State News Roundup
Hawaiians Divided Over Pigdin English in Schools
Hawaii residents are divided on whether pidgin English should be barred from public school classrooms, a state-sponsored study has found.
The simplified form of English is common in Hawaii. In a survey by the Hawaii Democracy Forum, 47 percent of those polled said pidgin English should not be used in classrooms. Forty-four percent said there should be no rules on its use, and only 3 percent said it should be promoted in schools.
"Pidgin is spoken very prevalently, and people feel it's part of the culture," said Dolores Foley, a project coordinator with the forum and a University of Hawaii public-administration professor.
Nearly all of Louisiana's beginning teachers have passed a statewide evaluation of their first-year performance.
Of the 972 rookie teachers evaluated, only 20--2 percent--failed the revised statewide evaluation program.
Those teachers will receive assistance this fall from an evaluation team made up of a teacher's principal, an experienced teacher, and an educator from outside the school. They will then be re-evaluated in the spring.
Teachers who fail that review will be required to stop teaching for a year and complete a professional development program.
Legal Battle Continues
Despite Shannon Faulkner's withdrawal from the Citadel last month, a lawsuit over the South Carolina military academy's plan to establish a separate program at a women's college is moving forward.
The state of South Carolina--also named as a defendant in the case--has proposed offering a women's leadership-training program at Converse College in Spartanburg.
Ms. Faulkner last month become the first female cadet in the Citadel's 153-year history after winning a two-year court battle, then withdrew abruptly, citing exhaustion and stress.
The trial over the proposed Converse College program is scheduled to begin Nov. 6 in Charleston.
Silence Law Upheld
A federal judge has upheld a Georgia law that allows schools to start each day with a moment of silence.
The judge ruled in July that the law does not violate the U.S. Constitution's ban on government establishment of religion.
A Gwinnett County social-studies teacher challenged the law in court after he was fired for refusing to observe his school's moment-of-silence policy. Lawyers for the teacher reportedly plan to appeal.
Weapons Seizures Rise
The number of students who brought weapons to Virginia schools rose during 1993-94, with the most alarming increases in middle schools, a state study has found.
The report by a state commission found that school officials seized 373 weapons in 1993-94, up from 348 in 1992-93.
The study released in July by Gov. George Allen's Commission on Juvenile Justice Reform also cited increases in assaults and drug seizures on campus.
William C. Bosher Jr., the state schools superintendent, said behavior that was unique to high schools 20 years ago is now prevalent in middle schools and visible in elementary schools.
The commission, appointed by the governor in March, tracked student behavior in every Virginia county for the school years 1992-93 and 1993-94.