Monthly Archives: January 2013

Schools must provide sports for disabled, U.S. says

dt_common_streams_StreamServerHOLD FOR RELEASE AT 12:01 A.M. EST ON FRIDAY, JAN. 25, 2013 ** This photo provided by Lisa Followay shows Casey Followay competing in the the USATF Junior Olympics in Maryland on July 28, 2012. Breaking new ground, the U.S. Education Department is telling schools Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, they must include students with disabilities in sports programs or provide equal alternative options. The directive, reminiscent of the Title IX expansion of athletic opportunities for women, could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms for years to come. “I heard about some of the other people who joined their track teams in other states. I wanted to try to do that,” said 15-year-old Casey Followay, who competes on his Ohio high school track team in a racing wheelchair. Current rules require Followay to race on his own, without competitors running alongside him. He said he hopes the Education Department guidance will change that and he can compete against runners.(AP Photo/Lisa Followay)

Schools must provide sports for disabled, U.S. says


WASHINGTON — The Education Department says students with disabilities must be given a fair shot to play on a traditional sports team or have their own leagues.

That message was being delivered to the nation’s schools on Friday. The order is reminiscent of the Title IX expansion four decades ago of athletic opportunities for girls and women and could bring sweeping changes to school budgets and locker rooms for years to come.

Students with disabilities who want to play for their school could join traditional teams if officials could make “reasonable modifications” to accommodate them.

But if those adjustments would fundamentally alter a sport or give the student an advantage, the department is directing the school to create parallel athletic programs that have comparable standing to mainstream programs.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 25, 2013 in Education News


President Obama Will Announce Gun Reform Surrounded By ChildrenToday

917604-6-20130116040017When President Obama announces a sweeping gun control agenda today, he’ll be joined by schoolchildren who wrote him letters after the Sandy Hook school shooting, reports the Washington Post. In a press conference scheduled for 11:45am Eastern, Obama is expected to set out proposals including a ban on assault weapons, a reduction in the size of ammunition magazines, and closure of the gun show background check loophole, all of which would require approval from Congress, the Guardian reports.

The president also plans to introduce a federal gun trafficking law long called for by big-city mayors, reports Politico. Joe Biden has outlined 19 other executive actions the administration could take to reduce gun violence, including expanding a federal database to track gun sales. But reducing gun violence “cannot be done by a president alone,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters yesterday. “It can’t be done by a single community alone or a mayor or a governor or by Congress alone. We all have to work together.”

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 16, 2013 in Education News


Judge Rules On School Tracking Device

916668-6-20130109130923Student Tira Starr shows her ID badge as students change classes in San Antonio, Texas. (AP Photo/San Antonio Express-News, Bob Owen)

Judge: School Can Make Students Wear Tracking Device

Teen sued after being expelled for refusing

By Liam Carnahan, Newser Staff |

Pencils? Check. Textbooks? Check. Tracking devices? Check. A judge in Texas has ruled against a student who was expelled after she refused to wear a tracking device mandatory for all students at her high school. The case is making its way toward federal courts, but come spring semester Andrea Hernandez, 15, will either have to return to her magnet school wearing the device or opt to go somewhere else, reports Reuters. Groups on both ends of the political spectrum have spoken out against Jay High School’s controversial policy.

“We should not be teaching our children to accept such an intrusive surveillance technology,” says a rep from the ACLU. But the school maintains that it is not trying to spy on students. The technology works only within the walls of the school and is used to detect students who may be loitering in hallways or stairwells between classes. Because the school gets funding based on how many kids are in class when the bell rings, the devices could save big bucks—the school says it loses $1.7 million a year because of absent students

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 10, 2013 in Education News


Kids Need Recess

Recess as Essential as Class: Doctors

Great for kids’ brains, bodies

By Matt Cantor, Newser Staff

Great news, though it comes too late for most of us: Doctors are taking a stand on the benefits of recess, and not just for the exercise. It’s just as important to children’s development as class time is, the American Academy of Pediatrics says. The organization is officially advocating a scheduled break during the school day, Time reports. “Children need to have downtime between complex cognitive challenges,” says a pediatrician. “They tend to be less able to process information the longer they are held to a task.”

And “it’s not enough to just switch from math to English. You actually have to take a break,” he adds. On top of that, recess lets kids work on conflict resolution. And there are the health implications: A decline in recess has coincided with a rise in child obesity. The news comes with recess on the outs: Just three states require 20 minutes per day. Recess structures vary widely between schools, with 73% of kids through sixth grade getting some type of recess since the 1990s. The report doesn’t say how long recess should be—but it’s not just for students: “Everyone, not just kids, benefits from regular breaks in the day,” says a researcher.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 2, 2013 in Education News