April 26, 2006
One of the overarching goals of the national push to redesign high schools is increasing the number of students who graduate ready for college. Yet pinning down what people mean by “college readiness” and how to measure it is no easy task.
Following the approval of legislation that would divide the city's public school system into racially and ethnically distinct districts, many Omaha community members and leaders last week expressed a mix of outrage, confusion, and disbelief.
After months of deliberations and promises of dramatic change for Los Angeles’ embattled schools, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa last week called for California lawmakers to put his office in charge of running the day-to-day operations of the nation’s second-largest school district.
The federal government is permitting many schools to escape accountability for the progress of racial or ethnic subgroups under the No Child Left Behind Act, according to a computer analysis released by the Associated Press last week.
While most of Chicago’s high school seniors hope to attend college, the school system has a long way to go to make that vision a reality, according to a new report that is among the first to track the post-high-school experiences of graduates from a major urban district on a broad scale.
News in Brief: A National Roundup
People in the News
Fed up with a decade of low test scores, Maryland's state board of education tried to expand its role in low-performing Baltimore schools.
Gulf Coast school administrators say they have received little or no posthurricane reconstruction money from FEMA so far.
Cash-strapped school districts in areas ravaged by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are worried they may have to return federal aid meant to cover the cost of educating displaced students because a federal deadline allows them scant time to determine how to use the money.
A recent study compares the licensing and training processes that elementary and secondary teachers undergo in the United States and five Asian nations—China, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Thailand—as well as Hong Kong.
Since 2000, the number of home schoolers taking Advanced Placement exams has tripled, from 410 that year to 1,282 in 2005, according to data the College Board prepared at the request of Education Week.
In a week marked by a high-profile meeting between President Bush and China’s President Hu Jintao, the College Board signed an agreement with the government of China intended to boost the numbers of Chinese-language teachers in American public schools through teaching exchanges, professional-development programs, and new instructional materials.
Teaching & Learning Update
Depending on which of a pair of new think-tank estimates you believe, the nation’s high schools are graduating only seven out of 10 of their students or as large a share as 82 percent.
Taking a significant step toward supporting district-level changes, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation last week announced a $21 million grant to help the Chicago school system overhaul teaching and learning in high school classrooms.
Faced with thousands of incoming students who needed remedial classes, the California State University system launched an effort in 2001 to provide high school juniors with an early signal of whether they have the English and math skills necessary for college, and to provide help for those who don’t.
A coalition of small high schools in New York state is challenging the notion that using standardized tests and curricula is the best way to prepare all students for college-level work.
Kentucky schools are poised to get their biggest state spending boost in more than a decade, but educators say it won’t be enough to counter a lawsuit arguing the state inadequately finances its K-12 schools.
Hoping to break down bureaucracy, use tax dollars more efficiently, and provide a central resource for parents, Washington state has created a new agency to oversee a variety of programs that serve its young children.
A bill that has been sent to the floor of the California Senate would require textbooks used in public schools to include information on the roles and contributions of gay people throughout history, a move that could affect the content of instructional materials throughout much of the country.
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
President Bush continued his campaign to get schools to focus more on mathematics and science education with a visit to Rockville, Md., last week to a middle school where students study robotics and work with NASA scientists.
The U.S. Supreme Court appeared sharply divided last week over the question of whether the main federal special education law allows parents to be reimbursed for the costs of experts when they prevail in legal proceedings.
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
PAGE 37 - In Perspective
The San Jose Unified School District did away with a two-track high school system and instead demanded that all of its students take a college-prep course of study.
PAGE 40 - Commentary
One psychologist and educational researcher cautions that the federal government's desire to implement science standards must first be tackled by designing valid science tests.
PAGE 41 - Commentary
Journalism and creative writing teacher Laura Kelly advocates for the practice of reading aloud in class.
PAGE 42 - Commentary
Reviews of the latest books dealing with education, including publications focused on ethics and education, as well as research and technology.
PAGE 44 - Commentary
On April 12, questions from readers about how educators are dealing with the constant influx of new technologies, such as iPods, were fielded by La Donna Conner, an instructional-technology specialist for Texas’ Carrollton-Farmers Branch public schools near Dallas, and Alan Warhaftig, an English teacher at the Fairfax Magnet Center for Visual Arts, in Los Angeles, and a technology columnist for Teacher Magazine.
PAGE 52 - Commentary
Author E.D. Hirsch Jr. argues that inadequate theories of reading are as much to blame for the popularity of "drill-and-kill" lessons in schools as the No Child Left Behind Act.