May 10, 2000

This Issue
Vol. 19, Issue 35
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President Clinton has ordered federal education officials to help states and districts turn around low-performing schools.
Some observers worry that charter schools and other forms of choice will move public education away from the ideal of the "common schoool" and exacerbate racial and class separation. Includes: "Research on Charters and Integration Is Limited," and the chart, "Charter Schools and Race."
Separate attempts by two major school systems to cash in on the World Wide Web are breaking new ground in raising money while rekindling criticisms about commercialism in education.
With more than 3,100 students, Creekland Middle School is larger than many entire school districts.

Departments
A study released last week by the National Education Association estimates the current price tag for fixing and modernizing the nation's schools, and outfitting them with new technology, at $322 billion. Includes: "Construction Costs," a list of the 10 states with the highest total school construction needs.
The 10 states with the highest total school construction needs, in billions of dollars:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has levied a $1.4 million fine against the Detroit school district for failing to adhere to deadlines in monitoring asbestos levels in its schools.
Departments
  • School Anti-Drug Programs Questioned by UNC Study
  • Detroit Board Picks New Chief
  • Columbine Video Sales Resume
  • Floyd Flake Joins Edison
  • K.C. Case Dismissal Questioned
  • Arizona Cuts Access to Tests
  • Texas Teacher Morale Said Low
  • New Center Aids Charter Schools
  • Death
Departments
Computer programs designed for the diaper set—including infants as young as 9 months old—are carving out a niche in the nation's flourishing educational software market.
New guidelines for the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder from the nation's pediatricians will help foster more collaboration between schools and physicians, educators say.
High-quality child care not only prepares children for school, but can also be an effective crime-fighting strategy, says a new report from leading law-enforcement officials.
A new attendance-policing technology is helping to make cut slips a quaint memory in certain Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Maryland urban schools.
  • Voucher Plan Tears Apart Michigan GOP
  • Party Lines
Both sides in the long-standing case against the Baltimore district's special education system are optimistic that a new settlement will improve programs and ease the process of complying with court orders.
Departments
A survey of the limited research that has been done on the demographics of charter schools suggests that in some places, they are contributing to the racial and ethnic isolation of their students.
Bomb scares have become so prevalent at schools over the past few years that state lawmakers are now crafting policies specifically aimed at deterring them.
Bills pending in the Florida legislature that would essentially transfer control of adult education from school districts to community colleges are being described as a power grab by district officials and a much-needed reform by the bill's proponents.
Departments
With more than $100 million in proposed funding and a report card that would track achievement by race, North Carolina school leaders are stepping up efforts to close the persistent test-score gap separating the state's black and Hispanic students from their white counterparts.
Mississippi teachers are scheduled to receive raises aimed at increasing their pay to regionally competitive levels, under a bill signed last week by Gov. Ronnie Musgrove.
Colorado legislators have agreed to set aside $190 million over 11 years to pay for school construction and repair projects in the state's neediest districts.
Alaska lawmakers last week passed the largest school construction plan in the state's history, but it didn't satisfy Gov. Tony Knowles and others who say the bill will do too little to address the state's pressing facilities needs.
  • Utah Judge Halts New Policy on Weapons in Schools
  • Finance System Upheld in R.I.
  • Many Charter Laws Seen as Weak
  • N.J. Creates Urban Schools Council
  • Background Checks Planned in Ill.
When the topic of the digital divide arises, R. Craig Wood often asks school administrators and teachers to picture what it would be like to surf the Internet with their monitors turned off or without using a computer mouse.
An overhaul of the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program, tucked into the main education bills now moving through Congress, could potentially alter what thousands of schools teach about drug use and crime prevention.
At a White House conference on teenagers last week, President Clinton called on Congress to adopt several family-friendly budget items and signed an executive order that bars federal workplaces from discriminating against employees who are parents.
Departments
The Senate last week launched into a heated debate over the federal role in schools, as lawmakers took up Republican K-12 legislation that in its current form is sure to be vetoed by President Clinton.
Policymakers and researchers floated ideas for ways to buffer federally funded education research from the changing whims of politics during a House education subcommittee hearing last week.
  • Gore Takes Pains To Contrast Agenda
    With That of Bush
Public employers may require workers to use their compensatory time instead of stockpiling it for eventual payment in cash, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week.
After years of neglect, the arts are being recognized as an instrument for enhancing academic achievement.
The authority given to school administrators has not kept pace with the ever-increasing demands and responsibilities assigned to them, says one school leader.
A new book dissects the case of two New Jersey teenagers who were convicted of manslaughter in the death of their newborn son, whose body was left in in a dumpster outside a Delaware motel. Can educators learn from their story?
We need to worry less about our children's self-esteem and more about competence, argues Janine Bempechat.
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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