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Hand over the power saw

washington - The New York City Board of Education operates a "separate and unequal" system of vocational high schools for male and female students and provides inferior educational opportunities for female students, the National Women's Law Center (NWLC) charged Thursday. In a letter to Education Chancellor Harold O. Levy, NWLC said the board's failure to adequately address discrimination against girls in vocational and technical high school programs violates constitutional provisions and several federal, state, and city laws.

"Young women deserve, and have a legal right to expect, an equal chance to prepare for high-wage and technical careers," said Marcia D. Greenberger, NWLC co-president. "Female students ... cannot afford to have their education shortchanged by unfair and outmoded stereotypes that limit their opportunities and future."

Syria's first private universities

daMascus, syria - Syria is poised to get its first private universities under President Bashar al-Assad's policy to liberalize education, the government daily Tishrin reported Saturday. The new schools will be aimed at "raising the level of higher education and scientific research and meeting the needs of economic development," the newspaper said. There is currently a total of four public universities in the capital, Damascus, and the country's main cities.

Mt. Holyoke professor suspended

South Hadley, Mass. - A Pulitzer Prize-winning history professor who admitted he lied to his students about being a Vietnam combat veteran will be suspended for a year without pay, Mount Holyoke College said Friday. Joseph Ellis also must give up his endowed chair at the college.

"I strongly rebuke Professor Ellis for his lie about his military experience," Mount Holyoke President Joanne Creighton said. "The year away should give him and the college time for reflection and repair. This sanction is consistent with our honor code for students and its emphasis on education, reflection, and ultimately restoration to an honorable place in our community."

Ellis said he accepted the sanctions, adding he would spend the year working on a new book.

Attention college students: Interested in writing for us?

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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