April 25, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 20, Issue 32
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The statewide teacher strike in the nation's 50th state entered its third week, even as a federal judge weighed a request to send teachers back to class.
Expressing the belief that "America's young people are a lot smarter than we give them credit for," then-U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley issued a challenge to the nation's high schools in February of last year.
Secretary of Education Rod Paige outlined a new strategy last week to examine and correct long-standing problems with financial mismanagement and abuse at the Department of Education.
New proposals on Capitol Hill would move the funding for special education from the discretionary to the mandatory side of the education budget, meaning the amount would no longer be subject to the politics of the annual appropriations process.
High Court and High School: Law student Bruce Halloway Cork of American University teaches part time in Washington-area schools, trying to raise civic awareness under the Marshall-Brennan program. See Story, Page 10.
Departments
Teachers in Cincinnati voted overwhelmingly last week for new union leadership, signaling what some observers say may mean a setback for one of the country's most radical experiments in performance pay.
When small groups of students need transportation, large-size vans can be a more affordable choice than big yellow school buses. But those savings could come at a cost: Federal transportation-safety officials are warning that when heavily loaded, 15-passenger vans run a substantial risk of rolling over.
Departments
  • Judge Overrules Board in K.C. on Firing Demps
  • Survey Finds New Leaders
  • Superintendent Settles Suit
  • Rockford, Ill., Declared Unitary
  • Columbine Families Settle
Departments
Schools should be reorganized to give teachers richer opportunities to be leaders, according to a report by the Institute for Educational Leadership.
Some high school students in the Midwest skipped class to help sandbag buildings in flood-threatened towns along the Mississippi River last week, as rising waters closed some schools and turned others into shelters.
Thomas J. Rosato knows firsthand how explosive the issue of getting rid of an American Indian name and mascot can be for school sports.
American schools are "failing" students whose second language is English, according to two researchers tracking the progress of those students in 16 school districts around the country.
Students in Los Angeles are learning more in small classes.
William Shakespeare asked, "What's in a name?"

The answer, according to Education Matters Inc., a national, nonprofit research group based in Cambridge, Mass., is "plenty."

As part of a new program, law students are being sent into high schools to teach students the ins-and-outs of the Supreme Court and the Constitution.
Children who spend time in child-care centers have better cognitive and language skills than children in other arrangements, including care by their mothers, but those benefits may be coming at a cost, according to the latest findings from a long-running federal study.
Here are four resources educators can use in teaching about the Supreme Court, particularly its cases concerning student and youth rights.
  • We the Students: Supreme Court Cases For and About Students, by Jamin B. Raskin (CQ Press, 2000)
Leveraged by "a unique mix of pragmatism and optimism" in its approach to reform, Texas has made impressive gains in student achievement over the past decade and earned a place as a national model, a report released last week says.
  • Funding Issues Attract Attention At Spec. Ed. Gathering
  • Facing Vaccine Shortage, Colo. Waives Tetanus Boosters
  • Meals Programs
  • Review Finds Biology Textbooks Makings Strides on Standards
  • Low Levels for Latinos
  • Show It With Pride
  • Teachers Complain of Little Time To Use Internet
  • Data-Driven Decisions
When the alarm clock blares its unwelcome wake-up call at 6 a.m. in Noah Hogan's bedroom, the 17-year-old has to fight off the temptation to sleep in and skip class. Like many seniors, he has already been accepted by a college, and these last months of high school can be a tedious countdown to graduation.
If senior year is for slacking off, counting down until Beach Week, and reveling in the long-awaited privileges that come with reigning atop the high school food chain, somebody forgot to tell Gabe Mandujano.
Call it a case of the seven-year itch. Indiana state Sen. Teresa S. Lubbers has worked to persuade fellow lawmakers to establish a charter school program—to no avail—every year since 1994. Last week, though, she proved that persistence pays off.
Faced with starting school next fall with 2,000 teachers fewer than the state needs, the Arkansas board of education made it easier last week for uncertified teachers to land jobs in the state's classrooms.
Departments
The board that governs higher education in Georgia will require all 15 public universities that prepare teachers to raise expectations for prospective educators by setting uniform, high passing rates on mandatory statewide competency exams.
  • Arizona Bill Would Broaden Pupils' Right To Start Clubs
  • Wash. State Bill Would Delay Tests
  • Illinois House OKs Anti-Bully Bill
  • Texas Schools Chief Confirmed
An Arizona scholarship program that was started seven years ago to provide an eventual free college education to poor 3rd graders who did well in school is now dead. The state legislature and private sources failed to come up with the money to pay for the program.
Researchers last week praised President Bush's plan to nominate Grover J. "Russ" Whitehurst as the Department of Education's assistant secretary for educational research and improvement.
When President Bush advocates tough consequences for failing public schools, most attention turns to his proposal to allow federal money to go toward private school vouchers. Democrats love to hate it, and have vowed to block it.
Departments
The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to hear the appeal of a Nevada couple in a case raising the question of whether home-schooled children with disabilities are entitled to special education services from their local school districts.
  • Department Toughens Stance
    On College Aid to Drug Convicts
  • Boyhood District Names School for Paige
  • California District Gets Violence Grant
Many educators believe that the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (originally known as Public Law 94-142, or the Education for All Handicapped Children Act) promised that the federal government would kick in 40 percent of the cost of educating students with disabilities. They point out that the federal share has never come close to that level. But what many people see as a commitment from Uncle Sam to pay the full 40 percent could instead be read as Congress establishing a maximum that it would provide. The relevant passage of the law, first passed in 1975, states:
As Teach For America matures, many of its most talented graduates are entering educational leadership positions that they might otherwise have overlooked in lieu of more lucrative positions in other fields. TFA is doing something right. Or is it? Includes "Offspring Spreads Upstart's Influence" and "About This Series."
Given today's tight teacher market, word that a district had snared 240 applicants for 30 openings might prompt some to ask what planet it was on. And yet, that's the ratio achieved this winter by the East Baton Rouge public schools, a Louisiana system serving a mostly low-income community that many educators might consider a hardship post.
A look at school-based inquiry in small schools, from cultural anthropologist Nancy Barnes.
For a national system of annual student testing to work, say Catherine E. Snow and Jacqueline Jones, it must be designed to improve instruction and target resources.
Gary DeCoker finds that the teacher-education community and the Core Knowledge Foundation have a lot more in common than they might think.
Letters
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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