October 16, 1991

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Vol. 11, Issue 07
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WASHINGTON--The DeKalb County, Ga., school system became desegregated two decades ago and should not be held accountable for racial imbalances that arose in schools later as a result of new housing patterns, a lawyer for the district told the U.S. Supreme Court last week.
Two years ago when Wendy Carlson decided to go back to school to get her teaching credentials, the future looked bright for people who wanted to teach mathematics and science.
WASHINGTON--In a marked policy shift, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control last week recommended that all children be tested for the presence of lead in their blood by their first birthday.
LAS VEGAS, NEV.--Before becoming director of construction management for the Clark County schools here, Lane Swainston spent two years working in hotel and casino development for Golden Nugget Inc.
Convinced that a lack of basic child-rearing knowledge is leading to increased infant-mortality, child-abuse, and school-dropout rates, policy analysts from a variety of sectors are advancing a strategy that rests on the tenet of neighbor helping neighbor: home visits.
The Milwaukee school-choice program should be struck down because the Wisconsin legislature's method of approving it bypassed the state constitution, a lawyer for critics of the program has told the state supreme court.
Students at a Maryland elementary school, perhaps wise in the way of pop quizzes, recently turned tables on their teacher to help her suitor pop the "big question."
Parents of disabled children in Chicago have gone to court in an effort to force city school officials to restore funds for extended summer programs next year for 10,000 children with serious disabilities.
Special education should be reformed in tandem with general education and be made part of a unified system that does not differentiate between the needs of handicapped students and others, an interim report from the National Association of State Boards of Education urges.
State school boards must encourage the revamping of teacher-training programs at both the preservice and inservice levels in order to incorporate multicultural perspectives into education successfully, according to a report by the National Association of State Boards of Education.
WASHINGTON The political and curricular debates that have riven the social-studies field in recent years were in evidence here last week during the Education Department's first major conference on history and civics.
WASHINGTON--An advisory panel to the National Endowment for the Arts last week took the first stop in a long-range effort to improve the way the arts are taught in public-school classrooms and to introduce discussion of the benefits of arts education into the national dialogue on education reform.
Noting that even mild hearing problems can impair students academically, school officials in an Ohio district this week will begin testing whether a simple solution--amplification--can help improve performance.
TOWSON, MD.--When students in Towson High School's chapter of Students Against Driving Drunk talk about the "fun facts" they want to broadcast over the public address system, they are not referring to answers to Trivial Pursuit questions.
In an influential report, the Knight Foundation Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, a blue-ribbon panel of educators, last March called for substantial reform of campus athletics programs, including stricter eligibility requirements and greater control over athletics programs by university and college presidents.
Nearly 20 percent of all high school students carry a weapon and 5 percent carry a firearm at least once a month, a new study by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control concludes.
Teachers in Illinois's second-largest school district returned to work last week, ending a 21-day-old strike. The 29,000-student Elgin district is the largest to be closed by a strike this school year.
Major corporations are channeling their philanthropic support into mathematics and science projects, where the payoff--in workforce improvement--is more immediate than that from support for early-childhood initiatives or other education needs, according to a report released this month.
Despite low budgets and spartan facilities, small neighborhood private schools catering to AfricanAmerican children are producing students who score above national norms in reading and mathematics, according to a new study.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services still has not indicated whether it will revise proposed child-care rules that have angered child advocates and members of the Congress. But debate on the issue heated up last month.
Citing a failure to provide adequate opportunities for minority candidates and voters, the U.S. Justice Department has rejected a plan that carves out new election districts for the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Just when Connecticut lawmakers thought they had closed the state's budget gap by adopting a personal-income tax, they are having to revisit the issue after some 40,000 angry protesters rallied against the new levy this month.
Alabama's largest school district is making plans to shut its doors in the wake of Gov. Guy Hunt's declaration of an across-the-board, $145 million cut in the state's education budget.
The Colorado legislature is scheduled to reconvene its special session next week after lawmakers from the House and Senate failed to come to terms on a school-finance measure earlier this month and decided to call a recess.
A broad-based coalition of education and business groups in Iowa last week formed a private corporation to coordinate statewide school reform and to latch onto educational initiatives emerging from Washington.
When Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander stands in a school auditorium to praise the local community for jumping on the America 2000 bandwagon, he attempts to project an image of widespread support. But it didn't quite work in El Paso.
WASHINGTON The New American Schools Development Corporation is taking steps to reignite its stalled fund-raising drive, setting a tentative deadline of December 1992 to raise up to $200 million to underwrite its effort to revamp the nation's schools.
WASHINGTON--Members Of the Congress, Education Department officials, and lobbyists for recipients of federal impact aid were searching desperately last week for a way to prevent some 2,600 school districts from missing out on money they were counting on getting next month.
WASHINGTON--Nearly a year after President Bush signed an executive order launching an initiative on Hispanic education, advisory-commission members and a permanent executive director have been appointed.
EL PASO, Tex.--Educators and education officials from the United States and Mexico expressed optimism after an unprecedented twoday conference last week that they can work cooperatively to solve mutual problems.
WASHINGTON--Schools receiving federal vocational-education funds would be required to adopt performance standards and ensure handicapped students access to all of their state and locally funded training programs, under rules proposed by the Education Department.
Legislative Action
WASHINGTON The House Postsecondary Education Subcommittee last week approved a wide-ranging bill that would rewrite the laws governing federal higher-education programs, including provisions to expand federal grant programs and make direct loans to students.
WASHINGTON---States have made "significant progress" in setting up education, job-training, and childcare services required under the 1988 welfare-reform law, but they "are experiencing difficulties that could reduce the program's potential" to stem long-term welfare dependency, according the General Accounting Office.
WASHINGTON--The chairman of the House Budget Committee last week put forward a long-range budget blueprint under which federal spending for education programs would increase by up to $120 billion above projected levels over the next 10 years.
WASHINGTON--The Senate Judiciary Committee late last week reopened hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the U.S. Supreme Court following a politically tumultuous week centering on allegations of sexual harassment made against him by a former aide, Anita F. Hill.
WASHINGTON The U.S. Supreme Court last week agreed to hear a challenge to a central provision of California's Proposition 13 property-tax-limitation law, the overturn of which could throw funding of local government in the state, including school districts, into disarray.
At a dinner party a gray-haired man whom I have not met before asks me what I do. I tell him I am an English teacher. He looks at me quizzically, and starts talking about his latest legal case. In the high school where I work, teachers who have been at the school for many years find out I have a doctorate and have taught college. They, too, look at me quizzically.
To the Editor:
Today, self-esteem is a mere shadow of its former self. Once, it referred to a fundamental sense of self-worth; today that meaning has narrowed into merely feeling good about oneself.
Leadership, like exercise, poses a dilemma. Excessive or wrongheaded leadership creates organizational shin splints, but weak leadership results in '"bottom heavy" flabbiness. Can the contradiction be resolved?
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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