Quick Takes: Harvard Studies Teaching, More Missing AP Tests, Gubernatorial Favorite Rejects Apollo Founder's Funds, 2 Students Murdered at Shepherd, UMass Trustee Purge, Vaccines at Kent State, Students Are Supersizing, Florida Learns Roman Numerals

September 5, 2006
  • A special committee at Harvard University, meeting for the first time today, will consider how the institution can improve teaching, and better consider teaching issues in tenure and promotion decisions, The Boston Globe  reported.
  • Portions of about 1,500 Advanced Placement tests from this year are missing, not just the few hundred revealed a few weeks ago, The Washington Post reported. Officials with the Educational Testing Service, which manages the AP program for the College Board, told the Post that computer problems may be to blame. ETS is also reporting problems with its Praxis test for teacher licensure. According to a notice on the ETS Web site, about 2,700 people had delayed scores, and while the notice says that most of those scores have now been reported, it apologizes for the "uncertainty and inconvenience" created by the delays.
  • Eliot Spitzer, New York State's attorney general and the favorite in November's race to become governor, has returned a $2,000 campaign contribution from John Sperling, founder of Apollo Group, the parent company of the University of Phoenix, The Arizona Republic reported. A campaign spokesman cited Education Department investigations of Phoenix recruitment strategies for students. Phoenix has denied any wrongdoing. New York State regulators have been pushing for tougher regulation of for-profit colleges.
  • Two brothers who were students at Shepherd University in West Virginia were shot and killed Saturday, the Associated Press reported. Police said that the students were shot by their father, who then killed himself. University officials stressed that other students were not in danger, and set up counseling programs for students.
  • Gov. Mitt Romney is not reappointing three members of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees who didn't follow his wishes on various issues, The Boston Globe reported. The trustees backed a push to create a law school, among other things the Republican governor didn't like.
  • Kent State University is tracking down those who came into contact with a student who worked in the institution's food service department and who contracted hepatitis A, The Akron Beacon Journal reported. The student with a confirmed case of hepatitis A is recovering well, and one other student with symptoms is being tested.
  • A study of how college students serve themselves in college cafeterias has found that today's students take significantly larger portions, on average, than did students 20 years ago. For instance, students asked to serve themselves a portion of cereal are likely to take 44 grams today, up from 37 grams 20 years ago. Most portions are also well above recommended portion sizes, according to the study, which appears in this month's Journal of the American Dietetic Association.
  • The University of Florida has distributed several thousand T-shirts in which Roman numerals intended to indicate 2006 (MMVI) in fact indicate 26 (XXVI). After discovering the mistake, the university will have many thousands of other T-shirts redone, The Gainesville Sun reported.
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