Published Online: April 16, 1997

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School Funding Issues Explained in New Report

Public schools do not get enough money to succeed, and the money that they do get is not distributed fairly, a report on school funding and equity concludes.

The 80-page study by Rethinking Schools Inc., an education reform publishing group in Milwaukee, is intended to give parents, educators, and policymakers the information and resources they need to understand school funding and equity issues.

The report includes a state-by-state political and legal history of school funding; a breakdown of school spending; information on the role of money in school reform; a discussion of the federal government's responsibility in ensuring equal opportunity; and background on how equity issues affect class size, technology, standards, and other aspects of education.

"Funding for Justice: Money, Equity, and the Future of Public Education," $5 plus $3.50 for shipping and handling, from Barbara Miner, Rethinking Schools, 1001 E. Keefe Ave., Milwaukee, Wis. 53212; (414) 964-9646.

Learning Disabilities

A new guide offers parents and educators information on learning disabilities, including 28 articles by authors in the learning-disabilities field.

The articles cover topics from how to design effective inclusive programs and how to boost the self-esteem and social skills of students with learning disabilities to suggestions for helping families cope with learning-disabled children.

The 137-page guide from the Landmark Foundation also lists organizations for teachers, parents, students, and adults; provides information on where to get a student evaluated; and offers an annotated bibliography on subjects such as effective teaching practices, attention-deficit disorder, and learning disabilities and the family.

The foundation operates outreach programs, such as teacher-training programs, and is affiliated with the Landmark School, a nonprofit, private school serving children and teenagers with learning disabilities.

"Learning Disabilities: Information and Resources," $20 each, from the Landmark Foundation, P.O. Box 227, Prides Crossing, Mass. 01965-0227; (508) 927-4440.

Children's Well-Being

While the percentage of youths arrested for murder and the proportion of teenagers having babies have inched down in the past year, children's health coverage continues to erode and cases of child abuse and neglect are alarmingly high, according to an annual report by the Children's Defense Fund.

In its 1997 report, the Washington-based advocacy group highlights the latest trends on child protection, health insurance, poverty, teenage childbearing, and juvenile-crime rates.

Nearly 10 million of the nation's children lack health insurance, and about 1.2 million children will lose private health insurance each year unless action is taken to stop it, the report asserts. In addition, the number of child-abuse and -neglect cases has shot up 25 percent since 1990.

State of America's Children, $14.95 plus mailing costs, from the CDF, 25 E St. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001; (202) 628-8787.

Arts Education

A recent report documents the progress of a national research-and-development effort to reform education through the arts. "The Quiet Revolution: Changing the Face of Arts Education" follows the creation of discipline-based arts education. The comprehensive approach to arts education was designed by the National Arts Education Consortium, a group of six regional arts R&D institutes in California, Florida, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas.

Discipline-based arts combines four disciplines in the field—art making, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics.

The report includes case studies based on findings in more than 350 elementary and secondary schools and the role of arts education in school reform.

"The Quiet Revolution," $25 each, at local bookstores or from the Getty Trust Publications, (800) 223-3431, or e-mail pubsinfo@getty.edu.

Drug Prevention

The National Institute on Drug Abuse has compiled the latest research on the most effective drug-prevention strategies and put them into a guide for communities, educators, and drug-prevention experts.

The 38-page booklet presents an overview of the roads that may lead a young person to abuse drugs and alcohol.

The guide also outlines the most effective drug-abuse-prevention methods. Effective programs should teach adolescents skills for avoiding drugs, and they should avoid didactic instructional approaches, the report says. Prevention programs should also be more than a one-shot course, with lessons reinforced periodically, the authors note.

"Preventing Drug Use Among Children and Adolescents: A Research Guide," free from the National Clearinghouse for Alcohol and Drug Information; (800) 729-6686. It is also on the Internet at http://www.nida.nih.gov/Prevention/Prevopen.html.

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