June 12, 1996

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Vol. 15, Issue 38
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As if operating a fleet of nuclear submarines were not enough, sailors at the Naval Submarine Base in Kings Bay, Ga., have been busy working at schools as well.
The Annenberg Foundation has awarded $1 million to the Enterprise Foundation for a program to improve the Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood of Baltimore.
More than 30,000 Oregonians marched in Portland last week to call for more funding for the state's schools.
After years of coming up short, the New Hampshire legislature has finally passed a bill providing the first-ever state funding for kindergarten, allowing Gov. Stephen Merrill to check off one of his top campaign promises before he leaves office.
Like many American young people, Hans, age 20, wants to follow in his father's and brother's footsteps. They are fitters, skilled workers who attach pieces of machinery to one another. Like Americans pursuing a similar goal, Hans is working in a shop while he attends school. But unlike Americans, Hans is also learning highly technical skills and advanced knowledge in mathematics, science, and languages that will enable him to pursue other careers and to go to a university should his plans change in the future.
It is not universally appreciated that teachers must be centrally involved in implementing school reform. I am reminded of this by a recent column by Albert Shanker, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, in The New York Times (May 12, 1996). Titled "Lots of Bull But No Beef," it calls for expert knowledge generated outside the classroom. Mr. Shanker used his widely read column to quote University of Arizona professor Stanley Pogrow that teachers need "technology" to break "the cycle of reforms that fail" ("Reforming the Wannabe Reformers," Phi Delta Kappan, June 1996). According to Mr. Pogrow, "technology is not just equipment," but "highly specific, systematic, and structural methodologies with supporting materials of tremendously high quality."
For the past two years, British newspapers and academic journals have been reporting that boys are on the weak side of the gender gap. The Times of London announced that on national-curriculum tests 14-year-old British boys are "on average, more than three years behind girls in English," and warned of the prospect of "an underclass of permanently unemployed, unskilled men." According to the journal New Scientist, "Girls are racing ahead in Britain's schools ... boys are being left behind." A growing body of evidence suggests that American boys may be in similar straits.
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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