The Best of Our Knowledge
12:22 pm
Fri December 16, 2005

The Best of Our Knowledge # 795

Albany, NY – 2005 NATIONAL ASSESSMENT OF EDUCATIONAL PROGRESS
NATIONAL AND STATE REPORT CARDS IN MATH AND READING -
A federal judge in Michigan has dismissed a lawsuit that sought to
block the U.S. No Child Left Behind Law. The National Education
Association, and school districts in three states had argued that
schools should not have to comply with requirements that were not
paid for by the federal government. But the judge said, Congress
has appropriated significant funding and has the power to require
states to set educational standards in exchange for federal money.
The NEA, the nation's largest teachers union, has said it will appeal
that decision. The NEA lawsuit was filed last April against Secretary
of Education, Margaret Spellings. Spellings called the decision a
victory for children and parents all across the country. She said it
validates our partnership with states to close the achievement gap,
hold schools accountable, and to ensure all students are reading and
doing math at grade-level by 2014. One means to measure how No
Child Left Behind is doing is the NAEP, the so-called nation's report
card. The 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress
National and State Report Cards in Mathematics and Reading, were
released recently. TBOOK spoke with Secretary Spellings.
Glenn Busby reports. (7:41)

**(Attention Program Directors. For parents or educators listening
who would like to read specific data about their own state, go online
to .
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Glenn Busby. (:30)

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EDUCATION HEADLINES AND UPDATES -
* First, in briefs from Canada...What's the value of a college or university degree? At least one-million dollars over the course of a career. That calculation comes from the Association of Universities and Colleges of
Canada in Ottawa. It says the one-million dollar advantage, for many
could be conservative, because people without a degree are also more
likely to be unemployed during parts of their working lives.

* Another report says tuition fees at universities are not as high as
Canadians believe. This study is from the Educational Policy Institute,
a think tank based in Toronto. It paints a picture of a higher-education
system more accessible than is usually depicted by student groups
demanding tuition-fee reductions.

* Last week, we told you about the U.S. House narrowly passing a
measure to reduce the deficit that included 14.3 billion dollars in
student loan cuts. Well, the fight is about to begin. The Senate
version of that bill proposes less cuts, about 9-billion dollars.
Hundreds of education, student and social service organizations
are lining up to battle Congress over those proposals.

* And speaking of money and Congress, the compensation of college
presidents seems likely to receive harsh scrutiny this coming year.
The U.S. Senate and the Internal Revenue Service are seeking to
become more aggressive in overseeing the finances of nonprofit
organizations, including colleges. The most obvious example of an
enhanced federal role in presidential compensation is the highly public
saga this year at American University in Washington. The spending
habits of its ousted president have spurred inquiries by the IRS and
the Justice Department asking for receipts and financial records.

* Finally, don't call him Robo Prof. Hollywood actor, Peter Weller,
best known for his starring role in two RoboCop movies, has been
teaching undergrads about the Roman Empire at Syracuse
University in New York.
Dr. Karen Hitchcock reports. (2:12)
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ORIGINS OF LIFE/SCIENCE RESEARCH IN EDUCATION SERIES
GALACTIC TIDAL STREAMS, THE FORMATION OF THE MILKY
WAY, AND THE CONNECTION WITH WIMP DARK MATTER
DIRECT DETECTION -
Scientists believe that as much as 90-percent of the mass in the
universe is made up of particles called Dark Matter. Their belief
is based on an unseen gravitational pull on the stars. Dr. Heidi
Newberg, Astrophysicist at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and
her colleagues suggest that a highway of dark matter from another
galaxy may be showering down on earth.
Glenn Busby reports. (9:08)

The preceding material is supported by the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration.

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