January 17, 20007

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Vol. 26, Issue 19
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Students can earn up to $100 if they ace their exams.
The program connects middle-school students with professionals from various fields.
Increasing the rigor of state standards and tests by linking them to standards set at the national level is getting a push from prominent lawmakers.
Many schools could lavish a fifth or more of their current budgets on measures to raise student achievement if they axed spending on teachers’ contract provisions.
Only ten percent of the state's school districts have joined the Q Comp initiative supported by Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and one district recently voted to dump it.
District Dossier
News in Brief: A National Roundup
People in the News
News in Brief: A National Roundup
The department will clarify what young people must do to remove their names from its recruitment database.
The report describes the panel’s progress and the rules it is following in its research.
Report Roundup
Technology Update
A Houston organization leads an effort to refine school management.
Students must have a firm grasp of critical thinking, teamwork, and written communication skills to succeed in the global economy.
Existing funding won’t begin to meet the state’s continuing need for more classroom space, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said last week during his State of the State address.
Selling off student loans and leasing state lotteries are two of the risky strategies being considered.
State Journal
Gov. John E. Baldacci's proposal would eliminate hundreds of locally elected school boards and scores of superintendents and replace them with 26 regional boards and schools chiefs.
State of the States
State of the States
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
President Bush and top education lawmakers may struggle to renew the law if they can’t compromise on how much to spend on it.
The U.S. Supreme Court is contemplating a case that tests the constitutionality of a Washington state law that requires nonunion teachers to “affirmatively consent,” or opt in, before a teachers’ union may spend money from “agency fees” on political campaigns and similar activism.
Federal File
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by a state high school athletic association over whether its rules restricting the recruitment of student-athletes conflict with the free-speech rights of its member schools under the First Amendment.
The districts contend their state-aid payments are being unfairly reduced by New Mexico under regulations for the federal impact-aid program.
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
A nonprofit group in California is plowing millions of donated dollars into new charter schools around the country, with uneven but largely promising results.
Elliot Washor and Charles Mojkowski offer suggestions on how to make the challenges of college preparation easier to face.
On Dec. 20, 2006, Kati Haycock, the director of the Education Trust, Chester E. Finn Jr., the president of the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, and Christopher B. Swanson, the director of the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, answered readers’ questions concerning the center’s recent report “Influence: A Study of the Factors Shaping Education Policy,” released in December.
Marc S. Tucker, the president of the Washington-based National Center on Education and the Economy, agrees with the recommendations of a recent report on American school reform and says the nation will suffer the consequences if the education system does not get a major overhaul.
Diane Ravitch writes that the recommendations from a recently released report calling for the overhaul of the U.S. education system "are not only radical but dubious."

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