District News Roundup
Seven students at Elk River (Minn.) High School who led a demonstration in front of their school last week to protest U.S. involvement in Lebanon and Grenada were suspended for a day by the school's principal. Another 13 were suspended only for the hours that corresponded to the time they missed classes.
All were required to attend school during the suspension periods, but were permitted only to study, not to attend classes, said Nicholas Olsen, the school's principal.
The protesters had been warned that they faced suspension, Mr. Olsen said, adding that "it was a peaceful demonstration by some good kids."
Two seniors, who had originally proposed the demonstration, said they had expected 200 of the schools' 1,201 pupils to turn out. But after consulting with school authorities and the police, the pair changed their minds about the wisdom of a demonstration and advised fellow students not to leave classes for the protest; 20 nonetheless did so.
Officials of the Dade County (Fla.) Public Schools last week began taking steps to smooth the way for implementing a new teacher-evaluation system scheduled
Under the new system, evaluations will be conducted by a state-trained panel, including a subject-area specialist from outside the teacher's school system.
Last week, officials introduced the new process, called the Teacher Assessment and Development System, to some 8,000 teachers through a series of telecasts shown at daylong workshops in 24 high schools. Booklets "several inches thick" were available to answer additional questions that teachers might have, said Kathleen Osborne, a district spokesman.
The district also invited representatives of the teachers' unions and educational consultants to attend the workshops; the goal of the workshops, Ms. Osborne said, was to enable each teacher to learn "how this would affect him personally."
As a further preparatory move, district officials are piloting the system in 24 Dade County schools this year.