Fun Facts for $500, Alex

by Robert Pondiscio
May 15th, 2008

The answer is: games, dogs, animals, civil war and George Washington

What are the top in-school search terms entered into Google, Yahoo and other search engines by kids?

Hat tip: Joanne Jacobs.

Tennessee’s Bible Bill

by Robert Pondiscio
May 15th, 2008

““England has two books; the Bible and Shakespeare. England made Shakespeare, but the Bible made England.”  — Victor Hugo

A bill sitting on Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen’s desk would allow the state to develop a curriculum for the academic–nonsectarian, nonreligious–study of the Bible.   Tennessee students could be studying the influence of the Bible on literature, art, music, culture and politics

It’s hard to argue against the measure on curricular grounds.  Our public discourse is full of literary allusions to the Bible, and it informs our history and politics.  A pair of Tennessee state lawmakers argue for the bill here. Others inevitably worry it’s an invitation to proselytizing. This writer calls the bill a ticking time bomb.

Immigration Raid Causes School Chaos

by Robert Pondiscio
May 15th, 2008

It’s described as the largest immigration raid in U.S. history Monday at a meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa–nearly 400 people arrested.  EdWeek’s Mary Ann Zehr files a strong piece on the raid’s impact on the local school. 

“All of the Latinos [from the school district] were impacted,” said David Strudthoff, the superintendent of the 600-student Postville Community School District. “About 220 students in the Postville school system are from immigrant families, he said, and many children were separated from parents or siblings employed at the plant.

“Mr. Strudthoff is also pondering the fact that more than a month ago, his district was served with a subpoena from the Iowa Division of Labor Services to provide detailed personal information about Postville students and some school employees,” EdWeek reports.

Zehr notes undocumented students have the right to a free public education, and school employees aren’t permitted to ask students about their immigration status.