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"By the end of the week, you aren't frustrated with everybody."

Annie Bergeaux, a sophomore at Midland High in Louisiana, on a benefit of her school's four-day week. Midland High is in one of the 100 rural school districts in six states that have eliminated Friday classes to decrease absenteeism and save money on transportation and heating.

"It's not unusual. Every year there are some tests that turn up missing for a period of time. Sometimes they've been mispacked in the wrong kind of box when shipping or misplaced at the school. Various things can happen."

JoAnn Carrin, communications director for the Florida Department of Education, in Tallahassee, commenting on the news that 47 Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests had been lost after students completed them earlier this year. They were later found in the scoring company's office in Iowa.

"This issue has come out of the mouths of a conservative, Republican group of folks that we have painted as evil. If vouchers had been proposed by Democrats, the National Education Association, or labor unions, black folks would be running down the street saying, 'Hallelujah.'"

T. Willard Fair, the pro-voucher president of the Miami Urban League, explaining why more African Americans don't support vouchers. Although the NAACP and other civil rights groups oppose the education experiment, the number of young black activists embracing school choice is growing.

Vol. 14, Issue 2, Page 9

Published in Print: October 1, 2002, as Overheard
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