June 3, 1998

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Vol. 17, Issue 38
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Earlier this year, President Clinton touted a new tobacco tax as the funding vehicle for his plan to put 100,000 new teachers in K-3 classrooms. But, just as debate over a tobacco deal has bogged down in Congress, the prospects for the president's 1998 education agenda have dimmed.

Educators are dealing aggressively with student threats as a school year marked by a succession of campus shootings nears its end. Even seemingly idle threats are being taken more seriously than they might have been in the past, and administrators are dispensing swift punishment to students who even suggest injuring someone at school.
Peer-review programs are catching on as a way to evaluate teacher performance.

About 100 protesters and angry parents led by local officials of the NAACP stormed the Minneapolis school board's final meeting of the year last week, prompting board members to leave the meeting with their business unfinished.

Departments

U.S. District Judge George F. Gunn Jr., who had overseen the long-running St. Louis school desegregation case since 1991, died May 20 of cancer. He was 70.

Slightly Higher Percentage Of Minorities Take UC Offers

To entice new teachers, the Baltimore district is offering a $5,000 home-buying grant to assist them with closing costs or down payments for homes purchased in the city. That offer is part of an aggressive strategy to recruit at least 500 new teachers by fall.
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Americans believe a college education is vitally important for their children, but they are poorly informed about the costs and how to finance them, a report released last week says.
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Every public schoolteacher in Idaho will have a new multimedia computer during the next school year, thanks to an $80 million package of technology grants from the Boise-based J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation.
In a settlement reached last week with the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Collegiate Athletic Association agreed to modify its course requirements to better accommodate students with learning disabilities.
San Francisco students with the least grasp of English do not have to take California's mandatory basic-skills test in that language, a state judge has ruled.
A school district that allows the top four graduating seniors to speak on any topic during commencement exercises does not violate the First Amendment, even if the students elect to recite prayers or sing religious songs, a federal appeals court ruled last week.
Last week's federal court decision upholding Boston's use of race in admitting students to its most elite public schools further muddied an already cloudy area of education law, experts say.
A police officer brandishing a metal detector is the last thing 9-year-old Gabrielle Gaither expected to see as she hopped off her school bus in Indianapolis one recent morning. But the 4th grader at Joseph J. Bingham Elementary School vowed that she wasn't nervous as the officer scanned her backpack for weapons.
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Calif. Adult Ed. Programs Reportedly Under Investigation; Court Rejects Finance Case; Mass. Reverses Award Rules
After Minnesota lawmakers passed a controversial package of tax breaks last year for a host of K-12 education expenses, Gov. Arne Carlson went on the road to promote the idea as a means of expanding school choice.

School officials in Georgia pay close attention to the weather forecasts these days.

The U.S. Supreme Court dealt a defeat last week to organized labor, including teachers' unions, in a case involving service fees for nonunion employees.

When the Clinton administration vowed to "reinvent" the federal government in 1993, the Department of Education took notice.

To Superintendent Kenneth M. Bird, it seems that the special education programs in his district have been put on hold.

NASA charged the 112 teachers who were also in the running for Christa McAuliffe's seat on the Challenger with carrying the vision of space discovery back to their home states.
For Susan Darnell Ellis, NASA's teacher-in-space program offered her a way out of rural western Kentucky, where she was born and bred, went to school and college, and started her teaching career.
Even though he wasn't selected to be the nation's first teacher in space, Art Kimura saw his participation as a way to stand up for his state.
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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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