April 7, 1999

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Vol. 18, Issue 30
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By this coming fall, New York has decreed, the worst-performing schools in the state won't be allowed to employ any new teachers with temporary licenses. And by September 2003, the practice will be outlawed altogether.

The practice of testing student athletes for drug use has become so entrenched here that raising money to pay for the pricey lab tests is as routine as soliciting funds for baseball mitts or cheerleaders' uniforms.

Most schools would love to have more technology in their classrooms, if only they could afford it. But not here in the foothills of the Rockies, at David S. D'Evelyn Junior/Senior High School.

Calls for streamlined governance and a major overhaul of the sprawling machine that is the Los Angeles Unified School District have emerged as the central issue in an increasingly heated school board race here.

Henry M. Levin, the noted Stanford University economist and education professor, is switching universities and coasts to launch a center devoted to the growing private involvement in public education.
A small Vermont school district that made national headlines three years ago by trying to pay the way for some local students to attend a religious school is now bowing out of the school choice debate.

Religious-School Bus Aid
Upheld by Ky. High Court

A recent Channel One news segment began with a lengthy report on Kosovo, as NATO was poised for its air campaign in Yugoslavia.

The Broward County, Fla., school district is facing criticism from parents of students with disabilities who do not want their children moved from special education centers to regular schools.

Model for 'New Unionism' Shifts Gears: A role model for the "new unionism" extolled by the National Education Association appears headed toward an older style of labor relations. Starting in June, the local union leadership at the Saturn Car Co. will be replaced by a regime that advocates more traditional job protections.
A Missouri university that withdrew its membership and joined a rival accrediting group after being put on probation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education is now championing legislation that would lessen state oversight of teacher-training programs.
Plans by Superintendent Waldemar Rojas to trim some $11 million from the San Francisco district's budget this school year and next have angered state lawmakers.

New 'Food Pyramid' Is Aimed
At 2- to 6-Year-Olds:
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a new "food pyramid" that is designed to be child-friendly and to promote better eating habits for young children.

It's a white elephant that won't go away.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld drug testing of student athletes in 1995, lower courts have addressed several challenges to drug-testing plans that go beyond athletes.
A string of recent breaches in test security highlights the ineffective measures built into state assessment systems and raises questions about future security problems, some testing experts say.
Students who drop out of high school are giving up more than their diplomas in North Carolina: A new state law says dropouts must also surrender their driving privileges. But now some critics contend the measure goes too far and violates a federal student-privacy law.
In a move that pushes Gov. Jeb Bush's statewide voucher plan one step closer to adoption, the Florida House has approved the Republican governor's wide-ranging education reform package in a 71-49 vote split mainly along party lines.

N.H. Misses School Funding Deadline

The New Hampshire legislature failed last week to meet the state supreme court's deadline for resolving the state's school funding crisis.

New House and Senate budget plans make big promises for education spending that may be hard to keep in the face of tight overall spending limits, some congressional skeptics and education lobbyists say.

Ideally, Michelle Doyle will work herself out of a job someday.

The U.S. Supreme Court last week stepped into a debate that has swirled around many public college campuses: whether students can be forced to pay activity fees when some of the money goes to support groups they find objectionable.

A trend toward rising test scores in urban schools suggests that changes made five years ago to the federal Title I program are bearing fruit and should be preserved, argues a report based on a survey of big-city districts.

For a diverse nation, we share a remarkable consensus with respect to educating children. As reflected in polls and focus groups, Americans are nearly unanimous in their commitment to certain fundamental ideals: that all children have access to a quality education regardless of family income; that they be prepared for happy and productive lives; that they be taught the rights and duties of citizenship; and that the schools help to foster strong and cohesive communities. These are the ideals of public education.
The recent announcement by the Educational Testing Service that its Graduate Management Admission Test would employ a machine--the E-rater--to help rate answers to "essay questions" has caused considerable consternation.
Last year, I chaired a study of appropriate uses of testing for the National Research Council. The NRC panel was a diverse group of 15 scholars from all over the country. We wrote our report, "High Stakes: Testing for Tracking, Promotion, and Graduation," in response to a congressional mandate. The study was prompted by the Clinton administration's proposal, in 1997, for voluntary national tests of 4th grade reading and 8th grade math.
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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