April 26, 2000

This Issue
Vol. 19, Issue 33
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Part 1 of a new series looks at the rise of charter schools, voucher programs, and other new ways of providing public education. Includes "Minority Communities Divided Over Charters, Vouchers."
In the prairie city whose divided heart once epitomized a nation's conflict over slavery, $2 billion has been spent to transform a crumbling school system into a phoenix of equal opportunity. But only part of the dream has come true.
North Carolina's second-largest school system has embarked on a bold effort to integrate its schools through a plan that looks not at race, but at poverty.
For the past three years, Retired U.S. Army Gen. Colin L. Powell has chaired America's Promise—The Alliance for Youth, which promotes volunteerism in the name of children.
Departments
Auditors reviewing the state-run Newark, N.J., schools have uncovered more unpaid bills and debt in the troubled district, bringing the total red ink to about $70 million in the system—$12 million above a shortfall that was reported in February.
Departments
Amid memorial services last week marking the one-year anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings, parents of some of the victims filed lawsuits claiming that local authorities had failed to protect their children.
  • N.J. Voters Pass Record Number of School Budgets
  • Pittsburgh Chief's Pact Ratified
  • No Charges in 1st Grade Plot
  • Journalism Award Announced
  • Teachers Trim Extra Work
  • Boy Receives Teacher's Kidney
  • Suit Over LeTourneau Planned
  • Teacher Charged With Vandalism
  • Bus-Crash Footage Sought
A plan recently adopted for the San Diego schools that will overhaul the curriculum, lay off hundreds of classroom assistants, and swell the summer school ranks is creating waves of mixed reaction.
Popular American-history textbooks are packed with more glossy graphics and information than ever before, but the content is shallow and disconnected and continues to overemphasize multiculturalism, concludes a forthcoming evaluation by the American Textbook Council.
It's not exactly bread and water, but the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., district is taking some heat for a new policy that puts students on a diet of soup or peanut butter and jelly until they settle their tabs with the school meals program.
Former New York Knicks star Charles Smith, who retired from the NBA after nine seasons and is now the head of a technology corporation, got a chance to teach some New York City youngsters that failure can often be transformed into success.
Departments
While competitive cheerleading's popularity has been climbing, interest in traditional cheerleading has waned. Some argue that changes in the sport have led to elimination of the traditional activity at some schools and to complaints that this new breed has forgotten its fundamental purpose: rousing the crowd.
The for-profit education industry is quickly adding clicks to bricks.
The Detwiler Foundation has handed over its controversial program for distributing refurbished computers to schools to a new trade association that plans to take a more active role in lobbying Congress to promote such programs.
  • NetDay Switching Its Emphasis to Needs of Poorest Communities
  • Tech-Savvy Girls
  • Technology in the Community
Departments
The contentious politics surrounding school choice and competition have produced deep divisions within minority communities and strained traditional alliances of civil rights groups, education organizations, and Democrats.
Texas educators welcome some of the legislature's new efforts to include limited-English-proficient students in state assessments, but they disapprove of others.
Florida teenagers are just now feeling the sting of a 1997 state law that automatically revokes the driving privileges of students who miss too much school.
Departments
  • Chicago Archdiocese Mulls School Closings
    After Failure of Private-Education-Aid Bill
  • N.C. Auditor Urges Closing Schools for Deaf
Since 1910, the Boy Scouts have symbolized values such as honesty, self-reliance, and service to others. Think Norman Rockwell, and his numerous Scout paintings.
The United States should step up its efforts to collaborate with other countries in improving education worldwide, including rejoining UNESCO, Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley urged in a speech here last week.
Departments
The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear the appeal of a California man who was stymied in his efforts to post the Ten Commandments as an advertisement on the outfield fence of a high school baseball stadium.
  • White House to Hold Conference on Teens
  • Reinventing the High School Is Topic of June Meeting
  • FCC Announces Funding for E-Rate Program's 3rd Year
A growing number of high schools rebuild themselves around a theme or themes that link academic subjects with career-oriented coursework and activities.
Solving a charter school puzzle.
With high-stakes tests and courses a la carte, some students may never learn to write.
Might the current awareness of poetry motivate schools to pay it appropriate attention and respect?
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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