Current Events / in brief

October 01, 1990 4 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Prosecutors in Connecticut have agreed not to try parochial school teacher Diane Pociadlo, who was accused of failing to report a case of suspected child abuse under a little-used state law.

The agreement was offered only on the condition that the suburban-Hartford teacher attend a daylong training class on childabuse detection and present a report on the session to other teachers at her school, according to a spokesman for the state superior court.

Pociadlo, who has taught at St. Stanislaus School in Meriden for more than 10 years, was charged last May with violating a state statute that requires teachers and other professionals to report suspected child abuse. Police alleged that one of Pociadlo’s students regularly came to school covered with bruises. School officials, however, said the teacher could not have known about the alleged abuse.

An Unusual Relationship

Students who enter the new South Pointe Elementary School in Dade County, Fla., in the fall of 1991 will not see a teacher standing before neat rows of desks, ready to begin the day’s work with stacks of freshly printed workbooks. Instead, they will find carpeted classrooms with low tables, computer terminals, shelves of children’s literature, and two teachers ready to help them begin an individualized instruction plan.

South Pointe students will be taught using a method developed by Education Alternatives Inc., a private, for-profit company based in Minnesota. This past summer, the Dade County school board decided to hire the firm to develop the education program at the soon-to-bebuilt school--and to train its principal and teachers. The foundation for the unusual relationship, the first of its kind, grew out of the district’s “Saturn Schools’’ project, a nationwide search for innovative ways to operate 49 new schools.

Under the terms of the 5-year agreement, Education Alternatives will receive a $275,000 consulting fee for the first three years of the partnership. The money will come from the $2.1 million the firm has agreed to raise to supplement the school’s district allocation.

Numbers Up, Scores Down

Educational achievement among Hispanics is declining at the same time that their representation in the school-age population is growing, according to a study by the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group. If current trends continue, La Raza predicts, the proportion of schoolchildren who are Hispanic will rise from 10.5 percent today to almost 33 percent by the year 2000, and a larger share of Hispanic students will become dropouts, score low on tests, and have low academic expectations.

According to the study, 43 percent of Hispanics age 19 and over do not have high school diplomas or are not enrolled in high school. It also revealed that Hispanic children 13 and younger are far more likely to have been retained in grade than either whites or blacks, and that in several states, suspension rates for Hispanics have increased rapidly while rates for whites have declined.

Small-Town Violence

A new study out of Texas reveals that many rural schools are plagued by the same kind of violent behavior that is often associated with urban schools.

The study, conducted by researchers at Texas A&M University, found that boys in rural schools are twice as likely as the average American student to carry handguns to class and that girls in such schools are more likely than female students nationally to be sexually assaulted. More than 1,000 8th-through10th-grade students in 23 small Central Texas communities were surveyed.

Half of the boys and 20 percent of the girls surveyed had used a weapon in a fight during the past year. Twenty-five percent of the girls said they had been sexually attacked outside of school supervision; 10 percent said these incidents occurred at school or on a school bus.

Few Texts Pass The Test

A California curriculumreview commission rejected the history and social studies texts of nearly all the publishers who submitted books for review this past summer. Since the state is an industry trendsetter--it controls 11 percent of the nation’s $1.7 billion textbook market--the move has national importance.

The texts up for adoption this year are the first to be reviewed under a new history and social-sciences curriculum framework approved by the state three years ago. Some publishers have refrained from overhauling their books to meet California’s new standards in order to determine whether the effort would be worth the expense. By rejecting most of the books submitted, the commission signaled its intent to stick with the new curriculum.

The commissioners approved only 10 books from two publishers--a kindergarten-through-8th-grade series produced by Houghton Mifflin Co., and an 8th grade book published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. These books, the commission says, differ from more traditional texts in a number of respects. For example, they include in-depth discussions of world religions and interweave geography throughout. They also expose students to more history, sooner. And the historical material covered is presented in a more engaging narrative style.

A version of this article appeared in the October 01, 1990 edition of Teacher as Current Events / in brief

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Schools Get the Brunt of Latest COVID Wave in South Carolina
In the past few weeks, South Carolina has set records for COVID-19 hospitalizations and new cases have approached peak levels of last winter.
4 min read
Two Camden Elementary School students in masks listen as South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster talks about steps the school is taking to fight COVID-19, Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, in Camden, S.C. McMaster has adamantly and repeatedly come out against requiring masks in schools even as the average number of daily COVID-19 cases in the state has risen since early June. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Collins)
Education More States Are Requiring Schools to Teach Native American History and Culture
Advocates say their efforts have gained some momentum with the nation’s reckoning over racial injustice since the killing of George Floyd.
3 min read
A dancer participates in an intertribal dance at Schemitzun on the Mashantucket Pequot Reservation in Mashantucket, Conn., Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021. Connecticut and a handful of other states have recently decided to mandate students be taught about Native American culture and history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Education Judge's Temporary Order Allows Iowa Schools to Mandate Masks
A federal judge ordered the state to immediately halt enforcement of a law that prevents school boards from ordering masks to be worn.
4 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds speaks to reporters following a news conference, Thursday, Aug. 19, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa. Reynolds lashed out at President Joe Biden Thursday after he ordered his education secretary to explore possible legal action against states that have blocked school mask mandates and other public health measures meant to protect students against COVID-19. Reynolds, a Republican, has signed a bill into law that prohibits school officials from requiring masks, raising concerns as delta variant virus cases climb across the state and schools resume classes soon. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Education Hurricane Ida Deals New Blow to Louisiana Schools Struggling to Reopen
The opening of the school year offered teachers a chance to fully assess the pandemic's effects, only to have students forced out again.
8 min read
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021. Louisiana students, who were back in class after a year and a half of COVID-19 disruptions kept many of them at home, are now missing school again after Hurricane Ida. A quarter-million public school students statewide have no school to report to, though top educators are promising a return is, at most, weeks away, not months.
Six-year-old Mary-Louise Lacobon sits on a fallen tree beside the remnants of her family's home destroyed by Hurricane Ida, in Dulac, La., on Sept. 4, 2021.
John Locher/AP