WASHINGTON — High school vocational programs push girls into cosmetology and child-care classes, while boys learn higher-paying skills such as auto repair or carpentry, claims the National Women's Law Center. The center petitioned the Education Department last week to investigate if the programs comply with Title IX, the law requiring schools that receive federal money to provide equal opportunities for men and women. The center's study of 12 states found that 96 percent of cosmetology students and 87 percent of child-care students are girls, while boys make up 92 percent of automotive classes and 93 percent of welding classes.
ALBANY, N.Y. A day after the state was criticized for the politically correct editing of literary passages in tests, Education Commissioner Richard Mills said last week that exams will no longer be changed to delete potentially offensive words and phrases. Educators and civil-liberties watchdogs had called for legislative hearings and suggested legal challenges to force Mr. Mills to end the "censoring" of literature chosen for the Board of Regents English exam.
Bridgetown, Barbados The Organization of American States plans to offer a course for young democratic leaders from five south Caribbean countries. This is its first such course in the English-speaking Caribbean. Backed by the Inter-American Development Bank, the program aims to promote leadership skills and understanding of democratic values.
Williamstown, Mass. Factrak, a new website at Williams College that lets students anonymously critique instructors, is making waves with faculty. Such sites have popped up at colleges around the country, but the Williams site is particularly popular. Students say it is their only source for uncensored information. Faculty counter that it undermines traditionally close student-teacher relationships.