November 24, 1999

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Vol. 19, Issue 24
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The gold rush is on. All across the country, people are trying to make a buck off the public education system.
American students have a weak grasp of the underlying principles of the U.S. Constitution and lack a fundamental understanding of how governments operate, according to the results of the 1998 civics portion of the National Assessment of Educational Progress.
Don't put too much stock in polls on vouchers and charter schools, the latest poll on those subjects warns.
By changing one word in its school code last month, the Tustin, Calif., district softened its zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol. Now, administrators may expel students on the first offense. Before, the word was must.
Mayor Dennis Archer of Detroit called last week for a citywide campaign to ensure that students are safe as they walk to and from school, following a series of rapes and abductions of students near local schools.
Teachers who have been struggling with how to make fuller use of technology in their day-to-day lessons now have access to a guide full of practical advice.
  • Kansas Deseg. Oversight Ends With Court Ruling
  • Expulsion Challenged
  • Curtains for 'West Side Story'
  • Mock Shooting, Shock Injury
  • Chicago Bans Rifle Ranges
  • Chief Quits Over Gun Comment
  • Rifle Lead Pollutes School
  • Sex-Change Case Settled
  • Internet Filter Causes Static
Nearly 200 mathematicians, physicists, and other scholars urged U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley last week to withdraw his department's seal of approval from math programs for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The superintendent of the Birmingham, Ala., schools gave up his new contract last week to settle a two-day teacher strike that kept more than 30,000 students home from school.
New York joins a growing number of school systems that have established school uniform policies, particularly in the elementary grades, in the hope of improving discipline and fostering more orderly learning environments.
  • Special Education Conference Puts Emphasis on Collaboration
  • Early-Childhood Educators Tackle Accountability, Career Paths
Children spend nearly the equivalent of an adult workweek—38 hours—awash in media ranging from television and movies to computers and magazines, according to a study released last week by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Protests and trips to jail aren't anything new for the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, nor is his involvement in education issues.
The standoff between protesters allied with the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson and school officials in Decatur, Ill., over the expulsions of seven students escalated last week with the televised arrest of the civil rights leader, dueling lawsuits, and further demonstrations. Includes: "Jackson Adds Discipline to His List of Education-Related Issues."
Mr. Whittle, the president and chief executive officier of Edison Schools, Inc., has visions of his public-school-management company becoming the Wal-Mart of education: ubiquitous, profitable, and delivering more and better services than the old mom-and-pop store.
Florida was poised last week to join two other high-profile states in replacing race-based criteria in college admissions with a system that promises students entry to public universities based on their class rank.
A university president and former deputy U.S. secretary of education in the Bush administration has been named the president of the Education Commission of the States, organization officials announced during a meeting here last week.
Pa. Bill on Recertification, Alternative Schools Passes; Okla. To Add Evolution Disclaimer; Teacher Board Autonomy Urged; NEA Affiliate Top Donor in Illinois; Second Suit Challenges Tax Credit
Florida education leaders are moving ahead with plans to grade schools for a second year, even though proposed fixes to the system that ranks schools by quality have failed to satisfy many critics.
The House last Thursday approved a budget bill that ironed out remaining differences between Congress and the White House over education spending in fiscal 2000 and other programs contained in the five budget bills that President Clinton had yet to sign into law.
By next fall, students at the nation's public high schools should know whether something many of them have been doing for years is constitutional.
  • Former Federal Officials Give Bush Their Endorsement
The Department of Education is offering guidance on evaluating state assessment systems for Title I students.
  • President Signs Bill on College Tuition
  • Child-Care Funds Sought
Over the past 30 years have put considerable effort into understanding the kinds of ideas that set up roadblocks in the learning process. Now, some of that work is bearing fruit. Scientists are learning where misunderstandings come from and how to address them. Includes:
Here are some examples of common misconceptions harbored by students:
At age 8 or 9, just about everyone is a creationist. That's what E. Margaret Evans discovered when she began listening to children's views on the origin of life. Evans conducted seven studies involving hundreds of children from public schools as well as fundamentalist Christian schools in two Midwestern states. At each age level, the University of Toledo researcher asked the children to tell her, "How did the very first X get here?" The "X" varied, from a squirrel to a human to an imaginary creature.
The president of the National Association of Independent Schools takes a look at an ideal school and its measure of success.
According to Donald R. McAdams, school governance leaders could make two changes that would most improve school performance: Govern more, and manage less.
Adam Urbanski, president of the Rochester (N.Y.) Teachers Association, clarifies his position on school governance options, arguing that too often teachers have to engage in "creative insubordination" to do right by students.
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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