March 14, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 20, Issue 26
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As special education costs and enrollments have risen across the nation, so, too, has concern over the burden on state and local school budgets.
As states continue to raise the stakes tied to standardized tests, such as using them as the basis for promoting students to the next grade or awarding high school diplomas, the cottage industry surrounding test preparation at the K-12 level is growing and gaining permanence.
Experts are concerned about a Bush proposal that could permanently change the nature of the National Assessment of Educational Progress program by using NAEP results to confirm a state's testing data. Includes "Governors on Board—With Caveats."
Revelations that the bloody scene at Santana High School might have been prevented if word of the shooter's dark musings had only reached the right adults troubled violence-prevention experts and school officials around the country. Includes "Student Tips Help Authorities Nip School Violence."
The New York City school system and opponents of a plan to turn over five public schools to a private management company reached a compromise late last week that will allow a referendum by parents to proceed this month.
A Web site where scores of Southern California teenagers posted cruel rumors about their peers has been closed down, ending a painful demonstration of how the Internet can amplify the impact of free speech.
  • False Notices Force N.Y. District
    To Close
  • Tribe Wins Grant for School
  • Teens Face Sentencing in Fire
  • Threats Prompt Policy Change
  • 1st Grader Suspended for Gun
  • Judge Rejects Drug Tests
  • Job To Focus on Gay Issues
A respected national journal has set up a process to read and rate high school history papers so that they can be included in students' college-application packets.
Black students are classified as needing special education far more often than white students, and are less likely, once they have been identified as having disabilities, to be placed in mainstream classrooms, according to a report by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University. Includes a table, "Identifying Mental Retardation."
African-American students were three times more likely than their white peers to be labeled mentally retarded and placed in special education courses, according to the results of four studies commissioned by the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.
When he was elected president of Venezuela two years ago, Hugo Chávez Frías promised a "social revolution" to raise the standard of living for the nation's 24 million citizens, as many as 80 percent of whom are poor. Also read "England's Former School Inspector Takes Aim Against Labor Leaders."
After stepping down from one of the most influential and controversial positions in England's educational system, a former official is venting his frustrations over the pace of school improvement in a very public forum.
The Philadelphia school system is looking at a whopping $235 million budget deficit by the end of fiscal 2002. Moreover, without new revenue and dramatic cost reductions, the shortfall will grow to more than $785 million over the next three years.
An estimated 2.5 million American youths and young adults are treated for sports- and recreation-related injuries at a cost of $448 million a year, a study released last week by the National Centers for Health Statistics says.
  • N.C. District Finds It Can Be Tricky
    To Interpret Student 'Threats'
  • Safe-Schools Lawsuits
  • Special Education
  • American Educators Abroad Face
    Woes Similar to U.S. Counterparts'
The shooting at Santana High School near San Diego last week came amid a series of recent incidents involving students' alleged plans for violent acts on school grounds. But most of those potential episodes were averted when students reported threats or plots to authorities.
States spend almost half-a-billion dollars a year on testing, according to a new estimate, and are bracing for additional costs if President Bush's proposed education plan is enacted.
Teachers in Hawaii are expected to vote this week on whether to strike for a wage increase. If they vote yes, the walkout will probably happen the first week of April, just as many schools are coming back from spring break and beginning the final stretch of the school year.
A survey conducted by, a Web site that reports on state policy issues, has found that states will spend approximately $400 million this fiscal year to develop, issue, and score their exams.
In the politically charged atmosphere of the Michigan charter school movement, a tiny college run by American Indian tribes is defending its decision to authorize two of the independent public schools.
Ninth graders in California who volunteered to take what many believed would be a practice run of the state's new high school exit exam received a surprise last week when they learned, just two days before exam day, that the test would count.
The State of the StatesIn his March 6 State of the State address, Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida warned that if initiatives supporting teacher recruitment aren't approved, the state's growing teacher shortage could threaten to undermine recent academic gains.
  • Ala. Special Session Ends Without Action
  • Wisconsin Chief's Race Down to Two Educators
Last fall, as middle school administrators here combed through the results of state achievement tests in English and mathematics, some of them may also have noticed a flier in the mail from Kaplan Inc. The mailing promoted the company's professional-development seminars, designed to help teachers help their students perform better on state tests.
In a long-anticipated announcement, the White House said last week that President Bush would nominate William D. Hansen, a lobbyist for a higher education finance group, to serve as the deputy secretary of education. That job is the No. 2 post in the Department of Education.
After two days of heated debate, the Senate education committee unanimously approved a K-12 bill last week that embraces President Bush's calls for more testing and consolidating federal programs, but leaves out key changes sought by Republicans and Democrats.
The U.S. Supreme Court asked the Bush administration last week for its views about a federal appeals court ruling that struck down the practice of having students grade each other's schoolwork.
They're not your typical group of activists, but they're serious about making an impact on Washington and schools across the country.
The nation's governors are lining up behind President Bush's testing and accountability plans, but not without some caveats.
Middle colleges, a quarter century-old experiment at tearing down the barriers between high school and college, have witnessed a resurgence in interest as educators examine alternative approaches to the traditional high school model. Includes a map: "Growth of Middle-College Schools," and accompanying story, "Middle-College High Schools Vary in Size, Location, and Style."
While middle colleges share core values, such as creating a smaller school environment for students who want an alternative to a large comprehensive high school, the look and feel of middle colleges varies depending on the location.
Schools need to take steps to encourage inquisitiveness and critical thinking in today's students, argues John Barell.
Gerardo M. Gonzalez, dean of the Indiana University school of education, defends teacher-preparation programs against the pundit class.
Proposals to define teacher accountability in terms of student test scores overlook the varying degrees to which students are prepared for the mainstream curriculum, writes teacher Davy McClay.
Booting the Dodge Ball
William J. Bennett and David Gelernter, senior executives with the planned online school K12, say the potential benefits of computer learning are now too great to dismiss.
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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