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VIRGINIA BRIEFING

VIRGINIA BRIEFING

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

FAIRFAX COUNTY

School Board Might Alter Moral Character Goals

Fairfax County School Board members yesterday proposed removing the words "demonstrate sound moral character" from the school system's goals after a report showing a gap among racial groups in that area touched off a public outcry. Five board members met for two hours to scour the language of the "essential life skills" goals to make them less subjective and more clear.

The non-academic goals are intended to promote character education and 21st-century work habits among students.

Board members suggested replacing the moral character language with "demonstrate honesty, responsibility and leadership." Board member Martina A. Hone (At Large) said that honesty can be more objectively measured and that officials could potentially look at statistics on cheating or stealing. Information on moral character had been gleaned from teachers' comments about students' behavior on report cards.

In the next few weeks, board members will discuss how to measure the goals, whether it makes sense to break down data by racial and ethnic groups and what to do with the information already gathered. All changes must be discussed and approved by the full school board before they are put into effect.

-- Michael Alison Chandler

Victim Is Identified by Police In Baileys Crossroads Slaying

A young man who was stabbed to death early Sunday was identified yesterday as Harbi Adam, 18, of the 3500 block of Ellery Circle in the Baileys Crossroads area.

Police said they had no suspects. It was the seventh slaying in Fairfax this year.

Adam was one of two men found lying in the street in the 3700 block of Powell Lane, also in Baileys Crossroads, about 4 a.m. Sunday. He was pronounced dead at Inova Fairfax Hospital.

The other man, who also was stabbed, was being treated at the hospital. Police did not release his identity.


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