VANCOUVER, CANADA - In a case that throws a spotlight on schoolyard bullying, a teenage girl in Vancouver was convicted last week of threatening and harassing a classmate who later committed suicide. It was the first time the province brought schoolgirls into court to face such charges after a suicide. Prosecutors accused the girl of bullying Dawn-Marie Wesley, 14, who hanged herself in November 2000. In her suicide note, she named some former friends who prosecutors said bullied her in the days before her death. The convicted 16-year-old faces up to six months in custody or two years probation at sentencing. A second girl was acquitted of charges of uttering threats, and a third has yet to go to trial.
NEW YORK - The College Board is considering a major overhaul of the SAT I, the most widely used college-entrance exam in the United States, in order to counter criticism that the test does not reflect what students learn in school. The proposal comes just over a year after the University of California system, the test's biggest client, announced its decision to drop the exam. The SAT I is a two-part verbal and math test taken by about 2 million students each year. Proposed changes to take effect no earlier than 2006 include adding a writing test, dropping or reducing analogy questions, and raising the level of math problems.
NEW YORK - Despite a sagging economy, private contributions to American colleges and universities rose to a record during the past school year, which ended June 30, 2001, according to a recent study by the New York-based Rand Corporation Council for Aid to Education. Donations from individuals, corporations, and foundations increased by $1 billion, to $24.2 billion, surprising Rand researchers who had worried that philanthropy had slowed sharply. Harvard University returned to its position as the biggest fundraiser, drawing in $683 million during the year. Stanford University, the top fundraiser the previous year, made second place with $469 million. Columbia University ranked third, raising $359 million.