The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 12, 2004 - 3
Ford at School
of Public Policy
Former President and University
alum Gerald Ford will speak today at
11 a.m. at the Indoor Track Building for
ceremonial groundbreaking of the Ger-
ald R. Ford School of Public Policy's
new Joan and Sanford Weill Hall. Ford
will be accompanied by his wife Betty,
sons Jack, Mike and Steve and daughter
The public policy school, named after
Ford, will relocate to the new facility on
the corner of State and Hill streets once
construction is completed.
Music exec talks
Happy Walters, chief executive offi-
cer and founder of Immortal Records
and University alum, will be at the Busi-
ness School today to speak with stu-
dents about the entertainment industry.
Walters, who has worked with Cypress
Hill. Korn, Method Man, Kanye West
and Rage Against the Machine, will be
in room D1276 of Davison Hall from
12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
Parking lot access
The parking lots on the athletic
campus between the Canham Natato-
rium and the baseball stadium will be
reserved all of today for event parking.
Tomorrow and Sunday, Beal Avenue
will also be closed between Bonisteel
Boulevard and the parking lot near the
Institute of Science and Technology.
stolen, later found
to be misplaced
An employee from the University's
Plant Department reported that a hand-
held radio was taken from the elevator
shop on 326 Hoover Avenue, accord-
ing to the Department of Public Safety.
The radio was later recovered after the
employee noticed that it had been mis-
placed, DPS reports.
DPS reports that a staffer at the
MedRehab building on Briarwood
Circle requested an ambulance because
a subject was having trouble breathing.
Assistance was provided.
lot gate arm
A caller told DPS that she witnesses
a group of four people damage the gate
arm on the back side of the Church
Street parking lot.
In Daily History
Nov. 12, 1957 - The Faculty Sen-
ate agreed that educational standards at
the University should not be sacrificed
in order to increase capacity of enrolled
"Both faculty members and admin-
istration representatives were in agree-
ment that the University's strength is in
its quality and this should be kept fore-
most when adjusting to future needs,"
said Prof. George McEwen of the engi-
neering English department
The faculty retains ultimate control
over admissions through a policy-setting
b board for the admissions office, Univer-
Many Mich. high schools fail standards
LANSING (AP) - Ann Arbor's Pioneer High
School is widely considered to be among the
Student scores on college entrance exams are
well above the state and national averages. They
compete for national honors in music, math and
The school's extracurricular activities - with
options including synchronized swimming and
horseback riding - rival any in the state.
Yet Pioneer is among the 46.5 percent of
Michigan public high schools that failed to meet
adequate yearly progress standards related to the
federal No Child Left Behind Act for the 2003-04
The Ann Arbor school's failure doesn't have much
to do with academic achievement. Rather, Pioneer
flunked because not enough students took a state
standardized exam - the high school Michigan
Education Assessment Program test - that many
of them don't consider relevant to their future.
About 5 percent of the state's failing high
schools, including Pioneer, flunked solely because
fewer than 95 percent of students took the MEAP.
A low percentage of student test-takers contributed
to failure in about 25 percent of the cases, accord-
ing to state statistics.
Having fewer than 95 percent of students take the
MEAP is one of several ways to fail the standards
outlined in the federal law designed to improve
student achievement on math and reading.
"We have to remember ... (adequate yearly
progress) encompasses a lot of different things,"
said David Plank, co-director of the Education
Policy Center at Michigan State University. "First
and most important is improving student achieve-
ment. But a lot of schools - including some that
State law, and in most cases, school districts
themselves, do not require that students take the
MEA P. The test is not required to get into college,
but carries with it the promise of $2,500 state schol-
arships for students who pass its four subjects.
MEAP critics also say the test takes too long to
are good schools -
are getting caught in
the thicket of these
The state reports
that 436 of its 937
high schools did not
make adequate year-
ly progress in 2004.
All of Detroit's pub-
lic high schools were
listed as failing, as
were several schools
About 5 percent of the
state's failing high schools,
including Pioneer, flunked
solely because fewer than 95
percent of students took the
grade and thus doesn't
provide schools timely
feedback on how well
students are mastering
reading, writing, math
The state Senate
passed a bill Wednesday
that would replace the
MEAP with a test that
would include parts of a
college entrance exam.
School in Wayne County on the failed list.
"We get an A' for achievement but an 'F' fbr
participation," said Jim Ryan, superintendent of
Plymouth-Canton Community Schools. "But r I
guess that's fair. That's simply the standard, and
we all know we have to meet it."
About 94 percent of Canton High students took
the MEAP, just short of the standard. Some dis-
tricts are considering making MEAP participation
a graduation requirement to boost participation
Plymouth-Canton's Salem High failed for a dif-
ferent reason - its special education students did
not improve enough on the MEAP in 2004.
A subpar performance by any one subgroup
- including students who are in special education,
have limited English skills or belong to a racial
minority - lands a school on the failed list. That
standard was the sole reason 30 schools, about,7
percent of the total, were included on the list.
Graduation rates also are a key factor in dete-
mining adequate yearly progress. Michigan has
established its own criteria, requiring that 80 per-
cent of students graduate to meet standards.
About 10 percent of failing schools were put on
the list based on graduation rates alone.
The MEAP test and other Michigan standards may
be tougher than some other states have self-imposed,
but the No Child Left Behind Act has enough uri-
form requirements that most states can expect large
percentages of their schools to fail, educators say.
in the state's largest cities
such as Grand Rapids and Lansing.
But a wide range of suburban, small town and
rural schools across Michigan also missed the
mark - including schools in Bay City and Brigh-
ton, Wolverine and Walled Lake.
Schools that fail repeatedly must allow students
to transfer to other schools and could lose some
federal funding, a penalty that most often hurts
large urban districts.
Some educators say it's a fair system they must
learn to live with, but others say the No Child Left
Behind law is flawed and needs reform.
William Chilman, principal at Cadillac Senior
High School, said some parents have writ-
ten administrators asking that their children be
excused from the test.
Liz Margolis, a spokeswoman for Ann Arbor
Public Schools, says both Pioneer and Huron High
School - another city school with a good state-
wide reputation - have increased their MEAP
participation in recent years. But it hasn't been
enough to keep either school off the failing list.
"The incentive for a lot of our high-achieving stu-
dents is just not there" to take the test, Margolis said.
MEAP participation also put Canton High
Five state union
LANSING (AP) - Benefits for gay
state employees would be extended to
their domestic partners in proposed
contracts with five unions, but could
be denied under a newly approved
constitutional amendment banning
Nearly 38,000 state employees are
holding ratification votes on tenta-
tive contracts reached a week before
the Nov. 2 election. Voters that day
approved Proposal 2, which adds
language to the Michigan Constitu-
tion defining marriage as the union
of one man and one woman.
If the contracts are approved, the
state would provide same-sex domes-
tic partner benefits as of Oct. 1, 2005.
But David Fink, director of the Office
of the State Employer, said, "We are
concerned that this benefit negoti-
ated in response to union demands
could violate the new constitutional
amendment." Fink negotiated the
new contracts on behalf of the state.
The amendment doesn't specifically
address domestic partnership benefits.
But Fink said he expected the courts
to determine before Oct. 1 how they
would be affected by Proposal 2.
"The language of the amend-
ment was so vague we are afraid it
threatens those benefits, but we don't
really know for sure," said Chris
Swope, executive director of Michi-
"You could argue either way
whether domestic partner benefits
are similar to marriage or not," he
The amendment won't abolish
existing domestic partner benefits
negotiated by public employers, bnt
will deny new ones once it takes
effect, said Gary Glenn, president of
the American Family Association of
Michigan and a leader in the Propos-
al 2 campaign.
"It is our opinion the state can
offer benefits to any employee or
dependent it wishes to, but it cannot
do so on the basis of recognizing -a
homosexual relationship as equal or
similar to marriage," he said.
In metropolitan Detroit alone;
about 55 private companies, governa
ment agencies and nonprofits offer
same-sex benefits, up from just -a
handful in 1997, according to the
Human Rights Campaign, aWash-
ington-based gay advocacy group.
Some companies go beyond basid
health care benefits by offering den-
tal, life insurance, bereavement leave
and other benefits to its gay, lesbiam,
bisexual and transgender employees
and their families.
"We believe the state must use
all the best tools available to attract
and keep excellent employees, just
as other major employers must,"
On Veterans Day,
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Marine Cpl.
David Antonio Garcia stood on the
deck of an aircraft carrier yesterday and
was sworn in as an American citizen
- after already serving under the U.S.
flag in Iraq.
The native of Mexico was among 80
sailors and Marines from 25 countries
-from Canada to Syria - who became
citizens in a Veterans Day ceremony
aboard the USS Midway, a reward for
putting their lives on the line for their
The ceremony, watched by more
than 100 cheering relatives, came as
the nation observed Veterans Day with
about 160,000 troops fighting in Iraq
and Afghanistan - some of them
locked in fierce house-to-house fighting
"I wouldn't want to compare myself
to World War veterans or Vietnam veter-
ans," said Garcia, 21, who was with com-
bat engineers who cleared the path for
tanks to roll into Iraq. "But I feel some of
what they must feel today. I know what
it's like to leave loved ones and not to
know if you will come back."
The citizenship ceremony was one of
dozens of events held nationwide to cel-
ebrate Veterans Day, a holiday that has
taken on added meaning in the last three
years after wars in Afghanistan and
Iraq. Veterans were honored Thursday
at ceremonies big and small: an event
recognizing a teenage Purple Heart
recipient in South Carolina, a parade
on the streets of Manhattan, a wreath-
laying ceremony at Arlington National
Ceremony attended by President Bush.
The war in Iraq was a dominant
theme at the ceremonies. There are
about 142,000 U.S. troops in Iraq; the
American death toll stands at more
"Let no one tell you we aren't doing
good things there," Army Col. Jill Mor-
genthalher, who recently returned from
Iraq and earned a Bronze Star, said at
a wreath-laying ceremony at Chicago's
Soldier Field. "We are standing up for
what is right. This is our next greatest
At the ceremony aboard the USS
Midway, U.S. District Judge William
Hayes administered the oath of citizen-
ship, noting that many of the troops were
from countries that deny individual lib-
erties and had left behind families who
"cannot know what joy you are experi-
"You as representatives of the armed
forces know above all, like most citi-
zens, that freedom is not free," Hayes
said. "Thank you for your sacrifice."
Legal permanent residents of the Unit-
ed States had been allowed to join the
military and seek citizenship after three
years of active service. But in July 2002
President Bush signed an executive order
allowing anyone on active duty after
Sept. 11, 2001, to immediately apply for
citizenship. There are about 31,000 non-
citizens in the U.S. military.
On the other end of the country, doz-
ens of veterans, some into their 80s,
stood and applauded one of the nation's
youngest Purple Heart recipients during
a ceremony in North Charleston, S.C.
Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas Riccio,
19, who was born on the Fourth of July
and wanted to be a soldier from child-
hood, was wounded in Iraq in June
when shrapnel from a mortar round
passed through his brain. He survived
but only after a Navy corpsman held his
head together on a 30-mile drive to a
first aid station.