April 14, 1999

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Vol. 18, Issue 31
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First in an occasional series.

With members of Congress from both parties lining up behind various proposals on aid for school construction, the big question this year may not be whether, but how, the federal government will tread into this new territory.

Jodi Smith will celebrate two academic milestones this June, collecting her high school diploma first, then picking up her associate's degree from college a few weeks later.
Kathryn Harwell-Kee
Kathryn Harwell-Kee has been elected the president of the National Staff Development Council. Ms. Harwell-Kee has worked in the Texas public schools for 22 years as a teacher and an administrator, and she was named the Texas Outstanding Staff Developer in 1993. Most recently, she was the assistant superintendent for instruction in the 13,000-student Grapevine-Colleyville district in Grapevine, Texas. Her one-year position with the 8,000-member Oxford, Ohio-based council ends in December.
In a hotly contested and costly school board race, Milwaukee voters stunned the city's powerful teachers' union last week by rejecting all five of its endorsed candidates.
The Austin, Texas, school district and one of its top administrators were indicted last week after a six-month probe into charges that school officials adjusted student data to raise scores on last year's state exams.

School Support Staff OKs Affiliation With Miners' Union

Wilson Riles, a three-term California state schools chief and the state's first African-American to be elected to statewide office, died April 4 following complications from pneumonia. He was 81.
As they watch the news reports on the latest conflict in the Balkans and talk about the events in their classrooms, many students at Swift School in northeast Chicago are reliving what they experienced a few years ago.

A year of federal funding for abstinence-only programs has had little effect on existing school-based sexuality education, a report released here last week suggests.

Two reports on "virtual universities" released last week raise warnings about this growing trend in higher education, but for different reasons.
The number of black and Hispanic students offered admission to University of California campuses next fall rose after nosediving last year in the wake of a ban on the use of race in admissions decisions.
Achievement trends are heading steadily upward at the vast majority of Edison Project schools that have been open for more than a year, the company said last week in its second annual report on school performance.
A Florida program aimed at reducing smoking among students statewide may offer the first whiff of evidence that a combination of media campaigns, education, and increased cigarette prices can significantly drive down youth-smoking rates, a federal report suggests.
Teachers in Washington state, frustrated by salaries that have lagged behind the cost of living for years, have been voting in a growing number of districts and schools to walk out in protest.
"Taxpayers: Rescue your money from the state treasury!"

That's the message the Flagstaff Unified School District sent in 30,000 brochures mailed to every household in the northern Arizona district. The aim: to promote a state policy that offers a tax credit worth up to $200 for donations to public schools for extracurricular activities that require a fee.

In the decade that has passed since New Jersey became the first state to seize control of a local school district because of its academic troubles, state leaders say they have learned some hard lessons about when and how it's necessary for states to intervene in failing districts.

As the principal of an elementary school in Apple Valley, Calif., Brian Ewert was so frustrated by the state and district mandates he had to follow that he considered changing careers.

House and Senate lawmakers are set to reconcile differences over the first education bill to see action in the 106th Congress, but a Senate GOP amendment that strikes at one of President Clinton's top priorities has raised the stakes considerably.

Major education groups and some state officials are uniting in opposition to House Republicans' plans to divide the reauthorization legislation for the nation's main K-12 law into several separate bills.

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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