October 27, 1999

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Vol. 19, Issue 09
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A substantial portion of the families with children in 55 U.S. cities are dissatisfied with their local public schools, but relatively few are so unhappy that they want to move, according to a report to be released this week by the Educational Testing Service. Includes these data tables: "School Satisfaction: A Metropolitan Breakdown,""Where Are the Children of Dissatisfied Parents Attending School Now?," and "School Dissatisfaction by Race and Ethnic Group."
In established professions, licensing tests are based on the body of knowledge that practitioners have decided newcomers must know. But in teaching, that has not been the case.
Handheld computers--those digital organizers that busy executives today can't seem to live without--could soon be just as useful to students, some educators believe.
Without formal state mandates or grand policy debates, the traditional school calendar--which dates to the times when most Americans worked on farms--has in many places become largely a thing of the past.
Departments
Groups representing African-Americans and Hispanics in Los Angeles rallied last week behind Superintendent Ruben Zacarias and denounced the appointment of a chief executive officer to take over many of his duties.
School library budgets are up; salaries, too. Yet there appears to be little else to celebrate about the state of library media centers in the public schools, a biennial study suggests.
Departments
  • Mercury Exposure Closes Calif. Intermediate School
  • Football Coach Indicted
  • Bonfire Event Doused
  • Firearms Raffle Planned
  • Sentence Appealed
  • Columbine Video Aired
  • Sick (and Tired) of Unruliness
  • Another System for Prayers
  • Death
Departments
A Michigan charter school that expected to enroll more than 500 students this fall will not open until next year because a federal judge has blocked its state aid.
Michigan's public-school-choice policies are opening up new opportunities for many state students, but could harm some of their classmates who don't take advantage of them, a study concludes.
An educational child-care program, started during infancy, can have lasting benefits for poor children, new results from a prominent, long-running study suggest. Includes: "New Findings on Abecedarian Project."
  • State Officials Grappling With How To Test LEP Students
  • Teachers Support Most Standards-Based Changes
  • Arts Enrichment
  • Teacher Education Project Expands
  • Giving Members a Break
  • Teacher Scholarship
  • Grading Texts
Departments
The American Federation of Teachers is experimenting with a new form of labor organizing by granting affiliation to a professional membership organization that mainly represents psychologists in private practice.
  • Urban Districts Cited for Shrinking Minority-Achievement Gap

School Satisfaction in Cities and Suburbs
(Ranked by City, From Most to Least Dissatisfied)

School Satisfaction in Cities and Suburbs
(Ranked by City, From Most to Least Dissatisfied)

Washington state educators are banding together to try to defeat a ballot initiative they say would pit schools against other government services in a competition for state resources.
New Hampshire lawmakers scrambled last week to come up with yet another plan to pay for schools this year after the state supreme court effectively crippled the finance overhaul that took effect just over three months ago.
Departments
A proposal in Michigan to change regulations governing child-care centers has alarmed children's advocates and has even drawn criticism from the speaker of the state House. The revisions generating the most controversy include those that stipulate the staff-to-child ratio, the size of indoor and outdoor play spaces, and certain sanitary procedures, such as diapering and handwashing.
States are serving only a small fraction of the low-income families that are eligible for child- care assistance, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
No sooner had the chairman of the Senate education committee released his draft plan for reauthorizing the nation's main K-12 education law this month than critics from both parties began raising questions about it.
Departments
The House last week rejected efforts to create a federal school voucher program and separately restored gender-equity language with its bipartisan approval of a bill to reauthorize key portions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
More than 350 students got a chance to speak their piece during the Voices Against Violence Congressional Teen Conference convened here last week by the House's top Democrat.
President Clinton was urging Congress to make education a top priority in this year's budget, as lawmakers last week attempted to negotiate a compromise plan for education funding.
  • Dole Drops Out of 2000 Race
Two researchers are trying to bring a schoolwide approach to discipline and behavior--to make the whole school, and not just individual classrooms, a safer, more trouble-free place. One of the premises of the model is that it works to prevent disruptive behavior before it starts by identifying ideal behaviors and promoting those actions.
Maybe a TV sitcom can reverse our 'artificial show of egalitarianism.'
Every year, teachers face that embarrassing time between Columbus Day and Thanksgiving that I call "The Moon of Paper Feather Hats.'' That's when most schoolchildren study Native Americans. And because of a lack of reliable teaching materials, what they learn usually has little more value than those so-called "war bonnets" that 3rd graders used to make out of construction paper.
A study of state frameworks shows progress--but not nearly enough.
Letters
Departments
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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