September 9, 1992

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Vol. 12, Issue 1
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Hurricane Andrew, the most destructive natural disaster in U.S. history, late last month delivered a knockout blow that wreaked hundreds of millions of dollars in damage on schools and displaced tens of thousands of students in Florida and Louisiana.
Public schools in Detroit failed to open on time for the city's 170,000 students last week when members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers went on strike.
In 1988, school choice would not have appeared on very many people's lists of key Presidential campaign issues.
Borrowing a 150-year-old school-improvement idea from Britain, New York State officials are developing a new method for evaluating schools' effectiveness.
Vexed by the lack of success of school-reform efforts of the past decade, a growing group of scholars and lawmakers is arguing that the incoherent and fragmented nature of the initiatives may be part of the problem.
Reversing recent downward trends, average verbal scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test rose last year for the first time since 1985, and average mathematics scores also increased.
States are making "uneven progress'' in transforming schooling for young adolescents, according to a progress report on one of the largest efforts to date to improve education for that age group.
Navistar International Transportation Corporation has broadened to 185,000 the number of school buses it is recalling for a fuel-system defect that could cause a fire.
Although the public supports efforts to improve schools and believes they need more funding, it lacks confidence in the ability of political leaders to effect change in education, according to the annual Gallup Poll on education.
In a new analysis of the problem of gender inequities in mathematics instruction, Katherine Hanson, a researcher at the Education Development Center in Newton, Mass., suggests that the "discourse'' in math classes may provide a key to stimulating young women to study the subject.
On a warm summer day in July, Ginny Kobren, a 3rd-grade teacher from a Queens elementary school, was reeling a little from a hectic week.
For precollege health educators, whose daily lesson plans include such emotionally loaded topics as sex, contraception, drug, and abortion, knowing how to navigate controversy successfully is an essential job skill.
The Chicago public schools were expected to open quietly this week after a round of intense negotiations among the school district's major players produced a balanced budget and a plan to further decentralize the system.
Officials at Phillips Exeter Academy in Exeter, N.H., will try to make the opening of school this week as normal as possible following the indictment of a veteran teacher on charges that he possessed child pornography and shipped it across state lines.
The Education Department has proposed new regulations in an effort to adapt desegregation standards in the federal magnet-schools program to the changing demographics of urban school systems.
A California judge has given final approval to a consent decree to end a five-year-old school-finance case against the Los Angeles Unified School District.
Georgia's history of official resistance to school desegregation leaves the state legally obligated to share the costs of desegregating schools, a federal district court has ruled.
The American Federation of Teachers has adopted a plan to decentralize the union in a way that mirrors, and may promote, the structural reforms the union has advocated for the governance of schools.
Delegates to the American Federation of Teachers' meeting here last month had more on their minds than internal reorganization.
The New Mexico affiliates of the nation's two teachers' unions have declared a truce in their turf battle and have taken a step toward possible future consolidation.
Just as the arrival of September means a return to school for most students, for television networks it signals the time for their annual spate of education documentaries and specials.
Since the late 1970's, low-income students have not made up any ground on their higher-income peers in the rate at which they attend college, a new study concludes.
Violence by juveniles ballooned in the 1980's, with the arrest rates for such crimes hitting an all-time high in 1990, a new report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation says.
For the past year, fans of the San Francisco Giants professional baseball team have been going to bat for young athletes in that city, paying a 25 cent surcharge on every ticket to help fund interscholastic sports.
John I. Goodlad, one of the nation's most prominent school reformers, has launched a fellowship program to train future leaders in both teacher education and K-12 schooling.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology violated federal antitrust laws by colluding with the eight Ivy League universities to fix the amount of financial aid they awarded students, a federal judge ruled last week.
A federal judge ruled last week that parents of black schoolchildren in California may seek intelligence testing of their children to determine whether they belong in special-education classes.
Child poverty rose steadily in the last decade and now pervades every region of the country, the Children's Defense Fund maintains in a new report.
The year's most protracted and painful state-budget standoff came to an end last week as California lawmakers and Gov. Pete Wilson finally reached an agreement on education funding.
Attempting to avert panic in California's municipal-bond market, state lawmakers have passed a bill to prevent the bankrupt Richmond school district from following through on its threat to renege on its debts under a popular public-financing scheme.
As Maryland's fiscal picture continues to darken, Gov. William Donald Schaefer has warned that he may have to order $500 million in new budget cuts to take effect next month.
The first additional pot of money allocated by Massachusetts lawmakers for the public schools in the past three years has touched off a heated round of squabbling about how the funds should be spent and who should decide.
The direction of public education in Colorado could hang in the balance this November, when citizens will be asked to vote on three controversial school-related initiatives.
Educators and policymakers meeting here at the annual conference of the Education Commission of the States have agreed to target the widespread public skepticism that many say is undermining school reform.
Gov. Roy Romer of Colorado has launched his term as chairman of the National Governors' Association with a pledge to establish the nation's state executives as a major force in efforts to reduce the massive federal budget deficit.
A Florida appeals court has knocked down the state's cap on local school-tax levies.
For the first time in its history, the West Virginia state board of education has assumed control of a school district.
The Missouri state board of education for the first time has moved to close a bankrupt school district and transfer its students to a fiscally solvent district nearby.
Oregon officials are continuing negotiations with the U.S. Health and Human Services Department in an effort to save some or all of the state's controversial plan to "ration'' Medicaid health coverage.
After the first year of full implementation of Vermont's pioneering portfolio assessment, state educators consider the program a "worthwhile burden,'' a preliminary study by the RAND Corporation has found.
In a display of election-year partisanship, the House last month approved a Democratic alternative to President Bush's America 2000 education strategy.
The Education Department has hired Donald W. Ingwerson, the long-time Jefferson County, Ky., schools superintendent, to advise Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander on urban-education issues.
The National Assessment of Educational Progress would scrap the proposed 1994 United States history and geography assessments, and curtail state-by-state testing, if the budget approved by the House of Representatives becomes law, according to NAEP officials.
The Education Department has hired Donald W. Ingwerson, the long-time Jefferson County, Ky., schools superintendent, to advise Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander on urban-education issues.
President Bush has proposed a job-training program that would expand youth apprenticeships, high-school military training, and the Job Corps.
In a reversal of its stance, the Education Department has ruled that states and school districts that accept federal vocational-education aid do not have to evaluate the effectiveness of their entire vocational-education programs.
Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander last week launched a school-recognition program that he acknowledges will give him a chance to tout President Bush's education record in visits across the country in the two months leading up to the Presidential election.
In order to direct funding to school districts with the greatest need, Congress would have to alter the Chapter 1 formula to more "accurately reflect the distribution of poverty-related low achievers,'' a recent report by the General Accounting Office concludes.
In a move that appeared to be calculated to help Democrats in the election year "family values'' debate, the Senate last month passed a bill that would require some employers to grant workers unpaid leave to care for newborn children or ill family members.
State coordinators of programs for disabled infants and toddlers are complaining that proposed federal rules could provoke some states to abandon their fledgling efforts.
The Senate last month passed a bill that could lead to a change in the way the federal government identifies children who are emotionally disturbed.
The Education Department has announced that it will award $7 million to the Los Angeles County Office of Education to support a new job-training initiative in riot-torn areas of Los Angeles.
The United States last month pledged to work more closely on education issues with 14 other Pacific Rim nations.
The federal government has awarded a $1.4 million contract to help develop a national assessment of students' workforce readiness.
"Family values'' was the unmistakable leitmotif of the Republican national convention.
There was much speculation at the Republican convention about who might seek the party's nomination for President in 1996. Several of the most frequently mentioned candidates are familiar in education circles.
Following are key statements on education and related issues in the Republican Party's 1992 platform
Unless and until the American public comes to know much more than it now does about the institution of education, I fear for any attempts at school reform. We may make some gains here and there, but substantive and systemic changes will not occur. People simply do not know enough about the problems facing schools or about possible solutions to them. They don't know about alternatives to present practice, which, in most places, differs little from the kind of schooling they encountered years or even decades ago.
September, for teachers, is the cruelest month. With each "new'' academic year (beginning, ironically, in the season of ripeness and decline) is reborn the hope that young people known not to gold or apple will change colors, bear fruit. A romance of transformation--our faith that each session brings change in students--both sustains and frustrates our teaching.
Go to any major conference of education groups, often attended by thousands of members, and there in a very large exhibit hall is a collection of booths filled with the wares that school budgets buy.
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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