November 19, 2008

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Vol. 28, Issue 13
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Noted Harvard psychologist Howard Gardner is leading a team studying the social and ethical norms of young people on the Web.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is retooling its precollegiate approach and launching a push to double college-completion rates.
Supporters of the often-controversial method say the president-elect has been supportive of the idea and hope for momentum.
Interest in 12th grade math options is rising as more states require four years of the subject and schools explore alternatives for struggling and high-achieving students.
News in Brief
News in Brief
Report Roundup
A training program for elementary school principals helps educators manage and strengthen the prekindergarten programs in their buildings.
Although some state officials have complained that collecting the required data diverts time and money away from educating students with disabilities, federal officials have said plainly that they disagree.
Health & Safety
The Nashville school district, in its first year under partial state control after failing to meet standards for five years in a row, is clashing with the city’s mayor, who is signaling a desire to run the schools.
Research on two districts finds method channeled more money to needy pupils.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation plans to more than double the proportion of low-income young adults who earn a college credential or degree by age 26, and to accomplish that by 2025.
Educators expect few significant changes to schooling from the anti-affirmative action passed by voters.
Richard P. Mills offers school districts experienced guidance, even as he prepares to step down in June.
State Journal
Randy Dorn, who takes over after beating the incumbent Nov. 4, has called the Washington Assessment of Student learning “deeply flawed.”
Michelle Obama tours private schools, but advocates hold out hope that a traditional public school or charter school will be selected.
While President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team works behind closed doors, education groups are openly trying to influence the next administration’s K-12 policies.
Federal File
A case about a small religious sect’s efforts to display a monument with its principles in a city park has implications for free-speech and establishment-of-religion questions in public schools.
Computer-adaptive testing addresses individual student needs, but cost and logistical challenges persist.
Many schools and districts are using computer-based testing for local assessments, but employing computers for statewide testing has proven to be difficult.
"The uneven quality of first-generation digital learning sometimes leaves an impression more of hokum than of transformation. But the second generation will not," says Andy Hoffman.
"The only certainty there should be regarding standardized-test scores is the certainty they’re not indisputable," says Todd Farley.
Letters
Letters
By addressing the concerns of both those who want high standards, and those who rightly see serious deficiencies in the tests used by most states, stakeholders could create a test system that benefits students, teachers, and the nation, says Charles Barone.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Annenberg Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Spencer Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations.

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