N.Y. State Teachers Say Cheating Has Increased

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More than eight out of 10 middle and high school teachers in New York State say their students cheat more than they did five years ago, according to a survey conducted by the state's largest teachers' union.

Among the 446 teachers who responded to a survey by the New York State United Teachers, 40 percent said student cheating is frequent, constant, or pervasive.

The union, which released the survey last week, is pushing for schools to set and enforce strict discipline codes for students.

'No-Pass, No-Play' Survives: Public-relations concerns have prompted the Georgia school board to keep the state's "no-pass, no-play" rule.

Board members had viewed compliance with its rule as cumbersome because a nearly identical requirement is being enforced by the private Georgia High School Association. Currently, students must obtain approval from both entities for a waiver of the academic-eligibility requirements for school sports and other extracurricular activities.

The state board voted this month to keep the rule, however, after members expressed fears that its repeal would be interpreted as a retreat from academics.

Driver Drug Tests Upheld: Requiring drug testing for school-bus drivers involved in a significant accident does not violate the Kentucky constitution, a state appeals court has ruled.

Thirteen bus drivers in Jefferson County had challenged a 1992 state school board rule that requires drug testing for any driver involved in an accident that results in injury or more than $1,000 in property damage. In their 1993 lawsuit, the drivers said they feared arbitrary enforcement of the rule because of the difficulty of immediately assessing damage in an accident.

But this month, the appeals court said that "public school-bus drivers could be regulated and that we had a legitimate reason to do so," said Jim Parks, a spokesman for the state education department.

Parent Involvement Favored: Most Michigan adults agree that parents should be more involved in education and that private companies can play a larger role in schools, according to a recent poll.

The statewide telephone survey of 600 residents, conducted late last month for the Detroit Free Press, found that 78 percent believe parents should be required to volunteer and to attend parent-teacher conferences at their children's schools.

Seventy percent of respondents agreed that hiring private companies to operate some school services and programs to reduce costs was a good idea.

AIDS Guide for Schools: Public and private schools in New York State will receive a manual for teaching about AIDS that both stresses sexual abstinence and explicitly discusses condom use.

The state board of regents approved the manual, a revision of a 1987 guide, this month after lengthy delays. Unlike the earlier guide, the manual offers lessons on condom use to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes AIDS.

The regents' decision drew protests from the state's Roman Catholic bishops, who had declined to endorse a draft of the manual, saying, among other things, that it fails to respect the religious beliefs of families.

Though the state's schools are required to teach about AIDS, use of material in the instructional guide is not mandatory.

Vol. 14, Issue 39

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