March 28, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 20, Issue 28
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Mathematicians and educators say that students need to be introduced gradually to algebraic concepts throughout the elementary school years. The only question is how to teach it. Includes an accompanying story, "Civil Rights Campaign Evolves Into Algebra Crusade."
As evidence mounts that the abuse of controlled substances used to treat ADHD is on the rise, growing numbers of school administrators are feeling the weight of that responsibility. Includes the chart, "Massachusetts Students and Substance Abuse."
Many states are seeing a shift toward greater gubernatorial leadership in education. As governors are being asked to bolster poor schools, set uniform education rules, and make the schools accountable for their performance, some are seeking broader powers to get those tasks done.
Hundreds of colleges and universities around the country, compelled by Congress to submit report cards profiling their teacher-preparation programs and the students who complete them, are scrambling to pull together data before the April 9 deadline.
Departments
Enrollment in the nation's elementary and secondary schools in 1999 equaled that of the record high set in 1970, during the huge population swell known as the baby boom, a school enrollment report released last week by the U.S. Census Bureau shows.
The California district where two students were slain this month was rocked last week by another shooting, in which five people and the alleged gunman were injured.
Departments
  • Broward Schools Can't Bar Scouts,
    Judge Says
  • Nev. District To Hire Edison
  • Execution Will Prompt Closings
  • N.Y.C. Cancels Food Contract
  • Teacher Disciplined for Prank
  • Okla. District Recovers Funds
  • Colorado Panel To Probe Gap
  • Parents Sue Over Slur
Departments
The contentious relationship between Kansas City, Mo., Superintendent Benjamin Demps Jr. and school board members has temporarily derailed the district's desegregation case and spurred state lawmakers to speed up plans to take over the troubled system.
Eighteen parents are among the more than two dozen defendants who have been charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $2.6 million in student financial aid in the form of federal grants and work-study loans from the U.S. Department of Education.
Departments
The following organizations submitted information on their April through December events. The information is subject to change, and the listing may not include all events sponsored by a given group. The addresses and phone numbers of sponsors are provided in the month-by-month listings.
Hoping to reverse years of low student achievement and mismanagement, the Pennsylvania control board that is running the Chester-Upland schools took the dramatic step last week of hiring three for-profit companies to run 11 of its 14 schools.
One of Florida's longest-running desegregation orders has been overturned by a federal court—the latest in a string of decisions to reverse decades of court oversight in Florida districts once found to operate racially divided schools.
A federal appeals court last week struck down an Oklahoma school district's policy of drug tests for students engaging in extracurricular activities such as cheerleading, band, choir, and the Future Farmers of America.
Departments
English is tricky. Words with the same letter combinations can have entirely different pronunciations: mint and pint, for instance, or love and clove.
A Boston company is nearing the final phase of testing a diagnostic drug that could offer health-care providers a long-awaited medical test for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Analysts often gauge the federal government's support for education by the size of the U.S. Department of Education's budget.
Arizona students enrolled in charter schools for two or three consecutive years showed stronger gains on reading tests than their counterparts in traditional public schools, according to a study released last week.
School leaders say they strongly support efforts to solicit feedback about policy matters, but their actions often fall short of that ideal, a new poll says. Teachers, meanwhile, often feel "out of the loop" on school policy decisions.
The following chart comes from a 1999 survey of about 7,000 students in Massachusetts. The figures represent the percentages of students at each grade level who reported making illicit use of the substances listed at least once.
When Robert P. Moses worked on civil rights voter-registration drives in the 1960s, the math was simple. The more black citizens who voted, the stronger the voice they had in political affairs.
Two years after Florida lawmakers approved the first statewide voucher program in the country, the debate over using tax dollars to send students to private or religious schools is raging again in the Sunshine State. Includes the story, "Second Study Questions Research Linking Voucher Threat to Gains."
The movement to end social promotion got a boost last week from the Georgia legislature. And it seemed to be holding its own in Texas, where an effort to slow down new promotion requirements lost potentially crucial support from state leaders.
Departments
  • N.M. Legislature Passes Bill That Includes Merit-Pay Plan
  • Pa. Governor Wants Aide as Chief
  • N.Y. State Eyes District Takeover
  • Audit: Mass. Misspent Ed. Money
Louisiana teachers stand to get a raise next fall, thanks to the state's gamblers.
Debate continued last week over a recent report that connected gains in student achievement in Florida to the state's voucher program, as another scholar came forward to question the conclusions of the Manhattan Institute study.
The House is expected this week to take up a Republican budget blueprint that backs President Bush's plans to increase education spending, but with one catch: More than $1 billion in the budget would be available only if it's used to increase funding for special education.
Republicans on the House education committee introduced legislation that embraces President Bush's plans for more testing and more flexibility, and for providing educational vouchers to students in persistently failing schools.
Departments
The $1.2 billion federal pot for emergency school repairs and maintenance could be in jeopardy under the Bush administration's budget plan, some school officials fear.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Library Association launched a legal attack last week on a new federal law that would require schools and libraries to install technological devices—often called filters—to block minors from accessing pornographic images on the Internet.
Secretary of Education Rod Paige warned big-city administrators last week that school choice is taking a new shape, but he said that public schools have the capacity to ward off such competition by improving the education they provide.
Susan B. Neuman, a university researcher who has focused on the importance of providing books and other reading materials to children in poor neighborhoods, was chosen by President Bush last week for a top post at the Department of Education.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear the appeal of a high school student who was barred from wearing Marilyn Manson T-shirts to school.
The story of Grace Memorial Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh and its successful after-school program could serve as a parable for other faith-based programs. The program has many of the ingredients that are at the center of a federal effort to tap into the faith-based community.
Paul Kelleher, superintendent of Lawrence, N.Y., public schools, outlines the role he and other superintendents believe they must play if academic standards are to be implemented effectively.
High standards and school reform have their place, but without that elusive quality of "caring" from teachers, we put these efforts at risk, says Nancy Hoffman.
President Bush's determination to make Head Start into a reading program is rapidly polarizing educators—but it needn't, says author Lisbeth B. Schorr.
Letters
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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