June 14, 1995

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Vol. 14, Issue 38
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Grants totaling an estimated $7.5 million will help pay for a planned merger of two Tennessee school districts and reform measures for the combined system.
For the past seven years, the National Center for Family Literacy in Louisville, Ky., has been teaching preschoolers and their parents to read.
The Oregon legislature approved a compromise bill last week that revises the state's comprehensive school-reform act but retains its much-debated use of mastery certificates.
The education researcher Paul Hill once referred to some of the most sincere education-reform efforts coming out of Washington and the state capitals as "virga"--the rain you see in northern California that evaporates before it hits the ground. Our best-laid plans look great on paper, but dissolve by the time they reach the classroom. Meanwhile, as we "wish" change on schools, millions of students--particularly minority and disadvantaged students--are denied the skills and knowledge they need for success.
Much is being written about the importance of schools of education collaborating with public schools in the preparation of teachers. The point, and it is a good one, is that practitioners can add a dimension to teacher training that cannot be found within the university: the reality of teaching 180 days a year, 6-1/2 hours a day, in a classroom where all children are not dedicated to meeting the objectives and all parents are not school supporters.
They told me not to wear any jewelry if I ventured into the East New York section of Brooklyn to visit Thomas Jefferson High School, but the blocks between the subway (actually an elevated train at that point) and the red-brick school were more dreary than menacing. Blight and graffiti everywhere. Inside the school, however, the walls were bright with posters: "We Celebrate Our Proud Heritage/Celebramos nuestra herencia con orgullo" next to "Say No to Drugs" and an announcement that it was Stop the Violence Week beside a portrait of Nelson Mandela.
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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