September 8, 1999

This Issue
Vol. 19, Issue 01
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In the minds of many educators, parents, and students around the country, the foremost question as the new school year begins remains the same one that cast a pall over the final weeks of the last one: Could it happen here?
The Kansas board of education's decision last month to drop evolution from its list of what students should know has sparked controversy nationwide.
South Carolina is one of a growing number of states passing measures designed to lure retirees back to class at a time when good help is hard to find.
A program under development by the maker of the SAT has added to the debate over whether a student's race should be considered in the college-application process and how much weight admissions officers should give test scores. Includes a table, "SAT Scores by Race."
Departments
Detroit teachers staged a surprise strike last week, delaying the start of school for 177,000 students and dealing a blow to the Motor City's new school leadership team.
The Milken Family Foundation is closing down the Milken Exchange on Education Technology, an initiative that in just three years has made a mark on state policymaking and helped refine the national debate over the use of technology in schools.
  • U.S. Enrollment Surge Shifts to High Schools
  • Chicago Homeless Effort Faulted
  • Forgione Heads to Austin
  • RIF Gets $2 Million Grant
  • Time for Timeout
  • Suit Filed Over Student's Abortion
  • Scouts To Appeal N.J. Ruling
  • Anaheim Seeks Reimbursement
  • Denver Hires Superintendent
  • L.A. Activist To Retire
  • ECS Gets Teacher Grant
  • Deaths
Departments
A federal appeals court last week was considering a request to lift the injunction that is blocking more than 800 new participants from receiving support under the Cleveland voucher program.
Two groups opposed to vouchers have charged that schools in Milwaukee's voucher program have routinely violated the state law that governs the nation's largest experiment with private school choice.
  • Talk of School Bullies
    Dominates Psychologists' Gathering
The Edison Project, the pioneering private manager of public schools, has filed for an initial public stock offering that will seek to raise as much as $172 million to finance the company's growth under its new name, Edison Schools Inc.
Departments
  • Teenage Drug Use Continues to Slide
  • Fathers Count
  • DARE Not
  • Hyperactive Boys
  • Weapons Expulsions
Departments
Most school districts still have a lot to do to get ready for the infamous Year 2000 computer glitch, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Year-Round Schedule May Increase Inequities,
    Calif. Study Finds
An overwhelming majority of Americans believe the nation should maintain its commitment to education through the public schools, according to a recent poll.
Many California charter schools are facing declining enrollments and tighter regulations this academic year, following the passage of new restrictions on schools that cater to home-schooled students.
A month after the Virginia education department reported that most schools in the state flunked the second round of rigorous new tests, many teachers and principals are still shaken, wondering whether it's possible to raise students' scores by the deadline.
Departments
  • New Jersey
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Texas Names Schools Chief
  • Court Prods N.M. on Facilities
  • Philadelphia Lawsuit Reinstated
  • N.H. Funding Battle Resumes
  • Group Targets Mich. Voucher Ban
  • Education Issues Loom Large
    At Governor's Gathering
At least one state legislator elsewhere is looking at Kansas as a model for how to treat the theory of evolution in public schools.
When Congress reconvenes in Washington this week, its members can expect to get an earful from the groups here that represent K-12 education.
Cheering students and teachers, marching bands, and enthusiastic local officials greeted Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley last week as his back-to-school bus tour rolled through the South.
Departments
In the first major education policy speech of his presidential campaign, Gov. George W. Bush of Texas pledged last week that if elected he would hold schools more accountable for the federal dollars they receive and judge their performance based on annual state-developed exams.
The architect of the National Science Foundation's K-12 education programs has left his post more than a year after settling a lawsuit that lifted an ethical cloud hanging over him.
  • USAC Extends Wiring Aid to More E-Rate Schools
  • GEAR-UP Grants Announced
  • Health Initiative Publicity Sought
  • New Teacher Grants Awarded
  • Spider-Man Joins Anti-Drug Effort
  • Development Efforts Honored
To the surprise of some skeptics, Richard W. Riley has emerged as the longest-serving U.S. education secretary in the history of the Cabinet post. The softspoken former governor has drawn upon the experiences he forged over a lifetime in public service.
Historically, teachers' unions have operated on the premise that their overarching responsibility is to protect their members. Teachers' union activists Bob Peterson and Micheal Charney argue, however, that in the long run, unions will be able to protect their members only if they adopt a social-justice model.
Both schools and prisons have populations who would rather be elsewhere; both regulate the mental and physical lives of their inmates in minute detail; and both have crowd control as their primary objective. So school authorities are adding uniforms and, in Louisiana at least, language control, to ride herd on students, whom they regard as doing hard time and ready to riot at any moment.
Policy-minded school reform presumes that remoteness lends leverage. Operating from a distance, reform seems smarter and less subject to interference. By contrast, civic-minded reform gains leverage in the opposite way--by getting closer and inviting collaboration.
States cannot unfortunately, have it both ways. They cannot provide a world-class education in biology at the same time they command biology teachers to turn a blind eye to what most biologists regard not just as a possible theory, but as biology's cornerstone. The tragedy, of course, is that none of this is necessary.
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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