Daily News January 3, 2007

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Today’s Best
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: January 3  A last-ditch effort to derail a massive school funding suit in Missouri failed Tuesday, clearing the way for the six-week trial to begin today in Cole County Circuit Court. This morning, lawyers representing more than 250 school districts are scheduled to begin arguing that the state does not adequately support public education. The case also will zero in on disparities between poor and wealthy school districts, as well as the differing methods counties use to estimate local property taxes.
The Washington Post: January 3  A majority of D.C. Council members said yesterday that they support the general tenets of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty's proposal to take direct control of the city's failing school system, although they are waiting to see full details of his plan.
The New York Times: January 3  In every country, there is an average life span for the nation as a whole and there are average life spans for different subsets, based on race, geography, education and even churchgoing. The one social factor that researchers agree is consistently linked to longer lives in every country where it has been studied is education. It is more important than race; it obliterates any effects of income.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch: January 3  The St. Louis School Board rang in the new year on a familiar note with a discordant closed session that ended Tuesday with the superintendent hanging onto her job by a single vote. The 4-3 decision came on the eve of a State Board of Education meeting that could determine whether control of the district will be turned over to an appointed school board for the next six years.
The Washington Post: January 3  Both Maryland and Virginia require schools to identify and serve the gifted. Some high-performing systems, including Montgomery in Maryland and Fairfax in Virginia, take the mandate a step further, screening every child and offering some measure of gifted education to all.
Baltimore Sun: January 3  The Anne Arundel County school system in Maryland will take over occupational and physical therapy services for disabled students from the Health Department, amid a shortage of therapists that has left dozens without care required by federal law, County Executive John R. Leopold announced yesterday.
Houston Chronicle: January 3  Texas teachers got their biggest pay raises this school year since the 1990s, according to a survey released Tuesday. The average teacher salary is $44,615, up nearly 7 percent from 2005-06.
St. Petersburg Times: January 3  Patrick Kirchman teaches like a man on fire. Starting next month, his students' score on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test will count in Floyd's overall school grade for the first time. It's a time of national worrying, as experts bemoan the United States' slipping competitive edge in the sciences and call for tougher standards.
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