October 27, 2004

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In Washington, charter schools are starting to be billed as a strategy for revitalizing residential neighborhoods and making the city more attractive to middle-class parents.
Like many tight races leading up to the elections next week, the contest in New Mexico for the U.S. House of Representatives has gotten pretty rough, and talk of schools has had to vie with still-stark post-9/11 worries about security and other high-profile issues.
A growing number of high school athletic programs have taken on the trappings of university-level sports. But a report released today by the National Association of State Boards of Education warns that the trend threatens to undermine high schools’ academic missions.
A vote by the Buffalo, N.Y., school board to allow a local business leader to help pay for the district’s superintendent search and supplement the new chief’s salary is drawing criticism from some circles.
Take Note
News in Brief: A National Roundup
Correction
Frustrated by what they call unfulfilled promises, unexplained expenses, and minimal academic progress, some of Cincinnati’s most powerful business and religious leaders are withholding their support of the district’s tax-levy renewal on the Nov. 2 ballot.
People in the News
In a legal victory for foes of race-conscious policies in K-12 schools, a federal appeals court last week struck down as unconstitutional a Massachusetts school district’s policy of using race and ethnicity to restrict student transfers.
The acquisition of a consulting firm by the American Institutes for Research, one of the nation’s largest research organizations in the social and behavioral sciences, could portend industrywide changes, experts said last week.
Some of the same technologies that allow adults to access their bank accounts and enter secure buildings are now being used to collect school lunch money and track students’ eating habits.
It’s straight out of School Leadership 101: Public school officials should not receive personal benefits from companies that sell to their districts.
Large urban school districts are receiving a bigger share of federal money targeted for English-language learners than they did before the No Child Left Behind Act went into effect, according to the Council of the Great City Schools.
The possibility of opening a London-style school in New York City was among the many topics of conversation between educators and policymakers from the United States and the United Kingdom who gathered here for the second round of a two-part dialogue on urban education. This time, the talks focused on high schools.
A national task force in England last week proposed an overhaul of education for students 14 to 19 that’s designed to improve career education, stretch more able students, and reduce the testing burden.
Tuition at the nation’s public and private colleges has increased over the past year, but so have financial-aid dollars, concludes a group of reports released last week by the College Board.
The largest percentage of college financial aid for the 2003-04 school year came from federal loans.
International Update
Report Roundup
Chicago is courting private organizations to set up dozens of new small schools, but many groups interested in running them contend that the district’s financial offer is inadequate.
A battle over whether Utah should pay for vouchers to help students cover the cost of tuition at private schools is dividing the two candidates for governor in the Beehive State.
A blue-ribbon panel is pushing Indiana universities to require applicants to complete the state’s college-preparatory curriculum in order to win admission and financial aid.
State Journal
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
The House and Senate education committees may see more changes to their memberships through vacancies as some members retire and others seek higher office.
Advocacy groups for public and private schools have banded together to try to save a fund in the federal budget that is authorized by the No Child Left Behind Act for innovative school programs.
Federal File
As controversy over the No Child Left Behind Act persists, 25 education, civil rights, and other groups are forming a coalition to press for a rewrite of central provisions of the bipartisan law.
Campaign Notebook
The Department of Education has sent a letter to chief state school officers clarifying their use of Title I money for schools and districts identified as needing improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act.
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
An Alaskan district puts a heavy emphasis on meeting the physical education needs of students with disabilities.
The field of education is lagging behind most other professions in adapting to more collaborative environments, says Tony Wagner.
Advertising executive Margaret Van Dagens retells how her 6th grade class taught her an unexpected lesson in grammar.
Letters
The federal No Child Left Behind Act was a well-intentioned piece of legislation passed by Congress to improve education, but it is having and will continue to have the opposite effect, argues Robert J. Sternberg.

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