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October 1, 2000
Vol. 58
No. 2

EL Extra

Welcome to EL Extra. We have designed questions to help you and your colleagues foster meaningful discussions around this issue of Educational Leadership.
The study guide may be related to a particular article, a group of articles, or a theme that runs through the entire issue. Our questions will not cover all aspects of the issue, but we are hopeful that they will help you generate a conversation around key ideas. Feel free to adapt the questions to be more relevant to your school or school district—and you may even want to think of some of your own. Although you can consider many of the questions on your own, we encourage you to use them in pairs, small groups, or even large study groups.

Commercialism in Schools

“Commercials@Schools” (p. 39), by Alex Molnar and Jennifer Morales, cautions that commercialism in schools is on the rise. The authors cite data showing that more schools allow corporations to sponsor activities and enter into exclusive contracts. In addition, many schools give technology companies access to student information, and companies market to students electronically.
What are your feelings about the presence of advertising and marketing in schools? What kind of commercial activities does your school or district engage in? What are the benefits of entering into agreements with for-profit companies? Where do you draw the line between a wise financial opportunity for a school and an unethical exploitation of students as consumers?

Sexuality Education

The Special Topic in October 2000 is devoted to sexuality education. Whereas Thomas Lickona's “Character-Based Sexuality Education” (p. 60) urges that schools teach abstinence, not “safer sex,” Monica Rodriguez's “Working Together for a Sexually Healthy America” (p. 66) recommends a more comprehensive sexuality education curriculum.
Break into groups and examine your school's sexuality education program or policy. Does it advocate for abstinence-only education or does it include comprehensive information on such topics as AIDS, contraception, and sexual orientation? Do you find it adequately addresses the needs of your students? How do you include parents and the community in your school's policy toward sexuality education?

This article was published anonymously, or the author name was removed in the process of digital storage.

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