December 13, 2000

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Vol. 20, Issue 15
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Changing Face Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same.
This winter, seven teachers from across the United States will be in Antarctica as part of a National Science Foundation program that pairs K-12 teachers with professional research teams. This type of project is vital if teachers are to generate student enthusiasm for science, educators say.
In 1995, the nation's 4th graders aced international mathematics and science tests. By the time they reached the 8th grade in 1999, though, they had become little better than C students on a global curve, a study released here last week concludes. Includes "Math, Science Study To Spawn Host of Research Projects" and a chart, "Scoring Across Time."
Once again, the question in Dallas is not who will sit in the district superintendent's chair at 3700 Ross Ave., but how long he will stay there. Includes a timeline, "A Parade of Leaders."
As the competition to lure enough qualified teachers intensifies, districts are becoming sticklers about ensuring that teachers honor their work agreements.
  • Security Probe Faults Philadelphia
  • Animal-Cruelty Charges Filed
  • Teen Pleads Guilty in School Fire
  • Vote on Hartford Board Fails
  • District Appeals Drug Ruling
  • Arrested School Chief Quits
  • Poll to Guage Public's View
  • Buffalo Union Fined in Strike
The Boy Scouts of America has sued the Broward County, Fla., schools, charging the nation's fifth-largest district with violating its freedom of speech and association.
Clarification (added April 17, 2002):
The misdemeanor charges reported in this story have since been dismissed against the principal, Corazon Rodil, according to authorities, because the statute of limitations had expired between the time the alleged reporting violation occurred and the date the charge was filed.

Ms. Rodil, then the principal of Anne Darling Elementary School in San Jose, Calif., informed law-enforcement officials of allegations against 5th grade teacher Mario Duarte in 2000. During their investigation, police said they found that Ms. Rodil had previously learned about allegations against Mr. Duarte, but did not report them. The charges against Ms. Rodil stemmed from the earlier period.

Mr. Duarte later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 19 years in prison for molesting five children between 1998 and 2000.

A Boston-based program pairs federal Work-Study college students with children in Head Start and other programs serving low-income preschoolers.
A study of students' drawings of themselves taking a state test in Massachusetts suggests that, far from motivating all students to do better, high-stakes testing may actually diminish how hard some youngsters try, the study's authors say.
When President Clinton unveiled plans two years ago to mobilize an army of volunteers to tutor children in reading, critics complained that the research base supporting the idea was weak. Too few studies had even looked at such programs, they said. And those that had were either not rigorous or had produced lukewarm results.
Students in the Boulder Valley, Colo., district are becoming more racially and academically stratified as a result of the district's open-enrollment policies, a study concludes.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., school board has voted to drop a new student-assignment plan in the wake of a ruling by a federal appeals court.
Hillsborough County school officials are at odds with local NAACP representatives about the best way to maintain and improve racial balance in their west Florida district.
A small band of alumni from the Milton Hershey School is waging a battle against the school's administration over the finances, philosophy, and future of the institution that irrevocably changed their lives.
Plagiarism is a breeze on the Web, where a proliferation of special sites offer thousands of research papers, ready for students to copy in a matter of seconds. But now, Web sites are cropping up to nab the cyber-plagiarists.
The black community must launch a grassroots movement to close the achievement gap between black and white students and revitalize urban schools, civic and education leaders said here last week.
Declaring that Americans want their children well-versed in civic responsibility as well as in academics, a newly formed committee is urging schools to make service learning a part of every child's education.
  • School-to-Work Conference Tackles
    Movement's Limitations
  • Report Criticizes Whole Language
  • School Data Shortage
  • Breakfast Boosts Learning
  • Helping Troubled Teens
  • Keys to Achievement
  • Inside Community Schools
  • High Achievers' Attitudes
  • Environmental Education
  • Child-Care Accreditation

In 1999, international math and science tests were administered to the same cohort of 8th graders in 17 countries that took the tests as 4th graders in 1995. The charts below show how each nation's students measured up against the average score of the 17 countries. For example, U.S. 4th graders scored 28 points higher than the average in science in 1995, but as 8th graders scored nine points below the average in 1999.

Test scores released last week are only the first in a series of research generated by the Third International Mathematics and Science Study—Repeat.
The Dallas school district has had six superintendents since 1993, including Mike Moses, who takes his turn next month.
On the Ice: Expedition to Antarctica Kevin A. Lavigne awoke at 4 a.m., afraid that his chemistry students would ruin the experiment that had incubated for a month in his closet.
Teachers traveling to Antarctica leave their homes and classrooms for up to eight weeks, keep daily records of their work, mentor colleagues on how to incorporate polar research into their classrooms, and create lesson plans related to their research for posting on the Web.
The U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights is considering how to resolve an unprecedented complaint that Pennsylvania violates the civil rights of students with limited proficiency in English because it doesn't require teachers of English as a second language to be certified in the subject.
Faced with the potential of high failure rates, the California board of education voted last week to shorten the state's new high school exit exam, in part by eliminating some of the more difficult algebra questions.
  • Calif. Teacher Crunch Worse
    Despite Efforts, Study Finds
  • Pa. Plan Stirs Debate on Evolution
  • Conn. Targets School Bus Licenses
  • Calif. SAT Extensions Questioned
Calling on educators, policymakers, and parents to be patient yet persistent, North Carolina Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. said last week that the state's public schools stand about average on five broad indicators, but face a long road ahead in their quest to be among the best in the nation.
State officials in Georgia are considering shutting the doors of several public and private schools of education if their graduates continue to perform poorly on teacher-licensing exams.
A dramatic funding increase proposed for the Department of Education was still in question late last week, as the White House and Republican leaders in Congress struggled to reach agreement on four unfinished spending bills.
Mary Jean LeTendre, director of compensatory education programs, which include Title I, is retiring, after a 30-year career in the federal government. She leaves with a reputation as one of the department's best-liked and most committed employees.
The National Education Goals Panel offered familiar strategies to help schools succeed in a report released here last week. Setting high expectations for all students, consistent policies on reform, and clear accountability procedures were among the practices the report's authors recommended.
Far from being a model for U.S. efforts, the education reform program in England is based less on well-designed policies and sound data than on naming and shaming, argue Dennis W. Cheek, Carol T. Fitz-Gibbon, and Peter Tymms.
The way many districts are implementing state mandates looks more like assault and battery than an open-forum, step-by-step process, write Marilyn Page and Bruce Marlowe, and teachers are the ones paying the price.
Collaborative projects between schools and colleges are starting to show promise, say Gene I. Maeroff, Patrick M. Callan, and Michael D. Usdan. They pinpoint five issues on which such work could be accelaterated.
Grown-ups need to catch up with the kids if online learning is going to be truly educational, writes Todd R. Nelson.
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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