News Briefs

December 27, 2004 1 min read

Designer Genes

Ninth grade science teachers in rural Pennsylvania’s Dover Area School District now have to give equal time to the notion that there’s no such thing as evolution. It’s apparently the nation’s only district to mandate the teaching of what advocates call “intelligent design”—the view that the universe is so complex, it must have been created by a higher power. Nicholas Matzke of the National Center for Science Education calls that idea “creationism in a cheap tuxedo,” the Associated Press reports.

Unkept Promise

Current and former Texas administrators face federal bribery charges after allegedly taking free trips to Asia in exchange for sponsoring visas for hundreds of Filipino teachers, most of whom never received promised American jobs, according to BusinessWorld. Prosecutors say former interim superintendent Mario Aguilar; his wife, principal Magdalena Aguilar; and former associate superintendent Raye Lokey signed off on the visas.

Upside Down

Deirdre Faegre, 11, was suspended because she was a danger to herself and others. That’s what officials at San Jose-Edison Academy in West Covina, California, are saying about her predilection for doing cartwheels and handstands at school. The Student of the Month’s father, Leland Faegre, was incredulous: “Contact sports, apparently, are fine,” he told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. “But this one is so ... dangerous, it requires the cartwheel cops.”


Frustrated with swelling class sizes? Suing your boss might work. Texas Commissioner of Education Shirley Neeley recently canceled her plan to ease a 22-student elementary class cap after the Texas Federation of Teachers and the Texas State Teachers Association filed for an injunction. Their complaint, which has since been dropped, said that her plan to let superintendents bypass public input on expanding student rolls was an end run around state law, the Dallas Morning News reports.