March 15, 2000

This Issue
Vol. 19, Issue 27
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After decades of school desegregation efforts, progress in closing the gaps in minority achievement has stalled.
Voters in California rejected a measure last week designed to make it easier for districts to win financing to build and repair schools, despite the efforts of a coalition of education and business groups that had promoted the plan with a $22 million campaign.
Much of the data from the nation's longest ongoing assessment of student writing skills is unreliable and will be scrapped, the board that oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress has determined.
A recent report on teacher testing throws cold water on a new federal law requiring colleges and universities to report their students' passing scores on licensing tests.

The death of a 1st grade girl shot by a 6-year-old classmate in a Michigan classroom has prompted educators to examine whether metal detectors ought to be deployed in elementary schools.
  • Wide Support Seen for Teaching Evolution
  • Dispute on R-Rated Film Leads to Teacher's Arrest
  • 9th Grader Isolated for Story
  • N.Y. Ministers Offer Programs
  • Teacher Fined for Kick
  • Anti-Smoking Results Tracked
  • Silence Leads to Expulsions
  • Kidnapped Girl Returned
If he had his way, Bryon S. Anderson would send the 15 free Pentium II computers his school received recently back where they came from—the ZapMe! Corp. in San Ramon, Calif.
Crime has dropped in the New York City public schools since the New York Police Department took over security for the board of education, according to police statistics.
A federal commission is promising to unveil what could be a multibillion-dollar plan to attract and keep the 200,000 people needed to teach math and science in the nation's schools.
More than 7,200 people have applied to run for the roughly 5,700 seats on the local school councils that govern Chicago's public schools, after the deadline was extended two weeks because fewer than 4,000 candidates initially entered the race.
In a cluster of decisions expanding Mayor Jerry Brown's power over the embattled Oakland, Calif., public schools, city voters last week placed at least two of his endorsed candidates on the school board and agreed to let him appoint another three.
More than 200 independent truck drivers drove their rigs from New Jersey to Washington late last month to protest soaring fuel prices.
  • Top Leaders Confront the Big Questions About Technology
  • A Year After Columbine Tragedy, Hard Lessons
    For Administrators
Wisconsin officials administered exactly the same proficiency tests to 4th, 8th, and 10th graders this year as the ones they used last year, prompting concern among some educators about test security and validity.
The numbers are startling: Fewer than two Hispanic students in 10 score at the "proficient" level or above on a national reading test—well below their white and Asian-American peers. Hispanic children are less likely to go to preschool and more likely to drop out of high school.
In 1998-99, Asian-Americans accounted for just 8 percent of California's K-12 enrollment, yet represented 40 percent of the student body at one of the state's most highly regarded institutions of higher education, the University of California, Berkeley.
If there is a school district in America where an African-American student should be able to excel, this affluent Cleveland suburb is probably it.
Many states are still struggling to create alternative assessment systems for special education students and to figure out which students should be tested using those alternatives, according to the results of a recent state-by-state survey.
More than 8,000 protesters braved blazing heat in Tallahassee last week to chant, wave signs, and sing hymns against Gov. Jeb Bush's policy to end affirmative action, just as the Florida governor was delivering his State of the State Address.
A proposal by Gov. Angus King of Maine to buy a laptop computer for every 7th grader in the state isn't getting much support from key legislators.
  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia
  • West Virginia Schools Chief Steps Down After Questions Raised About Expenses
  • Court Orders N.J. To Improve Preschool Program
  • Minute of Silence Clears Last Legislative Hurdle in Va.
  • Calif. Attorney General Addresses Bilingual Education
The following describes the outcome of four of the propositions that appeared on the statewide ballot in California on March 7:
Republicans on the Senate education committee pushed through proposed changes to the main federal K-12 law last week that would represent a dramatic—and controversial—departure from the government's current approach to helping schools.
When the tiny Roff school district in southeastern Oklahoma upgraded the interiors of its five school buildings and added high-tech equipment, school leaders soon realized that their efforts would be wasted if they didn't replace the buildings' leaky roofs as well.
  • Bush Taps Texas Educator for Victory Celebration
It's rare in education when the research all seems to point to a single conclusion. But for years researchers have agreed that making a child repeat a grade almost always does more harm than good. That is, until recently.
Public education may be losing the sense of active community participation. We need to restore the school to its central place at the heart of communities' civic life by inviting in everyone, the author argues.
Politicians should focus on issues of quality, not just of form, says the author.
Ironically, almost two decades after the publication of A Nation at Risk and in spite of the "solutions" proposed since, schools today are more—not less—the focus of national concern. The solutions have not produced the improvement expected.
Is 'computer literacy' really what the education technology community is advocating?
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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