December 6, 2000

This Issue
Vol. 20, Issue 14
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Advocates maintain that dedicated, passionate, and independent stewardship is what consistently sets the charter model apart from regular public schools. But even some supporters worry that too many charter school leaders are trying to do it all. Includes: "Knowing When To Say When Isn't Easy for Founders."
Where students go to high school determines in large part how prepared they will be to succeed in college and graduate with a degree, according to a state-by-state report card on higher education released last week. Includes a chart, "Location, Location, Location."
President Gerald R. Ford didn't hide his skepticism as he signed the Education for All Handicapped Children Act into law 25 years ago. Since then, involved parties have often expressed frustration over the very problems that President Ford anticipated.
Teachers in Virginia have had to squeeze more material into less time ever since the state launched a new testing program three years ago. As a result, they say, school feels like one big test-prep course. Includes: "Virginia Reacts to Complaints by Tweaking Timing of Tests."
Departments
A blue-ribbon panel was scheduled to release guidelines this week to aid consumers in deciding which improvement designs and consultants would be right for their schools and which are most likely to yield results.
The city of Quincy, Mass., has dropped a plan to build a high school on a defunct toxic dump, bowing to mounting opposition from community members worried about health risks to future students.
Departments
  • National Board Honors New Crop of Teachers
  • School for Homeless Opens
  • Teen Use of 'Ecstasy' Rises
  • N.C. District Thinking 'Green'
  • Detroit Audits Reveal Fraud
  • Judge fines N.J. Union
  • Mass. Workshop Draws Suit
Departments
How teenagers perform in school, and the peers they hang out with after classes, have more influence than their race or family-income level on whether they will drink alcohol, smoke cigarettes, or carry weapons, a national study released last week suggests.
An association that includes some of the most respected private schools in the country is urging its members to re-evaluate their sponsorship of Boy Scout troops because it believes the organization's exclusion of homosexuals is unfair.
Departments
Some educators are working lessons into the curriculum to help students learn to critically evaluate the messages they get from the news, entertainment, and advertising industries. Includes "Sorting It Out," a sampling of media-literacy resources.
Here is a sampling of media-literacy resources for educators.
Incidents at several schools during the recently completed election cycle have raised both legal and ethical questions about how deeply students should be immersed in partisan politics.
By the end of kindergarten, most children have acquired beginning reading and mathematics skills and show that they have gained knowledge over the course of the year, according to the first-ever long-term study of the nation's kindergartners.
A national group is trying to stir up a revolt against what it calls "harmful toy trends," warning educators and parents to be skeptical of claims that toys raise intelligence or improve language skills.
A federal appeals court ruled last week that the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., schools are not fully desegregated, overturning a lower-court decision that would have ended decades of busing just as the district was putting a school choice plan in place.
  • One Test Is Not Enough, Math Educators Say
  • Credit for Shopping
  • Framing Teacher Licenses
  • Mass. Math Alternative
  • Online Science Bookstore
  • Science Stimulates Reading
  • Charter Expansion
Measuring Up 2000 grades each state in five categories relating to higher education. The grades for preparation are based in part on data on high school completion, course-taking, and student achievement, as measured by 8th grade scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, along with sat and Advanced Placement scores. Grades for participation are determined in part by the percentage of young adults and working-age adults enrolled in some type of postsecondary education. Affordability measures how well students and families can afford college given the state's financial-aid offerings, among other data. Completion grades are based in part on the percentage of students earning a bachelor's degree within five years. Grades for benefits are based in part on the percentage of residents who have a bachelor's degree or higher and how that percentage translates into personal income.
Ron Caya has stepped into the background.
Both of the state teachers' unions in Louisiana have announced plans to pressure the governor and the legislature to come up with money for raises in the coming months.
An independent review of Minnesota's graduation standards has concluded that while well-intentioned, they are hard to use in the classroom, and that the system supporting them is too decentralized.
Departments
Michigan's system of financing special education is once again the subject of litigation.
  • Utah Teachers Plan 1-Day Strike
    In Bid for More School Funding
  • Pa. Asks Court To Let Takeover
    Proceed
  • More Money for Textbooks Urged
    In Utah
  • ECS Refashions Web Site Around Issues
  • Scores on Maryland Test Bounce Back
As complaints about Virginia's demanding high-stakes tests continued to boil in classrooms across the state last week, the state board of education adopted plans that it hopes will help reduce some of that grumbling to a simmer.
As Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Vice President Al Gore both move ahead with plans for a transition, there is no indication from either camp about whom they might select as secretary of education.
The new House freshman class includes members with a range of education experience at the state and local levels, from former teachers and school board members to state legislators active on school matters.
Departments
The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear the appeal of an Oregon family that had challenged a state rule barring the provision of special education services on the premises of religious schools.
The number of children living in poverty has declined across the nation as a whole, but some states have seen significant increases, according to U.S. Census Bureau data released last week that will be used in calculating federal aid under Title I.
More of the nation's special education students are graduating from high school with regular diplomas than ever before, according to a new Department of Education report. Includes the chart, "Diplomas and Disabilities."
When Randy Briggs graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a degree in special education in 1976, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act was still new, having been passed just the year before.
Over time, Congress has increased funding dramatically for state grants under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
On a recent fall day, Katie Maunder and seven of her 9th grade classmates are sitting in front of a slide show about swamp life. Two students are bent over, taking notes, and another is helping with the projector.
To many scholars, the link between school facilities and student learning simply isn't that neat—or even there. Includes "School Facilities and Student Learning," a list of resources.
The now popular education reform slogan "all children can learn" is a deterrant meaningful action on behalf of students, argue M. Donald Thomas and William L. Bainbridge.
Before the next election, ditching all the sloganeering about "the children" and asking "Is it good for the parents?" might be the best thing for American education, says Gregory J. Cizek.
The dictatorial belief that hard facts comprise the goals of education has re-entered the 21st century classroom, writes Bruce Shaw. Fancy and wonder, the dervishes of imagination, are out.
Letters
I applaud your recent special supplement on the challenges and possibilities of middle-grades education ("Middle Grades: Feeling the Squeeze," Oct. 4, 2000). You provided administrators, teachers, and parents with a great deal of information on the history of middle-grades reform, current tensions and struggles, and promising practices.
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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