May 20, 1992

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At the University of Tennessee this spring, geography professors had to turn students away from their classes. At New Trier High School in Winnetka, Ill., more than 500 students are taking elective classes in geography.
Cincinnati's schools superintendent last week unveiled a drastic reorganization of the district's bureaucracy that slashes the number of central-office administrators by more than half and transfers control of day-to-day business operations to a business-trained "vice president.''
Vermont's pioneering assessment program, the first large-scale attempt to evaluate student performance on the basis of portfolios, has fallen short of its goal of expanding statewide this year.
A decision by a federal-court jury to hold four black members of a Chicago school council personally liable for dismissing a white principal has raised concern that the verdict will put a damper on Chicagoans' willingness to serve on the councils, observers said last week.
After serving 30 years in the U.S. Navy, Jerome Rudolph probably could have found a civilian job almost anywhere he wanted. His distinguished military career included stints as a back-up dentist for the White House, the head of operations for the Navy's worldwide dental corps, and an aide to the U.S. Surgeon General in Washington.
Just hours after a shooting rampage by a gunman holding 80 students hostage at a high school in Olivehurst, Calif., help for school officials began to arrive from some people with a painful but uniquely valuable perspective to share.
Asserting that it has solved many of the problems that drew sharp criticism the last time out, the National Assessment Governing Board this month began considering a new set of standards for student performance in mathematics. At a meeting here, officials from American College Testing, the Iowa City-based firm that administers the widely used college-admissions test, outlined the procedure it used to set standards on the 1992 National Assessment of Educational Progress.
A recent ruling by a federal appeals court may shield school districts in a growing number of states against some types of lawsuits brought against them in federal courts.
Dorothy D'Alessandro has come to talk about her state's new process for recertifying school administrators. Under her arm she carries a heavy, black, three-ring binder, more than four inches thick, documenting her professional experience and development as the director of special education in the Waterville public schools, located north of here off Interstate 95.
At a time when the careers of big-city superintendents are often nasty, brutish, and short, Richard C. Wallace Jr.'s experience is a notable exception.
The Iowa state school board and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education have agreed to conduct joint reviews of teacher-education institutions in the state. The decision, which was approved unanimously by the state board May 7, follows a recent move by Iowa's four largest universities to withdraw from the national accreditation process.
Texas A&M University has become the first public teacher-training institution in that state to win national accreditation since the Texas legislature passed a law restricting teacher-preparation courses in state schools to 18 credit hours.
Count von Count, the purple Muppet vampire who loves to tally numbers on "Sesame Street,'' must be keeping busy around the offices of the Children's Television Workshop.
One in 10 children whose mothers responded to a survey at a Boston health clinic had witnessed a knifing or a shooting by age 6, a study has found.
Whittle Communications last week announced a company restructuring to focus more on its electronic media services, such as the Channel One high-school news show, and a likely curtailment of its traditional print media.
The DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund has made more than $1 million in three-year grants to scholarship funds, teacher-development programs, and other activities at inner-city Catholic schools.
A federal panel of educators and policymakers last week unanimously approved a "rigorous'' framework for the first national student-achievement testing program in geography.
California's elementary-school curriculum should be made more challenging and geared toward character development, a state task force urged last week.
Members of the Texas Board of Education this month wrestled with a difficult choice: whether to deny more than 1,500 high-school seniors a diploma, or to maintain the state's commitment to testing and tougher achievement standards.
At the 11th hour, Colorado lawmakers have agreed on a bill designed to eliminate a $156-million gap in school finance for fiscal 1993. =para Passage of the measure this month by the Republican-majority legislature drew a lukewarm response from Gov. Roy Romer, a Democrat, who called the measure "a patch-over until the real crisis.''
Ending several months of arduous debate, Gov. Joan Finney and the Kansas legislature have reached final agreement on a plan making major changes in the state's school-funding system. Not only does the legislation represent a hard-won consensus among Kansas political leaders, it also has earned a strong judicial endorsement, thus heading off a continuing court battle over school finance.
In a decision that could have a broad impact on AIDS-education efforts, a federal district judge in New York City last week struck down regulations issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control prohibiting the use of federal funds for AIDS-prevention materials that could be considered "offensive.''
The Bureau of Indian Affairs for several years has underestimated how much money is needed to run Indian schools, and shortfalls are so severe this year that many such schools have been forced to cut programs and lay off staff members, educators said at a Congressional hearing last week.
President Bush and Congressional leaders pledged last week to work together on legislation to rebuild riot-torn Los Angeles and respond in broader terms to the problems of the nation's cities.
Citing a need to promote "parental responsibility'' and reduce the poverty rate of children living in single-parent homes, two lawmakers with divergent political views have proposed major changes in the way child-support payments are collected.
The Education Department's coffers are $1.46 billion short of the amount needed for Pell Grants awarded in the 1991-92 academic year, officials said last week.
As momentum builds in the Congress for passage of a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget, observers here offer differing predictions about the effect such an amendment would have on federal education programs.
The Education Department this month announced two initiatives to help states develop systemic reforms linked to national standards in mathematics and science. =para Under one program, the department will provide $2.7 million in grants to states to develop curriculum frameworks, together with approaches to teacher education and certification, tied to "world class'' standards. Under the other, the department will provide $12 million to regional consortia that will offer technical assistance to states developing systemic reforms, as well as to disseminate exemplary math and science materials.
Can certification by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards provide a guarantee of teacher quality? Perhaps. But we suspect not if the requirements for a board certificate remain as they are. Our judgment is based on three concerns about the N.B.P.T.S. requirements: their public credibility, their technical feasibility, and their conceptual clarity.
All the proposals to develop a national assessment system for the United States assert that we have a national problem. I agree. It concerns the fact that American schooling is out of sync with the needs of democracy, and with emerging productivity demands in the workplace. By design, it aims some 30 percent of American kids toward college, and ignores the prospects of the rest.
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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