November 18, 1998

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Vol. 18, Issue 12
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Not only are too many of America's students lagging in the three R's; most cannot draw, dance, act, or play a musical instrument adequately and have not acquired a deep understanding of the arts, according to the first national arts assessment in 20 years.

The private-school-choice movement claimed new momentum last week after the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a state court ruling that upheld the pioneering Milwaukee voucher program.

Departments
The rumors that have persistently swirled around Broward County, Fla., Superintendent Frank R. Petruzielo have been confirmed.
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Parents and teachers in the nation's largest school system would have broad new authority over their schools under a plan the New York City school board is expected to take up next week.
Schools across the United States are collecting money, food, clothing, and other supplies to send to victims of Hurricane Mitch in Central America.
When the Shaker Heights High School newspaper reported in February 1997 that there was a large gap in grades and test scores between black and white students at the Ohio school, it was not especially surprising to observant community members or to school officials who had been trying to close the gap for years.
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The nation's public schools can dramatically raise academic achievement among struggling students over the next two decades with a coordinated strategy that puts greater emphasis on accountability, urban schools, and early-childhood education, argues a report released here last week.

A controversial money-making strategy that professional sports teams have begun using to subsidize new stadiums has made its way into the high school arena.
Two top administrators will split the duties of interim superintendent for the Kansas City, Mo., schools while officials there search for a permanent replacement.
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What children do with their time, and how parents spend it with them, has a significant effect on children's well-being, a new study says.
Since 1981, the number of hours children spend in various activities has shifted. The following table compares the estimated mean weekly hours and minutes children in various age groups spent in major activities in 1981 and in 1997. 
The tests that support Texas' widely acclaimed accountability system started out weak and have been getting worse over time, a group of out-of-state researchers concludes in a report released last week.
School accountability programs in the South have come a long way in a decade, but many still suffer from a lack of cohesiveness, community input, and teacher preparation, among other shortcomings, a report says.
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The backers of a California ballot measure that will hike the state's cigarette tax to pay for health and education programs for young children declared victory last week after a count of absentee ballots widened the initiative's tight lead over the tobacco industry-funded opposition.

A small grant, tucked within the massive federal budget, aims to give charter schools in the nation's capital a leg up in obtaining private financing for their bricks-and-mortar needs.

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Some education groups are hoping a change in the House leadership will offer them more opportunities to advance their agendas in the next Congress.

Victory is its own reward.

That's what 71 10th graders in Silver Spring, Md., discovered this month when they beat a pack of political pollsters and pundits at their own game.

Georgia Republican Johnny Isakson, the chairman of the state school board, said last week he will run in a special election to fill the seat that Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., plans to vacate.

High Court Rejects
Student-Speech Case

The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear the appeal of a Minnesota man whose daughter was expelled from her charter school in a dispute over free speech.

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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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