March/April 2003

This Issue
Vol. 14, Issue 06

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  • Practically Perfect
  • A Different World
  • Standard-Bearer
  • Fractious Fracas
  • Guiding Slight
  • Designer Genes
  • Loyal Subject
A student riot raises questions about what educators value.
After stopping officials from searching her students for weapons, a Los Angeles teacher was pushed from the classroom to the courts.

Fashion Police

Several parents dressed down a suburban St. Louis, Missouri, school board last fall after they discovered that one of the chaperones on a field trip was a man wearing women's clothes. Parents complained that they didn't want their 4th graders exposed to his "controversial lifestyle," according to the Los Angeles Times. District educators stand behind the father, a frequent volunteer at Castlio Elementary School. "This guy was not a disruption," board member Jon Bennett told the newspaper. "He didn't show up wearing a skintight leather dress and fishnet stockings."
"If our young people can't find places on a map and lack awareness of current events, how can they understand the world's cultural, economic, and natural resource issues?"


Science Diction: In January, after months of contentious debate between the government and opposition groups, Malaysian schools began conducting science and mathematics classes in English, the Straits Times reports. Chinese and Malaysian nationalists object to the move because they fear it will contribute to the demise of local languages, but Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad maintains that students need English skills in those subjects to succeed in an increasingly global economy. To help with the transition, the education ministry is issuing nearly $224 million worth of new textbooks, supplementary software, and equipment such as overhead projectors and audio-enabled laptops. One feature of the software: Teachers can click on words like "luminous" and "Bunsen burner" for on-the-spot translation.
Some schools tackle dental problems at their root by opening on-site clinics.
Arab American writer Naomi Shihab Nye has long traveled the country sparking kids' imaginations. Now, she also promotes peace.
At a Mississippi boarding school, Hamlet gets a streetwise makeover.
A Delaware science teacher recalls a journey that took students from across the country to a mile and a half beneath the waves.
How recurring racism prompted an African American couple to homeschool their sons.
A parent-created regimen of daily math testing reopens the age-old "drill and kill" debate.
A skeptical writing teacher gains newfound appreciation for projects that tap creativity—and creative thinking.
A classic film offers a wealth of guidance about providing a well-rounded education.
Parent involvement, strike history and the effects of market initiatives in public schools.
A young girl is forced to choose between the "cool" crowd and what she knows is right, losing the battle, but winning the war.
Stories behind the Declaration of Independence. Plus: consumerism's effect on youth, orphans loose in the canals of Venice, ducks and chocolate, and a Nepalese village.
Following are application deadlines for grants and fellowships available to individuals and schools. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.
Following are dates for workshops, conferences, and other professional development opportunities for teachers. Some events may include administrators, policymakers, parents, and others. The list is organized by region, though some events are national meetings. Registration deadlines may close before the date of the event. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.

East | Midwest/Plains | South | West

Following application dates for student contests, scholarships, and internships. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.

Into the Fire

Students are blown away by the possibilities in David Camner’s art class.