February 28, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 20, Issue 24
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It looks like sex, but it's dancing. It's called freak dancing, and teenagers of all types are freaking at school events across the country. Many school administrators are less than thrilled.
In light of recent closings, some Minnesota policymakers are questioning how much autonomy charter schools should have, and some districts are putting the brakes on sponsoring new ones.
Next to "accountability," flexibility is the most popular term in the political lexicon when it comes to federal education policy. But figuring out exactly what politicians mean by it is complicated.
A state high school athletic association whose membership and governance are dominated by public schools should be considered an arm of state government subject to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week.
Departments
Citing what it sees as a troubling lack of common sense that schools sometimes use when applying "zero tolerance" discipline policies, the American Bar Association approved a resolution last week opposing such policies.
Chicago school officials announced last week that the district's policy on summer school, which is already one of the nation's toughest, is about to get tougher.
Departments
  • U.S. Judge Dismisses Suit Over N.J. Survey
  • Teacher-Test Pass Rate Goes Up
  • Pa. Teachers End Strike
  • Student Charged in Bomb Case
  • Embezzlement Suit Filed in N.J.
  • Ex-Student Wins Damages
  • Superintendent Dies in Crash
  • Doll Project Causes a Stir
Weeks after banning a 3rd grader's science fair exhibit, a Boulder, Colo., school will now use the experiment with black and white Barbie dolls to discuss racial issues.
A federal appeals court in Pennsylvania has ruled that a school district's anti-harassment policy was unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment right of freedom of speech.
Richard C. Atkinson, president of the University of California system, has proposed eliminating SAT scores as a requirement for admission to the 170,000-student system.
Through its "Cities Building Cities" program, the Council of the Great City Schools marshals its top educators and administrators to review urban districts and craft recommendations to put them on the path to improvement.
First lady Laura Bush is scheduled to be on hand in Washington this week at an event kicking off a new journal that aims to bridge the gap between research and policy in education.
States should stay the course in the standards and accountability movement, a leading business group recommends, because the effort is starting to show results after more than a decade of work.
States have made significant improvements in their mathematics and science instruction during the past decade, but they still want federal help in targeted areas to aid their progress, a report suggests.
Departments
Departments
A group of parent activists in Boston wants to turn over the leadership of the city's public schools to the 13-member City Council, rather than the current seven-member panel that is picked by the mayor.
  • Schools on the Web Face a Tangle
    Of Legal Issues
Departments
More than two-thirds of the 86 charter school closures have resulted either from mismanagement or from involuntary financial problems, such as low enrollment. Other charter schools closed because they could not obtain a suitable facility or failed to meet academic goals.
The State of the States North Carolina must face down a looming budget crisis while sustaining—and even expanding—its school improvement efforts over the next two years, Gov. Michael F. Easley told state legislators last week in his first State of the State Address.
An Alabama circuit court judge last week blocked Gov. Donald Siegelman from cutting aid to K-12 classrooms by 6.2 percent and gave the legislature until early this week to devise another plan for plugging the state's deep midyear revenue hole.
Departments
Concerned that California students have not been adequately prepared to take and pass the state's high school exit exam, which is scheduled to become a requirement for graduation in three years, state lawmakers played tug of war last week over the timing of the test.
  • Legislators' Group Opens Clearinghouse
    To Track School Finance
  • State Legislators' Brief on Federal School Construction Spending
  • Legal Expert Discusses Concept of "Adequacy" at NCSL Conference
The Arkansas Senate passed a bill last week that would require all high schools in the state to offer Spanish among their foreign-language offerings.
  • Vermont Finance Overhaul Linked
    To Increasing Equity
  • Mass. Fight Over Choice Advances
  • Mo. Names 1st 'Deficient' Schools
  • Cuts Proposed in Illinois
    Ed. Dept.
  • Connecticut
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
President Bush will propose raising the Department of Education's budget for the next fiscal year by more than 11 percent, the White House announced last week. But Democrats say the actual percentage increase under that proposal could be much less.
Secretary of Education Rod Paige told higher education leaders last week that the Bush administration would seek to increase the maximum Pell Grant for college undergraduates to $5,100 per year and to fully fund the grant program for first-year students.
Departments
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that states are immune from lawsuits for damages under the main employment provision of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
In recent years, reducing class sizes in the early grades has risen to the top of the nation's school improvement agenda. But research on the impact of smaller classes has not necessarily kept pace.
Despite dramatic improvements in reading and math scores since 1987, "progressive" educational practices are not going to close the still wide socioethnic education gap in Manhattan's District 2, says school volunteer Louisa Spencer.
Lois Weiner claims that with the uniform implementation of a "standards based instructional delivery system" in Manhattans District 2, miidle class parents will "go charter" to make sure that their ideas about what kind of school they want are respected.
The media have spread a dangerously skewed depiction of our schools and the people who teach in them, argues Carol Jago, a teacher and the director of the California Reading and Literature Project.
Martin Carnoy continues the debate on a recent study measuring the effect of school vouchers on student test scores in New York City; Dayton, Ohio; and the District of Columbia.
Departments
For Roland S. Barth, the first step toward successful and meaningful school reform is to reform the learning experiences of the educators responsible for young people's education.
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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