The Best of Our Knowledge
11:33 am
Mon April 30, 2007

The Best of Our Knowledge # 867

Albany, NY – CAMPUS SECURITY IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE
VIRGINIA TECH MASS MURDERS -
As everyone now knows, Virginia Tech, was the scene of the
deadliest campus shooting in U.S. history. The gunman opened
fire in a classroom building killing 30 people and injuring many more
before turning the gun on himself. Earlier that same morning, he
killed another student and student advisor in a dormitory. Even
campuses far from Virginia Tech responded by stepping up campus
security and updating emergency protocols. Having decades of
university administration experience upon which to draw, Dr. Karen
Hitchcock discusses how security can be improved at colleges and
universities, and the urgency of immediate communications.
Dr. Karen Hitchcock and Glenn Busby report. (3:00)

U.S. STUDENT LOAN INDUSTRY FORCED TO CHANGE PRACTICES -
Another story that broke just as we were preparing this broadcast was
the sale of Sallie Mae for a reported 25-billion dollars. Sallie Mae is the
largest lender to college students in the U.S. According to The New
York Times, buyers include JP Morgan, Bank of America, and two
private equity firms. The company currently is believed to be carrying
about 142-billion dollars in private and guaranteed loans on its books.
That's more than 25% of all American student loans. This news came immediately on the heals of Sallie Mae having reached a settlement
with New York Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo. The AG and others
have been widening their probe of the student loan industry. Sallie Mae
agreed to alter its business practices and pay 2-million dollars into a
fund to educate students and parents about the financial aid industry.
Sallie Mae serves almost 10-million borrowers and has relationships
with more than 5600 schools. To get more details, TBOOK spoke with
Attorney General Cuomo and Tom Joyce, Vice President for Corporate Communication at Sallie Mae.
Dave Lucas reports. (2:50)

THE YOUNG WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP SCHOOL OF EAST HARLEM, NEW YORK , Pt. 1 of 2 -
There's been a resurgence of interest in single-sex public education
in recent years. That interest was further stoked several months ago
when new regulations were published in the U.S. which made it easier
for public schools to introduce teaching boys and girls separately and
now, there's evidence that girls in single-sex educational settings are
more likely to take classes in math, science, and information technology.
Dr. Rita Colwell is a Distinguished Professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, and former Director of the National Science Foundation.
She spoke recently at the Annual President's Institute for the Council
of Independent Colleges. She's been a guest twice on our program.
Dr. Colwell urged presidents to promote science literacy for all students,
not just those in the sciences. She said college and university leaders
must address the under-representation of women and minorities in the
sciences. Dr. Colwell also advised presidents to broaden their
institution's focus on math, saying, Math is the gateway to science and engineering and is critical to broaden students' perspectives. The
Young Women's Leadership School of East Harlem, New York has
already been doing these things. The school won the Young Science
Achievers Award in 2004. And in 2005 won the prestigious Breakthrough
School Award from the National Association of Secondary School
Principals for success working with low income and minority students.
The Young Women's Leadership School is an all girls public school.
Its student body is comprised of one-third African-American and two-thirds Latina. And 100% of its senior girls successfully enroll in college each
year. TBOOK went to this great East Harlem school to try and learn
how the school has achieved these many accomplishments.
Blue Chevigny reports. (12:55)