July 28, 2004

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An incorrectly graded licensing exam for prospective teachers has stalled hiring in some places, sent school districts rummaging through employment records, and spawned at least one lawsuit so far.
Hoping to lend renewed momentum to a movement whose growth has slowed in recent years, charter school leaders are stepping up efforts to enhance their eclectic sector’s political and organizational clout. Includes the accompanying story, "Guiding Principles."
Participation in the GED testing program plunged by nearly 44 percent during the most recent recorded year. Includes a chart, "Taking the Plunge."
The U.S. Department of Education’s decision to award $4.1 million over the past two years—with the prospect of millions more—to a project involving an online education company founded by William J. Bennett raises questions about whether the privately held, for-profit K12 Inc. benefited from political connections.
The American Federation of Teachers was expected late last week to have completed its investigation into who is the rightful president of the Chicago Teachers Union. A panel sent by the AFT will also decide whether the local union under President Deborah Lynch was acting properly when it invalidated the results of the election that appeared to unseat her.
After almost 35 years at the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education—with most of that time in the top job—David G. Imig has announced that he is retiring.
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A federal literacy agency is soliciting nominees for a new commission to continue and expand on the work of the influential National Reading Panel.
The United Negro College Fund’s research institute is drawing together leading thinkers, advocates, and policymakers to map out a consensus on the critical issues that affect African-Americans’ educational success.
Departments
During a conference this month at Phillips Academy, students from across the United States and many countries around the world attempted to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Some special education teachers are faltering in working toward the qualifications they need under the No Child Left Behind Act, in part because of a lack of coordination at the federal level, according to a report from Congress’ investigative arm. Includes a chart, "Subject-Matter Preparation."
Research PageWhen the Elsie Whitlow Stokes Community Freedom Public Charter School opened its doors in 1998, founder Linda Moore faced a challenge common to many schools, especially in poor urban areas: how to provide students with enough physical activity. Includes the column, "Scholarly Citings."
As the new president of the 1.3 million-member American Federation of Teachers, Edward J. McElroy promises to advance the "same important causes" championed by his two immediate predecessors. Includes exclusive audio, "Voices from the AFT convention."
Educators say Arizona’s new plan to train all teachers and administrators in how to teach English-language learners is a good idea, but they say its success will depend on how the initiative is carried out.
  • Report Credits Abstinence and Contraception Alike
  • Education Investment
  • Television's Influence
  • After-School Programs
  • Value-Added Testing
  • Federal Spending
Training and educating the next generation of civil rights advocates is the goal of the newly formed National Equity Center.
Departments
Former English-as-a-second-language students in the Prince William County, Va., schools are being hired to work as class aides in a six-week summer school program for high school students who have been in the United States for three years or less.
  • Court Rejects Claim of IDEA Bias Against Private School Student
  • Spreading the News
  • Bible Classes Dismissed
Many rural school districts will not have extra time to meet teacher-quality rules under the No Child Left Behind Act, despite the flexibility announced by federal officials earlier this year. The situation baffles some state officials, who say the federal government is using a flawed definition for what "rural" really means. Includes a table, "Extensions Affect Regions Differently."
Departments
Federal data show that many school districts in the Midwest, West, and Great Plains will be given extra years to meet teacher-quality requirements under the No Child Left Behind Act. Most rural districts in those states meet the definition of “rural” cited in the regulations. In contrast, most rural and small-town districts in the Southeast will not receive the extension. Here’s a sampling of how different states are affected by the regulations.
Research conducted by the National Foundation for American Policy shows that 60 percent of the nation’s top science students and 65 percent of the top mathematics students are children of recent immigrants. Includes the chart, "High Achievers."
The children of recent immigrants to the United States are among the highest achievers in mathematics and science as judged by prestigious nationwide competitions. Such students reached academic heights in three of those competitions this past school year.

After much debate, the revamped Charter School Leadership Council has settled on the following "common set of principles":

Decreases in state spending on anti-smoking programs may be contributing to a leveling-off of a decline in teenage smoking in the United States, according to a federal analysis. Includes the chart "Smoking-Prevention Spending."
Fewer budget shortfalls and larger-than-expected revenues are brightening the outlook for most state budgets this year, and that will mean more money for education in most states, a report by the National Conference of State Legislatures says.
Departments
The National Governors Association will spend the next year focused on ideas for improving high schools, with a particular attention on the senior year.
  • Alaska
  • Louisiana
  • Wis. Bars Two Schools From Voucher Program
  • New State Chiefs Named for Minnesota, Alabama
  • Texas State School Board Backs Four Years of Science
  • Snapshots
Few states are on track to meet the teacher-quality requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, but many states are moving quickly to improve student achievement, according to a report by the Education Commission of the States.
When the No Child Left Behind Act was signed into law more than two years ago, it provided Bureau of Indian Affairs schools with a strong degree of leeway in coping with some of the federal statute’s toughest provisions and penalties.
Departments
  • School Administrator Has Miles to Go Before Reaching U.S. Senate
  • Graduation Speech
Secretary of Education Rod Paige this month condemned leaders of the NAACP for opposing the federal No Child Left Behind Act and questioned the organization’s commitment to improving the education of African-American children.
  • House Panel Approves Vocational Ed. Measure
  • State-by-State Comparison on U.S. History Proposed
  • Groups Call for Action on Reauthorization of IDEA
  • Improved Economics Study Is Aim of Ed. Dept. Grant
Schools play a key role in ensuring that children are being immunized against diseases, but conflicting research is making enforcement more difficult.
Vaccines work best when they are given at certain ages. For example, the measles vaccine is not usually given until a child is at least a year old. If it is given earlier than that, it may not work as well. On the other hand, DTaP vaccine should be given over a period of time, in a series of properly spaced doses.
The No Child Left Behind law has forced educators to play a "mad game of croquet," says Sherman Minter, a principal in Shugnak, Alaska.
Serious consequences must follow failures to improve graduation rates of minority and other disadvantaged students, writes Christopher B. Swanson.
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