January 29, 1992

This Issue
Vol. 11, Issue 19
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The Senate last week decisively rejected a proposal to allow low-income parents to use federal funds to send their children to private schools.
They range from the power houses of the education establishment to principals with a good idea, from corporate entrepreneurs to nonprofit do-gooders.
The widely held belief that children born to cocaine-using mothers are forming a permanently damaged '"biological underclass" may be largely a myth, according to a growing number of researchers in the field.
WASHINGTON--Asserting that the current education system has produced expectations for student performance that are "simply too low," a Congressionally mandated panel last week called for high national standards for student achievement and a national system of assessments to gauge their attainment.
WASHINGTON--President Bush last week announced that his proposed budget for fiscal 1993, scheduled for release this week, will include the largest annual increase ever for the highly touted Head Start program--$600 million.
FRANKFORT, KY.--Those who wondered how well Commissioner of Education Thomas C. Boysen would fit into Kentucky's closely knit political and social scene may find an encouraging sign in the way his eyes brighten at the mention of the University of Kentucky basketball team.
State News Roundup
National News Roundup
News Updates
People News
District News Roundup
To "empower" all students with a working knowledge of scientific concepts, the high-school science curriculum should be restructured around a core of learning that provides an "opportunity for in-depth engagement with science" over four years, argues a new report from the National Center for Improving Science Education.
While the national unemployment rate has risen during the economic recession, many states have continued to see gains in the number of local school employees, figures released this month by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest.
In response to the growing number of children who have asthma, a private group has joined forces with federal officials to teach educators about the causes of and treatments for the chronic disease.
Q&A: Community-Foundation Official Touts New Coalition on Children
While her classmates play basketball or rehearse for the school play, 17-year-old Miecha Werwie, a senior at Southern Senior High School in Churchten, Md., has been devoting her leisure time to a somewhat more tedious activity--reviewing the Anne Arundel County Public Schools' budget with her colleagues on the board of education, to which she was appointed as a voting member last year.
In its first major action, the new, mayorally appointed Boston School Committee has slashed $8 million from its budget in an effort to close a gap between what the school system had planned to spend and the amount allocated to it by Mayor Raymond L. Flynn.
Bilingual Education Column
The Los Angeles Unified School District has angered some teachers recruited from abroad by discontinuing its practice of sponsoring foreign teachers for permanent residency.
Investment in educational hardware and software, while "a major component in educational restructuring and reform initiatives," has not been matched by coordinated efforts to train teachers to use the equipment effectively, a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board concludes.
Colleges Column
The Los Angeles school board last week adopted by a 440-3 vote a plan that allows condoms to be distributed in the district's high schools.
Massachusetts schools, which have suffered through three consecutive years of cuts in state aid to education, were offered some hope this month when Gov. William F. Weld advocated boosting funding.
Some Minnesota educators and state officials are contending that a state law that sots a deadline for teacher-contract negotiations is responsible for a recent flurry of double-digit settlements.
Gov. Mario M. Cuomo of New York last week presented a fiscal 1993 budget that calls for the third round of cuts in state aid to education in two years.
After more than three months of close&door meetings, Wisconsin leaders have unveiled an education reform plan that would sot up a new statewide testing system, allow principals to revoke student work permits, and provide incentives for longer school years.
News in Brief
Legislative Update
Only a few weeks after the Florida legislature closed a $622-million gap in the current year's state budget, Gov. Lawton Chiles has asked lawmakers to expand the sales-tax base to pump additional funding into education and other programs in fiscal 1993.
John Stephenson, Kentucky's first powerless state superintendent of public instruction, says he is worried about what children will think if he does not press the state for a higher salary and at least an office. And a phone. And some stationery.
WASHINGTON--Establishing an independent national board to oversee federal Indian education programs would stifle local control of schools and only add another layer of bureaucracy to an ineffective and top-heavy system, delegates to the White House Conference on Indian Education agreed last week.
WASHINGTON--The unexpected announcement of a White House plan to grant local private-industry councils sweeping oversight and administrative powers over federal vocational education and job-training programs left educators and lawmakers searching last week to determine its impact beyond the initial media splash.
WASHINGTON--The Education Department has developed a new method of compiling data on the nation's private schools that is designed to better reflect the "considerable diversity" of that sector.
WASHINGTON--An unusually diverse alliance of private-education and religious groups that banded together to support a Bush Administration proposal on private-school choice will continue to promote the idea, despite the Senate's defeat of the proposal last week.
WASHINGTON--The U.S. Supreme Court last week let stand a ruling in a special-education case that school groups fear will result in more parents challenging the decisions of administrators over educational plans for children with disabilities.
Capital Update
WASHINGTON--The U.S. Supreme Court last week announced that it will review Pennsylvania's restrictive abortion law, including its provision requiring a minor to get either the "informed consent" of one parent or a court order to have the procedure.
Capital Digest
So far, approximately 700 people have received a form letter asking them to serve as proposal readers for the New American Schools Development Corporation.
Written before the report of the National Council on Education Standards and Testing was released, the statement says that the signers agree that "dramatically higher educational standards are needed for American schools."
The President's America 2000 plan has been alternately characterized as a political agenda, a strategy for reforming public schools, a call to involve the private sector, an attempt to bring choice into the educational arena, and a crusade. Nonetheless, it ignores the concepts of equity and diversity.
Public educational reform can be defined as that process by which administrators develop and implement new ideas this year for the purpose of helping the public forget those that failed to take hold last year. So rest in peace, "site-based management," right alongside the "planning, programming budget system (P.P.B.S.)" and "team teaching."
Letters to the Editor
Books: Readings
Silence is a topic that educators seldom talk about. For a variety of legal, pedagogical, and ideological reasons, we have avoided serious consideration of silence in the classroom. Advocates of pluralism in public education staunchly (and rightly) oppose attempts at introducing silent prayer in public schools, and court decisions have supported them. Fundamentalists who once directed their energies towards promoting of "moments of silence'' for sectarian prayer now seem more concerned with preventing students from engaging in any reflective activity that might be connected with New Age religions.
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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