News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

March 19, 1997 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Mich. Judge Halts Engler Reorganization Plan

A Michigan judge has blocked Gov. John Englers attempt to re-route authority over the states education system.

The Republican governor issued two executive orders last December that would give the state superintendent control over many of duties that now fall under the elected state school board. Circuit Judge Carolyn Stell’s preliminary injunction this month halted the first of the two orders, which would have taken effect last week. But she withheld judgment on the second order, which is not scheduled to take effect until July 1.

The ruling stemmed from a lawsuit filed by the four Democrats on the eight-member board, who took action after the governor did not respond to the board’s formal request that he withdraw the orders.

The board’s vice president, Dorothy Beardmore, a Republican who did not participate in the suit, nevertheless called Mr. Engler’s executive orders “uncalled for.”

“Unless he does something else, we’re going to move ahead with business,” she said.

Ark. Law Eases Burden for Home-Schoolers

Parents of home-schooled students in Arkansas no longer have to contend with some of the costs and regulatory burdens of teaching their children at home, thanks to recent legislation signed by Gov. Mike Huckabee.

The new law eliminates the state’s previous requirement that such students take annual tests at their parents’ expense. Now, the students will be tested in grades 5, 7, and 10, as public school students are, and the state will pick up the $35 cost per student.

The number of home-schooled students in Arkansas has increased 11.5 percent over the past year, to about 6,400, while public school enrollment grew by less than 1 percent, according to state education department figures.

A spokeswoman for the Republican governor said he signed the legislation because home-schooled children test well and he felt they were being “unduly burdened” by the annual exams.

Ind. Is Again Considering Testing Program

With Indiana’s statewide testing program, it’s always something. In recent years, lawmakers have battled over funding, scoring, and test questions. Debate this year appears likely to center around whether ISTEP--Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress--scores should be used to evaluate the job performance of school principals.

Democratic Rep. Vernon G. Smith is backing legislation that would prohibit ISTEP scores from being included when rating a principal’s job performance.

The test is given each year to the state’s 3rd, 6th, 8th, and 10th graders to determine which students need help in certain subjects. It cannot be used to evaluate the job performance of teachers but is sometimes used to evaluate principals.

“I believe principals should be held accountable for achievement, but the ISTEP is a test for remediation,” Mr. Smith said. “You can’t mix apples with oranges.”

Mr. Smith’s bill has passed in the House and has been sent to the Senate, where it awaits a possible hearing in the education committee later this month.


English-Language Learners Webinar Helping English-Learners Through Improved Parent Outreach: Strategies That Work
Communicating with families is key to helping students thrive – and that’s become even more apparent during a pandemic that’s upended student well-being and forced constant logistical changes in schools. Educators should pay particular attention
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Mathematics Webinar
Addressing Unfinished Learning in Math: Providing Tutoring at Scale
Most states as well as the federal government have landed on tutoring as a key strategy to address unfinished learning from the pandemic. Take math, for example. Studies have found that students lost more ground
Content provided by Yup Math Tutoring
Classroom Technology Webinar Building Better Blended Learning in K-12 Schools
The pandemic and the increasing use of technology in K-12 education it prompted has added renewed energy to the blended learning movement as most students are now learning in school buildings (and will likely continue

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Nearly a Million Kids Vaccinated in Week 1, White House Says
Experts say there are signs that it will be difficult to sustain the initial momentum.
4 min read
Leo Hahn, 11, gets the first shot of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, Tuesday, Nov. 9, 2021, at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Last week, U.S. health officials gave the final signoff to Pfizer's kid-size COVID-19 shot, a milestone that opened a major expansion of the nation's vaccination campaign to children as young as 5. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Education How Schools Are Getting Kids the COVID Shot, and Why Some Aren’t
Some district leaders say offering vaccine clinics, with the involvement of trusted school staff, is key to helping overcome hesitancy.
5 min read
A girl walks outside of a mobile vaccine unit after getting the first dose of her COVID-19 vaccine, outside P.S. 277, Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, in the Bronx borough of New York. (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez)
Education Biden Administration Urges Schools to Provide COVID-19 Shots, Information for Kids
The Biden administration is encouraging local school districts to host vaccine clinics for kids and information on benefits of the shots.
2 min read
President Joe Biden, and first lady Jill Biden walk to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021. Biden is spending the weekend at his home in Rehoboth Beach, Del. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Education Civil Rights Groups Sue Tennessee Over Law Against Transgender Student Athletes
The state law bars transgender athletes from playing public high school or middle school sports aligned with their gender identity.
3 min read
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Amy Allen, the mother of an 8th grade transgender son, speaks after a Human Rights Campaign round table discussion on anti-transgender laws in Nashville, Tenn. on May 21, 2021.
Mark Humphrey/AP