A computer on every kid's lap

Gardiner, maine - If Gov. Angus King gets his wish, Maine teachers may soon hear a new excuse from students who forget their homework: "The dog ate my disk." Last Thursday, he announced a proposal that would give every one of the state's 17,000 seventh-graders a laptop computer that would be theirs to keep, regardless of whether they have one at home. But the ambitious school-computer initiative, to begin in 2002, has generated a bit of skepticism in the statehouse and among educators. Some balked at the one-time cost of $50 million from the state budget. Others questioned why some families should end up with multiple computers at home.

Program doubles college attendance

ripley, ohio - Education advocates want to expand a program throughout Appalachia that they say is encouraging more students at a southern Ohio school district to go to college. Sixty percent of the Ripley Union Lewis Huntington schools' senior class this year plan to go to college - up 107 percent from four years ago. The Appalachian Regional Commission wants to establish an Appalachian Higher Education Network throughout the region's 13 states, building on the success of this Ohio district and a similar one in West Virginia. In the program, a grant from the commission enabled a curriculum overhaul that included more college-preparatory courses; improvement in teacher training; more computers to be installed; and more outreach from community leaders, regional colleges, and alumni who have gone on to higher education.

More boosts for Ten Commandments

Indianapolis - A bill allowing the Ten Commandments to be posted in schools and public buildings sailed through the Indiana Senate and House last week. Opponents said that the bill flies in the face of precedent, while supporters said the Ten Commandments would be posted as part of a display of historical documents. Meanwhile, a legislative committee in Kentucky gave its blessing last week to similar proposals to allow posting of the Decalogue as a part of historical displays in public schools and buildings.

College Students:

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We are always looking for college students to write for our "On Campus" column, to contribute a column, e-mail Stacy Teicher at: teichers@csps.com Or, write to The Christian Science Monitor, One Norway Street, Boston, MA, 02115.

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