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26 October 2004: The Schools Are Burning (1 of 6)

On July 17, 2004, the Toronto Star reported a school fire in Kumbakonam, India. Of the 30 teachers and 800 students who had been packed into huge study-hall style classrooms, the only deaths were students--about 90, including those who escaped, but died awaiting treatment for their burns. The principal was arrested for negligence leading to death, and a fire official reported that the teachers had been the first out of the building, and any students who had been rescued received help from local residents. School officials blamed recent cuts in government funding for promoting conditions of overcrowded classrooms and a lack of safety mechanisms.

In an unrelated story, on October 13, 2004, reported that 1,200 California schools are facing federal penalties (that means finiancial punishments) for failure to meet federally mandated test score improvement targets. These schools represent about 13% of the state's campuses, and are in addition to 500 schools already earmarked for take over by the state next fall. These schools are in danger of losing funding, administrators, and teachers because of their failure to meet the growth goals required by President Bush's No Child Left Behind educational reform.

teaching quote of the day

Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand.

- Chinese proverb

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