Study Backs Certified Teachers, Hunger Strike Ends, Charges of Grade Changing, Accusation of Plagiarism

April 18, 2005
  • Elementary school students perform better when their teachers have "completed the training that leads to certification," Stanford University researchers reported in a study released Friday at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. The researchers, led by Linda Darling-Hammond, said the study was the first to examine the relative effectiveness of formal teacher education programs and those that put teachers into classrooms with less formal training, like Teach for America. "Teachers’ effectiveness appears strongly related to the preparation they have received for teaching," the study concludes.
  • Students at Washington University in St. Louis ended their hunger strike Saturday evening but continued a sit-in in the admissions office after Chancellor Mark. S. Wrighton agreed to meet with them three times this week to discuss their concerns about the treatment of contract workers, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Two of the original 13 hunger strikers had abandoned their protests after suffering physical ill effects, but professors and community activists had fasted to support the students.
  • A former secretary at Dodge City Community College has been charged with altering the grades of at least a dozen students, the Kansas City Star reported (free registration required). Law enforcement authorities said their investigation had not yet revealed a motive for the grade changes.
  • The issue of Harper's Magazine being released this week will charge that a biography published last year of E.E. Cummings contained substantial material from an earlier biography. Harper's isn't available yet, but The New York Times reported on the dispute Saturday based on an advance copy of the magazine. The Times quoted the magazine as saying that E.E. Cummings: A Biography, by Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno, who teaches writing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, "is jammed with instances of wholesale borrowing -- not only of research, but of storytelling and language" from Dreams in the Mirror: A Biography of E.E. Cummings, published in 1980. Sawyer-Lauçanno is quoted as saying that there are a few places where more attribution is needed, but that the charge of plagiarism was "inaccurate and unfair."
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