May 12, 1999

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Vol. 18, Issue 35
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Three years ago, Selma Middle School was a dismal place to be.

It could have been one of the E-rate program's greatest successes.
The U.S. Census Bureau is tapping the nation's schools to get its message out: "Census 2000. This is your future. Don't leave it blank."
Despite union opposition, Los Angeles school leaders are moving ahead with an accountability plan that promises cash rewards to successful schools and tough consequences for those that consistently aren't up to par.
Kathleen V. Williamsen says she had always known that her principal didn't like pregnancy in her Elmont, N.Y., school--meaning teacher pregnancy.

California Coach Receives
Exemption for Wheelchair

State governments collectively raised financial aid for college students by nearly 10 percent last school year, according to the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs.
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation has announced it will spend $28.7 million over six years in an effort to boost the number of Hispanic students who obtain college degrees. Experts say that is the first major grant from a private philanthropy ever given to the cause.
Students who used to attend Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colo., are beginning to feel less like victims and more like students. Last week, they began to settle into a routine of classes, homework, and final exams at a neighboring high school.
Before the school shootings in Colorado last month, a student arriving at school wearing a black trench coat wouldn't have gotten a second glance. Now, he might be suspended.

San Diego

Reading programs in school districts and states throughout the country have been revamped in recent years, experts say, to reflect the "balance" of teaching methods--from direct phonics instruction to an emphasis on rich literature--that scholars and national reports have recommended.

A shot of academic rigor and better, more targeted teacher training may be the tonic for Maryland's middle schools, according to a state committee.
Even more so than just a few years ago, charter schools are likely to be newly created schools with small enrollments, according to a U.S. Department of Education report released last week.
Chicago's systemwide push to propel high school students to loftier achievement is changing how teachers conduct their classes, but some district efforts are facing resistance, a University of Chicago study has found.

Ten states have signed on to a $2 million effort by a group of governors and corporate executives to create an 8th grade mathematics test that parallels those used in the world's top-performing nations.


Falling Teenage Birthrate Fuels Drop
In Overall U.S. Rate
: The overall birthrate in the United States has dropped to a record low, in part because of the continuing decline in the rate at which teenage girls give birth.

Chairman William E. Kennard of the Federal Communications Commission will recommend full funding of the federal E-rate program, he announced last week at an event organized by education and library officials.

Texas students do better on state exams when their instructors are certified in the subjects they teach, according to a report that also says needy students are more likely to have out-of-field teachers.
Gov. Jesse Ventura spoke out strongly in favor of Minnesota's embattled high school graduation standards last week, while state legislators tried to craft a compromise to address complaints about the new system.
Gov. Tom Ridge celebrated at least a temporary victory last week in Pennsylvania's heated debate over school choice, when he signed a $19 billion state budget that included $63 million for a statewide voucher pilot program.
Gov. Tom Ridge celebrated at least a temporary victory last week in Pennsylvania's heated debate over school choice, when he signed a $19 billion state budget that included $63 million for a statewide voucher pilot program.
When Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. declared earlier this year that the schools in North Carolina would be the best in the country by 2010, he asked his four-member Education Cabinet to map out a plan to get there.
In the midst of a school reform movement that is demanding results of its students, teachers, and principals, two recently appointed state schools chiefs are learning that accountability applies even to those at the top.

The deadly shootings last month at a Colorado high school have lent renewed energy to congressional efforts to scrutinize the entertainment industry's role in marketing violence to children and examine what new steps may be needed to protect young people.

The 10th graders who trickle into Faye Dixon's classroom at Eastern High School here look sleepy on this sunny spring morning. Still, they're eager to talk about their field trip to the Howard University law school a day earlier.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich., says he likes the idea of people helping people through the AmeriCorps program. What irks him is that the federal organization can't get its financial books together after years of trying.

Killing classmates is made more imaginable for adolescents by glorified revenge fantasies in the media and video games, and it is easier to accomplish with ready access to guns, but the root cause is neither of these. It is the absence of community for a growing number of young people. And reweaving that safety net of caring and respect for all our youths is everyone's responsibility.
For those of us actually engaged in, or about to be engaged in, the business of raising teenagers, last month's events in Jefferson County, Colo., are more than just a terrifying reminder of the lack of social supports, community safety nets, and thoughtful adult interventions in the lives of many adolescents today.
No one fully understands what happened in Jefferson County, Colo., last month, or in Jonesboro, Ark., last year, and perhaps we never will. But certain facts about how the media operate, and what the media now regularly invite us to share as a culture are worthy of our consideration.
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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