November 3, 2004

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Local and state education officials have voiced concerns that middle-grades teachers would be affected by the “highly qualified” provision of the the No Child Left Behind Act far more than teachers at the elementary and high school levels.
A legal assault on the world’s largest insurance broker by the New York state attorney general has stirred concerns that school districts may be among the victims of alleged fraudulent practices by the company.
Schools are increasingly recasting the Advanced Placement program as being within reach of any student willing to do the work, regardless of academic standing. The change has drawn both praise and concern.
Interest in weighted-student funding, under which money is divvied up based on the actual number and kinds of students at each school, is growing among education leaders.
In Illinois and Massachusetts, state education officials are appealing to the U.S. Department of Education for exceptions to allow the Chicago and Boston school systems to provide free tutoring for their students.
Take Note
News in Brief: A National Roundup
Correction
News in Brief: A National Roundup
New Hampshire could soon become the fourth state to certify teachers who have earned the Passport to Teaching—a package of alternative teacher-credentialing tests designed by the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence.
School districts in Maine are not required by the U.S. Constitution to pay tuition for students at religious high schools even when they pay for secular private schools.
People in the News
An unusual survey, designed by high school students and administered to their peers in five large cities, has found that most urban teenagers are eager to learn, but don’t believe that adults at their schools are interested in what they have to say.
Prominent business and economic-policy groups are renewing efforts to put early-childhood education squarely in the national spotlight.
Education Inc.
Chart: Preschool Payoff?
A California congressman is calling for greater oversight of behavior-modification schools in foreign countries that serve U.S. students, after authorities abruptly shut down several facilities in Mexico.
Leadership
The U.S. Department of Agriculture held its first national conference on adult and childhood obesity prevention here last week, drawing participants from the scientific and medical communities, research fields, universities, and community-health organizations.
Better data are needed to answer critical and controversial questions about the nation’s experiment with charter schooling, researchers agreed at a forum here last week. But they didn’t see eye to eye on what studies have shown to date, or what are the most important topics that scholars should address in the future.
With California’s secondary schools making little of the progress seen at the elementary and middle levels, state leaders, educators, and scholars attending a conference here last week agreed that setting higher expectations for all high school students could help raise achievement.
Urban Education
Reporter's Notebook
Law Update
Report Roundup
Chart: AP Participation
A more than 20-year legal battle over teacher testing in Alabama could stretch out even longer if a federal judge decides to add new plaintiffs to the case.
Table: Highlights of Allen v. Alabama State Board of Education
Armed with new power under state law, Gov. Rod Blagojevich of Illinois has moved quickly to put his stamp on school policy by overhauling the state school board and taking an active role in hiring at the state education agency.
State Journal
New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson has signed an agreement with government officials in Mexico to encourage teachers from that neighboring country to teach in his state for up to three years. The agreement makes New Mexico the second state, next to California, to have such an agreement with Mexico.
Massachusetts high school students now have one more reason to study for the state’s high school exams: They’ll get free tuition at state universities if they score high enough.
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
Regardless of the results Nov. 2, political analysts will remember the 2004 elections in part for the ubiquitous—and controversial—role played by such 527 groups, named after a section of the federal tax code.
To many of today’s high school students, the draft—which was ended in favor of an all-volunteer force in 1973—isn’t a completely idle curiosity. Though the prospect seems remote, reinstatement of a draft could someday take them from civilian life and even thrust them into a war.
Federal File
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
Campaign Notebook
A New York city after-school program is teaching students how to fix computers, and equipping them with the communication and problem-solving skills to help them in the working world.
While it is seductive to think that requiring master’s degrees early is a smart solution, the reality suggests that rapid-fire graduate school is myopic, says Suzanne Kaback.
Teacher Jim Burke offers what he sees as the components of academic success—commitment, content, competencies, and capacity.
How school leaders and the media can peacefully coexist—and why they must, according to Richard Lee Colvin.
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