January 8, 1992

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Vol. 11, Issue 16
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After a grueling 20-hour bargaining session, negotiators for the American Federation of Teachers and the union that represents A.F.T.'s staff employees reached a tentative agreement on a new contract last week, narrowly averting a strike.
For a few months early last year, William Rankin's Chicago elementary school was in tip-top shape.
HACKENSACK, N.J .--In a case with potentially major implications for New Jersey's many small, racially imbalanced school districts, lawyers clashed in state court here last month over whether school systems should be forced to "regionalize," or merge, to achieve racial integration.
WASHINGTON--The panel monitoring progress toward the national education goals would be reconfigured so that Congressional representatives would have voting power and the membership of the panel would be evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, under a plan approved here last month.
In an effort to further improve the academic success of college athletes and to answer critics of intercollegiate sports programs, members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association this week will consider several controversial proposals to impose stricter academic eligibility requirements on incoming student-athletes.
After an unexpected delay while Senate aides probed his business transactions, Lamar Alexander was unanimously confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Education in March.
Maine has become the eighth state to join Re:Learning, a cooperative education-reform initiative sponsored by the Education Commission of the States, the Coalition of Essential Schools, and participating states.
Once there, you will find that ordinary school desks have become "rural address locations" serviced by mail carriers who are under age 12.
More than 50 children's-advocacy groups have joined forces to kick off a campaign this week to "elevate children's well-being to the top of the public-policy agenda" in 1992.
Mr. Schiller, 44, was one of five finalists for the $83,100-a-year position left vacant when Donald L. Bemis resigned in June under pressure from Republicans on the board.
The Seattle Board of Education has voted to require its 10 high schools and one alternative program to distribute condoms to students.
A popular advertising campaign for a brand of cigarettes that uses a cartoon camel as its spokesman strongly appeals to young people and may entice them to smoke, the results of several new studies suggest.
Mayor Raymond L. Flynn of Boston has ushered in a new era in school governance for the city by appointing the seven members of a newly constituted school committee.
WASHINGTON--Children who live in rural areas are poorer, less healthy, less well educated, and often have less access than other children to government assistance, according to a Children's Defense Fund study.
The Rochester, N.Y., school board has voted to bar armed-forces recruiters from the city's schools because of the military's ban on homosexuals, but the move is being challenged in court as an alleged violation of state law.
WASHINGTON--For many high-school students, literature is lifeless and uninspiring; they struggle through books by dead authors about long-ago times and faraway places. Despite English teachers' best efforts to bring the writing to life, many students never shake the notion that novels and stories are a thing of the past.
The project is the first of what will become a nationwide effort to nurture a love of children's literature among teachers. The associations reason that teachers who appreciate good children's books will use them in their classrooms, thus lessening their reliance on basal readers.
In an effort to take a look at the reasons for the growth and to improve teaching in the field, the American Philological Association and the American Classical League commissioned a two-year study on the topic.
WASHINGTON--Sounding a range of economic and domestic themes in addition to their education platforms, three Democratic Presidential candidates appeared before the leadership of the National Education Association last month to seek the backing of one of the most influential forces in the campaign for the nomination.
Three newly published studies cast doubt on the effectiveness of whole language as a method for teaching reading and suggest that direct instruction in phonics can be effective.
A report by the American Bar Association calls for widespread efforts to promote studies of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights long past their bicentennial celebrations.
By contrast, only one elementary and secondary institution, Phillips Academy, appeared on the list, ranking 360th in donations.
Last month's annual convention of the American Vocational Association featured plenary se' ions focusing on the wording of regulations governing federally funded programs, but discussions in several small-group sessions pointed toward the wholesale changes in programs that the Congress envisioned when it rewrote the Carl D. Perkins Vocational Education Act.
WASHINGTON--The National Education Association has made another step toward allying itself more closely with its chief rival, the American Federation of Teachers, as well as with other education associations and the labor movement as a whole.
Despite widespread predictions to the contrary, the nation is unlikely to experience a general shortage of public-school teachers in the 1990's, two new reports from the RAND Corporation conclude.
Los Angeles teachers voted last month to accept an offer from the school district to pay back the 3 percent that was cut from their salaries in November.
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig and the state PTA have filed suit against a San Jose-area school district in a bid to end a district high school's use of "Channel One," the advertising-supported classroom television-news show.
Nowhere has the debate over the power and perquisites of schools' building engineers been more heated than in New York City, where the board of education is now engaged in contract negotiations with Local 891 of the International Union of Operating Engineers.
School districts have lagged behind municipal governments, hospitals, and airports in hiring private companies to provide cleaning and maintenance services, management consultants say.
WASHINGTON--Federal officials have announced plans to develop "world class" national standards in history, one of the most contentious disciplines in the school curriculum, by 1994.
WASHINGTON--Efforts to set national educational standards and develop a national testing system should be more broadly focused and should address inequities in school resources, according to a statement issued by 18 subject-matter groups.
A school-choice bill voted down by the Pennsylvania House last month likely will be resurrected in some form this year, bringing with it a continuation of one of the most acrimonious lobbying campaigns in the state's history.
Gov. James G. Martin and Superintendent of Public Instruction Bob Etheridge of North Carolina have not always seen eye to eye. That may not be surprising, considering that Mr. Martin, a Republican, appoints the state board of education, while Mr. Etheridge is an elected Democrat charged with implementing the board's policies.
In what one expert called a victory for "fair and appropriate testing," the South Carolina Supreme Court has thrown out a state requirement that parents must pass a test in order to teach their children at home.
California lawmakers are set to convene this week to tackle both a short-term budget deficit and long-term fiscal issues raised by Gov. Pete Wilson's proposal to curb welfare costs and overhaul the state's budgeting process.
Many states responded to their severe fiscal problems in 1991 by making deep cuts in programs for the poor, a new report contends.
WASHINGTON--Despite steady increases in the numbers of children suffering from abuse, neglect, and poverty, many states are cutting spending on services for those children, a new survey indicates.
A decision by the California supreme court requiring a two-thirds margin of voter approval for new special taxes may thwart one avenue of new funding for financially strapped school districts, education lobbyists said last week.
Spurred by the plight of school districts like Plentywood, Mont.--where students have been attending classes in a skating rink since their school burned down a year ago--a Montana state panel has voted to provide emergency help to districts whose ability to sell construction bonds has been halted by the legislature's failure to complete reform of the state school-finance formula.

Although national and state surveys clearly illustrate wide disparities in local education spending and school resources, research has been unable to show conclusively whether the traditional measures of equity translate to similar gaps in student performance, a report by the Educational Testing Service suggests.
The Oklahoma Board of Education has called on the legislature to change state law to allow local districts to take over control of textbook selection from a state committee.
As they continue to struggle with the effects of recession, state legislators nationwide plan to make balancing their budgets their top priority in the coming year, according to a survey conducted by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Auditors from the U.S. Education Department have accused Superintendent of Public Instruction Bill Honig of California of violating conflict-of-interest prohibitions by using his position to financially benefit his wife's educational-consulting firm.
With an eye to easing opposition by local school districts, the Maryland state board of education has added greater flexibility to a proposed community-service graduation requirement.
WASHINGTON--Education Department officials are said to be preparing regulations that would allow children ineligible for Chapter 1 services to participate in activities funded by the federal compensatory education program.
WASHINGTON--Student victims of sexual harassment and other forms of intentional sexual discrimination in schools should be able to recover monetary damages because other types of relief may be of no value to them, a lawyer for a former Georgia high-school student has told the U.S. Supreme Court.
WASHINGTON--A blue-ribbon federal advisory panel on health care has called for a national system of school-based clinics and health-insurance policies based on school enrollment.
Despite all the studies urging greater collaboration between university-based teacher educators and school-based practitioners, and despite all the studies recognizing principals as the key change agents in schools, little appears to be changing in the historical estrangement between professors and principals.
Today, the listener who regards himself or herself "literate" in music and able to recognize a work of Beethoven and follow it can do so because of repeated hearings through recording, without any reference to a printed text.
The Bush Administration indicates that we have a lot of work to do before we reach the first national education goal: "By the year 2000, all children in America will start school ready to learn." I hope the general public understands how far we really have to go. And words will not be enough.
After a hiatus of some 10 years, educational vouchers have again emerged as a major public-policy issue.
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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