March 17, 1999

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Vol. 18, Issue 27
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After months of hard work, leaders of the National Association of Secondary School Principals say they have raised the group out of its financial and management crisis of a year ago and, by putting a respected leader at the helm, launched anew.

Amid the snow-soaked boots that line the hallway of Mapleton Elementary School, a student sits in a stream of warm sunlight to read a favorite book. In a classroom around the corner, pairs of 5th graders carefully select books to share with kindergartners--their reading partners. Down the hall, a 2nd grader peruses the shelves in the library--searching, in vain, the librarian says, for a book the youngster has not yet read.

For much of last year, Tammy Carsten was on the verge of becoming a statistic. Working with an emergency permit, scant education courses, and no student-teaching experience to her credit, the fledgling educator was at her wits' end soon after stepping in front of her class at Harte Elementary School in north Long Beach.

Schools have slightly more leeway to discipline disruptive students with disabilities under long-awaited regulations for the nation's main special education law, released by the Department of Education last Friday.

Boston school leaders are creating three new "transition" grades to give a second chance to students who stand to flunk under the district's tough new promotion policy.
Some of the nation's most innovative teacher-quality programs could be in jeopardy as decisionmakers for the Cincinnati public schools scramble to identify $20 million to cut from next year's budget.

Lyman V. Ginger, the president of the National Education Association in 1957 and 1958 and a longtime Kentucky educator, died of complications from pneumonia March 1. He was 91.

NSF Pulls Milwaukee Grants
For Low Math, Science Gains

Following their sudden and unsettling clash over school vouchers, New York City's mayor and schools chief allayed fears last week that the nation's largest school system would soon be shopping for a new chancellor.
A federal judge last week invalidated the admissions-test portion of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's freshman-eligibility standards, based on evidence that the requirement has a disparate impact on black student athletes.
The quiet bedroom community of Lynnfield, Mass., is attracting unaccustomed notoriety after a move by its school board to reconsider its part in a transfer program that places black, Hispanic, and Asian-American students from Boston in surrounding suburbs.
America's city schools get far lower marks from the general public than from the school board members charged with overseeing them, according to a survey conducted for the National School Boards Foundation.

In Texas, It's Football Without a Prayer

Texans have what has been described as a religious fervor for high school football. And Friday-night games at many high schools in the state start with a prayer over the public-address system. But a federal appeals court has ruled that student-led prayers at those games violate the U.S. Constitution.



Conference on Black Youths
Focuses on Urban Schools

Educators and policymakers discussed education policies affecting African-American children and explored strategies to make positive changes for all children at the local, state, and national levels at a recent public-policy conference here.
Fallout from test-tampering charges continues to mount in Texas, where investigators are looking into allegations that school employees altered student information, including scores on the state's hallmark assessment, to boost school ratings.
With a court-imposed deadline bearing down on them, New Hampshire legislators last week were still squabbling over the best way to fix the state's school finance system.

The following is a summary of governors' education budget proposals for fiscal 2000. The total for K-12 education includes money for state education administration, but does not include federal, flow-through dollars.
Rhode Island education officials abruptly halted their plans to administer five English and mathematics assessments last week, after learning of wide-scale security breaches.

Vermont Court Upholds Act 60 Provision

The Vermont Supreme Court has upheld one of the most controversial aspects of the state's school finance law, the "sharing pool."


The board that oversees the "nation's report card" is contemplating whether to stop collecting data that show trends going back 30 years.

Justice Dept. Closes Mascot Investigation

The Department of Justice has ended its investigation of a North Carolina district after the school board there agreed to replace one of its two American Indian mascots.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week refused to hear the appeal of Cecilia "Cissy" Lacks, the Missouri teacher fired for allowing her students to use profanity in their creative-writing assignments.

The number of students with disabilities is climbing steadily, and the number of qualified special education teachers is not keeping pace, the Department of Education says in its 1998 report on the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

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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