January 31, 2001
Vol. 20, Issue 20
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The sweeping education plan proposed by President Bush last week reflects a growing political consensus that the federal government should step up the pressure on states and school districts to improve academic achievement.
The first California district to lose control of its schools to the state for financial and academic reasons is gradually regaining power.
Efforts to improve math instruction and achievement must move beyond the single-minded debates over how the subject should be taught to a more comprehensive view of what students need to become proficient, a long-awaited report from the National Research Council recommends. Includes the tables, "Mathematics Learning Study Committee," and "Math Committee's Key Recommendations."
President Bush's drumbeat for testing and accountability in education could require more than half the states to greatly expand their testing programs.
American schools need to embrace the culture and values of Hispanic girls as strengths that can help them succeed in the classroom, and later the boardroom, a report released last week argues.
Union leaders and district officials in Los Angeles agreed last week to a tentative three-year contract that would raise educators' salaries handsomely and give principals more power in assigning teaching jobs.
- Federal Appeals Court Upholds Uniform Policy
- Superintendent Hit by Bullet
- Preschoolers Leave Toxic Site
- Historic School Burns Down
- Cleveland May Seek Bond
- Radio Stations Banned on Buses
Contrary to the predictions of many children's advocates, some programs that require single mothers on welfare to work do not have a negative effect on their children's performance in school, a report suggests. Includes the table, "Child and Welfare Reform."
Researchers examined the following welfare-reform programs to understand what effect they had on children:
Only 12 of Philadelphia's 260 schools have taken advantage of a policy change that offers individual schools new authority to choose their own teaching staffs. District leaders had negotiated for the change in the latest teachers' contract.
Georgia's hope Scholarship program, which provides up to $3,000 a year in college aid to high school students who graduate with a B average, has enticed top-notch students to choose to attend in-state colleges and universities in greater numbers than ever before, a study concludes.
A study to be published this winter found a significant positive correlation between the degree of unionization in a state and how well its students fared on the tests.
An experiment in two California schools suggests that watching less television cuts down on children's aggressive behavior.
- New York City School Crowd Cheers for Bilingual Education
Voicing growing dismay, California school officials said last week that the state's power crisis will quickly drain districts' pocketbooks.
- Education Publisher Moves Science Textbooks Online
Ohio Gov. Bob Taft and his fellow Republicans in the legislature made education their first order of business last week, kicking off the 2001 legislative session with two competing plans to mend a school funding system twice declared unconstitutional by the state supreme court.
Wisconsin lawmakers are warming to proposals that would modify much-criticized state caps on school spending, after long dismissing warnings from administrators and teachers that such measures are crippling schools.
- North Dakota
- Mass. Gives Students More Cracks at Passing Exams
- Suit Over N.J. Facilities Dismissed
- K.C. Takeover Bill Proposed in Mo.
- Colo. Tax Breaks Die in Committee
The new secretary of education's first week on the job was a whirlwind, with President Bush declaring Jan. 22-26 to be "Education Week" and aggressively promoting his "No Child Left Behind" education plan.
Although President Bush has proposed more testing and accountability for schools receiving federal aid under the Title I program for disadvantaged students, two reports released to Congress last week suggest that most states have yet to meet the law's existing requirements in those areas.
Now that President Bush has outlined his education package, it falls on a skilled lawmaker not often associated with education matters to help steer the plan through Congress: Rep. John A. Boehner (R-Ohio).
Call it "scholarships," "parental options," "school choice," or even "student opportunities"—call it anything but "vouchers."
Here are highlights of President Bush's education agenda as unveiled last week:
The map depicts the states that administer tests in English/language arts and mathematics every year from the 3rd through the 8th grades.
The mastermind who embezzled at least $3.5 million from the Sumter, S.C., schools is behind bars. But more than just cash was lost in the scheme—it cost lifelong educators their jobs and reputations. Includes: "Stopping Theft Before It Happens."
Embezzlement has struck many school districts, but it doesn't have to.
PAGE 38 - Commentary
Advice for Rod Paige from outgoing Secretary Richard W. Riley's former chief of staff, Leslie T. Thornton.
PAGE 39 - Commentary
Stories like The Tale of Peter Rabbitt remain timely—and essential—because they give children the opportunity to reflect on the realities of their day-to-day lives, writes Lawrence R. Sipe.
PAGE 40 - Commentary
James W. Fraser wonders whether it might not be time for teacher preparation programs simply to concentrate on offering the best possible programs for future teachers, while leaving it to state and local governments and individual schools to decide who is qualified to be certified and hired?
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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