September 4, 1991

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Vol. 11, Issue 01
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The Massachusetts State Board of Education last month became the first state beard in the nation to encourage school districts to consider adopting a condom-distribution policy for high-school students.
Programs combining preschool for youngsters with adult-literacy and employment-skill training for parents are helping to "break the cycle of hand-me-down illiteracy," according to the National Center for Family Literacy.
To the Editor:
Warning that education reform is doomed if it does not take into account the psychological needs of the learner, the American Psychological Association has formed a task force on psychology in education.
The following are summaries of final action by legislatures on education-related matters.
A federal judge has ruled that the Washington State constitution prohibits student religious groups from meeting at public schools in the state, even though a federal law upheld last year by the U.S. Supreme Court requires most public schools to treat student prayer groups the same as other clubs.
The dramatic changes unfolding in the Soviet Union have riveted the world's attention on a region that, in the view of many educators, has gotten uneven coverage in U.S. classrooms in recent decades.
Capital Update tracks the movement of legislation, the introduction of notable bills, and routine regulatory announcements.
The American Federation of Teachers last month joined several civil-rights and women's organizations in opposing the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Statewide "report cards" gauging public school performance are growing in popularity across the South but are taking various forms, according tea report by the Southern Regional Education Board that examines the characteristics of such systems in 15 states.
A northern California school district has suspended a high-school coach for making racial slurs, following threats by state officials to cut district funding unless disciplinary action was taken.
DETROIT--Faced with a federal court order, the Detroit Board of Education last week agreed to admit girls to three new schools that had been designed to meet the special needs of the city's African-American boys.
ARLINGTON, VA.--Responding to concerns from educators and philanthropists, the New American Schools Development Corporation has decided to cast a wider net to snare more ideas on how to revamp the nation's schools, but to commit far fewer initial dollars to the research effort.
Total education spending in the United States during the 1991-92 school year will hit a record $414 billion, a 5.5 percent increase over last year, the U.S. Education Department predicts in its annual back-to-school forecast.
Senator Dan McDonald, chairman of the Washington State Senate's appropriations committee, created considerable controversy this year--and a savings on paper of $10 million-by pushing through a provision eliminating state aid for driver's education for most students.
A segregation-era provision of the Alabama constitution that denies that state residents have a guaranteed right to public education violates the U.S. Constitution, a state judge has ruled.
Observers are wondering about the fate of Emerson Elliott, the acting commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics.
The following are drafts of tasks developed by mathematics and literacy teachers and curriculum specialists as part of the New Standards Project's workshop in Snowmass, Colo., last month.
Virtually all of a Virginia millionaire's $25-million estate will be used to launch a charitable education fund.
The Public Broadcasting Service is going "back to school" this week by spotlighting education during nine hours of prime-time programming.
What's pink and purple and cool all over? Hypercolor, of course--the latest trend in youth fashion.
The American public strongly favors national achievement standards and testing, public-school choice, and merit pay for excellent teachers, and an unprecedented number back lengthening the school year, according to the latest Gallup Poll on education.
Harold Raynolds Jr., the commissioner of education in Massachusetts, has resigned.
In pledging to provide $1.2 million to poor parents who wish to send their children to private schools, an Indianapolis insurance company has sparked a citywide debate over parental choice and business's role in education.
WASHINGTON--Average verbal scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test dropped this year to an all-time low, and average mathematics scores declined for the first time since 1980, the College Board reported last week.
The leadership of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has decided to continue the organization's support for school desegregation, despite mounting doubts about the strategy's effectiveness in improving the education of black children.
ARLINGTON, VA.--To Thomas E. Wallenmaier, the New American Schools Development Corporation is offering "small fish like myself' a perfect way to make big waves in the education pond.
A conversation with Jerrold Ross, the director of New York University's National Arts Education Research Center.
For many school-district officials, preparing for the new school year has been a lesson in subtraction.
A unique property-tax-abatement scheme that enabled homeowners in a New Hampshire town to underwrite their children's private-school education has been declared illegal.
Milwaukee's controversial private-school parental-choice program begins its second year this month with 554 students attending private schools at public expense.
WASHINGTON--More than one-third of all schools that have complied with the federal asbestos law conducted "deficient" or "seriously deficient" inspections for the cancer-causing fiber, a major review of the program by the Environmental Protection Agency concludes.
Acting for the second time under the state's pioneering "academic bankruptcy" law, the New Jersey Education Department has seized control of the Paterson district, the state's third-largest school system.
Armed for the first time with the legal option of shutting down eight chronically at-risk schools, the Oklahoma Board of Education has decided instead to keep them open while mandating reforms and increased oversight.
The Massachussetts State Board of Education last month became the first state beard in the nation to encourage school districts to consider adopting a condom-distribution policy for high-school students.
Mayor Raymond L. Flynn of Boston, successful in his bid to abolish the city's elected school committee, has proposed a sweeping education-reform plan to guide the new committee members he will appoint--if he gets the chance.
E.D. Hirsch Jr., the author of the best seller that added the term "cultural literacy" to the national lexicon, is taking his ideas a step further by putting forth a grade-by-Fade curriculum for teaching every child the knowledge needed to "join the club" and become a literate American.
A leading proponent of Afro-centric education has come under fire in recent weeks for remarks he made denouncing Jews and whites during a cultural festival in New York State.
SNOWMASS, COLO.--A privately funded effort to develop a national examination system took a major step forward last month when some 450 educators and policymakers met here to lay the foundation for such a program.
WASHINGTON--A national assessment system should be created in at least three subjects by the /993-94 school year, a Congressionally mandated panel has concluded.
Taking up President Bush's call for a new assessment system, the College Board has joined the list of organizations seeking to develop a national test of student achievement.
SEATTLE--Embracing the ambitious goals outlined by John I. Goodlad in his recent book Teachers for Our Nation's Schools, representatives of eight universities met here last month to begin the process of creating the "centers of pedagogy" the noted education researcher envisions.
WASHINGTON--Science and mathematics teachers, often portrayed as especially prone to abandon the classroom for more lucrative job opportunities, are no more likely to leave the profession than are teachers of other subjects, according to a survey by the National Center for Education Statistics.
WASHINGTON--Literacy and job-training programs for low-income mothers appear to have a secondary benefit of improving the educability of their children, a study by a women's employment group asserts.
In an attempt to remain fiscally sound in the face of the economic slowdown, the National School Boards Association has laid off a number of high-level employees, including a nationally recognized expert on educational technology.
WASHINGTON--The Public Broadcasting Service plans to sell educators "significant capacity" on a communications satellite scheduled to be launched in 1993, an initiative that could severely undercut a rival proposal to dedicate a satellite to educational use.
WASHINGTON--A federal judge's ruling allowing the nation's regional telephone companies to offer information services, while a major shift in telecommunications policy, is unlikely to have an immediate impact on education, observers say.
In an attempt to bring its educational philosophy to more at-risk youngsters in inner-city and rural areas, the Boy Scouts of America is launching a national in-school curriculum package that promotes self-esteem and life skills.
WASHINGTON--Texaco Inc. and WNET, New York City's principal public-television station, are joining forces to expand a teacher-training institute that encourages the use of educational television in science classrooms.
A novel two-year-old enterprise aimed at bringing local high-school sporting events to a national audience has been discontinued.
In search of new sources of funds for its cash-strapped schools, the DeKalb County, Ga., school district has agreed to allow a new form of in-school advertising aimed at students-- electronic message kiosks.
DETROIT--This city's Roman Catholic spiritual leader last week called it a "miracle" that not one but three interfaith private schools were opening here less than a year after he had first suggested the idea.
A group of 25 American high school students last month got a history lesson more vivid than any they had bargained for. In the Soviet Union for a three-week exchange program, they went to Moscow for a routine tour and instead found themselves watching citizens rise up against a coup.
ORLANDO, FLA.--The unprecedented $18 billion in politically painful tax increases approved by state legislatures this year will buy little more than break-even budgets, lawmakers from across the nation were told here last month.
SEATTLE--The National Governors' Association will focus its energies in the coming year on stops toward meeting the national education goals, the organization's new chairman has vowed.
Breaking with tradition, weary Connecticut lawmakers last month acquiesced to the insistent demands of Gov. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. and approved a personal-income tax.
Gov. Tommy G. Thompson of Wisconsin used a record 457 vetoes last month to refashion a controversial state budget plan approved by the legislature in July.
Frustrated by what they see as the legislature's failure to provide adequate state aid, a group of low-wealth Montana school districts has launched a new round of the finance-equity challenge that led to the overturning of the state's school-funding system three years ago.
For officials of many of Tennessee's low-wealth school districts, the memory of a summertime victory on finance equity is providing only slim comfort in the face of a difficult autumn of fiscal austerity.
Texas lawmakers have adjourned a special session after approving a $1.9-billion increase in aid to schools that will fully fund the state's latest finance-reform plan.
ASPEN, COLO.--The leaders of more than 33 national subject- matter groups met here last week and hammered out plans to form a permanent organization that would work to put curricular issues at the forefront of the education-reform movement.
COLUMBIA, S.C.-More than 600 South Carolina educators and policymakers met here recently to begin for their state a process that is already under way at the national level-rethinking what the schools should teach across the whole spectrum of grade levels and subject areas.
A month after agreeing to a $29.5-million contract to develop Kentucky's new assessment system, state officials have proposed expanding it into an $80-million program.
School districts and other local-government agencies in suburban Chicago are speeding up bond issues in an attempt to head off a new tax law that educators predict will force significant program cutbacks in the years ahead.
WASHINGTON--The governing beard of the National Assessment of Educational Progress has fired a team of researchers that prepared a critical evaluation of the beard's process for setting achievement levels for use in reporting results of NAEP's 1990 mathematics assessment.
WASHINGTON--All Education Department task force is expected to call on the Bush Administration to create an assistant secretary's post within the department to "provide national direction" for programs that serve Native American students.
Washington---Undersecretary of Education Ted Sanders is leaving the No. 3 post in the Education Department to become superintendent of Ohio's public schools next month.
The Tennessee state comptroller is reviewing a series of financial transactions completed during Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander's tenure as president of the University of Tennessee.
SEATTLE--Bush Administration officials have informed the National Education Goals Panel that they do not have the money to carry out the panel's ambitious assessment agenda. The White House will have to forge an accord with members of the Congress to obtain such funding, the officials acknowledged.
WASHINGTON--Terrel H. Bell thinks the Bush Administration's strategy for revitalizing American education focuses too narrowly on long-term planning, and the former Secretary of Education says he can help address that shortcoming through his own reform blueprint and consulting firm.
WASHINGTON--Three dairies were indicted in late July and early August on charges that they participated in an alleged conspiracy to fix prices for school-milk contracts, the Justice Department has announced.
WASHINGTON--At a time when educators nationwide are decrying budget constraints at the state and local levels, more than half a billion dollars worth of unspent grants is sitting idle at the Education Department.
WASHINGTON--A measure making its way through the Congress would enable pizza retailers to gobble up a larger slice of the lucrative school-lunch market.
WASHINGTON--The Justice Department is joining forces with two private foundations to create an $8-million, comprehensive anti-drug program for inner-city youths.
WASHINGTON--House lawmakers who have resumed their efforts to amend the Job Training Partnership Act are retaining many of the themes that appeared in last year's legislation, but have broken from some key areas of earlier agreement with the Bush Administration.
WASHINGTON--After two years of study, the National Commission on Migrant Education last week recommended a major overhaul of the national system that transfers the education and health records of the children of migrant and seasonal farm workers.
WASHINGTON--President Bush has rejected a compromise civil- rights bill on the grounds that it would harm his education-reform efforts.
Myron Lieberman's Commentary on a pre-publication draft of the National Academy of Education's Research and the Renewal of Education was filled with errors and distortions (" 'Research and the Renewal of Education': A Critical Review," June 19, 1991). Moreover, it did not address most of the major points made in the report. Rather than attempt a point-by-point refutation of Mr. Lieberman's claims, we seek to offer instead a balanced summary of the analysis and recommendations contained in the report, and we invite our colleagues in the education community to judge its value.
Alternate routes to teacher certification have spread across the country like dandelions in a suburban yard. The idea is popular at both the federal and state levels. President Bush's education plan encourages states to pursue alternative certification, while noting that "we must have well-prepared teachers." More than 30 states have already introduced initiatives under this rubric, although these initiatives are as different from one another as they are from any state's "regular" certification route.
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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