February 5, 1992

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Vol. 11, Issue 20
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The Texas Supreme Court late last week struck down the state's school-finance system for the third time in 28 months, forcing lawmakers once again to develop a new funding plan.
WASHINGTON--While acknowledging education's importance in improving the nation's competitiveness, President Bush last week proposed no major new education initiatives in a State of the Union Message that focused on economic policy.
A plan to increase rapidly the number of candidates ready and able to seek jobs as urban superintendents has attracted the support of five major foundations.
MANCHESTER, N.H.--The recession has knocked New Hampshire's schools, almost entirely dependent on property taxes, into a state of financial shock. It is little surprise, then, that Bill Clinton is asked about education at virtually every campaign stop he makes in this state.
The emergence of health-insurance reform as a potent national issue gives child advocates a chance to press for changes they have long argued are needed to improve the health status of children.
District News Roundup
While official U.S. humanitarian aid to the former Soviet Union is still in the planning stages, a group of Connecticut high-school students has already collected 2,000 pounds of food and clothing to distribute to the needy there.
Gifted elementary-school students are languishing unchallenged by regular-classroom practices and would be better served if they were freed from covering up to 70 percent of the standard curriculum or were grouped by ability, a federally funded research project concludes.
Denver school officials said they planned to file a motion late last week seeking to end federal court supervision of the district's 22-year old desegregation effort.
A national coalition of peace activists--whose affiliates are already challenging local school policies-has set out to forge a comprehensive, and apparently unprecedented, effort to eliminate the influence of the U.S. military on public and private schools.
PIITSBURGH--Douglas Masciola was a nervous wreck. Here he was, a health and social studies teacher, off to his first day of class at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Urban and Public Affairs, known for producing some of the country's top public-policy leaders and managers.
PITTSBURGH--Douglas Masciola was a nervous wreck. Here he was, a health and social studies teacher, off to his first day of class at Carnegie Mellon University's School of Urban and Public Affairs, known for producing some of the country's top public-policy leaders and managers.
WASHINGTON--The National Assessment of Educational Progress should serve as the "primary" means of assessing national and state progress toward targets for student achievement by the year 2000, the National Education Goals Panel has decided.
As the Congress and the National Education Goals Panel begin to take steps to implement the recommendations of the National Council on Education Standards and Testing, educators and policymakers are hailing the council's report as a ringing endorsement of high national standards for student performance and a system of assessments tied to those standards.
WASHINGTON--Schools have begun to incorporate some instructional strategies recommended by reformers, a study by the National Assessment of Educational Progress has found.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has awarded grants totaling $18 million to 13 communities to begin implementing comprehensive plans for fighting drug and alcohol abuse.
WASHINGTON --Marking a significant shift in the federal government's fight against drug abuse, a revised national anti-drug strategy calls for increased efforts to prevent minors from using alcohol.
A special public-school district sot up to serve students with disabilities from a Hasidic Jewish village in New York State represents an unconstitutional government establishment of religion, a state judge has ruled.
As part of a sweeping internal reorganization, the International Business Machines Corporation has restructured its Atlanta-based education subsidiary in order to better compete in the precollegiate market.
For many classroom teachers, the microcomputer "revolution" of the early 1980's fizzled as rapidly as it had begun when they tried in vain to integrate a first generation of generally bland, uninspired, and error-riddled software into their lesson plans.
Georgia lawmakers and Gov. Zell Miller are the latest state officials to take up a challenge that has foiled many policymakers in recent years--finding a way to channel state-lottery proceeds to the schools without either supplanting current funding or misleading voters.
One of the central tenets of unionism is under attack in Massachusetts, where Gov. William F. Weld has proposed the abolition of seniority as a factor in public-school employment.
In the face of opposition from school boards, the New York State Board of Regents is pushing ahead with a plan to require districts to include teachers and parents in school decisionmaking.
Gov. Edwin W. Edwards of Louisiana has endorsed an ambitious list of more than 100 recommendations by a citizens' panel on the schools as providing the blueprint for his new administration's approach to education.
Gov. Tommy G. Thompson of Wisconsin last week sketched out new welfare-reform measures aimed at keeping poor, unwed teenage parents at home with their families and at expanding the state's controversial Learnfare program.
News in Brief
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.-U.S. Education Department officials said last week that they would request comments on several issues before drafting recommendations for revamping federal bilingual-education programs, which are to be reauthorized in 1993.
WASHINGTON--The Senate last week overwhelmingly approved legislation to provide funds to states and individual schools to design and implement education-reform plans.
When the House Education and Labor Committee convenes its first meeting in 1993, it will sit for the first time in 43 years without a Perkins on the roster.
WASHINGTON-Delegates to the White House Conference on Indian Education have adjourned amid considerable bitterness over President Bush's decision not to make even a cameo appearance at the unprecedented four-day conference.
Capital Digest
WASHINGTON-The U.S. Supreme Court last week narrowed the scope of the federal Voting Rights Act in a ruling that will allow local governments, including school boards, to shift decisionmaking authority without seeking approval of the federal government.
WASHINGTON--President Bush last week unveiled a $1.52-trillion budget for fiscal year 1993 that includes $32.3 billion for Education Department program.
A colleague of mine phoned me the other day very upset. He had shown a film entitled: "Human and Animal Beginnings" to his 3rd-grade class. After depicting the birth of various kinds of animals, the film showed a brief shot of a human baby being born. The baby's head was shown emerging from the mother's vagina. Afterwards the children asked, "Did our parents know we were going to see this film? Were we supposed to see that? Was that X-rated?" What messages had these children picked up about the female genitals?
As Part of America 2000, and in conjunction with the Bush Administration's plan to establish "national standards" in selected school subjects, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Education Department have announced a $1.6-million project to develop the standards for history.
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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