May 17, 2000

This Issue
Vol. 19, Issue 36
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Part four of our special series, The Changing Face of Public Education, explores the ways in which charter and voucher programs are held accountable. Includes: "Voucher Programs Pose Unique Set of Challenges."
One Rhode Island district has embraced National Certification to the tune of $80,000 annually.

Ohio's system for financing its schools is still broken and must be fixed within the next 12 months, the state supreme court ruled last week.
Philadelphia and 10 other low-achieving Pennsylvania school systems are bracing for the impact of a new law that gives the state education department vast new powers to intervene in them—and ultimately take them over.
The new chief executive officer of the Detroit schools calls his job "one of the most difficult in America," but says he took it because he believes the Motor City is on the verge of a rebirth that could restore the shine to the city and its schools.
Philadelphia students will be all dressed up with a place to go beginning in the fall. Hoping to cut down on distractions and add a greater air of seriousness to city classrooms, the Philadelphia school system last week became the largest district in the country to require school uniforms.
  • Md. School Drug Testing Challenged by ACLU Staff
  • Ky. Judge Bars Commandments
  • Columbine Student Mourned
  • Leaders Revisit Boston Compact
  • HISD Starting Pre-K English
  • Cheating Inquiry Cites Teachers
  • Gift Reaps Bay Area Rewards
  • District's LEP Services Faulted
  • Death
America continues to be the world's biggest education spender, but precollegiate teachers here may not be getting their fair share of the investment, an international report suggests.
A coalition of education groups convened by a former presidential aide is setting out to improve civics education in the schools.
Since 1964, the Job Corps has been the centerpiece of the federal government's efforts to help disadvantaged youths ages 16 to 24 improve their academic skills and find employment.
Harvard University's Urban Superintendents Program is one of the oldest and best-known of a growing number of efforts to create innovative training programs to better prepare school administrators for the new pressures of accountability and demands to improve.
Rod Paige of Houston has become the nation's highest-paid superintendent, after a school board vote there raised his salary to $275,000 a year.
Willard C. Korn has been on the job for just over a month now as the president and chief executive officer of, the budding for-profit venture of the College Board. That's a lot in Internet time, and Mr. Korn has been busy hiring staff members and preparing what he hopes will be the premier World Wide Web site for college-preparation services.
John L. Hammett, a Rhode Island schoolteacher-turned-textbook-salesman, was looking for a way to clean his chalkboard in the early 1860s when he hit upon an idea that would help launch a thriving school supply enterprise. Includes " Prepares To Launch."
Aretha Franklin isn't the only one clamoring for "a little respect." The nation's top educators also feel unappreciated, underpaid, and overworked, all factors that they say contribute to the inability of school districts to retain classroom teachers.
Marilyn Jachetti Whirry took an unusual route in her education career, but that route eventually brought her to the White House Rose Garden, where she was honored last week as the National Teacher of the Year 2000.
  • Corporations, Educators Work on Strategic Giving
In an era when many communities begrudge the money that goes to public schools, the town of Cary, N.C., might just be an anomaly. The 98,000-resident suburb of Raleigh has money to spare, and officials there would like to share their prosperity with students.
Of the continuum of options that make up the school choice movement, none puts as much faith in the free market as vouchers. Parents, the thinking behind such programs goes, should be the primary regulators, and government's job should be limited to giving families tuition aid that they can use at the private school of their choosing.
As Florida officials fight to save the nation's only statewide voucher program, Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to sign a bill this month that would broaden the program by letting students with disabilities transfer to private schools if their public schools fail to meet their needs.
California teachers were celebrating a deal with Gov. Gray Davis and legislative leaders last week that the teachers say should give them a belated share of the Golden State's booming economy in the form of higher salaries.
Gay-rights advocates in Massachusetts are hailing new regulations protecting gay and lesbian students from harassment and discrimination in schools. But a gubernatorial commission is criticizing the state school board's decision to change language governing how homosexuals are to be portrayed in the school curriculum.
The New York state school board has adopted the first phase of a plan to rate schools according to student test scores, including—in the future—those from a school's racial and ethnic subgroups.
  • Arizona
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Inidana
  • Kentucky
  • Missouri
  • New Mexico
Some school groups and state policymakers are asking Congress to tread carefully as it takes up legislation that could limit tax revenues from sales over the Internet.
The teacher-accountability plan that Vice President Al Gore proposed this month presents a mixed bag for teachers.
Congressional Republicans sent some mixed signals on federal education spending last week, as Senate appropriators slightly exceeded President Clinton's huge budget request while their House counterparts fell significantly short.
Six Department of Education employees have been suspended indefinitely without pay in connection with a recently uncovered scheme that allegedly defrauded the agency of more than $1 million, the Department of Justice announced last week.
Just five years ago, many believed the Department of Education wouldn't be around to see its 20th anniversary.
The Senate overwhelmingly rejected a proposal last week that some moderate Democrats had hoped might break the partisan stalemate over reauthorizing the nation's main K-12 education law.
Assessing students' writing poses special challenges. Some worry it comes at too high an instructional price.
Special education procedures defy common sense, argues author Andrew P. Dunn.
Legislation that encourages the donation of more older computers can only serve to increase schools' long-term technology costs—and headaches. What would make computer donations truly valuable, and how can companies be encouraged to make them?
For the last decade, New Zealand has functioned as a laboratory for the key ideas underlying governance-based school reform movements in the United States. What lessons can be learned from them?
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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