August 5, 1998

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Vol. 17, Issue 43
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African-American parents, by an overwhelming margin, want the public schools to focus on achievement rather than on racial diversity and integration, a survey released last week says.
An internal audit of one school in the Los Angeles Unified School District has uncovered hundreds of pirated computer-software programs, and that could end up costing the district millions of dollars.
Summer vacation has finally arrived for nearly 2,000 students in Waco, Texas, who endured six weeks of summer school under the toughest retention policy in the Lone Star State.
The U.S. Census Bureau had been predicting it, but it happened sooner than expected: The number of Hispanic children has surpassed the number of non-Hispanic black children, making Hispanics the largest minority group among children younger than 18.
While much has been made of the high dropout rates among Hispanic students, a recent report suggests that Latinos face barriers to gaining a good education long before high school.

Jo'Vanna Johnson entered Long Beach Preparatory Academy in the same boat as everyone else.

When he signed a recent bill aimed at ending court-ordered school desegregation in Missouri, Gov. Mel Carnahan hailed it as "a monumental piece of legislation." The measure's final outlines, however, are scarcely set in stone.
Illinois educators have been scratching their heads over four years of mysterious declines in students' scores on the state's 10-year-old reading tests.
Students who graduate from teacher training programs in Georgia and Maryland will soon enter the classroom buoyed by more extensive coursework in reading and mathematics instruction.
The passing of the torch in Cleveland is imminent: This fall, the beleaguered school district will join the list of large urban school systems--including Boston and Chicago--under mayoral control.
The Grosse Pointe, Mich., school system has refused to surrender certain notes in a rape investigation involving district students, saying state law prohibits school officials from releasing records of conversations between students and staff members.
New Orleans

To keep up with the increasing demands on their officers, the 3,327 delegates to the American Federation of Teachers' convention here approved a constitutional amendment creating the position of executive vice president. Nat LaCour, the president of United Teachers of New Orleans since 1972, was elected to the full-time, salaried post, which ranks behind the president and secretary-treasurer. He is expected to earn about $175,000 a year.

Nat LaCour

Texas State School Board Votes To Sell Disney Stock

Declaring that the company behind Mickey Mouse also helps produce movies with too much sex and violence, the Texas school board has voted 8-4 to sell its $46.4 million in Walt Disney Co. stocks.

Colleges and schools of education in New York state are taking a hard look at teacher-exam pass rates and accreditation requirements following the state's recent adoption of stricter teacher education standards.
Education funding and school accountability remain pivotal issues in closed-door talks between elected officials trying to reach agreement over California's state budget, which is already more than a month late.

Parent demand for charter schools has grown, but the schools continue to face such obstacles as a lack of start-up funds and inadequate facilities, a report from the U.S. Department of Education says.
When North Carolina lawmakers opened the door to charter schools in 1996, critics predicted a rush of "white flight" schools would follow.
Portland, Ore.

The logistical and philosophical struggles that schools face in an age of high technology were much in evidence during one session at the recent annual meeting here of the Education Commission of the States.

The controversial state schools chief in Illinois has announced that he will step down this month, just weeks after several Republican lawmakers recommended that his contract not be renewed next year.
Las Vegas

State governments are on course to hit record budget surpluses of nearly $40 billion for the 1998 fiscal year, according to a survey released here at the recent annual meeting of the National Conference of State Legislatures.

The following are summaries of final fiscal 1999 budgets for schools and highlights of education-related action during legislative sessions. Budget totals for K-12 education include money for state education administration, but do not include federal, flow-through dollars.
Despite its recent dismissal by a state judge, a long-standing lawsuit over Pennsylvania's school funding system isn't finished yet, the district plaintiffs in the case say.
With the legal battle around California's new statewide basic-skills tests over for now, districts are divided over what to do with the data for the 4.1 million students in grades 2-11 who took the controversial exam this spring.

Under the cloud of a threatened presidential veto and sharp discord among its members, the House may vote this week on a restrained education spending bill with implications well beyond dollars and cents.

The independent panel designing President Clinton's proposed voluntary national tests is juggling its development schedule even as Republicans in Congress are moving to stop its work.

The fate of the E-rate remains uncertain on Capitol Hill, where Congress is weighing a proposal that could change the program dramatically.

Members of the House and Senate are set to reconcile their competing plans to ensure new teachers are well prepared for the classroom.


Months after missing their target release date, the final rules for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act are still nowhere in sight.

Clinton Vetoes GOP-Backed Savings-Account Measure

President Clinton has vetoed the education-savings-accounts bill that is a cornerstone of the GOP education agenda.

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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