April 20, 2005

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A Portland, Ore., school system is far outpacing most urban districts in eligible students transferring to higher-rated public schools under the federal No Child Left Behind Act. And Paul A. Cook is not 100 percent comfortable with that.
Even with a wave of agreement about the importance of such subject matter, experts say the movement to infuse international education into the curriculum is hitting resistance at the state, district, and school levels.
When the father of a Texas high school football player shot his son’s coach two weeks ago, the attack shocked athletic officials and educators across the country, who never expected that a parent reportedly angered by his son’s limited playing time would take such extreme action.
As they prepare to enter high school next fall, 8th graders in public schools across Texas are being given a choice of three different academic plans to follow through graduation, two of which are distinctively tougher than the third.
Following up on a series of high-profile proposals by federal and state policymakers for changing the nation’s high schools, a coalition of education groups issued its own framework here last week for helping all secondary students meet rigorous academic standards.
A national study suggests one way school districts can improve graduation rates for high school students: get geographically smaller.
Take Note
News in Brief: A National Roundup
News in Brief: A National Roundup
A vast majority of U.S. high schools offered their students courses for college credit in 2002-03, with larger public schools more likely than smaller ones to do so, reveals a federal report unveiled this month.
More girls worldwide are going to school than ever before, but millions are still denied an education in some developing countries, concludes a report slated for release this week.
People in the News
An ideal “learning community” for a preschooler includes family members, provides children a chance to develop their social and physical abilities, builds early literacy and math skills, and is in some way connected to school, says a report from the National Association of Elementary School Principals.
A child-advocacy organization in Florida is tapping into the socially conscious fashion trend by selling orange bands to raise money to support high-quality preschools.
British teachers’ unions, striking a chord familiar to Americans, have cast into high profile their opposition to a government plan for replacing failing secondary schools with new-style “academies” that are publicly financed but free from most local government control.
A new study looking at “fast track” teacher-certification programs in four states highlights some of the trade-offs states face as they seek quicker ways to stem teacher shortages and get qualified teachers into classrooms.
Though experts agree that 9th grade is a critical transition year in schooling, a study unveiled here last week suggests that freshman students in urban high schools may be less likely than their older peers to get certified, experienced teachers to guide them through that rocky period.
Reporter's Notebook
Report Roundup
Reporter's Notebook
Concern is rising in some quarters that the No Child Left Behind Act permits foreign companies to provide federally financed online tutoring to students at underperforming schools.
Though Oregon’s economy is looking up, a recent boycott of education budget sessions by Republican lawmakers signals that this year could provide another bare-knuckled debate over K-12 funding.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and state Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell have formed separate committees to study ways to improve education in the state.
State Journal
California’s largest charter school operator misused millions of dollars in state money through numerous legal and ethical lapses, an audit by the state department of education released last week found.
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
Now that Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings has promised states more flexibility under the No Child Left Behind Act, state officials are trying to unravel what that means.
The ranking Democrat on the House education committee accused Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings last week of trying to block information from being released in a report by her department’s inspector general on the agency’s controversial public relations arrangement involving the commentator Armstrong Williams.
Federal File
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
Student-run foundations across the country are empowering a new generation of teenagers to play larger roles in their schools and communities.
Principal Rona Wilensky wants to revamp high school so that students graduate with a diploma that actaully gives them the skills and education they need in today's economy.
Connecticut Teacher of the Year Bill Saxon writes that most people need mentors and role models to succeed in any career. But to succeed in a particularly difficult one (like teaching), one needs guardian angels as well.
One superintendent writes that if there were a paradigm shift in education, one that centeres on maximizing productivity, our view of what ails public education and the prescriptions for improving it would shift dramatically.

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