News Briefs

January 01, 2003 1 min read

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More than 600 Massachusetts students recently had their failing scores on the state history exam adjusted to passing marks, the Boston Globe reports. Education officials made the change after John Gibbons Jr., a social studies instructor in Clinton, successfully argued that there were two possible correct answers to a multiple-choice question on the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System test given to 8th graders last spring.

Protest Pose

A group of Colorado parents are bent out of shape over yoga classes at Aspen Elementary School. Early in the year, the parents stalled the program by complaining that teaching the Hindu practice promoted religion, but lawyers and the school board OK’d the activity in late September. “I wish I could just change the name of this to ‘Stretching and Breathing,’” principal Barb Pitchford told the Denver Post.

Risk Analysis

In California, female teachers are at greater risk of developing cancer than other women, according to a University of Southern California study published this fall. Researchers found a 51 percent higher rate of breast cancer and a 72 percent higher rate of endometrial cancer among educators, reports the Sacramento Bee. While the reasons for these elevated rates are unclear, the study’s authors note that many of the teachers they interviewed had givenbirth later in life or had used hormone replacement therapy.

Books on Board

Transportation officials in Rochester, New York, have a novel idea for promoting literacy: They’ve put books on the city’s 250 buses for kids to read as they ride. Though signs ask that books stay on board, officials aren’t concerned if passengers pinch a few, said Mark Aesch, chief of staff for the transportation authority. “There are a lot worse things to happen than a family taking a book home and it not being returned,” he told the Christian Science Monitor.