Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Ex-TEA Chiefs Concede Too Much Testing, Houston Chronicle

It was the first time these four men and woman had shared a single stage, at least in recent years. The Texas Tribune billed the event as “Ex-Commissioner Confidential.” Four of the five most recent commissioners of the Texas Education Agency had agreed to appear together for an in-public, on-the-record interview that no doubt would include questions about the most controversial topics in education.

There wasn’t much they kept confidential.

Unleashed from the politics of their public office, former commissioners Mike Moses, Jim Nelson, Shirley Neeley and Robert Scott acknowledged that the Texas education system they had overseen had gone too far with high-stakes testing. They didn’t settle on the appropriate number of tests, but agreed that the 15 end-of-course exams  most Texas high school students now must pass to graduate was too many.

Parents Say Bullying Led to 12-Year-Old Son’s Death, CNN

Playing catch in the yard. Walking in the park. Watching a Phillies or Flyers game. Laughing.

It’s the simple things Rob O’Neill said he misses most about his only child, Bailey.

Cupping his chin, O’Neill slowly scans his living room and sighs.

“Honestly, I just miss sitting with him on the couch,” said O’Neill, 39. “I won’t hear ‘Daddy’ anymore. That’s tough.”

O’Neill said his son was punched during a bullying incident at recess at Darby Township School on January 10. He said Bailey, a 6th grader, suffered a fractured nose, a concussion and seizures from the attack. Two weeks after the incident, he was placed in a medically induced coma.

Louisiana Voucher School Students Taught Hippies Were Dirty, Rude, Rock-Loving Satan-Worshippers, Huffington Post

If Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) loses a legal battle over his school voucher program, his state’s tax dollars may no longer go toward sending students to private institutions to learn that hippies were all a bunch of disheveled, drug-addled, godless philistines.

While the controversial law remains mired in the courts after being ruled unconstitutional last year, however, Louisiana taxpayers will continue to fund a program that sends poor and middle-income students to private institutions with curricula often determined by controversial and inaccurate textbooks.

The latest bizarre history lesson comes from the page of an unnamed textbook, via John Aravosis of AmericaBlog, and suggests that the text’s author wasn’t very fond of a particular counter-culture movement of the 1960s.

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