June 6, 2001

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Vol. 20, Issue 39
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A growing number of states have been forced—by litigation, school crowding, or the sheer need to meet modern educational demands—to play an expanded role in local school construction and repair. First in a three-part series. Includes:
Supporters of programs like Educating Children for parents say preparing the next generation of parents should be part of the curriculum for every student—even those who haven't been out of diapers long themselves.
About a dozen states are preparing curriculum-based exams as a way to strengthen curriculum and ensure that all students have mastered a core body of knowledge and skills, replacing the basic-skills tests many states began requiring students to pass in the 1970s to graduate from high school.
Even by Windy City standards, the month of May closed with a bluster of activity around the schools. Chicago school board President Gery J. Chico resigned, and school board sources speculated that Paul G. Vallas, the district's chief executive officer, might not be far behind. Includes "Challenger Topples Chicago Teachers Union President."
Departments
With the help of a $1.7 million grant, a handful of school districts are setting out to show that labor relations in education can represent more than just a periodic haggling over money.
School leaders from across Massachusetts gathered last week in Boston to learn from schools and districts that have been highlighted as leaders in using standards-based programs to improve teacher effectiveness, curriculum development, and data to drive higher learning standards for all students.
Departments
  • Cleveland's Mayor White Says
    He Won't Run Again
  • Miami Board Member Suspended
  • Suit Over R.I. Essay Settled
  • Bacterial Illness Kills Students
  • Condom Giveaway Brings Trouble
  • Senior Barred From Ceremony
  • La. Strike Ends After 4 Days
Armed with a report that concludes harassment of gay students is a pervasive problem in public schools, the two national teachers' unions and a gay-rights group are urging the U.S. Department of Education to step up its enforcement of laws aimed at such abuse.
District of Columbia officials disciplined employees last week involved in the strip searches of middle school students at the city jail.
The 11-10-02 Foundation in Chicago goes about its business in an unusual way. Its half-dozen $5,000 scholarships are given not to the straight-A students, but to B and C students from low- to moderate-income families who demonstrate an impressive work ethic, good character, and the ability to overcome obstacles.
After years of elusive answers to the problem of teenage pregnancy, a leading group involved in the issue has released a new and more optimistic report that outlines several effective and varied tactics in deterring adolescent sex and pregnancy.
Education rates historically have been low and unequal throughout Afghanistan. But the educational restrictions on females appear to be the most restrictive of their kind in the world, observers agree, and can only worsen the country's already meager 15 percent literacy rate for women. Includes a column, "Foreign Exchange."
Guatemala is turning to its young people to help erase adult illiteracy there.
In a first for the New York City schools, the district will give bonuses of up to $15,000 to principals and other administrators whose schools posted major gains on test scores.
The largest study to date testing the effects of Ritalin on teenagers with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder suggests that the drug, when used in combination with other interventions, can raise students' daily academic performance.
  • Graduation Season Means Commencement of Prayer Flaps
  • Legal Guide on Religion
Through 10 stormy teacher strikes and several education overhauls, one of the only constants in Chicago public school leadership was the United Progressive Caucus of the Chicago Teachers Union.
In a ruling that Arkansas officials intend to challenge, a judge has struck down the state's formula for distributing money to schools, saying it is not adequate or fair to poorer districts.
Eager to make adjustments in the Texas charter school system, state legislators wrapped up their session by approving a compromise bill that tightens control over the independent public schools and places new constraints on their growth.
Departments
Under a proposal crafted by the Ventura administration, the state is poised to take over the day-to-day costs of K-12 education, shifting that burden away from the local property-tax base.
The Ohio legislature approved a two-year, $45 billion state budget and a standards and accountability package last week that together were designed to satisfy a court mandate to overhaul the school finance system.
University of Colorado officials are fighting to save many academic majors offered to prospective educators on the Boulder campus after criticism from state regulators.
Negotiations to revise Vermont's controversial school finance law and offer an olive branch to hard-hit wealthy towns appeared to be dead late last week.
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Daily Exercise Required in Texas Primary Schools
  • Hiring Bonuses Shot Down in Neb.
  • Judge to Probe N.C. Financing
  • Fla. Schools Get Better Grades
School district leaders in this small, eastern Washington town have an enviable dilemma. The state recently promised to give them $4.3 million to cover roughly half the cost of a new elementary school—an allocation that surpassed by more than $1 million the amount the district was expecting to receive.
The tax bill recently approved by Congress harbors a cache of education provisions, including one that helped prompt a veto under President Bush's predecessor because it provides a tax break for private school tuition costs.
The Department of Education officially has a new deputy secretary, as well as an announced selection for its top congressional-affairs job, as President Bush continues piecing together his education team.
Departments
The U.S. Supreme Court's decision last week that golfer Casey Martin has a right under federal law to use a cart will have an impact well beyond professional sports, legal experts say.
With its release an annual rite of spring, the latest "Condition of Education" report by the National Center for Education Statistics presents a thick data tapestry of America's educational system, one into which many patterns can be read.
Everyone talks about solidifying partnerships between K-12 and higher education institutions. But an upstate New York college and an inner-city school are doing something about it. Includes the story, "University's Partnership Draws Upon Alumni Pool."
Billy Green fell asleep in a homeless shelter every night during high school dreaming of making it out of Spanish Harlem. Today, the 24-year-old aspiring doctor, who will be a senior at Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., knows he could easily have ended up in jail or dead—like many of the people he saw hanging out on the streets while he kept his head buried in the books.
High schools need to examine the social contexts in which teaching and learning occur to determine whether or not they truly expect all students to achieve, write Marilyn Crawford and Eleanor Dougherty.
Vouchers would increase the number of choices available to teachers, says Tim DeRoche.
Despite the obvious flaws of an educational system based upon academic standards, it is far superior to the available alternatives, argues Douglas B. Reeves.
To be successful in responding to homophobic slurs, writes Alan Horowitz, educators have to become comfortable talking about gay issues.
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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