News Update

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

A federal district judge in Roanoke, Va., last week sentenced a 20-year-old college student to two years of unpaid voluntary service after finding that he had violated the terms of his parole by failing to register for the draft.

U.S. District Judge James Turk told the defendant, Enten Eller, that he could begin serving his sentence at a Veterans' Administration hospital or other suitable institution following his graduation from Bridgewater College, which is operated by the pacifist Church of the Bretheren.

Mr. Eller was found guilty of failing to sign up for the draft last August. Throughout his trial he claimed that religious convictions prohibited him from complying with the terms of the two-year-old registration law.

Gov. Thomas H. Kean of New Jersey has vetoed a bill requiring a minute of silence at the beginning of each school day. The bill was passed by the General Assembly last May, and by the Senate in October.

Governor Kean vetoed the bill because attorneys advised him that it violated the U.S. Constitution, and because the "legislative intent" was similar to that of a school-prayer law recently struck down in Tennessee.

As was true of the Tennessee case, Governor Kean said, the sponsors of the New Jersey bill intended the bill to encourage schoolchildren to pray. "The same kind of rhetoric" occurred during debate on the New Jersey law, the Governor noted.

One senator, for example, said that the law would bring "school prayer back into the schools through the front door."

Currently, Governor Kean said in his address to the legislature, teachers may require a moment of silence as part of the normal disciplinary procedure. "I prefer to leave it to the discretion of individual teachers to decide if their students need quiet time for contemplation and introspection and when their students may participate in such sessions," he said.

The bill's sponsors have said that they will attempt a legislative override of the Governor's veto. As of last week, the bill had not been posted for a second vote.

The Union of Concerned Scientists and the National Education Association will begin evaluating the results of the pilot-testing of their new curriculum designed to teach students about nuclear weapons and conflict resolution. (See Education Week, April 7, 1982.)

The curriculum, developed by the two groups and the Massachusetts Teachers Association last summer, includes 10 lessons that cover both the technical facts about nuclear arms and the issues raised by their development and use. It also covers general concerns about conflicts between people and nations, and what alternatives to war might be used to resolve them, according to Natalie Goldring, a ucs staff member who worked on the project.

The curriculum was developed in response to the groups' perception that "there are issues that students are facing every day that they don't know how to deal with. There was a vacuum. They lacked both the basic knowledge and underlying skills to assess the debate" on nuclear weapons, Ms. Goldring said.

This fall, the materials were tested in 37 states. Volunteer teachers, whose fields ranged from science to German, used the material in their 7th through 9th-grade classes. The teachers kept detailed logs of the reactions of students, teachers, and parents.

Most of those reactions were positive, Ms. Goldring said. "I've read 35 teachers' logs and I do not yet see an instance of an unhappy parent," she said, adding that many were very supportive of the project. Students, too, responded well. "Student interest was quite high," Ms. Goldring said, according to reports from teachers.

After the curriculum is revised, it will be published by the nea The organization expects to make it available by the spring of 1983.

Some 9,500 students last month became the first to take the new version of the National Teacher Examination (recently renamed nte Programs).

The nte was changed in part to head off critics who accuse it of cultural bias, according the Frieda C. Rosner of the Educational Testing Service, which makes the test.

The new test will also place less emphasis on simple recall of facts and give greater attention to the skills needed by an "informed, literate citizen."

In addition, the test, three years in the making, has been expanded to a three-part, six-hour format, and now includes a listening section and a half-hour essay.

The three sections--communication skills and general and professional knowledge--may be taken separately, a change designed to broaden the use of the test into such areas as education-school admissions and program evaluation.

"The reaction has been good, thus far," said William U. Harris, who directed the revision of the test for ets.

"Some have said that it is definitely more comprehensive. Others approved of the new essay and listening sections. One person said it is more demanding than they thought it would be."

Vol. 02, Issue 14

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories