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View Sample Pages : Santa Fe New Mexican, May 22, 2005

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New Mexican (Newspaper) - May 22, 2005, Santa Fe, New Mexico INSIDE TODAY I Bienvenidos The New Mexicans annual summer guide to Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico THE SANTA FE Loca owned and Serving Mexico jbr 156 years SUNDAY MAY 22 2005 ONE DOLLAR n INSIDE TODAY Courageous cott Afleet Alex stumbles in the final stretch of the 130th Preakness Stakes but holds on for the win Sports Cl Afghan outrage Shocked by a Army report detailing prisoner abuses in Afghanistan President Hamid JRarzai plans to demand control over detainees Page A7 An inflated honor To reduce the number of valedictorians this year Santa Fe High School plans to install a grading scale Santa Fe El Norte Bl Burned into memory Five years after the Cerro Grande Fire recovery efforts are changing Los Alamos Neighbors E6 Supremely happy New Mexico vintners say recent Supreme Court decision on shipping their wines across state lines should boost sales Business Dl Todays obituaries Deborah McNaughton May 17 Dolores M Armijp May 20 Levi G Acuna 84 Santa Fe May 18 Paul Pacheco 69 Santa Fe May 20 Robert W Hayes 68 Pqjoaque May 19 Page B2 Todays forecast Partly cloudy afternoon showers High 88 low 52 Page B2 INDEX Anrce s Mailbox C10 Movies G5 Business Dl Mutuais D2 Classifieds Hl Opinion Fl Crossword C10 Police notes B2 Focus El iQuePasa 122 Horoscope C10 Scoreboard C2 Loca news Bl Sports Cl Lotteries B2 Travel Gl The Wests Oldest Newspaper 11 sections 112 pages I56tn year issue No 142 Publication No Late paper Classified ads News tips Main office 9840363 986300O 9863030 9633303 EDUCATION REFORM Jane New Mexican Santa Fe Public Schools Superintendent Gloria Rendon left visits Peggy Justices eighthgrade languagearts class at DeVargas Middle School earlier this year Rendon has been visiting the districts schools twice a week By BARBARA FERRY The New Mexican Carol Mothner is a schoolsavvy mom a successful painter and someone who in her own words doesnt take things lying When it came to getting her daughter through Santa Fes public schools Mothner knew what she had to do She traded information with other parents She volun teered to do art projects at school She joined the parentteacher comr mittee And at the end of the year I would ask for my favor I would say to the principal I prefer that my daughter have soandso next Mothner said She would have volunteered at school anjrway she said but getting the teacher of her choice was an added Relying on the subjective gossip of parents Mothner said she some times chose wrong But the goal was always to figure out which of the available teachers would be the best for her daughter Although school districts and teachers unions dont often acknowledge variations in qual ity of instruction parents have always considered who you get as a teacher to be of utmost impor tance And research increasingly shows theyre right The gap in academic gain between students assigned to good and bad teachers might be greater than even parents realize Research by statistician William Sanders showed startling differ ences in achievement between Tennessee students assigned to the mosteffective teachers versus those assigned to the leasteffec tive teachers Sanders is the creator of the New Mexico is taKiiig the first step in a new national movement to rate educators Tennessee ValueAdded Assess ment System a controversial but increasingly popular approach to isolating and measuring teacher effectiveness Finding answers This method is not accepted by all Some critics say Sanders method like the No Child Left Behind Act relies too heavily on test scores to measure student success However a review of research by The Education Trust a nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap between white and minority stu dents said studies in Dallas and Boston drew similar conclusions about the importance of teacher quality Teacher effectiveness is the Please see TEACH Page A9 Inside New Mexicos new system programs to watch evaluation software and more Will raising teacher salaries in New Mexico make a difference in student achievement Page A8 All eyes on Denver as its school district completely overhauls the system of teacher pay Page A8 Software executive says his sys tem can show which teachers are effective which arent Page A9 Evolution debate is raging in states red and blue Chicago Tribune TOPEKA Kan Eighty years after the Scopes Monkey Trial the battle between those who support the validity of biological evolution and those who oppose it rages on in Kansas and in more than a dozen other states around the country The controversy might appear to be simply about the teaching of science in the classroom But it repre sents a far more complex widespread clash of politics religion science and culture that transcends the borders of conservative red states and their more liberal blue counterparts This controversy is going to happen everywhere Its going to happen in all 50 states This controversy is not going said Jeff Tamblyn 52 an owner of Merriam Origin Films which is making a feature film about the cur rent fight over whether to introduce a morecritical approach to evolution in Kansas school science stan dards So far in 2005 the issue of evolution has sparked at least 21 instances of controversy on the local state level in at least 18 states according to the National Center for Sci ence Education an Oakland Calif based nonprofit orga nization that defends the teaching of evolution in pub lic schools Although such controversies regularly have occurred over the years some attribute the recent wave to the success of con servatives in 2004 elections the national level one attempt to diminish the prominence of evolution in publicschool curricula and introduce alternative views came in the form of a pro posed amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act Spon sored by Sen Rick Santo rum the amendment suggested that evolution is in question among scien tists and recommended that a full range of scientific views be taught But it was cut from the bill Contentious history Seeking to explain the passion that the issue often ignites Tamblyn said Partly its the mixture of religion and politics If that doesnt get you going what does Indeed the theory of evo Piease see DEBATE Page A6 Keeping track of an orbiting junkyard that could endanger space vehicles By FRANK D ROYLANCE The Baltimore Sun On Jan 17 the engine from a Thor rocket launched 31 years ago was soaring southward 550 miles over the African continent At the same time a fragment of a Chinese rocket that blew up five years ago was high over the Pacific Ocean also headed south Incredibly the two chunks of metal flew into the same spot over Antarc tica at the same instant The highspeed collision reported last month by NASAs Orbital Debris Quarterly News created even more orbiting space junk It also drew renewed attention to the litter that surrounds our planet and efforts to keep the neighborhood from becoming even more cluttered and dangerous Its sort of a classic environmen tal problem not unlike air pollution or water said Nicholas L Johnson chief scientist and program manager for NASAs orbitaldebris program If you wait until you start seeing consequences then the environment is pretty far gone already and cleaning it up can be very very When the shuttle Discovery is finally launched most likely in July it will join more than pieces of orbiting hardware that the mili tary tracks 24 hours a day Among them are hundreds of work ing satellites and thousands of dead ones along with spent rockets and other odd scraps set loose by decades of breakups explosions and collisions The junk pile includes about a ton of radioactive fuel from defunct reac tors launched into orbit before the practice ended in 1988 according to a recent report to the Fourth European Conference on Space Debris Much of the material is concen trated in lowEarth which extends to about miles and is home to the International Space Please see SPACE Page A10 ;