March 1, 2000

This Issue
Vol. 19, Issue 25
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Students at Clinton Kelly Elementary School in Portland, Ore., work on a project inspired by "The Phantom of the Opera," the musical they are studying. The school belongs to the growing network of "Basic Schools" launched by Ernest L. Boyer shortly before his death in 1995. See Story, Page 8.
On March 7, California voters will vote on Proposition 26—which would lower the percent of votes required to pass school bonds to a simple majority from a two-thirds majority.
State legislatures are examining proposals that would allow families to use public dollars to help send their children to private schools.

Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley calls for a "midcourse review" of the standards movement.
When he took the reins of the Hartford public schools last spring, Anthony S. Amato pledged that the 24,000-student district would never again be shamed with Connecticut's worst test scores.
Demand for district superintendents will be substantial in the next few years as a wave of top administrators retires, two reports conclude.
Here are some of the findings from "The 2000 Study of the American School Superintendency," a survey of 2,536 superintendents conducted for the American Association of School Administrators:
  • L.A. School Leaders May Cut 1,000 Administrative Jobs
  • School Lunch Items Recalled
  • D.C. Board 'Hybrid' Faces Vote
  • Teacher-Chaperone Disciplined
  • Contract Signed in Des Moines
  • District To Open on Holy Days
  • Historic Boston School Reopens
  • Daley Unveils Child-Care Plan
  • Cameras Aboard Phila. Buses
A national task force is tackling the question of how to redesign districts so that large numbers of high-performing schools can flourish.
The Annenberg Institute for School Reform began in 1993 with $50 million and a mission: to serve as a "neutral gathering place" for all the groups working to redesign America's schools.
The small, one-story house in a working-class neighborhood here seems an unlikely spot to find the ideas of one of the 20th century's most highly respected educators being put into practice.
Doctors are prescribing anti-depressants, stimulants, and other psychotropic drugs to preschoolers at increasing rates, according to a study published last week. But it is unknown what long-term effects those drugs may have on children , experts say.
A state judge has temporarily halted the implementation of changes in the way Illinois renews teacher licenses, following a lawsuit contesting the process used to approve the policies.
An intensive professional-development program for K-3 teachers in the Dallas schools has significantly changed teaching practices in some classrooms, but has not directly affected students' test scores, a report concludes.
More American students are taking higher-level courses in mathematics and science than in 1990, but too many of those students are being taught by teachers who did not major in the subjects, according to a report by the Council of Chief State School Officers.
  • With Greater Reliance on Computers Comes Bigger Questions
Five weeks before an April 1 deadline set at the National Education Summit last fall, more than half the states have indicated they will file plans that describe specific, measurable steps they will take to meet the priorities outlined there by governors, educators, and business leaders.
Georgia has passed legislation based on the sweeping education proposals Gov. Roy E. Barnes outlined earlier this year, setting itself up to join such states as North Carolina and Texas in placing accountability at the center of its school improvement efforts.
The most comprehensive study about teacher policy ever conducted in Colorado has found wide variation across the state in how educators are recruited, hired, paid, developed, and evaluated.
  • Alaska
  • Connecticut
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Florida Plan To Omit Race, Gender as Factors in College Admissions Wins Final Approval
  • California's Education Secretary Stepping Down
  • Wisconsin Changes Rules on Teacher Licensing
  • Hawaii Works Toward Complying With Spec. Ed. Ruling
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last week to decide whether a state high school athletic association that has been delegated authority to regulate interscholastic sports is an arm of the state for purposes of the protections of the U.S. Constitution.
Republicans and Democrats alike on the Senate education committee are expected to seek substantial changes to the reauthorization bill for key K-12 programs their chairman has crafted when they take it up this week.
Senate Republicans last week brought to the floor a proposal—twice vetoed in past years by President Clinton—that would allow families to contribute up to $2,000 annually to tax-free savings accounts they could draw on to pay for public or private school costs.
  • Commission to Investigate Suspension Rates
  • Clinton Announces Grants To Help At-Risk Youths
The U.S. Supreme Court declined an opportunity last week to take up the issue of whether Congress has the power to require states to waive their immunity from private lawsuits as a condition for receiving federal funds.
Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley outlined a wide range of proposals last week in his seventh and final State of American Education speech. Among the highlights:
A California lawsuit is challenging widespread inequities in the availability of Advanced Placement courses.
Jack W. Humphrey, director of the Middle Grades Reading Network, wants to restore reading classes in middle schools.
The success of tomorrow's schools depends on the administrators who understand and demonstrate strategic development, according to authors Jan Hammond and Suzanne Tingley.
Special education students are vulnerable in new school arrangements and charter schools, argues Nancy J. Zollers.
David S. Doty argues that policy decisions affecting gay students should not have to be made in the crucible of hostile, confrontational public hearings, or subject school districts to lawsuits.
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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