The Scandia Family Fun Center, which operates a super thrill ride (168 feet high, spinning at 60 miles an hour, pulling 3.5 g's) called the Screamer, in Sacramento, Calif., decided in March that because of neighborhood residents' noise complaints, riders would be prohibited from screaming (and subject to ejection from the park).

The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress, released in February, revealed that 12th graders' reading ability is at an all-time low, yet their grades for English class are at an all-time high (averaging 2.82 on a 4.0 scale, up from 2.52 15 years ago).

Also, Washington state legislators, faced with 10th graders' declining achievement test scores in math and science, are poised to just eliminate the tests altogether (while retaining those for reading and writing, which do not show declines), according to a March Seattle Times report. (Some math and science would still be tested, but only right after math and science classes, when memories are fresher and, presumably, scores would be higher.)

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