Diplomas For Sale: The operator of an alleged diploma mill has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Salt Lake City on charges of mail fraud. The indictment claims that Edward Reddeck collected more than $250,000 a year in "tuition'' payments for bogus degrees and that his North American University is simply a mailing address. Teacher Magazine reported on Reddeck and NAU in a January 1990 cover story on diploma mills. He sued the magazine in federal courts in Utah and California; both suits were dismissed.
An Issue Of Importance: American voters will be taking careful stock of congressional candidates' education platforms next November, according to a survey conducted this winter by a Republican polling firm. On a scale of 1 to 10 ("not at all important'' to "extremely important''), survey respondents gave education an 8.7 rating, the highest of 12 platform issues, which included the economy and jobs, health care, and crime and drugs.
Pitching In: The Chicago Teachers Union in February received a $1.1 million grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support a three-year effort to help the city's 26,000 teachers apply research about effective teaching and learning practices in their schools. It is believed to be the largest grant ever given to a teachers' union by a private philanthropy.
Their Fair Share: Dozens of teachers in Fort Wayne, Ind., may be forced to pay thousands of dollars in "fair share'' collective bargaining dues as the result of a recent ruling by the Indiana Court of Appeals. In two separate lawsuits dating back 10 years, the Fort Wayne Education Association has tried to collect the fees--intended to cover the cost of collective bargaining activities for all employees--from nonunion teachers. The fair-share fees average about $350 a year. The ruling reversed earlier decisions by a county circuit judge and lifted an injunction preventing collection of the fees.
State Of Emergency: The American Federation of Teachers in February called on President Bush to declare "a state of emergency for children in crisis'' and asked Congress to "rescue'' them with "immediate legislative action.'' The union called for more than $5 billion in new spending on education, child care, and child health programs and for $8 billion to $10 billion over five years to rebuild school facilities.
Slow To Respond: The Minnesota Department of Human Rights has ruled that a high school in Hopkins failed to ensure a nondiscriminatory environment for African-Americans when it failed to promptly discipline a teacher who verbally harassed black students and claimed that black people are less intelligent than others. The high school suspended the teacher without pay, but not until more than a month after concerned parents had filed a complaint with the state.
Quick To Act: The Neptune, N.J., school district wasted little time in suspending local high school English teacher David Clark for allegedly making racist comments on a radio call-in show. Clark allegedly said: "In 200 years, we went to the moon. In 2,000 years, [Africans] are still over there urinating in their own drinking and bathing water.'' A lawyer hired by the local teachers' union to represent Clark said the remarks had been taken out of context.
Rocky Mountain High?: The American Honda Education Corp., created last year by the U.S. subsidiary of the Japanese auto maker, has reached a "conceptual'' agreement with the Colorado State Land Board on a 640-acre site near Estes Park for a proposed innovative, tuition-free boarding school for at-risk youths. Honda envisions replicating the project in other communities in the future.