WASHINGTON — Black students more often in special ed
Black students are placed more frequently than whites in special-education classes, where less-demanding work and lower expectations are the norm, says a series of new studies by The Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.
The studies found black public-school students are three times as likely as whites to be identified as "mentally retarded" and in need of individual tutoring and instruction. In many cases, the research showed, school districts often label black students as emotionally disturbed when they have learning disabilities.
School officials say part of the problem stems from the fact that special-education classes are often the only resource they have to help children with learning and emotional difficulties.
Japan revises history textbook
Tokyo - Japan's government has forced a publisher to rewrite a controversial history textbook to better reflect the country's wartime past, including the 1910-45 colonial rule of Korea. Reports that the book glosses over the wartime atrocities of Japanese troops in Asia, notably the enlisting of women as sex slaves or "comfort women," have provoked angry protests in South Korea, North Korea, and China.
Among other corrections, the education ministry had the publisher delete a paragraph that said Japan had no choice but to keep up with colonialist Western nations after its 1904-05 war with Russia.
Fonda gives $12.5 million to Harvard
Cambridge, Mass. - Jane Fonda pledged $12.5 million to Harvard University last week for the creation of a gender-studies center. Researchers at the planned Center on Gender and Education, which will open in about a year, will study how children's development and learning are affected by gender in such areas as math, science, and athletics. It will also develop ways to strengthen students' resilience and academic growth.
British students thrive with 'gap year'
London - A growing number of British high school graduates here are opting to take a year off from their formal studies to travel. British University officials view gap-year students who have worked or traveled abroad as less pampered and more mature, and therefore potentially better students. One in 5 Cambridge University students have taken a gap year, and at Oxford University, about 10 percent of students have done the same.
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