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Published in Print: October 1, 2004, as Roundup


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Mounting Fury

Cooler heads failed to prevail in a dispute over do-it-yourself classroom air conditioning in Salt Lake City this past summer. As reported in the Salt Lake Tribune, an unnamed Granite School District teacher sweating it out in a non-climate-controlled school bought a $350 air conditioner with her own money, only to be told it could not be installed. Calling the window unit a security risk, district officials instead posted tips on wearing cool clothing.

Refund Redux

Just because you owe the state $257,000 doesn’t mean you don’t deserve another million. That’s the message Illinois lawmakers seemingly sent a Chicago teacher-training academy under fire for publicly financed parties and other dubious expenses. Despite auditors’ orders that the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science send the state a $257,000 refund, the state’s 2005 budget includes $1 million for the academy, according to the Associated Press.

Praxis Practice

More than 4,000 would-be teachers are wondering who grades the graders at the Educational Testing Service. "We sincerely apologize for this unfortunate situation," spokesman Tom Ewing told the Associated Press. He disclosed that ETS failed thousands who should have passed its Praxis teacher-licensing exams, used in 18 states. The apology and a refund weren’t good enough for some—ETS has since been the target of a half-dozen lawsuits.

Still Unspoiled

Thirty-one-year teaching veteran Roger Bennatti may have retired, but the Twinkie he placed on his blackboard sill in the mid-1970s is still going strong. "The idea was to see how long it would take to go bad," Bennatti told the Associated Press. "It never spoiled." Bennatti’s experiment at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine, may last another 31 years: A former student turned teacher planned to display the apparently immortal snack in her classroom this year.

Vol. 16, Issue 2, Page 14

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