March 1, 2006
Educators who specialize in teaching English-language learners agree that the 4-year-old No Child Left Behind Act has brought unprecedented attention to those students by requiring schools to isolate test-score data for them.
They disagree, though, on whether changes in instruction spurred by the law have been positive or negative overall.
A White House proposal to bring math, science, and engineering professionals into public high schools to teach those subjects could bypass the “highly qualified” teacher mandate under the No Child Left Behind Act, while only temporarily easing the shortfall of mathematics and science teachers, education observers say.
While science and mathematics are claiming the spotlight in the latest push for improving high schools and sharpening the nation’s competitive edge, a study by ACT Inc. makes the case for doing so through better reading instruction, clear and rigorous state standards for high school reading, and the use of more sophisticated texts and teaching materials.
When it comes to improving academic achievement for early adolescents, a study out of Philadelphia suggests that the strategy of shifting from middle schools to K-8 schools may not do the trick—at least not in and of itself.
Educate Inc., a national tutoring provider, has reorganized key aspects of its management after suffering significant losses in the last quarter of 2005, company officials announced.
News in Brief: A National Roundup
People in the News
Principals are good at identifying the most and least effective teachers in their schools, a new study concludes, and should be allowed a bigger say in decisions about teachers’ pay and retention.
A $272 million program to help states and school districts use technology for education would be axed under President Bush’s fiscal 2007 budget, partly because the White House says it lacks rigorous data on its effectiveness.
Another 7,500 students could use state-financed tuition vouchers to attend private schools in Milwaukee under an agreement between Wisconsin’s Democratic governor and the Republican speaker of the Assembly.
No single method of teaching English-language learners is more effective than any other, according to a five-year study of California’s Proposition 227, which curtailed bilingual education in the state and switched most such students into English-immersion classrooms.
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
For the second year in a row, President Bush has proposed to eliminate funding for the Safe and Drug Free Schools program, which funnels money to nearly every school district in the country. The program, which has a budget of $345.5 million in fiscal 2006, is one of 42 Department of Education programs, totaling $3.5 billion, the president has proposed zeroing out in his 2007 budget.
The U.S. Supreme Court has decided to hear new arguments in a case being watched closely in the public education community on the free-speech rights of government employees.
A White House report examining the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina that was critical of several federal agencies lauded the Department of Education for several of its actions after the storm.
PAGE 25 - In Perspective
By bettering the teaching staffs at its inner-city schools, a Tennessee district is lessening the differences in achievement between such schools and their suburban counterparts.
Chattanooga educators can tick off many alterations since 2001 at the once-troubled “Benwood schools.” But one change that almost certainly helped the schools shoot from among the worst in Tennessee to among the fastest-improving predates all the others.
PAGE 29 - Commentary
Kevin Carey thinks that the fiscal window of opportunity for states is opening and that state leaders need to make sure they do not miss their chance to reap the benefits of increased funding.
PAGE 30 - Commentary
Ronald Gallimore, author of You Haven’t Taught Until They Have Learned: John Wooden’s Teaching Principles and Practices, says that classroom teachers can learn a great deal from the master of basketball teaching.
On Feb. 15, 2006, the topic of teacher recruitment drew a range of questions from readers for two panelists with extensive on-the-ground experience.
PAGE 44 - Commentary
Interim executive director of the Panasonic Foundation and author Scott Thompson writes that a "reculturing" of organizational leadership is needed to improve public school education.