GEORGE W. BUSH: OBJECTIVELY PRO-HEAD LICE
And I mean that literally. The full Wall Street Journal article is behind the subscription firewall, but Free Republic has an excerpt:
... to the dismay of many parents, ... "no nits" policies are disappearing as school districts face state and federal pressure to reduce absenteeism and boost academic achievement.
No Child [Left Behind] requires that 95% of students be present for mandatory achievement tests. It also allows states to use attendance to help determine whether school districts are making adequate educational progress under the federal law. Those that don't do so face sanctions that could include state takeovers of their schools.
At the Todd County Public Schools, a rural district based in Elkton, Ky., students found to have lice often used to miss a week or more of school. The old rules barred them from school until they could produce a letter from a doctor or a public-health agency certifying them lice- and nit-free. Under new guidelines, a box top from an over-the-counter lice treatment does the trick.
Bruce Gray, the assistant Todd County superintendent who spearheaded the change, says pressure to reduce absenteeism and boost student achievement was a big consideration. "The more your students are out of school, the less likely you are to meet the academic goals of No Child Left Behind," Mr. Gray says....
Meeting rigid, arbitrary attendance goals is more important than protecting health? Gee, I can't wait till bird flu gets here.