Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, elected its first woman president last weekend. Elaine Tuttle Hansen, currently a provost and professor of English at Haverford College in Pennsylvania, will assume her new role July 1. Meanwhile, Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., appointed as its next president Richard Hersh, a former president of the Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His academic work focuses on school reform.
Milwaukee, Wisc. - Evaluators of a class-size reduction program in Wisconsin found that minimizing class sizes leads to a higher achievement for students living in poverty. The five-year-old program, called the Student Achievement Guarantee in Education, is a statewide effort to reduce student-teacher ratios to 15:1 in Grades K-3. The evaluators, from Arizona State University, concluded that the program improves the test scores of participating students. The 2000-'01 evaluation focused on 1,542 third-graders in 93 classrooms.
Santa Ana, Calif. - As part of a crackdown on truancy in Orange County, a father must attend classes with his fourth-grade son after the student allegedly missed 45 days of school. Among other new truancy penalties, parents could lose public-assistance benefits, and students could lose their driver's licenses and be subject to curfews. School truancy has rarely been prosecuted in the past because of a lack of staff and money. But the Orange County District Attorney's Office recently won state and federal grants to assign three prosecutors to truancy cases.
The Lumina Foundation for Education has issued a correction on its recent study of the accessibility of higher education, which the Monitor covered in the Jan. 15 article "For many, college is a debt-defying feat." The foundation says it misclassified 111 of the hundreds of colleges listed as difficult for low-income families to afford. Of those, 82 should have been rated as more affordable, while 29 were actually less affordable.