June 13, 2001

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Vol. 20, Issue 40
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Headquartered in the rolling prairie of Eastern Iowa, the ACT has in many respects avoided the public scrutiny directed at the SAT, but it has been anything but a backup singer.
Thanks to a determined educational administration program at Delta State University, principals in the impoverished Mississippi Delta area are learning to tackle their jobs with better preparation, stronger skills, and greater inspiration.
The threat posed by a bacterial illness that killed two teenagers prompted at least three Ohio school districts last week to end the school year prematurely, as state health officials distributed preventive antibiotics to thousands of people and prepared to vaccinate nearly 6,000 students and school employees.
Taking advantage of some wiggle room in a 1998 federal law designed to reduce class sizes, Denver decided that some of that money might be better spent making better teachers rather than simply more teachers. Congress is moving toward legislation that could have the effect of making the Denver model much more commonplace.
Officials of a Chicago athletic league for Catholic schools plan to reconsider a widely criticized vote denying membership to a predominantly black grammar school on the city's South Side.
Paul G. Vallas' six-year run as the high-profile chief executive officer of the Chicago public schools ended last week with the much-anticipated announcement that he will resign.
  • Harassment Increasing for Boys AAUW Says
  • Houston Names Superintendent
  • Students Charged in Bus Prank
  • Two Fla. Schools' Rankings Slip
  • Broward Missing Equipment
  • New Orleans Sees Gains
  • School Accountant Charged
Even with little of the publicity and recognition—or public and private funding—that surround the top mathematics and science competitions for students, academic contests in the humanities have had an impact in the classroom, many educators say.
A growing number of testing companies are poised to offer online-testing systems to deliver statewide academic assessments, but experts caution that those companies may be overestimating the demand for the computer-based exams.
With three different companies running its 10 schools, the Chester-Upland district was supposed to be Pennsylvania's one-of-a-kind laboratory for free-market competition in education.
Mark Twain, meet Eminem and the Mummy. Houghton Mifflin Co., one of the nation's oldest independent trade and educational book publishers, is being acquired by Vivendi Universal SA, a French media conglomerate with major interests in movies, publishing, video games, and music.
Only days after New York City officials announced a merit-pay plan for top school leaders, the administrators' union is threatening to sue to stop part of it from taking effect.
City Attorney James K. Hahn sailed to a 9-point victory over one-time teachers' union organizer Antonio Villaraigosa last week to become the next mayor of Los Angeles.
A New York City public high school managed by Bard College will grant graduating students an associate's degree in liberal arts and sciences, instead of a high school diploma.
Sociologist James S. Coleman ignited a national debate in 1966 when he issued a landmark study concluding that differences in children's academic achievement had more to do with background characteristics, such as family wealth, than with anything that went on in schools.
Some 1 million students took the ACT college-admissions test last year, compared with 1.3 million students who took the SAT test. The ACT dominates in much of the Midwest and West, while the SAT is favored by colleges and universities on the East and West coasts.
This report concludes a two-year examination of leadership issues in education. The series was underwritten by the Carnegie Corporation of New York and in part by the Ford Foundation. Recent articles in the series include:
California lawmakers are pushing through changes in their state assessment program to downplay the standardized tests that have been at the heart of the system for the past four years and elevate the status of standards-based exams.
The Washington state retirement plan gives teachers and principals a fairly easy choice when they accrue 30 years of experience: They can retire, collect a yearly pension, and find a new job; or they can continue working, not collect pension benefits, and actually see their benefits docked when they stop.
Maine legislators have settled a dispute over how to distribute general aid for schools based on money collected from property taxes. But some participants in the debate say that what has become a rite of spring will result in changes next year.
North Carolina's state school board approved a measure last week to eliminate three tests given to more than 270,000 students annually, a change in policy that will save $1.2 million just as state education officials are grappling with how to address a growing budget crisis.
Two Montana school district trustees have filed a lawsuit contending that the state's method of financing K-12 schools violates the state constitution.
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • Nebraska
  • Study in Mass. Finds Payoff in Schools Sensitive to Gays
  • N.J. Considers Pre-K Hiring Bonuses
  • New State Board Named in Fla.
  • Ky. Adopts Performance Standards
Although the political shakeup in Washington may pose new challenges for President Bush's overall agenda, it seemed to have little more than a cosmetic effect last week on the Senate debate over his plans for education.
Some advocates for gifted and talented students fear that the Senate version of President Bush's education plan to "leave no child behind" would not help the students with the highest academic ability get ahead.
The popular National Blue Ribbon Schools program run by the Department of Education will survive in its present form—but maybe for just another year.
The White House has added one more name to its list of choices for the top jobs at the Department of Education.
  • Supreme Court Lets Stand Sex-Discrimination Ruling
  • Student-Loan Interest Rate Lowest Ever
Urban and rural communities across the country have gone to court in search of more help from their states in constructing and upgrading schools. A look at schools in Alaska and New Jersey shows why. The second of three parts. Includes:
Alaska's struggle to define the state's role in paying for school construction is compounded by the long distances between its communities, and the drastic differences in how its people live.
Over the next decade, Newark plans to build 45 new schools and renovate all 30 others. Some see an urban renaissance. Others fear that hopes are too high.
At the ripe old age of 106, Hawthorne Elementary School is a fitting symbol of the widespread deterioration of this city's public schools.
Unless we give teachers the power to make intelligent, student-based, and creative educational decisions, writes Jillian N. Lederhouse, we will never be able to attract and keep the type of teachers we most want in the profession.
The only way to ensure an adequate supply of qualified and licensed teachers is to allow special educators to bargain collectively as a group distinct from other teachers, writes educational consultant Jay McIntire.
School climate matters, and it is inextricably tied to the community's values, write parents and community forum founders Palma Strand and Melinda Patrician.
A new world history that slights the achievements of the West and concocts a pseudohistory to please multiculturalists has infiltrated the school curriculum, argues Gilbert T. Sewall.
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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