April 4, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 20, Issue 29
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Teacher-licensure exams provide important clues about the knowledge and skills of prospective precollegiate educators, but such tests should never be used as the sole measure of an aspiring teacher's abilities, argues a report released last week by the National Research Council.
Born in the wake the Columbine High shootings, a new police tactic aimed at apprehending armed suspects in crowded buildings such as schools as quickly as possible is prompting both praise and concern.
At a time when states are assuming a larger role in the education of very young children, a study has found that state-financed preschool programs are adequately preparing youngsters to handle the demands of kindergarten and 1st grade.
There is a new business model for private management of public education. It was developed not by an entrepreneur or venture capitalist but state board of control that oversees the troubled Chester-Upland, Pa., schools south of Philadelphia.
Departments
Poor literacy skills among high school graduates and too few opportunities for adult education put the United States in danger of losing its competitive edge in a rapidly changing global market, according to a report from the Paris- based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
A coalition of libraries, foundations, nonprofit organizations, and corporations has launched an information campaign to help bridge the so-called digital divide.
Departments
The United States lags or has lost ground on several important education measures when compared with 29 other countries. In literacy, for example, the United States has the highest percentage of secondary school graduates who ranked below an international literacy standard.
Departments
  • Federal Judge Orders End to Race Policies
  • Group To Train Chicago Leaders
  • Wis. Online Yearbook Shut Down
  • Student Held in Nun's Killing
  • Philadelphia OKs Incentives
  • Detroit Hit With Judgment
  • District Removes Mercury
Students in charter schools managed by Advantage Schools Inc. showed significant achievement gains on nationally normed tests last year, the Boston-based company reported last week.
Pennsylvania's charter schools show signs of raising student test scores at faster rates than traditional public schools in their host districts, a recently released report concludes.
Departments
Students and their parents shouldn't expect scores on college-entrance exams to improve significantly through test-preparation courses or tutors, a study suggests.
The Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds was scheduled to announce this week that it would award up to $2.5 million in small grants for the development of school leadership programs across the country.
Departments
To keep their small Episcopal school in Philadelphia open, children had been dropping pennies into a jar in the school office. But St. Barnabas was still far short of the money it needed.
The Colorado House of Representatives considered a measure last week that would have upset a venerable tradition in local school board elections: that they be nonpartisan.
  • Reading, Early-Childhood Experts
    Seek Ways To Aid Children At Risk
The San Francisco board of education took a major step last week toward revoking its contract with Edison Schools Inc. for management of a 500-student charter school.
North Carolina must address its failure to meet the academic needs of at-risk students by formulating a "strategic" and "comprehensive" plan for providing the sound basic education guaranteed under the state constitution, a judge ruled last week in the state's 7-year-old school finance case.
The state board of education voted unanimously on March 26 to launch the months-long process of changing the existing timeline for using the Arizona Instrument to Measure Standards, or AIMS, as a graduation test for public high school students.
Departments
No state but Mississippi has passed a law such as this: All public schools shall post "In God We Trust" in every classroom, auditorium, and cafeteria. "Our nation was founded as a godly nation, and we put it on our money," Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat, said as he signed the bill into law March 23.
The same judge who ruled 18 months ago that Alaska discriminates against its rural, Native Alaskan schoolchildren by failing to provide adequate school buildings handed down a similar ruling last week—except this time, he warned the legislature to fix the problem, or face the court's own solution.
School districts in Arizona may have to repay hundreds of parents for services that their children with disabilities should have received at school, under a legal settlement reached last week.
  • Arkansas Passes Teacher-Pay Bill
  • New York Sued Over Troubled Schools
Recruiting qualified principals and district superintendents in California is becoming increasingly difficult just as administrators are facing a complex new set of on-the-job responsibilities, a report warns.
President Bush and congressional Republicans are planning to increase the money available for math and science teachers' professional development, but advocates for the cause are asking: Is it enough?
With a new president who backs the idea, many observers predict that legislation expanding education savings accounts is now on track to become law.
Departments
President Bush has selected a former policy and planning specialist for the Indiana education department to be the federal Department of Education's assistant secretary for vocational and adult education.
  • High Court Declines To Hear Spec. Ed. Case
  • House OKs Budget Plan With More Money for Schools
While students always come and go during the school year—particularly in urban areas—the problem, many experts say, is that for too long educators have accepted the notion that there is little they can do about it. Research findings point to a variety of specific measures schools can take both to discourage families from transferring their children during the academic year and ease the transition for children who have just moved.
Peter Temes, president of the Great Books Foundation, says the time has come to stop worrying over structural reforms and instead concentrate on simply trying to make teachers better.
Speaking from experience, teacher Jerry Jesness says that Texas' experiment with merit pay showed some inherent flaws.
Title I money could break underachievement cycle if used get better teachers into poor schools, argues Marguerite Roza, a senior fellow at the Center on Reinventing Public Education.
Letters
I was fascinated to learn from the essay by William J. Bennett and David Gelernter ("Improving Education With Technology," Commentary, March 14, 2001) that technology will be the new vehicle for school choice.
Departments
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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