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AUTUMN VISTA: The Wellsville Mountains take on autumn hues as shorter days and cool nights usher in the end of summer. / Photo by Ted Pease

Today's word on journalism

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

On the hooplah surrounding Katie Couric's ascension to the CBS News anchor chair:

"The difference between newspapers and television is that you couldn't care less what a female newspaper reporter looks like when she tells you about a tsunami in Indonesia, fighting in Sudan or the Kentucky Derby. Many of the bylines only give the initials and no one stops to think, 'I wonder who did her hair?' Or, 'She shouldn't wear a navy blue Oscar de la Renta suit.'"

--Art Buchwald, columnist, 2006

In Tech Collegiate High School to open Aug. 28

The high school is on the USU Innovation Campus. / Photo by Jason Givens

By Jason Givens

July 27, 2006 | This fall, high school students in the Cache, Logan, Box Elder and Rich school districts will have an opportunity to attend one of a nationally growing number of early college high schools.

The school which is on Utah State University's Innovation Campus, will open Aug. 28 and is called the In Tech Collegiate High School. It is one of six such schools in Utah. According to the Early College High School Initiative Web site, as of September 2005 there were 71 early college high schools nationwide with 166 anticipated by 2011.

"I'm real excited," said Steve Zsiray, principal of In Tech Collegiate High School. "It's about giving kids a choice, parents and kids need to have a choice."

According to Zsiray the school will, in addition to meeting all state requirements for high school graduation, focus on engineering, science and math. He added that it's not a traditional high school; participants will be "thinking outside the box" using a lot of online and experimental teaching methods.

"Kids at the high school level need to explore more," he said.

Zsiray said a planning grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid for training and part of the building.

The Gates Foundation is a charitable organization created in 2000, which, according to its Web site, was created by Bill and Melinda Gates"to help reduce inequities in the United States and around the world."

The foundation is "committed to raising the high school graduation rate and helping all students-regardless of race or family income-graduate as strong citizens ready for college and work," the Web site said.

According to Zsiray each student will be required to have a mentor and complete a project to help them figure out what they want to do in life.

"We will be able to do a lot more for less," Zsiray said. "We're here because public schools refuse in a lot of ways to think differently."

The mission statement found on the In Tech Collegiate High School's Web site said, "Our goal is to give every student the opportunity to complete high school and at least two years of college in a very challenging learning environment."

Zsiray said there will be 75 students per grade chosen by a blind lottery. He said a blind lottery is used to ensure fairness and because it is a public school in order to receive public funding everyone needs to have an equal chance to attend. He said they will begin this year with grades 9-10, they will add a new grade each year as the students move forward until they have grades 9-12 with a total of 300 students.

"I call it the genesis project," Zsiray said. "Because everything will come together at once."

An article in the May 8 edition of Newsweek discussed the changes these types of new schools are making. Executive director of the Gates Foundation's education initiative, Tom Vander Ark, is quoted in the article as saying, "We are changing the goal of high school and what it's possible to achieve there."


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