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Women professors still face hurdles

CAMBRIDGE, MASS. - Female professors of science and engineering still face substantial hurdles in the workplace because of their gender, according to a recent statement by the heads of nine leading research universities. The leaders convened at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which created a stir in 1999 when President Charles Vest publicly acknowledged gender discrimination at his university.

Following a five-year study, which concluded that women at the university's School of Science had lower salaries and less office space than their male counterparts, MIT has raised women's salaries and increased research money and lab space for female faculty.

At last week's meeting, university heads agreed to analyze the salaries and resources their schools provide to female faculty members.

School trades letter grades for numbers

HOLLISTON, MASS. - In a move toward greater accountability, students at an elementary school here will no longer receive traditional letter grades, but numbers that correspond with the scoring system for MCAS -Massachusetts' high-stakes test, which takes effect this year. Critics of the controversial test say that evaluating students on a scale of 1 to 4 is another sign that scores are supplanting real learning. But school officials say the new method is inherently more objective.

The numbers reflect different levels of subject knowledge and understanding, ranging from limited to advanced. Starting next year, the new grading system will also include new criteria for each subject.

Groundhog Job Shadow Day

Students across the United States morphed into "shadows" last Friday as part of the Groundhog Job Shadow Day. Secretary of State Colin Powell took one honored 17-year-old through his daily grind. Some students had a totally different look at the workplace, taking tips from "Boss Clown" of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. Last year, more than 1 million students participated at more than 75,000 workplaces.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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