Sheffield Hallam University computer science student Richard O’Dwyer faces extradition to the United States on copyright infringement charges, where he faces five to ten years imprisonment in a US federal jail.
O’Dwyer established the TVShack.net web site nearly four years ago. The web site did not utilise any US-based web servers, nor did it host any files whatsoever. His web site acted only as a conduit and did not breach existing UK copyright laws. The only previous charge of a similar nature, the suit against TVlinks, was thrown out of court last year.
Figures released last month indicated that the number of breaches by teachers, school staff and principals in administering the 2011 National Assessment Program—Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) tests almost doubled from 2010. The results point to the immense pressure on schools and teachers to achieve high scores under the Gillard government’s My School testing regime.
In 2010, as part of its “education revolution,” the Labor government launched the My School website to rank schools nationally based on their performance in NAPLAN tests. Labor’s aim was not to identify students needing additional support—such indicators were already available—but to pit schools and teachers against each other, driven by the threat of falling enrolments, cuts to funding and eventual closure.
Parents and staff at Barber Focus School for children in grades K-8 learned Monday that their school, one of only three public schools remaining in Highland Park, Michigan, will close in one week and merge with Henry Ford Academy. The announcement came only hours after the installation of Jack Martin as emergency financial manager of the Highland Park Schools by Governor Rick Snyder.
Students from Barber will be transported to Henry Ford via shuttle bus. The fate of after-school programs remains uncertain.
Highland Park is the second Michigan school district after Detroit to be run by an emergency manager. There have been suggestions that it may eventually be shut down altogether or merged with another district.
A demonstration Saturday of over 1,000 parents, children, teachers, assistants and residents in Harringey, London protested government plans to force three local primaries to become academies.
The march began at Downhills primary school and walked through the busy high street to Harringey Town Hall where a rally was held. Marchers chanted, “No to academies, Save our schools” and “[Education Secretary] Michael Gove, we won’t be beaten, Leave our school and close down Eton.”
Downhills in Tottenham, North London, an area of social deprivation that was the starting point of last summer’s riots, was given 12 months to improve its performance last year. It faces being made an academy by 2013.
Downhills Primary School in Haringey, north London, has launched a legal challenge to Education Secretary Michael Gove’s attempt to force it to become a privately run academy. The school has accused Gove of illegally trying to force the school to be taken out of its local authority remit and be taken over by a private sponsor.
Gove wants to force Downhills, which inspectors last year put under notice to improve its performance, to accept that it will become an academy by the end of this month or face the dissolution of its governing body.
Academies are state funded but privately controlled schools. They are free from any Local Authority control, including pay and conditions, and are given extra cash for services that councils would have provided. Some of this extra expenditure is channelled through to existing academy chains ready to provide these services.