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Administrator Magazine
Scholastic Administrator is a must-read resource for 240,000 of today's results-driven school leaders. Every issue features leadership for education executives, insight and analysis into what's next in education, and reporting on cutting-edge technologies in real life applications.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Buses you can plug in, a bad education in sex, and a death threat for a beloved bunny

September 2006
<p><strong>Houston Teacher Gets Payback </strong><br /><i>Roy McMahon (RF) Corbis</i></p>

Houston Teacher Gets Payback
Roy McMahon (RF) Corbis

Good

The School District of Manatee County, in Bradenton, Florida, will become the first district in the country to receive hybrid school buses through the Plug-in Hybrid Electric School Bus Project. Manatee’s two hybrid buses were awarded by Advanced Energy, a nonprofit corporation that initiated a buyers’ consortium of school districts, state energy agencies, and student trans-portation providers. ... The Texas Education Agency has awarded APQC, a nonprofit global resource for process and performance improvement, a grant of $3,314,501 to implement a school leadership pilot program for principals over the next 15 months. Up to 300 principals from Texas schools will receive professional-development training and mentoring. ... The ExxonMobil Foundation promised $125 million for the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), a major new program designed to help the U.S. regain its global leadership position in technological innovation. The creation of NMSI comes in response to the call for action by the National Academies’ 2005 blue ribbon panel report, “Rising Above the Gathering Storm.”

Bad


Kansas isn’t connecting. After spending three years and more than $40 million on Kan-Ed, the state-wide broadband network is operating at only 3 percent capacity. The initiative, funded through fees added to telephone bills, is intended to connect schools, libraries, and hospitals, especially those in rural areas, to the Internet to share infor-mation and video feeds. ... Sports Illustrated decided to withhold its swimsuit edition from schools and public libraries, calling the issue too racy. But librarians cried out, demanding to know why the decision to put the issue on the shelves wasn’t left up to them. After First Amendment rights were intro-duced in the backlash, Sports Illus-trated changed its mind, and it is now possible to check out the issue. ... Five fifth-grade students from the Spearsville school, in Louisiana, were arrested after authorities said that four of them had sex in front of other students in an unsupervised classroom. Two 11-year-old girls, a 12-year-old boy and a 13-year-old boy were charged with obscenity, a felony. An 11-year-old boy who kept lookout for teachers, was charged with being an accessory.

Ugly

Due to a computer program error, Houston Independent School District gave bigger bonuses than intended to roughly 100 teachers. Now it wants the money back, but the president of the Houston Federation of Teachers says “No way.” ... After six female students of Sequatchie County High School in Tennessee were traced to a list of more than 300 names found in a trash can and school officials discovered the word “kill” on the girls’ MySpace pages, they were charged with conspiracy to commit homicide. There is no evidence of any imminent danger to the individuals on the list, who include Oprah Winfrey and the Energizer Bunny, but the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is taking the matter very seriously. ... The Legal Center in Denver filed a report with School District 11 in Colorado Springs and the Colorado Department of Education, finding that staff at Will Rogers Elementary engaged in the improper use of restraint and seclusion of five elementary-age students with disabilities on 45 occasions. Mistreatments may include forcing kids to sit in their own urine while being held in a “time out” room.

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