May 31, 2000

This Issue
Vol. 19, Issue 38
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Many immigrants overcome tremendous odds to succeed in school. But their immigration status may bar them from a college education.

If the effort to reauthorize the nation's main K-12 education law were a patient, it would be in critical condition. Includes the chart, "Progress Report."
As the 2000 presidential campaign heats up, the rapid gains that Texas students are making on state tests are being called everything from a "miracle" to an "outright fraud" by commentators and academics from coast to coast. Almost certainly, neither of those extremes is true, but in the swirl of conflicting evidence surrounding the state's school performance, it's difficult to tell which tale, in the end, will be taller.
An Indiana lawsuit is believed to be the first to directly challenge the implementation of a high-stakes exit exam as a diploma requirement for special education students.

Starting next fall, Chicago parents are scheduled to receive reports every five weeks from their children's public schools. But unlike most correspondence between teachers and parents, these reports will focus less on student performance than on the parents' own role in their children's education.
College enrollment is expected to swell by 19 percent in the next 20 years due, in part, to the growth of minority students among the college-age population, a report released last week concludes.
  • Hartford Board Offers To Extend Amato's Contract
  • Principals Demoted in Seattle
  • Miami To Begin Safety Repairs
  • Anchorage Slashes Budget
  • Utah District Spares School
  • Dallas May Lose Filipino Teachers
  • Ind. Student Charged in Plot
  • Adamany Accepts Temple Post
  • OSHA Penalizes Ore. District
  • Detroit Parent Seeks $10 Million
Vast, struggling and chaotic, the New York City school system can be compared to many things—a Fortune 500 company; an old, lumbering train; a squabbling family—but only a man like Harold O. Levy would compare it to an artistic gathering capable of unspeakable beauty.
Teaching is a labor of love for educators, yet many report that their working conditions are undesirable and they lack classroom-management skills, says a study released last week.
  • Conflicting Views on the Effects of School Choice on Integration
  • Many More Students Are Abusing Ritalin, DEA Official Testifies
  • Drowsy Children
Personal computers continue to get better and cheaper, but many schools still can't afford enough of them to provide the technology-saturated educational environment they want.
Improving a wayward urban school system is tough enough. Add oversight from Congress, competing supervisory boards, and other levels of government to the mix, and checks-and-balances become hurdles-and-haggles.
Trying to help high-achieving students who are undocumented aliens reach their college goals has become a routine as confusing as it is heartbreaking for many high school guidance counselors here and across the country.
Edith Carmona is in the Twilight Zone of immigration status known as "in-process."
As Indiana has ratcheted up its expectations for young people, it also has invested heavily in remediation to help students pass its high school exit tests.
The Massachusetts state school board last week declared that math teachers in schools where students repeatedly fail state tests will be required to take tests themselves.
By the final gavel closing their legislative session this month, Minnesota lawmakers had not scuttled the state's embattled graduation standards, as many had hoped. Nor had they offered school districts a competing, turn-back-the-clock system, as many others had feared.
Striking a blow to some of the state's fastest-growing districts, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled that an adults-only housing complex near Daytona Beach does not have to pay school impact fees because none of its residents are school-age.
As the state-run Newark, N.J., school system slowly begins its transition back to local control, an extensive new study shows that while test scores have risen since the 1995 takeover, clearly defined priorities and effective leadership remain elusive throughout the financially troubled district.
The Massachusetts Department of Education has become embroiled in a controversy over a gay-rights forum where high school students and department employees took part in sexually explicit discussions that were captured on audiotape by a parents' group.
  • Vt. To Punish Bomb Scares by Taking Driver's Licenses
  • Ariz. Court Upholds Unruly Student
  • Pro-Standards Group Forms in N.J.
  • N.Y. Charters Sue Over State Tests
House Republicans and Democrats agreed last week that the Department of Education's accounting records should be examined more closely following recent incidents that point to fraud and abuse.
The Department of Education has announced a competition that aims to showcase the nation's most successful teacher-preparation programs.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week declined to hear New York state's appeal of lower-court rulings that require it to pay half the costs of desegregating the Yonkers public schools.
  • House Judiciary Committee Approves School Security Funds
  • Gore Proposes More After-School Help
  • Bill To Improve Food Program Passes
To find out whether their new food products would be popular in schools, the U.S. Department of Agriculture last week went straight to its No. 1 customers: schoolchildren.
Following are brief descriptions and the status of bills to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act:
The United States has whipped most childhood diseases. But along the Mexican border, schoolchildren are still being stricken at alarming rates.
If we are truly to help students meet standards, Ellen Meyers and Frances O'Connell Rust argue, we need to teach teachers how to assess their own work and its impact.
Perhaps the most illusory pretense toward school reform is the often-heard call for leadership by principals and superintendents, Irving H. Buchen argues.
The nation's newer history textbooks lack the fundamental virtues of clarity, drama, and objectivity, says Gilbert T. Sewall.
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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