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Politeness won out last week in Louisiana, where legislators gave final approval to a bill that would require students to address their teachers with respect.

Last week, the House and the Senate passed the measure, which mandates that students in grades K-5 respond to their teachers' queries with "yes, sir" or "no, ma'am." The mandate will be phased in in higher grades starting in 2000. The bill is the brainchild of Gov. Mike Foster, a Republican.

ECS chief

Kay McClenney has been named the interim president of the Education Commission of the States, a Denver-based school policy clearinghouse.

Ms. McClenney, who has served as the organization's vice president since 1990, will succeed outgoing President Frank Newman, who leaves his post next month after 14 years.

Ms. McClenney was given the interim position after a seven-month search failed to result in the hiring of a full-time president. The search is continuing, however. In the meantime, Mr. Newman will officially turn over his post to Ms. McClenney July 15.

Ms. McClenney is a former education consultant and community college instructor.

Hunt's 'leeches'

North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. certainly wasn't granted the 1999 "Friend of Education" award for supporting vouchers.

In Washington to accept the honor June 10, the Democratic governor went so far as to compare programs that offer publicly financed tuition for private and religious schools to blood-sucking insects.

"Vouchers are like leeches," Mr. Hunt said. "They drain the lifeblood--public support--from our schools. Leeches didn't work in the Middle Ages, and they don't work for our children today."

The Friend of Education award, which is given annually to someone outside of educational publishing who has made a notable contribution to education, is sponsored by EdPress, a Glassboro, N.J.-based association of publishers. First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and former U.S. Surgeon General C. Everett Koop have been past honorees. The award recognizes Mr. Hunt's commitment to school reform and his work as founding chairman of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, said Jeri Hendrie, an EdPress spokeswoman.

--Robert C. Johnston & Jessica L. Sandham

Vol. 18, Issue 41, Page 20

Published in Print: June 23, 1999, as State Journal

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