Ohio considers 'half grades' for students COLUMBUS
A state education commission studying Ohio's proficiency tests proposed "half grades" for students who repeatedly fail achievement tests. Rather than punish students by holding them back a year, the proposed half grades would enable students to move to the next grade, but receive extra help. From that point they would continue to advance normally through the grades. Students who have trouble passing a reading test would move to a grade labeled as 4.5, though they would learn in a fifth-grade class. Middle-school students who struggle to pass reading, writing, and math would move to grade 8.5.
Florida A&M picks site for new law school ORLANDO
The Florida Board of Regents decided to place Florida A&M University's new law school in Orlando, after considering other locations in Tampa, Lakeland, and Daytona Beach. Chancellor Adam Herbert said Orlando was chosen for its minority population, its legal community, and the site's location. He added that 38 law firms in Orlando have committed to work with the school. Civic leaders hope it will anchor the revitalization of a blighted area while giving the state more minority attorneys. (See related stories, pages 16, 17.) The first class is expected to begin next fall, with a permanent facility ready by August 2003. FAMU, Florida's only mostly black, state-supported university, had its old law school taken away in 1968 when mostly white Florida State University was granted a law school.
Student wins suit over zero tolerance WASHINGTON
The US Supreme Court let stand a $153,660 damage award to an Illinois high school student who was expelled after someone gave him an envelope containing a powder that looked like cocaine, but wasn't. The court, without comment, turned down school officials' argument that they could expel the youth for possessing a drug "look-alike" without letting him question the students who testified against him, or know their identities. Christopher Scionti was a freshman at Burlington Central High School in Kane County in 1995 when another student gave him the envelope. Scionti saw it contained a white powder, and threw it toward the back of the room. The powder was determined not to be an illegal drug. Scionti said he did not knowingly possess the powder.
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