Federal Relations


National Update
March 28, 2002

In this issue:


National Center Warns Against Vouchers At DC Forum

SAT Overhaul Proposed By College Board

Veterans History Project A Possible Opportunity For Home Schoolers

Researchers Cite Link Between Teen TV Viewing, Teen Behavior


National Center Warns Against Vouchers At DC Forum

Tom Washburne, Director of HSLDA's National Center for Home Education, recently participated in an Institute for Policy Innovation forum on Capitol Hill where he voiced warnings about currently popular school voucher programs.

A CNS News article quoted Washburne as saying "By its very nature, there's a danger that government will dangle voucher dollars to entice religious schools to change their curriculum, hiring practices or other areas of operation." Washburne explained to the group, which included members of Congress and executive branch officials, that school choice needs to rest in the hands of parents, not government. Washburne urged that lawmakers consider tax credits as a preferred alternative to vouchers.

Other reasons for HSLDA's opposition to vouchers are detailed at the following link:

http://www.hslda.org/docs/nche/000002/00000251.asp


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SAT Overhaul Proposed By College Board

News reports indicate The College Board, which oversees and administers the SAT, has proposed major changes in the test, apparently aimed at encouraging the University of California to reconsider its decision to drop the test.

California officials, pressured by affirmative action groups, announced last year they are attempting to discontinue use of the test by the university, saying it unfairly emphasizes aptitude over achievement. With more than 170,000 students in its system, Cal is the largest user of the test. Experts have questioned whether the test can continue to exist without its largest client.

Among the proposed changes in the test is elimination of verbal analogies. The reason given for this change is that it puts students who have learned English as a second language, at a disadvantage.


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Veterans History Project A Possible Opportunity For Home Schoolers

The Veterans History Project is a Congressionally-mandated effort to collect the personal accounts of veterans of wars fought in the 20th century. Private citizens of all ages are encouraged to interview veterans as part of this project. For more information, click on the link below.

http://www.loc.gov/folklife/vets/about.html#contact


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Researchers Cite Link Between Teen TV Viewing, Teen Behavior

A scientific journal report indicates a possible link between the amount of television watched by early adolescents and violent behavior by the viewers in later years.

The Associated Press reports the journal Science, features the study by a Columbia University professor of two upstate New York counties. The study found that the rate of teens committing "aggressive acts" was nearly five times higher among those had watched three hours or more of television per day when 14, compared to those who watched one hour or less per day at the same age. The aggressive actions were measured from ages 16 to 22.