May 24, 2000

This Issue
Vol. 19, Issue 37
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Nine years after the first charter school was created in St. Paul, Minn., nearly 1,700 are operating in 34 states and the District of Columbia. But the question remains: Are public schools any better for it? Last in a five-part series.
Every year, about the time the cherry blossoms bloom creamy pink, dozens of educators gather at a Washington hotel to decide which schools will earn the National Blue Ribbon Schools award, and which ones won't.
Several California civil rights organizations sued the state last week, charging that it has failed to provide some students with even the most basic of educational necessities.
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education released new standards last week.

Departments
Departments
Three big-city school districts weathered major transitions last week in their top management, as New York's temporary leader became its permanent one and the superintendents in the District of Columbia and Denver resigned.
Harold O. Levy, left, who has been the interim chancellor of the New York City schools since January, was named as the permanent replacement for Rudolph F. Crew. Arlene Ackerman, below, the superintendent of the District of Columbia schools, announced she was leaving to take the top job in the San Francisco system.
  • Ariz. High School Athletes Indicted on Hazing Charges
  • Ala. District Spending Examined
  • Athlete Moved to House Arrest
  • Grant Boosts School-Family Ties
  • S.C. Coach Pleads Guilty
  • Threat Changes E-Mail Policy
  • Los Alamos Schools To Reopen
  • 6th Graders Charged With Lying
  • Principal Resigns Over Gun
Dillon Staas, 18, leads a group of 500 students in a student walkout at Ohio's Portsmouth High School last week over a new budget that cuts curriculum programs and teaching positions. Classes were cancelled for the remainder of the day at the 630-student school 90 miles south of Columbus, and later in the week school officials met with students to discuss the budget.
Cincinnati's public schools will pioneer an innovative plan to pay teachers based on their performance rather than on the number of years spent in the classroom, provided that the local union ratifies the change this coming fall.
The exhaustive report released last week by the Jefferson County, Colo., sheriff's office on the Columbine shootings was a sharp reminder to school officials across the nation of the need to share detailed information about their facilities with local police—from building plans to light switches.
Few materials have been as important in early-childhood education as blocks.
Departments
A strict definition of research inserted last month into a bill for the reauthorization of the major federal law on precollegiate education has raised strong objections from education researchers. Includes "Maryland Study Find Benefits in 'Integrated Instruction' Method," and "In Short."
Maryland elementary students who were taught to read by teachers who combined reading lessons with other subject matter made much bigger gains on reading tests than children who were drilled on skills alone, a report concludes.
Several big-city school districts that receive federal Title I money to raise the achievement of needy students are doing just that, according to a recent report conducted for the U.S. Department of Education.
Departments
In three years, the nation's "report card" will test American students in their grasp of a language other than English.
Schools are closing the gap between minority and white students in their use of computers in the classroom, but discrepancies persist in the ways they use them, a new study suggests.
California legislators of both parties seem content to go along with Gov. Gray Davis' proposal to spend nearly $4 billion more on education, but they appear to be giving a collective thumbs-down to his widely publicized plan to exempt teachers from the state's personal-income tax.
In 1997, Justice Jon Wilcox of the state supreme court was up for election to a full term on the bench, when late in his campaign, some 354,000 postcards flooded mailboxes urging citizens to vote.
Departments
Louisiana is poised to become what appears to be the first state to hold back elementary and middle school students based on so-called high-stakes tests.
Alabama Gov. Donald Siegelman claimed victory last week as the state legislature hammered out an 11th-hour deal to gradually increase teacher salaries to the national average and to end tenure for new principals. He is expected to sign the measures into law this week.
A South Carolina judge has ruled that a racial quota in the state's charter school law renders the entire act unconstitutional, leaving lawmakers scrambling to forge a new plan before the legislative session ends next month.
As part of a highly unusual vote-by-mail primary, voters in more than a dozen Oregon school districts last week had their first chance in a decade to increase funding for their schools by raising local property taxes.
New York City school officials would have to set up more classes for their special education students next fall, under newly passed legislation that requires the district to start complying with state class-size limits.
  • Pa. Board OKs Certification Plan To Require New Teachers
    To Earn Higher College GPAs
  • Bill Modifying Minn. Graduation Standards Approved
  • Drive To Ban Affirmative Action in Fla. Put on Hold
  • Kansas
  • North Dakota
  • Washington
  • Wyoming
Higher education officials are angry over new regulations that will change the way colleges and universities structure financial-aid packages for needy students in the $200 million federal Gear Up program.
It's time to revise the nation's goals for education technology, according to the Department of Education, which has been seeking comments on suggested changes.
Departments
The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear the appeal of a high school teacher who was fired after a marijuana cigarette was found in her car and she refused to take a drug test.
  • House Bill Makes Changes to Impact Aid
  • School Groups To Promote Selective Service System
With more young people getting caught in the maelstrom of methamphetamine abuse, school and community leaders are struggling to come to their rescue.
For the past two years, Iowa state officials have had to rely on a 20-foot-long trailer to get the word out about methamphetamine. The drug isn't covered in depth by existing drug-abuse-prevention curricula, they say, and is too big a problem in the state to go unaddressed. So officials have depended on the Iowa National Guard to help them haul a mobile methamphetamine exhibit from one town to another.
A national strategy to help teachers succeed.
A professor notes the changes in the classroom and the world.
A look at the revised mathematics standards of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
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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