May 5, 1999

This Issue
Vol. 18, Issue 34
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In what is being declared a landmark victory for voucher supporters nationwide, Florida lawmakers last week approved a plan to give students in the state's worst schools taxpayer-funded tuition payments to attend qualified public, private, or religious schools.

Paul G. Vallas, who has emerged in the past four years as one of the most high-profile schools chiefs in the country, has always had a ready remark to deflect questions about his plans after leaving the Chicago schools.

The lawsuit begins with a dramatic review of the recent nationwide spate of school violence.
Departments
The Dallas school board has offered its top job to Waldemar "Bill" Rojas, the peppery San Francisco superintendent whose efforts to resuscitate failing schools have attracted national attention.
Maine parents whose children attend religious schools cannot be reimbursed under a state program that provides tuition for students from towns without their own high schools, the state's highest court has ruled.

San Francisco Desegregation Decree
Is Officially Ended

Students continue to reap the benefits of smaller primary-grade classes all the way through high school, the latest findings from an influential Tennessee study suggest.

The U.S. Department of Education's research operations need more focus, more money, and better ways of deciding which studies deserve funding, an independent advisory panel says.

Already boasting the largest endowment of any private school in the nation, the Phillips Academy has launched what purports to be the most ambitious capital campaign in private school history.
Cincinnati schools will lay off 77 teachers this coming fall as part of an effort to cut $20 million from the district's budget, the school board decided last week.

At a time when principals are increasingly seen as the point people for turning around urban schools, the question of who should have the final say in picking them is no petty issue.


Perhaps it was his choice of words, or maybe it was the sentiments behind them, but a proposal from Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani to abolish the New York City school board has reignited a war of words between him and Schools Chancellor Rudolph F. Crew.

It's tough to check out a book at the Columbine Public Library these days.

In a country where one of the strongest predictors of academic achievement is socioeconomic status, it's no surprise that Anchorage Elementary School in suburban Louisville was a top performer in reading on Kentucky's assessment.
Educators and legislators in New Hampshire were celebrating last week following the long-awaited adoption of a plan to solve the state's school funding crisis.
South Carolina's highest court has set the stage for a legal battle over the quality of the state's public schools.

Teacher quality and class-size reduction, two recurring themes for President Clinton and congressional Republicans, came up for discussion on Capitol Hill last week at a time when many lawmakers are looking for ways to revamp federal education programs to raise student achievement.

One week after a deadly school shooting incident, President Clinton unveiled an ambitious package of gun-control legislation that contains several measures geared specifically toward reducing youth violence.

Nine years after the last U.S. Census, and seven years after it adopted new voting districts, the Bossier Parish, La., school board's redistricting plan is still under federal scrutiny.

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last week to step into the high-stakes battle over tobacco regulation, accepting a Clinton administration appeal in a case involving federal regulations aimed at curbing youth smoking.

One of the most senior political appointees at the Department of Education is stepping down, after a tumultuous year that put him on the front line of hotly contested special education issues.

The architect of Tennessee's value-added assessment system is a hot property these days in policy circles.

Maryville, Tenn.

When a statistician like William L. Sanders says you run the best school in the state, people take notice. Which partly explains why so many Tennessee districts have asked Principal Joel Giffin to explain his accomplishments.


Sports and School Success

Two new studies offer some quantitative evidence for something coaches have long known: Participating in high school sports is good for children.
Letters
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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