May 30, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 20, Issue 38
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With Vermont Sen. James M. Jeffords now an ex-Republican and the Senate headed for Democratic control, the most pressing question in Washington is what the abrupt change might mean for the agenda of the White House and Congress, including the education bill still pending in the Senate.
In recent years, a growing number of districts have begun to blur the lines between school administration and teaching by giving teachers leadership responsibilities beyond their own classrooms. Includes:
Aided by new technologies that mimic the dissection experience and laws in some states, animal-rights-activist students can often learn dissection material without violating their principles or taking part in an experiment they find offensive. But biology teachers question the depth of the experience.
In the fight against school violence, urban centers are the veterans. Yet in all the continuing national talk about school violence, many people believe city schools are often overlooked.
Departments
Test scores in many of America's urban school districts are inching upward at rates that often outpace those of their states as a whole, according to a report released last week by a national advocacy group for city schools. Includes a chart, "Mathematics and Reading Scores,"
Departments
  • Chicago School Board President Resigns
  • ETS Probes Leak Report
  • Fla. District Signs Teachers Early
  • Portland Schools Chief Resigns
  • Ritalin Class Action Dismissed
  • Judge OKs 'Straight' Sweatshirt
  • Student Arrested Over Knife
Departments
A group of political and corporate leaders announced last week that they will offer a full range of services to help raise stagnant mathematics achievement in the nation's middle schools. Includes an accompanying story, "College Board Ventures Into Middle School Territory."
With its role in a new math program for middle schools, the College Board is extending its reach below the high school level for the first time.
New investigations into the alleged mishandling of facilities funds by San Francisco school administrators may help clear the fog surrounding the district's troubled spending history, officials there say.
Marking the 50th anniversary of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision that struck down segregated systems of public schooling, the NAACP plans to release report cards in 2004 evaluating the quality and racial equity of school systems in communities across the country.
Departments
A federal appeals court has upheld the Chicago school system's provision of health-insurance benefits for the same-sex domestic partners of its employees.
Critics of vouchers often portray their proponents as white conservatives bent on transforming public schools into open markets, exploiting them to make profits to the detriment of poor black children.
California's precedent-setting experiment to set up separate public schools for girls and boys largely ended in failure, concludes a report released last week.
A new report examines the role of tribal colleges on the reservations they serve, including their links to K-12 schools.
Departments
  • Economic Boom Eluded Teachers, Surveys Suggest
  • Textbook Discontent
  • No Easy Math Answers
  • Mathematics Underground
Graduating seniors looking to enter the workforce and other high school students searching for summer jobs are facing a tighter job market this year as the once red-hot U.S. economy continues to cool.
Educators who are hoping William J. Bennett's e-learning startup will deliver cutting-edge education might be disappointed when the company launches its full courses this coming fall, one skeptic contends.
Lisa Holm is living a double life at Riverside Elementary School here in suburban Northern Virginia. In the mornings, she teaches reading and writing to a class of 16 1st graders. In the afternoons, she helps to sharpen the skills of other teachers in the building by leading group training sessions and offering one-on-one help.
Karan S. Wilson knew exactly what she could offer the children of Trimble County, so she put pen to paper and outlined the kind of job that would make use of her expertise in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.
Alabama's governor sought last week to soften the blow of midyear education spending cuts by signing a bill that lets the state borrow up to $110 million.
Departments
The Wall Street giant Standard & Poor's delivered a detailed, first-of-its-kind look at Michigan's public school districts last week, inviting anyone with an Internet hook-up to delve into troves of information, ranging from test scores to spending patterns to per-capita income.
North Carolina education officials last week ordered a major audit of the state's testing and accountability program to determine the soundness of the system after problems emerged over interim scoring measures for the state's end- of-grade math exam.
  • Hawaii
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • Texas Agrees To Help Districts With Teachers' Health Plans
  • Ariz. Test Is Focus of OCR Complaint
  • 'Cyber' Charter Dispute Flares in Pa.
A surprisingly unified House overwhelmingly passed a version of President Bush's education reform plan last week that would for the first time tie federal aid to school performance on annual math and reading tests.
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last week to review the constitutionality of a 1998 federal law aimed at protecting children from sexually explicit material on the World Wide Web.
Departments
Four Department of Education employees and seven other individuals were indicted last week on federal charges stemming from a year-old probe into an alleged fraud and theft scheme that prosecutors say has cost taxpayers more than $1 million.
Advocates of private school vouchers filed long-awaited appeals last week in the U.S. Supreme Court, urging the justices to uphold a program that lets Cleveland schoolchildren use government aid to attend private and religious schools.
Here are excerpts from Sen. James M. Jeffords' remarks in announcing May 24 in Burlington, Vt., that he plans to leave the Republican Party.
An interdisciplinary research consortium is examining a variety of programs nationwide to identify what works—and what doesn't—in preventing school violence.
More information on the Hamilton Fish consortium or any of its seven violence- prevention projects is available from:
By giving in to common objections to moral education, writes Joan F. Goodman, schools send kids a message of extreme relativism and ultimately sell them short.
Teacher quality is not just an important issue in addressing the challenges facing our schools, argues Sam Minner; it is the issue.
Systemic school reform, with its one-size-fits-all strategy, ignores the unique challenges and characteristics of urban schools, writes author and professor of education Larry Cuban.
The real dangers on 'democracy's playing field' don't make the evening news, says education professor Thomas J. Cottle.
Letters
Your article "Paying Attention: Scientists Scrutinize the Brain for Biological Clues to the Mysteries of adhd" (On Assignment, Research, May 9, 2001) could have benefited from a more balanced approach on the question of the biological origins of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige is making a mistake in eliminating the teacher- and principal-in-residence positions at the U.S. Department of Education ("Groups Plead To Keep Resident Teacher, Principal at ED," May 16, 2001). While there are many ways to seek the input of teachers and principals, having someone at the department providing a "reality check" on a daily basis is by far the most effective. I have firsthand experience with two very different approaches to seeking input from practitioners.
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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