January 12, 2000

This Issue
Vol. 19, Issue 17
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The optimism that school technology leaders expressed last month about sidestepping the "Y2K bug" was justified when the calendar rolled over to 2000 and school computers kept humming.
After years of work on structural changes—standards and testing and ways of holding students and schools accountable—the education policy world has turned its attention to the people charged with making the system work.
Computer use by young children is a sharply debated topic, but experts say that doesn't mean those who work with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers should not themselves take advantage of what the Internet has to offer. Those who work in the field, however, often lack access to computers where they work.
Rudolph F. Crew's tenure as the chancellor of the New York City schools officially ended last week when the school board ratified a buyout of his contract, culminating a rapid sequence of events that left the nation's largest school system leaderless as the new year began. Includes "New Year Brings Top-Level Changes in Several Big Districts."
Just months after President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Elementary and Secondary Education Act in 1965, it fell on the shoulders of the newly appointed U.S. commissioner of education to implement the law that ushered in an unprecedented federal role in schools. Mr. Howe, now 81, remembered that challenge and others during an afternoon gathering in his honor held here last week near his New Hampshire home.
Departments
Departments
A new study claims to have found evidence of what has long been something of a missing link in the quest for school improvement: ties between state policies on teacher quality and statewide student performance.
Most states do not ensure that all their teachers have the knowledge and skills needed to instruct students, according to Quality Counts 2000: Who Should Teach?
  • Appellate Court Allows Delay in Charlotte Plan
  • Expulsion Rates Studied
  • All-Girl Charter Approved
  • 'Substitute' Crisis Seen
  • Tech Grant for Oregon
  • Student Accused of Hacking
  • Charter School Evicted
  • Spec. Ed. Settlement OK'd
  • Expelled Student Files Suit
  • One Threat Too Many
Departments
The first evaluation of the much-publicized campaign to end social promotion in Chicago is serving up fodder for both critics and supporters of that effort, allowing neither side to claim total victory.
Departments
The quality of states' academic-content standards is improving, but still isn't good enough, according to a group that regularly grades what states say students should know in core subjects.
As schools move forward into the new millennium, the dry-erase board seems to have a dust-free air of inevitability.
Departments
In an attempt to bring conformity to high school psychology courses that are "vastly different in content and level of challenge," a task force sponsored by the American Psychological Association has released voluntary national standards for what students should be taught in the subject.
  • Election Strategy Runs Afoul of School Rules
  • Violent Essay
  • Pregnant Teacher
Voucher supporters plan to appeal the latest federal court ruling against the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program, moving the controversial program a step closer to a possible test before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Little is known about the use of pesticides in and around schools, a federal report released last week concludes.
State education officials in Ohio are looking carefully at teaching practices and demographic differences in more than three dozen elementary schools whose test scores fell after receiving grants to improve phonics instruction.
Midyear leadership shuffles at a handful of the nation's largest school systems promise to bring new direction—and in some cases continued uncertainty—as 2000 begins.
Ask superintendents whether they're having trouble finding principals, and the frustration comes pouring out.
Departments
With state economies giving every sign of barreling through another year of growth, many lawmakers have once again set their sights on increased education funding. Among the goodies they hope to deliver in 2000 are expanded early-childhood programs and pay raises for teachers.
Yielding to complaints that Florida's accountability system awards a disproportionate amount of money to schools that need it least, state officials recently approved changes that would send more aid to schools that do poorly on state tests but demonstrate improvement.
A judge in Wyoming has ruled that the state's funding formula for major school construction and maintenance projects is unconstitutional because it favors wealthy school districts. But he upheld the state's cost-based system for funding school operations as constitutional.
New York education officials are expected to decide soon whether a small number of schools can substitute individually tailored projects for the exams the state has recently begun to require for graduation.
A recent report from the Massachusetts inspector general criticizes charter schools' business operations and the state's oversight of those practices, warning that the problems ultimately could undermine the largely independent public schools and waste taxpayer dollars.
  • California Supreme Court Lets Stand
    Ruling on Proposition 227 Waivers
  • Mississippi House Elects Musgrove Governor
  • Rutland, Vt., Chief Named State Commissioner
Departments
A prominent education adviser has left Gov. George W. Bush's presidential campaign team because of the candidate's unwillingness to meet with a group that represents gay Republicans.
The U.S. Supreme Court has passed up yet another opportunity to consider the constitutionality of publicly financed vouchers for religious schools.
President Clinton is again proposing that the federal government spend $3.7 billion on a five-year program to help districts build or renovate school facilities.
Officials at the Department of Education's office for civil rights have expanded a controversial draft guide outlining the proper use of high-stakes tests in an effort to better detail the legal principles involved and ways in which such issues will affect students.
  • New Federally Financed Center
    To Study Disabled Students in Juvenile-Justice System
  • Administration Sends Religion Guidelines to Schools
1. Program is jointly run by the Departments of Labor and Education; each carries half its funding.
Shock waves from the violence that erupted a quarter-century ago over "dirty" and "godless" textbooks still rattle educators in Kanawha County.
An appealing alternative to the 'winner take all' approach to governance.
Who knows? Pokémon cards may actually be training young entrepreneurs to become our future day traders, stock-option experts, and global business leaders, exhibiting early skills needed in our fast-paced, Pokémon-eat-Pokémon, capitalist society.
Will 21st-century segregation be digital?, asks Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Letters
A remarkable and disturbing omen loomed from the front page of Education Week on the day before Thanksgiving (Nov. 24, 1999). Three of the four stories (encompassing nine-tenths of the space) foreshadow turbulent times for American public education, not to say for American constitutional government itself.
  • Milwaukee Redux: Finding Fault With a Voucher Analysis

Faulty Calculation: Class-Size Satire Doesn't Compute

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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