December 19th, 2011
04:37 PM ET

FAMU president to stay in office during hazing probe

By Rich Phillips, CNN

Courtesy Florida A & M University

Some band members have said Robert Champion may have
died after a rite of passage involving a beating aboard a bus.

Tallahassee, Florida (CNN) - Florida A&M University President James Ammons will stay in office during a hazing investigation, the school's board decided Monday.

The A&M board of trustees rejected a request from Gov. Rick Scott to suspend Ammons while officials probe various issues at the school, including the suspected hazing death of a band member.

"We will stand firm against outside influences which hinder the viability of the university," said Solomon Badger, the board's chairman.

"It requires us to rely on facts," he said.

The board chose not to vote on Ammons' status.

Ammons was not present for Monday's meeting, but took part by telephone.

On Friday, the medical examiner in Orange County, Florida, ruled that the death of 26-year-old Robert D. Champion was a homicide.

December 19th, 2011
04:29 PM ET

'Tebowing' leads to teens' suspension

(CNN) – Four student athletes were suspended after encouraging several others to do the 'Tebow' prayer pose, blocking a hallway in school.

Read more coverage of the prayer pose on the Belief Blog here: 'Tebowing' prayer stirs debate, but quarterback is OK with it."

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Filed under: Behavior • Sports
December 19th, 2011
01:52 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

New York Times: Profits and Questions at Online Charter Schools
Nine for-profit companies run dozens of online public K-12 schools across the country. Several of the companies make a profit, but critics say that comes at a price: lower-performing students.

The Atlantic: The Great Education Hypocrisy: What's So Bad About For-Profit Teaching?
The author argues that public-private partnerships should develop public education policy. He says that similar partnerships in the space program and communications, among others, have led to innovation and jobs. Kids can continue to learn during the holidays
Dr. Bob Wilmott, chief of pediatrics at a St. Louis hospital, says parents should encourage children to have a balance of relaxation and mental activity during the holidays. He suggests several holiday activities that he says will keep young minds stimulated.

NPR: An Early College Economics Lesson For One Student
A high school student comes to the realization that the cost of college may outweigh his ability to pay for it in the future.

U.S. News & World Report:Better High School Graduation Rates May Be An Illusion
New federal laws will standardize how states calculate their graduation rates. Some states could see a drop in this statistic, but one expert says the new figures will be a better reflection of reality.

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Filed under: At Home • Curriculum • Policy • Practice • Teachers • Today's Reading List
Searching for news that matters
December 19th, 2011
08:02 AM ET

Searching for news that matters

By Michael Schulder, CNN

(CNN) To mark one of the biggest science news stories of the year, I've retooled an old story to make up the very first physics joke in history. Here it goes.:

A physicist is bending down, at night, searching for something beneath a lamp post.A guy walks up to him and says "what are you looking for?
Physicist: A Higgs particle.
Guy: Where did you see this Higgs particle last?
Physicist: I've never seen one. Nobody has.
Guy: Then why are you looking under the lamp post?
Physicist: That's where the light is.

Aah, if it were only that easy.

In fact, if it were possible to find a Higgs particle under a lamp post you would see every ambitious physicist in the world wearing knee pads, crawling from lamp post to lamp post, coast to coast.

That's because a Higgs particle. also known as the God particle, is believed to be the final link in a mathematical formula that explains what makes matter matter.

That's tough to explain in plain English, so I've enlisted one of the world's most respected and plain-spoken physicists.

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Filed under: Practice • Science