March 30, 2005

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Access to reliable technology. Help from classroom aides. Out-of-classroom duties. Planning time with colleagues. Administrator accessibility. All those working conditions and more play a vital part in whether good teachers feel sufficiently satisfied to stay in their schools.
After scrambling to raise students’ skills in math and reading, state and school administrators are beginning to place renewed emphasis on science, with the approaching mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act squarely in mind.
Three years after a federal law required states to collect a host of education data, much of that information and more will now be available in one place—giving the public a newfound resource and giving educators headaches over how schools can be compared.
Educators and families on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota were picking up the pieces last week after a deeply troubled 16-year-old student shot and killed seven other people and himself at a high school March 21.
A teachers’ strike in a small district in central Minnesota entered its seventh week last week, after talks between the Crosby-Ironton school board and the local teachers’ union broke down for a third time. The impasse triggered anger and frustration among teachers, administrators, community members, and students in the rural community.
The rubella virus, which causes a relatively mild respiratory disease in schoolchildren but can lead to serious birth defects in unborn children, is no longer a significant public-health threat in the United States, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week.
Take Note
News in Brief: A National Roundup
California overstates the number of students graduating from high school and should use more accurate measures for tracking dropouts, a study released last week contends.
Teenagers who pledge to abstain from sex before marriage still engage in certain sexual behaviors, and as a result contract venereal diseases at rates similar to those of nonpledgers, a study by researchers at Columbia and Yale universities concludes.
People in the News
After a bust period of flat or declining revenues, U.S. textbook publishers are expecting a boom in the sales of K-12 instructional materials and assessment products over the next several years, according to a prominent Wall Street analyst.
Early Years
When California Teachers Association President Barbara Kerr met with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger last month, she had one pressing question: “What happened to the man we knew last year?”
Report Roundup

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Those who track the activities of “hate groups” say they have seen increased interest in such organizations among students in recent years, as well as an effort by those secretive communities to appeal to the precollegiate age group.
Students in the upper grades of Delaware’s charter schools are outperforming their peers in regular public schools, an evaluation has found.
The Georgia Association of Educators is not impressed with a state legislative proposal to provide liability insurance to teachers—a plan that some say would take away one of the most attractive benefits of union membership.
State Journal
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
New Department of Education guidance on how colleges may comply with Title IX regarding athletic opportunities for women was met with criticism by women’s advocacy groups, but was welcomed by those who believe enforcement of the law has led to the elimination of some men’s teams.
John H. Hager could not have picked a busier time to join the Department of Education as head of the office of special education and rehabilitative services.
Federal File
Suggesting the difficulty President Bush may face in getting Congress to trim education spending in the coming fiscal year, the Senate this month narrowly backed a Democratic measure adding $5.4 billion in such aid to a budget blueprint.
Five white teachers who accused the Rochester, N.Y., school district and the local teachers’ union there of job-related racial discrimination extended their long legal losing streak last week when they struck out at the U.S. Supreme Court.
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
Faced with a changing job market and New England's lowest college-attendance rate, Maine is taking new stock of its "second tier" students.
As society becomes more diverse, we had better pay attention to integrating school systems and communities, writes Joy G. Dryfoos.
Andrew J. Rotherham writes that putting nationally certified teachers into the classrooms that need them most will reverse the current inequitable status quo.
Anyone who believes diagramming sentences will make students better writers needs to look at history, writes Edgar H. Schuster, author and English teacher.

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