Archive for December 8th, 2010

Education Department, two universities, prepare guidelines for how colleges should deal with sexual assault allegations

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Press Release) — A new model for how college campuses should deal with sexual assault allegations has been forged by the U.S. Department of Education and two schools. The issue was spotlighted in the Center’s Sexual Assault on Campus series earlier this year.

The “voluntary resolution agreements,” involving Notre Dame College in Ohio and Eastern Michigan University, are a result of a two-year review by the Education department’s Office for Civil Rights. The goal was to ensure that the schools’ policies comply with Title IX, the federal law that, in part, requires schools to respond to claims of sexual assault on campuses.

The settlements’ provisions were strengthened in the face of the Center’s year-long investigation, which also revealed among its findings that students “responsible” for alleged sexual assaults rarely face punishment by schools; that institutional barriers are responsible for a lack of transparency and accountability in campus disciplinary proceedings; and that the Department of Education’s civil rights office rarely issues sanctions against colleges.

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Preceding provided by the U.S. Department of Education

International rankings of high-school learning shows U.S. far from leader

WASHINGTON, D.C. –U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan reacted with consternation to the 2009 results released on Tuesday, Dec. 7, by the  Program for International Assessment (PISA) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development showing that 15-year-old students in the United States are far from leadership in various fields of learning.  Here is a link to the chart showing the rankings.

Said Duncan:  “Today’s PISA results show that America needs to urgently accelerate student learning to remain competitive in the global economy of the 21st century. More parents, teachers, and leaders need to recognize the reality that other high-achieving nations are both out-educating us and out-competing us. Our educational system has a long way to go to fulfill the American promise of education as the great equalizer.

“Being average in reading and science — and below average in math — is not nearly good enough in a knowledge economy where scientific and technological literacy is so central to sustaining innovation and international competitiveness. The results are especially troubling because PISA assesses applied knowledge and the higher-order thinking skills critical to success in the information age.”

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Preceding compiled from PISA and from the U.S. Department of Education

Oregon college cancels class amid charges professor a hater of Islam

EUGENE, Oregon (USANN4)– Lane Community College has cancelled a non-credit course on Islam amid controversy regarding its instructor.   Administrators  axed the winter course called “What is Islam?” after it learned about some of the political views of instructor Barry Sommer.

He has given talks at a discussion group forced off the University of Oregon campus following presentations that critics said were anti-Semitic.   Sommer also leads a local chapter of ACT! For America.   It’s a non-profit organization that opponents describe as an Islamophobic hate group.   No one had signed up for the course prior to it being canceled.

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Preceding provided by USA News Network4