 9 million students who don't speak English, and the number is increasing by almost 1 million a year. (Washington Times, 6-19-05)