October 5, 2005

This Issue
Vol. 25, Issue 06
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The question of whether “intelligent design” amounts to legitimate science, pseudo-science, or religion masquerading as science is undergoing a potentially historic legal test, as a federal court here considers whether a public school district can require that students be exposed to the controversial concept.
Houston school officials finally got the word from the Louisiana governor’s office at dusk on a humid Saturday evening: Start the buses. We need you.
Schools Get NCLB Relief From Storms Schools and districts severely affected by the recent hurricanes could get some relief from the accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, under two flexibility measures announced Sept. 29 by U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings.
District Dossier
School districts in southwestern Louisiana and southeastern Texas were still struggling to assess damage, make repairs, and reopen nearly a week after Hurricane Rita swept ashore.
The Chicago school district will accept proposals this month from outside vendors seeking to craft core college-preparatory curricula in English, mathematics, and science for high schools.
News in Brief: A National Roundup
News in Brief: A National Roundup
News in Brief: A National Roundup
People in the News
Accountability based on state-test results has dominated U.S. policy discussions. But around the globe, educators are beginning to pay more attention to the assessments teachers use in classrooms on a daily basis as a powerful lever for raising student achievement.
Some school districts in areas damaged by Hurricane Katrina were preparing to reopen this week.
With many Louisiana and Mississippi schools expected to open this week for the first time since Hurricane Katrina savaged the Gulf Coast, school leaders were working hard last week to prepare despite uncertainty over how many students would actually show up.
After attending eight different schools over 18 years, Megan Barron, a self-described Army brat, honed a strategy for fitting in at a new school.
Charter Schools
Despite an attack on a primary school in Iraq last week in which intruders shot and killed six school workers, UNICEF’s education chief for Iraq predicts that parents there will continue to take extraordinary risks to send their children to school.
Teaching & Learning Update
Report Roundup
It’s a fight that could be coming to a courtroom near you: Plaintiffs in Wyoming’s long-running education finance case say they’re not finished arguing that the state has the responsibility to pay for preschool for children deemed at risk of school failure.
Supporters of Utah’s new voucher program for students with special needs feared that financing for the program would come up short. As of last month, though, only about a third of the money available for the state aid had been used.
State Journal
Gov. Sonny Perdue spent much of last week explaining to Georgia parents and school officials his unexpected, and perhaps unprecedented, decision to ask school districts not to open Sept. 26 and 27.
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
The two states that bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina have started easing their K-12 testing and accountability policies to help students and districts recovering from the storm.
As the curtain rises this week on a new U.S. Supreme Court term and a new chief justice, one of the first items on the docket is a special education case that could affect school districts nationwide.
The debate in Congress over the Bush administration’s idea of providing private school vouchers as part of its hurricane-relief efforts is heading in a new direction.
Federal File
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
A network of 13 Arizona charter schools has found that flexibility is key to meeting the needs of high school students who are at risk of dropping out because they work to support their families, or take on other adult responsibilities at home.
We should end senior classes at midyear and let students find out what adult life has in store for them, writes Chris Teare.
Jonathan G. Silin reflects on using personal experiences as a way of managing grief in the classroom.
Mental health experts William Pfohl and Howard Adelman say that, for some students affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes, intensive academic learning will need to take a back seat to recovery for some time.

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