May 19, 2004

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Seeking to provide safe havens or to accommodate different student interests, some groups are providing alternative proms for students based on race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.
Urban districts are increasingly converting elementary schools into K-8s, driven by a small body of research and a rising pile of anecdotes suggesting that K-8 configurations help academic performance, decrease discipline problems, enhance parent involvement, and save money.
Using the latest in technology, some district hiring experts and their partners in the private sector say they’ve found a quick and effective way to sort applicants for teaching jobs.
The threat of lawsuits and the behavior of small numbers of persistent troublemakers are interfering with classroom learning and driving teachers from the profession, a new report says. Includes a chart, "Teacher and Parent Opinions."
Departments
A survey of 725 middle and high school teachers, and 600 parents of students in those grades, found high levels of frustration among teachers regarding discipline issues.
Departments
More families are benefiting from the school choice mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act than is generally recognized, despite the highly uneven response to the transfer requirements from school districts and states, a report released last week concludes. Includes a table, "Integration and Student Transfers."
A high-performing Los Angeles high school was granted a five-year extension as a charter school with little fanfare last week, after its conversion last year had triggered debates and fear.
Departments
A report examining whether students are using the school choice mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act highlights these districts, where it says choice is helping to integrate schools by race and income.
Experts say federal efforts to investigate "diploma mills" may eventually help educators purge their ranks of people who hold bogus degrees.
The continuing fallout from the Georgia "diploma mill" scandal, in which public school educators received advanced teaching credentials and pay raises using degrees from an online university, has led to reactions by several parties involved in the matter.
Departments
A growing number of private businesses across the country are offering college-counseling services to students and their families.
Brown at Fifty As organizations across the country hosted events to mark the 50th anniversary this week of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, the Smithsonian Institution unveiled its own exhibit tracing how the historic U.S. Supreme Court case opened doors for minorities and fueled the civil rights movement.
Brown at FiftyTeachers who serve large numbers of poor and minority students work in schools with more turnover, more unfilled teacher vacancies, lower levels of parent involvement, and fewer textbooks and other teaching materials than those who work in more affluent schools, according to a three-state survey released last week.
Changes in charter school regulations and funding formulas could make it more feasible for "brand name" networks of the independent public schools to expand, according to a paper commissioned by the Brookings Institution and discussed at an annual conference here last week.
Departments
Nearly a third of the nation’s elementary pupils are taught science less than three times a week, at a time when high school and college students’ interest in obtaining a college degree in the natural sciences or engineering is flagging, two reports reveal.
Instead of requiring mounds of paperwork to document how colleges of education are preparing the next generation of teachers and educational leaders, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has approved a streamlined review system that is expected to bring more uniformity to the process.
Despite signs that the nation’s economy is on the road to recovery, teachers across the country are still finding pink slips along with their paychecks.
Departments
  • History Textbooks—U.S. and Foreign—Are Talk of Symposium
Three teachers from Florida, Maryland, and Washington state are among a new crop of 11 astronaut candidates announced by NASA this month.
  • Resources Said Unequal 50 Years After Brown
  • Vending Machines
  • Teenage Pregnancy
  • Global Goals
  • Philanthropy Evaluation
  • Educational Technology
  • Parent-Teacher Divide
American high schools are ripe for change, but how to get there from here is far from clear, a report released last week points out.
A Kansas judge has ordered the state to shut down its schools at the end of this school year rather than continue its unconstitutional system for financing them.
Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts has vowed to defeat efforts to slow the growth of charter schools in his state, after House lawmakers there approved a one-year moratorium on the independently operated public schools.
Departments
State leaders know they must lure the best teachers to the schools with the lowest test scores in order to spur major gains in student achievement.
While most New Jersey principals give decent grades to the conditions of their facilities, the lowest marks are most likely to come from principals in high-poverty districts, a survey has found.
An overdue reauthorization of the main federal special education law sailed through the Senate last week, despite sharp disagreement over which approach to take to bring about more federal funding.
Election 2004President Bush issued a pointed rebuttal last week to critics of the No Child Left Behind Act, rejecting arguments that the law heaps unrealistic demands on schools and vowing to oppose any efforts to weaken it.
Departments
While most Head Start directors and executive directors earn roughly $50,000 to $60,000 a year, a few are getting paid as much as $300,000 annually, a federal survey shows.
  • Justice Dept. Backs Teacher's Title IX Case
  • House Lawmakers Seeking Inquiry on Head Start Official
Parental choice, a strategy once used to help integrate schools through the creation of magnet schools and special programs, is now under fire for increasing racial separation. How does this issue play out in Milwaukee—the birthplace of the voucher movement?
Political leaders have eliminated or underfunded most federal legislative and judicial affairs aimed at decreasing segregation, says professor Jacqueline Jordan Irvine.
Professors Pedro A. Noguera and Robert Cohen look at the issue of still-segregated classrooms and question just how much there is to celebrate on Brown’s 50th anniversary.
Some recently published resources on the Brown decision and related themes.
Author Richard Rothstein suggests that a greater understanding of socio-economic factors affecting poor, minority students will help narrow the achievement gap in schools.
"We have failed to live up to Brown," says author and educator Sheryll Cashin. In fact, she adds, public schools have become more segregated.
Brown teaches that advocates of racial justice should rely less on judicial decisions and more on tactics that challenge the continuing assumptions of white dominance, writes author, professor, and former NAACP lawyer Derrick Bell.
The focus on "resegregation" is a distraction from the task of striving towards equal education outcomes, argues Abigail Thernstrom, author and member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
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