February 7, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 20, Issue 21
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For the first time since the government guaranteed a free, appropriate public education to students with disabilities in 1975, school districts have started using innovative methods to conquer what some call the final frontier for "inclusion": the bus ride.
Calling for "a renaissance in teaching," a coalition of national business groups pledged last week to put as much energy into a new campaign to improve teacher quality as corporate leaders have put behind the movement to raise academic standards.
As the 2001 legislative sessions gather steam, experts say that some states have never been more primed for school finance reform than right now.
Urban educators are hopeful that Education Secretary Rod Paige, the former Houston superintendent and school board member, will champion their causes even as he helps lead the charge for President Bush's own extensive set of K-12 proposals.
Departments
Thousands of schoolchildren go on the World Wide Web each day without knowing that their "surfing" patterns are being studied, anti-commercialism groups and privacy advocates are warning.
With a considerable body of research on how children acquire basic reading skills already established, more attention needs to be directed toward building a sustained and systematic study of reading comprehension, a panel of experts concludes.
Departments
  • Boy Scouts Drop Units Opposed to Gay Policy
  • Mother Charged With Assault
  • Principal Falsifies Grades
  • Board Sticks to Teacher Rebuke
  • D.A. To Probe School Fight
  • Man Poses as Student
Departments
College administrators, freshman instructors, and other faculty members from the University of Oregon gathered last week for the first in a series of national meetings to examine the connection between the skills needed to succeed in college and K-12 academic standards and tests.
Princeton University, in an aggressive effort to help students avoid the crushing debt load they often face after graduating from college, has revamped its financial-aid programs to eliminate loans and replace them entirely with grants.
Departments
Students with disabilities who are involved in violence or other serious incidents at school are being punished in the same way as other students who commit comparable acts, according to a federal report.
  • Report Says Anti-Drug Television Ads Work
  • Birthweight and Academic Performance
Departments
The Foxfire Fund, the Georgia-based group that pioneered an active-learning method emulated by teachers nationwide, has been forced to downsize its operation because it has fallen on hard financial times.
A help-wanted ad for the new Bush administration could read something like this: Now hiring 7,000 well-qualified people for relatively low-paying, high- stress political jobs with long hours and little job security.
  • ‘Empowering’ Use of Technology in Schools
  • Youth-Violence Trends
  • Children's Computer Skills
  • No Longer No. 1
  • Milwaukee Disparities
  • What Children Need
  • Road Maps for Reform
  • Children's Mental Health
  • Black Girls and Science
  • Saying No to Sex
Four national business organizations have launched a campaign to improve teacher quality through a comprehensive plan to change the way teachers are trained, paid, and supported. Among the groups' proposals are:
When President Bush recently unveiled an accountability plan for low-performing schools that could lead to federal aid for education vouchers, he told a group of lawmakers: "If somebody has got a better idea, I hope they bring it forward."
Departments
  • Michigan
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Wisconsin
The Utah House approved a measure last week that labor groups say would make it harder for them to raise money for their political activities, a move that teachers' union leaders contend is retribution for a statewide teacher strike last fall.
  • Md. Reaches Deal on Giving More
    To Baltimore Schools
  • Bill on National Motto Debated in Va.
  • Ariz. Releases Test Questions
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • South Carolina
Religious groups would be able to seek federal funding for after-school programs under President Bush's initiative for encouraging the involvement of "faith-based" organizations in addressing the nation's social problems.
Departments
When Sen. Edward M. Kennedy stepped out of a recent White House meeting and raved about President Bush's education plan, it raised a provocative question: If an unabashed liberal likes so many elements of the proposal, why aren't conservatives complaining?
One week after President Bush and a group of centrist Democrats offered their plans for improving the nation's schools, a leading House Democrat upped the ante by proposing to increase federal spending on K-12 education by $110 billion over five years.
  • House Ed. Panel To Reorganize,
    Drop Oversight Subcommittee
  • Ashcroft, Chao Win Senate Confirmation
Research on dropouts is hindered by the lack of a uniform way to count students who quit school. Includes a chart, "Who Counts as a Dropout?," a table, "Common Methods of Measuring School Dropouts," and a further-resources index "Where To Find Out More About Dropouts."
High school completion rates vary depending on how the term is defined. The blue line below includes 18- to 24-year-olds with high school diplomas as well as alternatives such as the GED certificate. The yellow line counts only those with diplomas.
Some of the newer studies on dropouts and on students earning General Educational Development certificates include:
Fordham University's Lew Smith offers a four-point framework for measuring real change in schools.
Advanced Placement courses should be used as a challenging intellectual experience only, not as a college-admission ticket, says one guidance counselor and AP teacher.
William G. Howell, Patrick J. Wolf, Paul E. Peterson, and David E. Campbell defend their controversial recent study on how school vouchers affect student test scores.
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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