News in Brief

October 01, 2003 1 min read

Card Game

Higher-stakes standardized testing is in the cards for students in Louisiana’s Jefferson Parish schools this year—in the report cards, that is. In an effort to motivate middle schoolers to take the national Iowa tests and the state LEAP exams seriously, district officials have decreed that students’ scores will count for 25 percent of their fourth-quarter grades in several subjects. Board member Julie Quinn told the Times-Picayune that she believes the move will free principals from having to “bribe kids to do well” with rewards like pizza parties.

Save the Music

Here’s a story to make educators feel like singing: After administrators at Miller Elementary School in Holliston, Massachusetts, pink-slipped popular music teacher Brandon Arzillo because of budget cuts, parents bought him back. They collected $30,000 from families in just 10 days this summer, according to the MetroWest Daily News. With the money, officials restored Miller Elementary’s $37,000 music program—and Arzillo’s job.

Road to Nowhere

Administrators at St. Petersburg, Florida, schools are urging students to find their own paths—not in life, just to class. District officials have scrapped plans to supply parents with a list of the safest walking and cycling routes to area schools. The reason? Fear that promoting specific routes will result in lawsuits, the St. Petersburg Times reports.

Slap Shot

High school guidance counselors have the right to be wrong, Wisconsin’s supreme court ruled this past summer. Judges upheld an appeals court decision against student Ryan Scott, who claimed that his school district caused him to lose an NCAA Division I hockey scholarship. Scott says his counselor told him that a broadcast communications class would meet the NCAA’s English requirement, the Associated Press reports; it did not, and the University of Alaska Anchorage revoked his scholarship. As state workers, educators can’t be sued for providing incorrect information, the courts ruled.