September 14, 2005

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Vol. 25, Issue 03
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State leaders have just begun counting the billions of dollars it will take for schools in the Gulf Coast region to recover from Hurricane Katrina.
National business and political leaders are worried about U.S. schools’ ability to stimulate students’ interest in math and science—an area of weakness that they say has led to the growing influence of Asian countries, most notably India and China, in the fields of engineering and technology.
Louisiana was struggling last week to pick up the educational pieces after its pounding by Hurricane Katrina.
New York City’s senior member of Congress and the president of Teachers College last week called on the city to provide financial incentives to lure educators to work in its neediest schools.
The University of Chicago, criticized a few years ago for closing its venerable education department, has lured a prominent education scholar to join its faculty this fall to head a new interdisciplinary committee focused on improving urban schools.
District Dossier
News in Brief: A National Roundup
News in Brief: A National Roundup
People in the News
News in Brief: A National Roundup
As states strive to meet looming federal demands to find “highly qualified” teachers, some of the nation’s largest professional groups for teachers are staking out their own positions on how that term should be defined.
When Mayor Martin O’Malley of Baltimore showed up to give a pep talk to several hundred new teachers preparing to start their jobs last month, he brought up the “P” word along with the three R’s.
Report Roundup
Hundreds of Mississippi schools remained closed last week in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, as education leaders from this community and others began making plans to resume classes, rebuild schools, and restart their lives.
Instead of ferrying people away from their flooded city, the school buses on Sept. 8 took hundreds of excited children to school in the Houston Independent School District, where the superintendent says he plans to do “the right thing” for the thousands of children from the New Orleans area who were left homeless by Hurricane Katrina and who now are being sheltered here.
Mold is growing on the carpet, chairs, tables, and walls of the Jefferson Parish school district’s main office here. Early on the morning of Sept. 8, the two district employees climbed into a dark-green van and headed southeast from Baton Rouge to the school system adjoining New Orleans to get a better fix on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
When Komal Bhasin heard that her New Orleans school was shutting down in preparation for a hurricane, she anticipated having an extra, leisurely day for lesson planning. Instead, the teacher fled to Huntsville, Ala., to escape the wrath of Hurricane Katrina.
Sitting before a panel of U.S. senators in an ornate hearing room on Capitol Hill, Diane Roussel, the superintendent of the battered Jefferson Parish, La., school district, began to cry last week as she described what her students and employees needed from the federal government.
Besides scrambling to find teachers, textbooks, and classroom space for the estimated 300,000-plus students displaced by Hurricane Katrina, schools taking in the evacuees are waiting to see whether they’ll have to bring them up to the proficient level on state tests in order to make adequate yearly progress under federal law.
School districts swamped by Hurricane Katrina struggled to get their employee and district data and information systems back up to speed last week in the wake of the catastrophe.
Educators in private schools reached out last week to offer seats in schools to students uprooted by Hurricane Katrina. They tended to give top priority to helping students from schools that looked most like their own.
In the first two days of the school year in Dallas, Rosemary Allen has witnessed a gamut of emotions among children displaced by Hurricane Katrina: older students crying as they board the bus to school; some who are reluctant to talk in class; and others who seem happier keeping to themselves.
Students, parents, and educators are mobilizing to collect money and supplies for those affected by Hurricane Katrina. Here are snapshots of some of those projects.
As school districts nationwide were putting out the welcome mat last week for Hurricane Katrina evacuees, some districts along the East Coast and the Gulf of Mexico were taking a closer look at their own plans in the event of a hurricane.
The devastation of New Orleans has left the National Association of Secondary School Principals rushing to find an alternative city to host its annual conference. Scheduled years in advance, its meeting next March was set for the Big Easy until Hurricane Katrina washed those plans away.
Hurricane Katrina has upended the lives of many educators from southeast Louisiana, including two principals from New Orleans who stopped by the East Baton Rouge district office last week to apply for jobs.
The Harrison County school district headquarters was about the only place that had electricity in coastal Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina and for more than a week afterward.
After repeated failed attempts over more than two decades, North Carolina legislators came back from recess and narrowly passed a lottery bill, becoming the last state on the East Coast to endorse such a gaming measure.
List of states that have designated lottery money solely for education and detail of proceeds.
Instead of passing a state-developed test in order to graduate, high school students in Maine might soon have to take the newly revamped SAT.
State Journal
Capitol Recap
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
A national advisory board signed off last week on broad guidelines to help the Department of Education decide what kinds of new studies and other research projects it should commission.
In a tenure on the U.S. Supreme Court that spanned more than three decades, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist exerted his influence in a host of education cases, helping frame the court’s opinions on such issues as school desegregation, government aid to private schools, and the place of religion in public education.
Federal File
A federal review of the Department of Education’s public relations activities has found that while numerous education groups that received federal funding failed to disclose their government connections in promotional efforts, their efforts did not constitute illegal propaganda under federal law.
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup

Special Report: Leading for Learning
This special pullout section is the second of three Education Week annual reports examining leadership in education, a topic of critical concern at a time of ever-increasing expectations for schools.
The idea that schools can improve on their own gives way to a focus on effective district leadership.
In a poll, superintendents report more active roles.
In Gilroy, Calif., educators have learned a common process for improvement planning. The rest is up to schools.
When the Clarksville, Tenn., schools raised expectations for learning, the central office played a leading role in standardizing practice and monitoring data.
The definition of standards is one of the dilemmas of our education system today. It is in the variations of a standard—not its standardization—that real-world learning takes place and the benefits to all learners, and to society, are to be found, argue authors Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski.
Modeling is one of the keystone precepts in education. The only thing worse than faulty modeling is a teacher who does not credit the power of modeling, says teacher and writer Patricia R. Pickard.
Kati Haycock says that over the past decade, Louisiana's students and educators have made great strides. With help from education leaders, the state can and will recover from Hurricane Katrina.
Education writer and advocate Howard Gardner is convinced that the goal of topping the international comparisons is a foolish one, and the rush to raise one’s rank a fool’s errand.

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