News Updates

October 21, 1992 2 min read

An alternative high school in Denver that was shut down by the city’s school board has been revived as an independent school.

The new school, known simply as the Independent School, opened its doors this month with 20 students and one full-time teacher in a downtown Young Women’s Christian Association building.

Its predecessor, High School Redirection, closed in June after board members objected that school officials failed to provide evidence that it was meeting the district’s curricular goals. (See Education Week, May 27, 1992.)

“We didn’t have any more options in the public school system,’' said Timothy Hepp, the director of the Independent School, whose son attended High School Redirection.

Like its predecessor, the Independent School links students and faculty members in a close advisement relationship, and scraps course requirements and grades and instead requires students to attain 14 “graduation expectations.’'

The new school does not as yet, however, have an in-house day-care facility, one of the hallmarks of High School Redirection.

Mr. Hepp noted that grants from individuals and foundations have offset the cost of tuition for the students, estimated at $3,500 a year.

The U.S. Energy Department has decided to continue its financial support for the Chicago Teachers Academy for Science and Mathematics.

The academy, which opened its doors 18 months ago, has been championed as a national model for teacher education in those fields.

But the Energy Department warned the academy in a letter earlier this year that it would consider cutting off future funding for the project if officials did not by late September meet goals established by an interagency review panel. (See Education Week, Sept. 23, 1992.)

However, as a result of a meeting between officials of the academy and the department late last month, the department “recognizes the extensive progress accomplished by the academy in a very short time,’' said Steve Fried, a department spokesman.

He added that, because the department is in the process of “reprogramming’’ some funds, it is not yet known whether funding for the academy will continue at its present level of roughly $5 million over three years.

A former drama teacher at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., has been convicted on federal charges of possessing and shipping child pornography across state lines.

Larry Lane Bateman, 51, was indicted on the charges in August in a scandal that rocked the exclusive private boarding school. (See Education Week, Sept. 9, 1992.) Mr. Bateman, a popular and well-respected teacher for 12 years at the school, was fired following the indictment.

Police officers had searched Mr. Bateman’s on-campus apartment and seized hundreds of videocassettes. Acting on information supplied by an anonymous informant, a federal grand jury indicted the former teacher on the pornography shipping charges.

A former student of Mr. Bateman’s at another school, Michael Caven, testified that the teacher took sexually explicit videotapes of him and later sent him child pornography.

The jury found Mr. Bateman guilty after only four hours of deliberations following a weeklong trial.

Last week, he was free on bond pending a Dec. 7 sentencing hearing. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Mr. Bateman denied throughout the trial and afterward that he had had any sexual contact with students.

A version of this article appeared in the October 21, 1992 edition of Education Week as News Updates