Education Briefs

Back to February 2016 Ed Reporter

Education Briefs

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni released a survey that shows how little Americans know about civics. They found that nearly 10% of college graduates think the woman on the TV show “Judge Judy” is a Supreme Court Justice. A shocking “46% of college grads don’t know the election cycle — six years for senators, two years for representatives.” Among the general population, ACTA found that “54% of those surveyed cannot identify the Bill of Rights accurately . . . [and] over 1 in 10 of those ages 25–34 believe that the Constitution must be reauthorized every four years. (, 9-8-15)

According to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), the number of colleges that “clearly and substantially prohibited” free speech dropped to 49.3%, the first time in FIRE’s history that the figure is below 50%. The number of schools awarded FIRE’s “green light rating,” meaning they have eliminated all speech codes that seek to quash the First Amendment on campus, has increased from 18 to 22 — unfortunately, that’s out of 440 schools. (, 9-15)

In order to stop teachers unhappy with work conditions from falsely calling in sick, which has resulted in about 700 lost instructional hours, Detroit Public Schools (DPS) asked a judge to “issue a restraining order and preliminary injunction to force teachers to . . . return to work.” Both motions name the Detroit Federation of Teachers union and its president. Only 8% of DPS’s 8th-grade students read proficiently. (CNN, 1-20-16)

Research on students in New York City public elementary and middle schools conducted between 2008 and 2013 found that access to cold water drinking fountains can reduced obesity rates and body mass indexes. “Results from this study show an association between a relatively low-cost water availability intervention and decreased student weight.” (JAMA-Pediatrics, 1-19-16)