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The Best of Our Knowledge
Mon January 9, 2006
The Best of Our Knowledge #799
Albany, NY – (SHOW THEME)
SHOW OPEN - Dr. Karen Hitchcock and Glenn Busby (1:30)
CONNECTICUT LAWSUIT / NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND
PT. 1 OF 3, TESTING AND PUNISHMENT -
One down. One to go. That's the count for anyone keeping score
in the major lawsuits filed against the No Child Left Behind education
law in the U.S. Last April, the National Education Association filed
suit against NCLB. The nation's largest teachers union charged that
schools should not have to comply with requirements that were not
paid for by the federal government. Just recently, a federal judge in
Michigan dismissed that lawsuit saying Congress has appropriated
significant funding. The NEA says it plans to appeal that decision.
Then last August, Connecticut filed its own suit against No Child Left
Behind. Just last month, the U.S. Department of Education asked a
federal court in Hartford to dismiss that challenge, arguing that
Connecticut cannot accept money for the initiative without also abiding
by its requirements. TBOOK spoke with two people extremely close
to that case. Betty Sternberg is Education Commissioner for the State
of Connecticut. Commissioner Sternberg says that she and all of her
colleagues embrace the mission of No Child Left Behind. She agrees
something must be done about the vast education gap that exists. But Sternberg says the methods used to get there are what's in conflict.
To help us understand the administration's side of the case, TBOOK
spoke with President Bush's former Chief Education Advisor,
attorney, Sandy Kress.
Jim Horne reports. (8:17)
EDUCATION HEADLINES AND UPDATES -
* Another lawsuit highlights our education headlines this week.
The Intelligent Design trial from Dover, Pennsylvania.
* In the case, closely watched by scientists throughout North America,
U.S. District Judge, John Jones, ruled that Intelligent Design is indelibly
tied to its religious underpinnings and that teaching it in a public school
class, violates the constitutional separation of church and state
* In his 139 page opinion, Judge Jones said We have concluded that it
is not (science), and moreover that ID cannot uncouple itself from it
creationist, and thus religious, antecedents.
* Judge Jones described the school board's decision to include Intelligent Design in science curriculum as breathtaking inanity.
* Meanwhile, Richard Thompson, a spokesman for the Michigan-based
Thomas More Law Center which aided the school district during the long
trial, called the verdict a troubling decision.
* In other news, the Recording Industry Association of America filed
lawsuits against nearly 900 students suspected of illegally distributing copyrighted music. Some of the universities include Harvard and
Southern California. A dozen states are involved, including New York,
Michigan and Wisconsin.
Dr. Karen Hitchcock reports. (2:00)
ORIGINS OF LIFE/SCIENCE RESEARCH IN EDUCATION SERIES
SURVIVAL ON MARS AND TRANSFER BETWEEN THE PLANETS -
When the Mars Rovers first landed on that planet, scientists believe
they would survive only a few months. Now, two years later, Rovers
Spirit and Opportunity, are still traveling the Martian landscape
continuing their breakthrough missions. Scientists continue to gather
and analyze new information they hope will lead them to understand
more about a possible origin of life on Mars, and if that could be similar
to how life evolved on Earth. TBOOK speaks with Dr. Benton Clark, a
member of the Mars Rover Science Team, and Chief Scientist of Flight
Systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems Astronautics Operations.
Glenn Busby reports. (7:28)
The preceding material is supported by the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration.
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SHOW CLOSE - Dr. Karen Hitchcock and Glenn Busby (1:30)
(THEME TO 25:00)