September 11, 1985

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Twenty-four family day-care centers in Rhode Island were forced to close their doors last month because they could not get affordable liability-insurance coverage.
Head Start, the federal program for disadvantaged preschool children and their families, has a strong immediate impact on children's development, but its benefits tend to diminish over time, according to a new federal study.
The Education Department's top civil-rights official has asked his aides to study whether his office may eliminate compliance reviews, one of the government's main tools for enforcing anti-discrimination laws.
Declaring that the nation's economic health depends on an effective system of public education, a distinguished group of corporate executives and university presidents last week called for sweeping "bottom-up" reform of the nation's schools. The reform must give more authority to teachers, more resources to preschool programs for the disadvantaged, and more attention to elementary and middle schools rather than high schools, the officials contend in a report called "Investing in Our Children."
The Vermont Labor Relations Board has ordered the Hinesburg school district to rehire the 28 elementary-school teachers it replaced two weeks after the teachers struck last April.
Young Americans are falling short of fitness goals set for them in 1980 by the President's Council on Physical Fitness as part of a plan to improve the general health levels by 1990.
Funding problems and a shortage of qualified job candidates may hamper plans in Tennessee to assign guidance counselors to elementary schools.
Gerald N. Tirozzi, Connecticut's education commissioner, is going back to school this year--as a teacher.
A new report on the Reagan Administration's Chapter 2 block-grants program reiterates the findings of previous studies that large urban districts and "high-cost students" have lost funding under the program, while smaller states and districts and private-school pupils have gained.
Texas Attorney General Jim Mattox has asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to stay a federal judge's order allowing students to enroll in teacher-education courses without first passing the state's pre-professional skills test.
Based on current evidence indicating that acquired immune deficiency syndrome is not transmitted through casual person-to-person contact, the federal Centers for Disease Control has recommended that most children with the disease be allowed unrestricted access to schools, child-care facilities, and foster-home settings.
Following is the text of the recommendations issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control on the education and foster care of children infected with aids.
Teachers in Seattle remained on strike late last week, while teachers in Chicago ended a one-day walkout and those in Philadelphia approved a new three-year contract.
A majority of the nation's Roman Catholic school systems have no long-range plans to combat the mounting financial difficulties that threaten their future, according to the preliminary findings of a recent study.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has overruled a 1983 federal district-court ruling in which 14,000 women employees of Washington State were awarded substantial pay increases and back pay on the grounds that the state was guilty of sex-based wage discrimination.
The nation's independent schools increased their spending on student financial aid by an average of 64 percent between the 1978-79 and 1983-84 school years, according to statistics compiled by the National Association of Independent Schools in Boston.
To help schools meet mandated educational reforms and survive an ongoing teacher shortage, the Texas Education Agency has linked up with what is being called the nation's first private satellite network designed specifically to provide academic and inservice programs to public and private schools.
Public schools in Dade County, Fla., were "largely" successful in coping with a rapid and unprecedented influx of refugee children from Cuba in 1980, a federally funded report has concluded.
Three regional studies of the educational needs of Hispanics confirm national findings released last winter that Hispanics as a group experience serious academic difficulties, high dropout rates, and a declining rate of enrollment in colleges and universities.
A measure that would set a minimum salary of $18,500 for all New Jersey public-school teachers passed in the state Assembly Aug. 28, along with a bill that would establish a statewide teacher-recognition program. The Senate is expected to consider both measures after it reconvenes Sept. 9.

The minimum-salary plan, which would cost the state $37.7 million in the 1985-86 fiscal year, provides for three years of state funding to school districts for implementation. The measure was developed by Gov. Thomas H. Kean as part of his conditional veto of a minimum-salary bill the legislature passed in June. That bill set no limit on the number of years the state would provide funds to districts.

Citing a new finance formula that will nearly double their state aid in 1986, seven property-poor New Hampshire school districts and the 21 others that supported them have dropped their four-year old school-finance suit against the state.
Ramsay W. Selden, a member of the staff of the National Commission on Excellence in Education, has been named director of the Council of Chief State School Officers' new Center for the Coordination of Assessment and Evaluation. Mr. Selden assumes his new position this week.
Among several factors that could help raise the national level of academic performance, periodic teacher evaluations were cited most often by high-achieving juniors and seniors polled in a recent survey.
Students who use word processors to write are not expanding or reorganizing their drafts, as once hoped, but are adding restatements or new details to the end of their texts, according to research by a professor of education at Harvard University.

Colette Daiute, who teaches and does research on writing and computers at Harvard, reported in the August issue of the Harvard Education Letter that in five years of research with 4th through 9th graders, she has found that students tend not to reread or expand their drafts when they do not have to recopy them.

A federal district judge relinquished control over the Boston public schools last week, more than a decade after ordering perhaps the most controversial school-desegregation plan in the nation's history.
The typical student views computers as another "academic drudgery" and views peers who like the machines as unusually bright or unpopular, according to a study of children's attitudes toward computers presented at the American Psychological Association's recent annual meeting.
The John F. Kennedy High School here in Westchester County is a special school, but the 200 students who attend it come from no special background. Some come by way of pedigreed Northeastern boarding schools, others from the poorest of New York City's ghettos. Some are the children of close families, others are from broken homes. Many have been high achievers, but others are underachievers caught in a perpetual search for meaning and excitement.
Laura is 17 years old, delicate in appearance, and the product of a comfortable Manhattan home. She attended a Pennsylvania boarding school where, as she tells it, few tabs were kept on students and "practically everybody was getting high."
WASHINGTON--"Why don't we just leave the kids in the hall?" suggested one cameraman crowded into the back of room 204 at Banneker High School last week, where the clutter of reporters grew steadily until the Secretary of Education ambled into the classroom.
Washington--Fresh from their summer recess, lawmakers last week began considering proposals to modify President Reagan's plan to eliminate the deduction for state and local taxes as part of an overhaul of the federal tax code.
Undersecretary of Education Gary L. Bauer last week traveled to Cincinnati to bring a strong message of support from the Reagan Administration to a meeting of organizations that work to counter pornography.

"Pornography is a threat to our democratic way of life. It is also a threat to the larger cause of Western culture," said Mr. Bauer at the Third Annual Consultation on Pornography. "Let's make no mistake: the battle that we are fighting against pornography, for our children, for our country, also involves the fate of civilization as we know it.

Washington--A House subcommittee chairman has asked Secretary of Education William J. Bennett to look into the status of a policy that two offices of the Education Department were asked by lawmakers a year ago to draw up to coordinate their responsibilities for overseeing laws governing the education of handicapped students.
Following is the text of the executive summary of "Investing in Our Children," a report on business and the public schools based on a study by the Committee for Economic Development.
The reform strategy embodied in this policy statement can be characterized by the following ten imperatives for guiding the public schools.
According to the U.S. Education Department's latest figures, about 4.1 million special-education students were served under P.L. 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, in the 1984-85 school year--about 22,000 more than the year before.

The largest increase in pupils served occurred in the learning-disabled category. There were 1.8 million learning-disabled students last year, an increase of 34,044 from the previous year.

The average standardized-test scores of students in suburban public schools with high academic standards approach those of students in comparable private schools and are significantly higher than those of other public-school students.
I can easily see why many 6th graders are bored. Apparently someone has decided that they should cover the entire world, from its human beginnings until the day before a textbook goes to press.
To the Editor:

I was shocked and angered to see my name on the list of fraudulent-degree recipients that accompanied an article on "diploma mills" ("U.S. Estimates Thousands Buy 'Degrees' From Diploma Mills," Education Week, June 5, 1985).

The attempt by Gov. Bill Clinton to improve academic standards in Arkansas by giving a basic-skills test to certified teachers typifies most of the myths the public associates with teaching. The passage and implementation of the Governor's plan also demonstrate the tendency of voters to be satisfied with empty gestures instead of solutions, a tendency that is especially unfortunate at a time when we need effective responses to the problems in teacher education.
The attempt by Gov. Bill Clinton to improve academic Standards in Arkansas by giving a basic-skills test to certified teachers typifies most of the myths the public associates with teaching.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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