May 2, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 20, Issue 33
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Ten years after Minnesota became the first state to authorize charter schools, serious challenges are arising to existing charter laws in many states. Includes an accompanying story, "Missouri Eyes Earmarking Money for Charter School Oversight."
In modernizing its testing programs, Kentucky has encountered a statistical dilemma that many states will likely face: When testing programs are reworked, they lose the ability to make direct comparisons with student achievement over time.
It's a controversial practice, but school districts that plan a major computer purchase can sometimes get a substantial price break by signing an exclusive long-term contract with one supplier.
With its football games, average test scores, and angst-filled social world, Glen Este High School might well symbolize America's suburban high school, remarkable chiefly for how typical it is.
EYEON EDUCATION: Gov. Roy E. Barnes has been shaking up Georgia's public schools, and the politics of education in his state, since taking office in 1999. The pace of change has taken many observers by surprise. See Story, Page 8.
Departments
In less than a week, Kansas City's superintendent Benjamin Demps Jr., was fired—and then reinstated by a federal judge—before resigning April 23 with six of his top aides. State legislators, meanwhile, are considering reviving a bill seeking a state takeover of the school system.
With the help of $21 million in grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Houston Endowment Inc., 13 communities are rolling out projects this spring to improve Hispanics' rates of entering and graduating from college.
Departments
  • Wyo. District Board Adopts 4-Day Week
  • Teacher Fired Over Essay
  • District Sued by Mink Farm
  • Detroit Mayor To Step Down
  • Decatur, Ill., Chief Resigns
  • '79 Shooter Denied Parole
  • 31-Year-Old Posed as Student
A high-achieving Iowa student who was home-schooled for all but the last two years of her education will not graduate from her local high school, or even participate in commencement, because she lacks enough credits for a diploma, the district school board decided last week.
Departments
The story of two German journalists, one Internet-surfing Holocaust survivor, and the millions of paper clips middle school students in one Tennessee town have received from all over the world.
When Roy E. Barnes took office as the governor of Georgia, Barbara Christmas was among many members of the education community who were hoping he would put education on the front burner. "I'm just not sure we wanted it set on high from the get-go," she now says.
Sharing the stage last week with international philanthropist George Soros, Baltimore schools chief Carmen V. Russo offered her first public outline of a plan to restructure the city's nine neighborhood high schools in coming years.
Companies involved in for-profit education—from selling chalk to managing schools—have formed a new trade group to raise their profile with the public.
By high school, most American students have acquired the basic knowledge and skills important for democratic citizenship, but too many students are ill-prepared to participate actively in civic life, concludes a report released last week. Includes a chart, "Civics Policies."
Representatives in a long-running desegregation lawsuit involving Mississippi's higher education system have reached a $503 million settlement that is intended to address decades of deliberate racial segregation in state colleges and universities.
Amid growing concern over the connection between bullying and school violence, a national survey released last week found that nearly a third of U.S. students in grades 6-10 report they are bullies, victims of bullies, or both.
Elementary schools and preschools need to foster children's conversational and listening skills as they teach them to read and write, a national group urges in a new set of standards.
This month, voters will decide whether they will help the 76,000-student Cleveland school district pay the $1.4 billion bill to replace aging roofs, faulty wiring, rotted windows, malfunctioning boilers, and a host of other chronic building problems facing its schools.
Three prominent academic-honor societies for high school and college students are banding together to improve liberal arts education and to counter what the organizations' leaders say is a growing public perception that technology-centered skills are of more value than studies in the traditional disciplines.
The Council of the Great City Schools has crafted a series of reports it hopes will serve as a benchmark to track future student achievement in urban districts.
Even child-care programs that are striving to be among the best in the country are struggling to hold on to their teachers and directors, according to the latest findings from a longitudinal study of those who provide care and education to young children.
A high school counselor can be sued for dispensing academic advice that has an adverse effect on a student, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled last week in a decision that a dissenting judge warned could put a damper on academic counseling.
Driving her bleary-eyed daughter to school at 7:20 a.m. one day this spring, Lanning Taliaferro was bemoaning a threat of violence that had closed a nearby school. Her daughter Anne Lange, a junior at Ossining High School in Ossining, N.Y., had a different take on the incident: "I wish someone would do that here so I could get some sleep."
Faced with the threat of a deepening budget crisis, North Carolina school leaders are bracing for what observers say could be the toughest test yet of the state's resolve to improve public education.
Hawaii's public school teachers returned to their classrooms last week, having bargained with the state for sizable raises and bonuses in a deal struck hours before a federal judge made good on a promise to intervene.
Departments
The Florida Supreme Court declined last week to hear a case challenging the state's school voucher program, letting stand an appellate court decision that rejected a claim that private school vouchers for students in failing public schools are unconstitutional.
  • N.Y. Requires Nontraditional Schools
    To Give State Exams
  • Texas Eyes Early Kindergarten Cutoff
Missouri is poised to become the first state to earmark money specifically for charter school sponsors to oversee such schools, national charter school experts say.
Money was considered a key—but not the only—stumbling block last week as the White House and Senate Democrats failed to reach a general agreement on how to overhaul the federal role in schools.
The many interest groups facing consolidation of funding for their prized education programs under President Bush's proposed fiscal 2002 budget are sending the same message to their grassroots supporters: Lobby Congress en masse to keep your programs. Includes the table, "Block Busted?"
Departments
The tobacco industry last week urged the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Massachusetts regulations designed to limit children's exposure to cigarette advertising near schools and parks.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week substantially curtailed a key federal civil rights law, ruling that there is no private right to sue over so-called disparate-impact discrimination in programs receiving federal money.
  • Bush Approval Rating Shaky
    In Scholastic's Internet Poll
  • Cohen To Become Aspen Institute Fellow
To raise hope for children in troubled New Orleans schools, state and city leaders have have instituted an array of programs to help the city's weakest students. Whether such efforts will improve achievement enough isn't clear.
In place of "slash and burn" school reform policies, Thomas J Lasley II and William L. Bainbridge suggest blending innovation and control to slowly develop better educational opportunities for disadvantaged children.
The shift to longitudinal student data collection should make a significant contribution to school improvement, writes Chrys Dougherty.
Departments
Diane Ravitch says that alternative testing proposals before Congress would seriously weaken the potential of President Bush's education plan.
E.D. Hirsch Jr. says the persistent reading gap can be reduced in all schools if they combine a carefully worked-out reading curriculum with a carefully worked-out content curriculum that develops academic knowledge and oral language.
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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