Major Study of
The Senate last week passed a bill asking the Secretary of Education to conduct a $14-million "national assessment" of compensatory education.
The provision was included in the Senate version of HR 1035, a bill intended primarily to add technical amendments to the Education Consolidation and Improvement Act of 1981. The House-passed version of the bill does not contain such a provision.
According to the Senate bill, the study is to include "descriptions and assessments" of the effects of compensatory-education programs on students' school attendance, future education, and basic and higher-order academic skills.
It also calls for a review of compensatory services and their recipients, the background and training of teachers and staff members in such programs, the allocations of funds to schools, and how compensatory programs are coordinated with other education programs.
The study would be directed by the National Institute of Education and paid for out of the institute's budget, a provision that is opposed by the American Educational Research Association, a group that represents a large segment of the educational research community.
"There isn't enough money in the nie budget to fund such a study without compromising the institute's other programs," said David Florio, director of government relations for the association.
The legislation calls for $2 million to be spent on the study in the fiscal year 1984 and $4 million in each of the next three fiscal years. A final report would be submitted to the Congress by Jan. 1, 1987.
The bill will now go to a Congressional conference committee.
Four years after its status was reduced to "office," the National Science Foundation's directorate for science and engineering education has been re-established. Edward A. Knapp, the science foundation's director, announced the change earlier this month. The science-education directorate was changed to the office of scientific and engineering personnel and education in March 1982, following large budget cuts.
Laura Bautz, a physicist and astronomer who heads the foundation's astronomy division, has been appointed acting assistant director for the directorate. Walter L. Gilles-pie, a specialist in science education at the foundation, will serve as deputy assistant director.
In the memorandum announcing the change, Mr. Knapp cited the need for adequate support for science- and engineering-education programs and described them as "a matter of great importance to the foundation and the country." To support basic research and education, he said, are the "two most central functions of the foundation."
Foundation officials suggest that the change reflects a shift in importance that is already underway. In fiscal 1983, the nsf's science-education programs received $75 million in federal funds, $55 million of which was for precollege programs. Last month, following the report of a National Science Board commission on precollege mathematics, science, and technology education, the board passed a resolution affirming the subjects' importance to the foundation.
The rebuilding of the programs will mean an increase in the directorate's staff, which dropped to about 16 in 1982 but is now up to about 20.
On Asbestos Checks
The Environmental Protection Agency has begun distributing press releases in communities where school systems have failed to comply with its regulation that requires all schools to conduct asbestos surveys and report the findings.
The agency estimates that, as of Sept. 23, over 60 percent of the nation's schools had not complied with the regulation. The epa has also set up an asbestos hotline, which school systems may call for information about the substance and their responsibilities for dealing with it.
W. Stanley Kruger, deputy director for the Department of Education's state and local programs, said that, as of last May, 2 of 57 states and territories had complied with a 1980 law requiring them to report to the Education Department by December 1980 about how they planned to inform school systems of the health hazards of asbestos and of their duty to investigate and report the presence of friable, or crumbling, asbestos in their buildings.
Vermont, Guam, and American Samoa still have not filed such reports, Mr. Kruger said. He said the department made no effort between 1980 and the present to press states to comply with the law. (See Databank on Page 16.)
In another action, a spokesman for Lawrence Davenport, assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education, said last week that an Education Department report estimating that it would cost $1.4 billion to remove asbestos from public and private schools will not be officially released for five or six more weeks. (See Education Week Oct. 12, 1983.)
The Senate Appropriations Committee, which requested the report, had set a Sept. 1 deadline for its delivery, but were asked by department officials for a month's extension to complete it.
Are Now Receiving
In an effort to make life easier for young men who must now show that they have registered for the draft in order to be eligible for federal student aid, the Selective Service System is issuing each registrant a wallet-size card attesting to his compliance with the law.
The cards include the registrant's name, address, date of birth, social-security number, and registration number. But they are issued as a matter of "convenience," according to a spokesman, not by law, as were those carried by registrants until 1975, when the draft was ended.
The spokesman said the number of registrants rose sharply last month, from a weekly average of 35,000, to almost 50,000. About 5,000 young men turn 18 every day. He suggested that the increase may have been due to a concern of many youths that without registering they would not be able to receive federal student aid.
About 96 percent (10.9 million) of the eligible young men have now registered for the draft the spokesman said.
U.S. Appeals Court
A federal appeals court in New York has barred the implementation of a regulation of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department that would have required federally-funded health clinics to notify the parents of minors who request prescription birth control.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said the parental-notification regulation violated the "intent of Congress."
The Congress intended to "encourage" parental involvement when it passed family planning legislation, the appeals panel wrote in its Oct. 7 decision, but the hhs regulations "mandate" parental involvement. In doing so, the court said, the regulations illegally circumvent the original intent of the law.
The U.S. Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia also ruled against the regulations last July in a similar case brought by the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Whether or not the department will appeal the court decisions is uncertain, an hhs spokesman said last week, but Planned Parenthood officials said they are expecting the Administration to pursue the issue.
"Ordinarily, when you have the two most prestigious appeals courts decide against you, it is very unlikely that you would appeal," said Eve W. Paul, vice president for legal affairs at Planned Parenthood, "but very possibly Secretary [Margaret M.] Heckler may feel compelled to appeal for political reasons."
Department officials have until Dec. 5 to decide whether they want to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Of 10 Local Groups
The National Council of Churches will seek the opinions of congregations in 10 cities as it considers revising its positions on elementary and secondary education, officials for the organization said.
The issues on which the ncc takes formal positions, said Margaret L. Shafer, a staff associate for the division, include the proper place of religion in public education, federal aid to education, tuition-tax credits, adult illiteracy, and equal access to educational programs.
The organization this month announced the selection of the cities that will be involved in the process. The groups from the cities will meet to answer a set of questions. The answers will be used by the ncc's division of education as it develops proposals for revisions to the ncc education policy.
The governing board of the ncc will consider possible changes in its official positions at its spring meeting next May. The board might not take action on the proposals until 1985, an ncc official said.
Ms. Shafer said the organization's examination of education issues is "part of the whole national anxiety about public education." The cities selected are Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Grand Rapids, Mich., Hartford, Jacksonville, Fla., Memphis, Minneapolis, Salt Lake City, and Seattle.
Michigan School Ban
On Private Students
Challenged in Court
A Michigan state attorney this month asked the state's supreme court to reverse two lower-court rulings that allowed a public school to bar a private-school student from one of its music classes.
Gerald Young of the state attorney's office told the court that that the Charlotte Public School District would need to demonstrate a "compelling state interest" if it wanted to bar a private-school student from the class.
At issue in the case is Brenda Snyder's attempt in 1981 to enroll in a Charlotte Junior High School band class. The school that Ms. Snyder attended, the Charlotte Christian Academy, did not offer a band program.
Mr. Young said Ms. Snyder's case did not involve issues of state aid to private schools, despite the possibility that private schools could tailor their programs to take advantage of public-school programs. "This is a case involving equal access to public schools," he said.
Michael Eisenbach, the lawyer for the Charlotte district, said allowing Ms. Snyder to attend the public-school class would create administrative and financial problems for the school. He said that, although schools may allow private-school students in their programs, there is no constitutional requirement to do so.
The Eaton County Circuit Court of Michigan and the Michigan Court of Appeals both have decided in the district's favor.
An End to Paddling
Nearly two million Michigan public-school children may be spared the rod under a measure to abolish corporal punishment that is being considered by the state legislature.
Michigan law now allows school employees to use "reasonable physical force" to discipline students, though each of the state's 529 school districts may prohibit such punishment in their own schools.
Under the new measure, which has received bipartisan support, physical force could only be used by school employees to protect themselves, other students, or property from injury or damage; to obtain possession of a weapon; or to escort an unwilling student to the principal's office.
The bill would prohibit paddling, hitting, kicking, shaking, pushing, or grabbing students. In addition, it would forbid confining pupils to an "uncomfortable space" or forcing them to eat an "obnoxious" substance.
In 1980, corporal punishment was meted out to about one in every 100 public-school students in the state, according to figures from the U.S. Education Department's office for civil rights.
Corporal punishment fell disproportionately on black students, the figures showed, who were over three times as likely as white students to be on the receiving end of a paddle.
About 10 percent of the state's school districts have already abolished the practice in their own schools, said a spokesman for the Coalition to Abolish Corporal Punishment.
Despite wide-ranging legislative support, the bill is being opposed by the Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association, which wants to retain local control of the matter.
The measure is scheduled for a hearing in both houses of the legislature later this month. If the measure passes, Michigan will become the fifth state in the nation to adopt an outright ban of corporal punishment.
Idaho High Court
Says Teacher Entitled
To Extra Pay
The Idaho Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a Minidoka teacher who sought extra pay for teaching an additional class.
In a recent 4-to-1 decision, the state justices said W. Monte Robinson was entitled to extra-duty pay during the 1978-79 school year for teaching six classes, rather than the required five.
Because Mr. Robinson had signed a contract stating that he would teach the extra class without additional pay, lawyers for Joint School District 331 argued that the teacher was not entitled to the special compensation.
But since district policy at the time routinely provided payment of additional wages to compensate teachers who put in more employment time than was normally required, the justices ruled in favor of Mr. Robinson.
According to Byron Johnson, the teacher's lawyer, the court said that even though Mr. Robinson had signed a contract that included the requirement that he teach the additional class, he did not waive his right to the extra-duty pay normally provided by the school district.
State's Essay Contest
Will Honor Truman
Prints of Harry S. Truman, valued in all at more than $300,000, will be awarded as prizes to Missouri schools whose students win an essay contest honoring the state's only U.S. President.
The best essays on "Why Harry S. Truman will be remembered as a great President" will win for the students' schools framed limited-edition prints of the former President valued at up to $1,200. The portraits will be presented to the schools in the name of the student who writes the school's winning essay.
The contest, sponsored by the Missouri Education Association, the Harry S. Truman Farm Home Foundation, and Calarimo Marble Art Inc., honors the centennial of the former President's birth and was designed to encourage the study of Mr. Truman in Missouri schools, said Lona Lewis, president of the Missouri teachers' group.
Two Ky. Panels
Begin Work on
A committee of Kentuckians that two years ago developed a long-range blueprint to improve the state's higher-education system is now turning its attention to elementary and secondary education in the state.
With an expanded membership, the panel, headed by Edward F. Prichard Jr., a Lexington lawyer, plans to review the state's public-school program and make recommendations to the 1984 and 1986 sessions of the Kentucky General Assembly. The work of the committee is being financed by foundation, individual, and corporate contributions. Members of the panel, however, are paying most of their own expenses.
A second 28-member task force, sponsored by the state's Chamber of Commerce, is also drawing up a plan to improve public education.
The panel includes representatives of business and industry, teachers, administrators, legislators, and members of statewide associations.
The chairman of this group, called Kentuckians for Excellence in Education, is James Ratcliffe, a Louisville accounting executive who is vice-chairman of the state board of education. The group plans to make recommendations to the 1984 General Assembly.
Va. College Study
Calls For Stiffer
A study of Virginia's public universities and colleges has found that an increasing number are including high-school-level courses in their curricula because students enter with inadequate preparation.
The state-level task force on remedial education that conducted the study recommends that all Virginia colleges tighten their admission requirements and give placement tests in an effort to "protect the integrity of the college curriculum."
The study also recommends that a limit be placed on the number of times a student can re-enroll in a remedial course, and that these courses not count toward college credit, said David Potter, coordinator of academic programs for the State Council on Higher Education, which sponsored the study.
About 10 percent of Virginia's college students take remedial courses at an annual cost to the state of about $16 million, Mr. Potter said.
Texas Ed. College
Expects New Test
To Cut Enrollment
Officials at the University of Texas at El Paso's education school predict that the new state-mandated basic-skills admissions test for education majors will seriously cut their enrollment, which is now 51-percent Hispanic.
To offset the loss, they have begun to design a new graduate program in special education, said William Dunlap, dean of the university's education school.
The basic-skills test, administered by the Educational Testing Service, is the same one adopted by Florida, where a disproportionately high number of minority students failed the exam this year.
At El Paso, some potential students are already changing their minds about an education career because of the test, Mr. Dunlap said.
But he added that there is no way he can estimate how severely the school's enrollment will be affected until state education officials set a cut-off score for the test early next year.
The first test is scheduled for March 5, he added.
El Paso, one of the largest education colleges in Texas, now graduates about 500 graduates a year, he said, but the state has a worsening teacher shortage and is importing increasing numbers of teachers from northern states.
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First Jr. High School
Sold in Nebraska
The first junior high school built in the U.S. was sold last month when the University of Nebraska Foundation bought it from the Lincoln (Neb.) Board of Education for $500,000.
Whittier Junior High School, which was constructed in 1923, was the first building designed exclusively for use as a junior high school. Officials at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln said the building will be used for research and to attract new industry. It will also be used for temporary university classrooms, offices, and storage space, officials said. The building has been on the market since 1977, when, because of declining enrollments, students were transferred to other junior high schools.
West Haven Schools
To Offer Students
Officials for the West Haven (Conn.) Public Schools are considering plans to extend the school day for high-school students who want to take courses in addition to those now being offered.
Students would be charged a fee for the courses offered in the program, but participation would be voluntary, according to John Onofrio, the distict's deputy superintendent. He said district officials have been conducting a feasibility study and are planning to survey students to see what courses they would like the district to offer.
"This is a local attempt to give youngsters more opportunities during the course of an extended day to elect certain course offerings they would not be able to take during the normal day," Mr. Onofrio said. Scholarships would be made available to students who could not afford the program fee, he added.
The concept was conceived by the district's superintendent and, according to Mr. Onofrio, it has been endorsed by the school board. He said the 1,940 students at West Haven High School would be eligible to participate in the program.
"We have great expectations for what this might accomplish," Mr. Onofrio said. "It's certainly timely as far as the national thought on more time for instructional purposes."
A 7th-grade Illinois student who participated this month in try-outs for the boys' basketball team but was not offered a position will proceed with her sex-discrimination suit against the district.
Becky Lynn Klotz, age 12, last month filed suit with her mother and the American Civil Liberties Union in U.S. District Court in Alton, Ill., against the Millstadt Consolidated School District 160. The suit maintains that the district discriminated against Becky when it denied her the opportunity to try out for the boys' team; the school has no girls' team.
Later last month, however, as part of an agreement reached in negotiations with the district, Becky and several other girls were permitted to participate in try-outs, which were held Oct. 3 to Oct. 7.
But neither Becky nor the other four girls who tried out for the team were selected, according to Billy I. Howell, principal of Millstadt Elementary School.
Becky was disappointed with the outcome, said Bruce Goldstein, the girl's lawyer. He said the case will proceed because "we want to make sure that the girls are being treated equally from now on."
Mr. Goldstein said he is presently negotiating with the school district's lawyer on the case, Becky Lynn Klotz v. Millstadt Consolidated School District 160.
Janitor Makes Debut
As Substitute Teacher
Teachers at Redford High School in Detroit have been giggling about the substitute janitor who taught two social-studies classes and two study halls recently when school officials mistook him for a substitute teacher.
"It really happened. The department head couldn't figure out why he asked her, 'Do you need anything cleaned?"' quipped an economics teacher.
School officials, however, were not laughing. They immediately implemented an elaborate new system of multiple interviews for all substitutes who report for work at the school.
The janitor, Andrew Ransom, reported to the main office on Sept. 27 and said he was a substitute. A teacher sent him to the interdisciplinary-studies head, who gave him a lesson plan and told him to report to the classes.
At the end of the day the "substitute" confessed that he was really a janitor.
"I think we should make him an honorary member of the Detroit Federation of Teachers," said Wanda Hogg, an English teacher. "It just shows how disorganized things are around here."
Mr. Ransom could not be reached for comment.
Because of Illnesses
A small Pennsylvania school system has cut short its interscholastic football and basketball schedules in an effort to prevent an epidemic of mononucleosis.
"We are not going to play Russian roulette with students' health," said Donald E. Evans, superintendent of the 1,100-student Juniata Valley School District.
Mr. Evans said school officials were first alerted earlier this month to the presence of the disease in the area when pathologists determined that it was responsible for the ruptured spleen of a junior-high-school football player.
Subsequently, blood tests showed that 28 of 33 players on the district's varsity football team, 21 on the junior-high team, and six members of the girl's varsity and junior-varsity basketball teams had mild cases of mononucleosis, Mr. Evans said.
Mr. Evans said he subsequently cancelled the remaining contests for the teams and curtailed physical contact in gym classes. As of last week, he added, the disease had not spread within the school system.
He said that doctors have surmised that the close proximity of athletes in locker rooms and on courts and playing fields probably accounts for the large number of cases among the school system's teams.
Mr. Evans also said the local athletic conference has "fortunately" agreed to declare the 32 cancelled football and basketball games "no contests" instead of forfeits, thus sparing the Juniata Valley schools the ignominy of having 32 defeats go down in the record books.
Sues TV Station
A Salt Lake City teacher has filed a $1.01-million defamation suit against a local television station, claiming that an evening news report made "false, malicious, and defamatory" remarks about her competence as a teacher.
In a suit filed in the Third District Court on Sept. 23, Bryant Intermediate School teacher Marian Preston claimed that a news report aired on Sept. 13 by KTVX-tv included a videotape of her teaching her class with a narration that said, "Marian Preston's fourth-period accelerated English is not learning, according to a government report."
Ms. Preston's suit names the television station's owner, United Television Inc., and reporter Barbara Wilshire as defendents. It seeks $10,000 for "physical and mental suffering" and $1 million in punitive damages.
The station issued a clarification on Sept. 29th. On the evening newscast the station's announcer read a statement that said that the tape of Ms. Preston's class was intended to lead to a debate among educators meeting at the University of Utah who challenged the school-reform proposals made by the National Commission on Excellence in Education. The tape was not meant to suggest that Ms. Preston was a bad teacher, according to the station's general manager, Harold Woolley.
No trial date has been set in the case.
The Philadelphia Board of Education voted 5-to-3 last week not to appeal a court order that opened Central High School, the nation's second-oldest public high school, to female students for the first time in its 147-year history. Judge William M. Marutani of Pennsylvania's Common Pleas Court had ruled in August that single-sex public schools violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Pennsylvania Equal Rights Amendment.
Since then, students and alumni of both Central and its counterpart for females, Girls High School, had lobbied strongly for an appeal. Just before last week's vote, Common Pleas Judge Lisa A. Richette, a Girls High graduate, told the board it had a "moral obligation" to appeal the decision of her colleague. Judge Richette said Judge Marutani's decision was based on "wrong law" and an intrepretation of the Pennsylvania era that was never intended.
However, Samuel P. Katz, a Central alumnus who is a member of the school board, said that "the only issue that really matters in this case is the issue of whether a public body receiving public funds has the right to, on the basis of sex or any other consideration, exclude anyone. I believe we have no choice but to take the position that we cannot."
On the day last week that the Congressional task force on merit pay released its final report, one of its members criticized the low level of federal investment urged in the report.
Mary H. Futrell, who is the new president of the National Education Association, said she recalled discussions at panel meetings calling for expenditures of about $5 billion in federal funds. The panel's final recommendations would require about $200 million in federal funding--considerably less than the level recommended in a preliminary draft of the report. (See Education Week, Sept. 14, 1983.)
Ms. Futrell also put some distance between her union and the task force's cautious recommendation that school districts experiment with merit-pay plans.
The nea "does not wholeheartedly encourage experiments with performance-based pay," Ms. Futrell said.
Public-school officials in Arlington, Va., announced last week that they are bound by law to allow New Order, a neo-Nazi group, to use school facilities for a "White Pride Day" celebration.
Regardless of a group's beliefs, said Steve Kurcis, principal of Yorktown High School, it cannot be prohibited from using public facilities.
The conflict between New Order and the high school goes back more than a decade. In 1970, members of the organization (formerly the National Socialist White People's Party) wanted to rent the school's auditorium for a party commemorating the birthday of Adolf Hitler and school officials said no. New Order sued and three years later the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled in its favor.
Gov. William Winter of Mississippi has been appointed chairman of a new task force of the Southern Regional Education Board that will promote and monitor education-improvement efforts in the 14 Southern states that participate in the regional consortium.
Governor Winter was chairman of the board of the sreb in 1982-83; Gov. Lamar Hunt of Tennessee now holds that post.
A principal purpose of the task force, an sreb spokesman said last week, will be to help states implement the 20-point school-reform strategy--"Meeting the Need for Quality: Action in the South"--proposed by the organization last spring. (See Education Week, June 15, 1983.)
Row, Row, Row to School
Tina Rice and Renee Myers, both 11, daily row 100 yards across the Coeur d'Alene River in Rose Lake, Idaho, to attend the Rose Lake Elementary School. A new bridge across the river is not expected to be completed until next August.
Short-Tempered Coaches Get 'F' in Deportment
High-school coaches in a southeastern Michigan athletic league have been given a flunking grade by local school-board members, who want the sportsmen to clean up their behavior on the playing field.
The Armada Board of Education recently passed a resolution expressing its dismay over "the conduct and lack of sportmanship behavior displayed at athletic activities by coaches in particular, and in certain instances students and fans as well" in the Southern Thumb Association.
The association is made up of eight rural school districts located 35 to 50 miles north and east of Detroit.
The Armada district has about 1,500 students.
The resolution did not cite any one coach for displaying less-than-circumspect behavior.
But that's only because all the coaches in the association throw temper tantrums in which they scream, swear, and "chew out" players during games to embarrass them, said Ruth Isaacson, the Armada board member who proposed the resolution.
A letter, sent from the Armada board's president to other board presidents in association districts, spelled out the message: "There have been incidences where a coach berates or demeans a player to such an extent that everyone is embarrassed for the player and school involved," the letter stated.
As a result of the resolution and letter, approved without consultation with association sports officials, the coaches' ire is now being directed at the school board.
Said Armada's football coach, Ed Wuestenberg: "If they are referring to one specific school or coach, they should come out and say it.
"As far as I'm concerned," he continued, "they should have used the chain of command before bringing this to the papers and making our league look like a rat race."
Mr. Wuestenberg, who has been coaching for 24 years, added that he sees "no problem" with the behavior of the association coaches.
In the Curriculum Column of the Oct. 5, 1983, issue of Education Week, the New Jersey Department of Education is described as the "authorized distributor" of the New Jersey Test of Reasoning Skills. The distributor of the test is the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children at Montclair State College in New Jersey.
Vol. 03, Issue 07