UPDATE 6/5: School Board Might Scrap Behavior Study

Updated 6/5
The latest on the controversial study of students' behavior, which looked at racial and ethnic factors among others, is here.

Updated 4/29
From today's Metro section:

Fairfax County School Board members yesterday proposed removing the words "demonstrate sound moral character" from the school system's goals after a report showing a gap among racial groups in that area touched off a public outcry. Five board members met for two hours to scour the language of the "essential life skills" goals to make them less subjective and more clear.
The non-academic goals are intended to promote character education and 21st-century work habits among students.
Board members suggested replacing the moral character language with "demonstrate honesty, responsibility and leadership." Board member Martina A. Hone (At Large) said that honesty can be more objectively measured and that officials could potentially look at statistics on cheating or stealing. Information on moral character had been gleaned from teachers' comments about students' behavior on report cards.
In the next few weeks, board members will discuss how to measure the goals, whether it makes sense to break down data by racial and ethnic groups and what to do with the information already gathered. All changes must be discussed and approved by the full school board before they are put into effect.
-- Michael Alison Chandler

Updated 4/11
The school board last night unanimously voted to postpone a decision on whether to accept the report. Read more in this story from today's Metro section.

Originally posted 4/10
A staff report prepared for the Fairfax County School Board is at the heart of a new controversy. The report, which is supposed to quantify students' ethics and morality, is drawing fire for conclusions that imply that White and Asian students are better moral problem solvers than Black and Hispanic ones. The story is here and a commentary by Metro opinion columnist Marc Fisher is here.

By Focus on Fairfax |  June 5, 2008; 9:15 AM ET  | Category:  Schools
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