January 27, 1999
President Clinton unveiled a multifaceted school accountability plan last week that quickly elicited both praise and skepticism for its high goals and broad reach.
In this issue, Education Week begins a yearlong series chronicling the successes and setbacks in those efforts over the past 100 years. "Lessons of a Century'' will appear in 10 monthly installments in place of the On Assignment section.
First, the Sturgeon Bay school district slashed funds for building maintenance. Then it cut classroom aides and administrative assistants. This school year, it ended a popular middle school track program and laid off the choreographer of the high school's nationally recognized swing choir.
Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani of New York City has proposed testing a Milwaukee-style voucher program in one of the city's 32 community school districts.
Federal Court Blocks
Alabama Teacher Test
The Seattle school board, after considering the creation of a two-person team to lead the district's administration, has retreated from the idea.
Seattle isn't the only big-city school district looking for someone to run it. Atlanta, Kansas City, Mo., and New Orleans are in the market, too.
District officials in the Poudre school system in Fort Collins, Colo., say they weren't trying to exclude anyone when they adopted a policy that could keep students with AIDS or the virus that causes it from playing sports .
Florida's Miami-Dade County district is a step closer to giving its school police officers the power to do something most of their colleagues elsewhere cannot: make arrests off campus. That proposal, however, has raised concerns about a possible shift in the officers' focus away from the schools and into the community.
Success for All, one of the most highly praised models for turning around entire schools, got mediocre grades in an independent evaluation of the program conducted by Miami-Dade County school officials.
Daniel A. Domenech is still new to the Washington metropolitan area, but after one year as the superintendent of a suburban Virginia district, he's trying to play the budget process like a fine fiddle.
Milwaukee's most veteran educators would no longer automatically get first dibs on open teaching posts, under a tentative labor agreement announced last week.
Gov. Bill Owens of Colorado used his first State of the State Address to call for more money for charter schools, waivers of bureaucratic rules for traditional public schools, and a report card for every school.
A decade ago, the only immigrants in Lee County, N.C., aside from some transplanted Northerners, were a small group of mi grant farm workers and their families. With only a couple dozen language-minority students--mostly Hispanic children whose parents moved with the cycle of harvests throughout the South--the 8,000-student school system in the state's smallest county gave little thought to providing special language services.
In California, educators are optimistic that lawmakers will write the final chapter of the state's game plan for school reform during the special session on education that opened last week.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association asked the U.S. Supreme Court last week to rule that it is not subject to federal antidiscrimination laws such as Title IX simply because it is made up of educational institutions that receive federal funds.
The federal government has strongly encouraged states to combine their vocational education programs for high school students with workforce-training programs for adults, and several are taking that advice to heart.
Federal Student-Aid Services To Go Online
Students at a handful of postsecondary schools will be able to monitor their federal financial-aid accounts via the World Wide Web for the first time next fall, thanks to a pilot program designed to streamline the aid process.
Following are highlights of President Clinton's Jan. 19 address to a joint session of Congress:
Following are excerpts from the Republican response to President Clinton's address, delivered by Reps. Jennifer Dunn of Washington and Steve Largent of Oklahoma:
If one word could summarize American education in the 20th century, that word would be "more." Today there are more students attending school for more of the year and for a longer period of their lives than at any time in our history.
In 1937, Frank W. Cyr, a young professor of rural education at Teachers College, Columbia University, conducted a first-of-its-kind survey to find out how students across the nation were getting from their homes to school.
School buses are considered the safest way to get to school, beating walking, bicycles, and Mom and Dad's car.
In the 20th century, the United States opened wide the schoolhouse doors to the vast majority of its young people. But those advances built on a solid foundation that had been established long before, when the nation embraced the principle of free, universal public education.
Horace Mann and other advocates of universal schooling had an almost boundless faith in the ability of public education to advance both national and individual progress.
Most Americans today think of higher education as an inalienable right. With more than 4,000 colleges and universities to choose from, virtually every high school graduate who is so inclined can win admission somewhere.
The law's greatest legacy was that it provided the same opportunities to every veteran, regardless of the person's background.
The push for inclusion of the disabled leads to higher expectations.
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It is one of America's great triumphs, the 20th-century enrollment of vast numbers of children, adolescents, and, increasingly, adults in schools for ever-increasing periods of time. Yet access has also been a moving target: Near-universal attendance has been paralleled by failures and changing expectations, so that frustration with the outcomes of schooling has often dominated the public mood.
Time lines of a historic commitment-
and an abrupt about-face.
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