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Senate passes education-reform bill

washington - The Senate approved an education plan that will test students each year and hold schools accountable for results. The bipartisan bill, which passed 91 to 8 on June 14, is hailed as the most sweeping education reform in 35 years. Estimated at $40 billion in fiscal 2002, the bill must still be reconciled with a House measure adopted in May.

Some of that money would be dedicated to help children learn to read by the end of third grade. President Bush's private-school voucher plan, however, was not included in the legislation.

A flood of school suspensions

Providence, R.I - Rhode Island Education Commissioner Peter McWalters says school discipline has run amok. According to a report by the Providence Journal, Rhode Island public schools suspended nearly 16,000 (1 in 10) students last year. More than half of those, or 6.6 percent of students, were sent home, compared with 8.1 percent of students given out-of-school suspensions in the nation as a whole.

Suspension is meant for youths who seriously disrupt learning or threaten the school community. Almost all the state's school administrators say they use suspension for repeat offenders.

Ulysses fans celebrate 'Bloomsday'

Dublin, ireland - Thousands took part in an annual tribute to James Joyce's 20th-century novel "Ulysses." The celebration marked June 16, 1904, the day the writer's fictitious advertising salesman, Leopold Bloom, traipsed around Dublin. Bloomsday, which was started by a group of writers in 1954, is celebrated in more than 200 cities worldwide. Activities include street theatre, lectures, film screenings, and pub-crawling.

Internet cafe-free school zones

Taipei, taiwan - In an effort to protect teenagers from online pornography and gambling, the city government has proposed legislation that would ban the opening of Internet cafes within 200 meters (about 218 yards) of schools. The measure, still to be approved by the city council, also requires teenagers under 15 to be accompanied by a parent when visiting Internet cafes.

ATTENTION Teachers

Interested in writing for us?

We are always on the lookout for 600-word columns written by kindergarten teachers on up to college professors. To submit a "Class Act" column, e-mail Amelia Newcomb at: newcomba@csps.com or write to The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA, 02115.

(c) Copyright 2001. The Christian Science Monitor

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