June 20, 2001

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Vol. 20, Issue 41
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Rural Language Barriers: Jung Seo moved his family to the United States from South Korea in part so his teenage sons could learn English, what he refers to as "the language of the world." They settled in Spencer, Iowa. See story, Page 6.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week unlocked public school doors for a potentially large array of religious groups, ruling that districts must give children's Bible clubs the same after-school access that other community groups get. Includes "In the Court's Words," excerpts from the justices' opinions in the decision.
Some states have learned through trial by fire that securing funds is only one part of helping districts pay for construction. They also have to figure out how best to distribute it.
After wading through more than 100 amendments, the Senate last week overwhelmingly approved a bill overhauling the federal role in schools.
At a time when the numbers of U.S. schoolchildren diagnosed with disorders related to autism are soaring, young children should be screened for such conditions as routinely as they are for hearing and vision problems, a national panel of experts said in a report issued last week.
Departments
New Orleans will try to resurrect its lowest-performing middle schools in the fall by transforming them into "learning academies" led by new principals and staffed entirely by certified teachers.
Tropical Storm Allison dropped between 15 and 36 inches of rain over just four days on southeastern Texas and southern Louisiana this month. It will take a lot longer than that—and millions of dollars—for schools to rebound from the storm.
Departments
  • Teen-Pregnancy Rate Is Lowest Since 1976
  • Chicago Board President Named
  • School Naming Stirs Debate
  • Reporter Arrested at School
  • Historic Kan. School Renovated
  • New Denver Chief Takes Charge
  • L.A. Administrator Resigns Post
  • Survivor of Illness To Graduate
  • New Library Opens at Columbine
Just over two years after the country's deadliest school shooting, the families of the slain and injured have unveiled a new library at Columbine High School that replaces the one where most of the victims died.
Lisa Graham Keegan, the former Arizona schools chief, ushered in a new version of a conservative-leaning education leaders' group here last week, declaring it the right home for all reformers dissatisfied with the education establishment.
The growth in school choices for American precollegiate students has been dwarfed by the increase in options available to their peers in some other industrialized countries, a report released last week shows. Includes a table, "Public, Private, and In Between."
The following shows the distribution of primary and secondary students in OECD countries by the type of schools they attended in 1999.
Most bilingual education and English-as-a-second-language programs are located in urban and suburban school districts. But as the U.S. immigrant population has spread to more remote locations, more rural districts have had to start such programs.
While urban school districts often have entire full-time staffs devoted to educating students with limited English skills, educators in the nation's rural areas often have to rely largely on their own wits to build ESL programs.
A pair of new studies spotlights racial and other differences cropping up in scores for state achievement tests in Massachusetts and Michigan. Includes an accompanying column, "In Short," examining the implications of erasures on tests.
Too many eraser marks on a standardized test could signal that someone is cheating, says a University of Iowa researcher.
A coalition of 12 Southern states is launching a joint project to improve algebra instruction and testing in their high schools.
HeadsUp! Reading is a training course designed for Head Start teachers and others who work in early-childhood education. But the program has an unusual twist: Because many people who work in that field can't get away to attend a traditional college course, HeadsUp! Reading comes to them.
The New York City board of education and CTB/McGraw-Hill, one of the nation's largest test-makers, said that more than 60,000 6th graders in the city received higher scores on a reading test last year than they should have. But each side offered differing theories on how it happened.
Residents of Corning, N.Y., were scheduled to vote this week on a proposed multimillion-dollar school construction plan that has stirred intense debate—even though the money wouldn't come out of taxpayers' own pockets.
  • IBM Invests Millions More in 'Reinventing Education'
Departments
Lawmakers in at least two states and the U.S. Congress are trying to make it easier for high school students who are undocumented immigrants to attend college.
An announcement by state officials that as many as 71 Michigan elementary and middle schools might have cheated on state tests last winter has burgeoned into competing scandals.
Departments
A low passing score was not enough to help most of California's 9th graders make the grade on the state's first high school exit exam.
Texas officials are crowing over improved passing rates on state tests for the eighth consecutive year, but at least one critic of the test is asking just how much student performance has improved.
Ongoing disputes in the legislature over education spending and tax cuts last week left a government shutdown looking like a serious possibility in Minnesota.
For the Compass Montessori School in Wheat Ridge, Colo., a new state program that provides direct aid for charter school facilities means the school's leaders can spend more money on instruction and less on paying off the purchase of a converted fruit market.
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Oklahoma
  • Vermont
  • Case Over Mentally Retarded Students
    Reaches Tentative Settlement in Conn.
  • Federal Judge Sets Deadline for Arizona
Michigan officials are investigating numerous instances of potential cheating on state tests administered earlier this year. Among those cases are virtually identical responses to a question on the Michigan Educational Assessment Program test of 5th grade science. The question and some of the responses are reprinted below.
A national test originally scheduled for 2003 may be delayed until 2005 in order to help prepare for some of the proposed testing under President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" plan.
A growing number of college students, financial-aid associations, and civil rights groups are working to overturn a provision to cut off federal aid to students who have convictions on drug-related charges.
Departments
The Bush administration has urged the U.S. Supreme Court not to grant review of an Oklahoma case that centers on whether the practice of having students grade each other's classwork violates federal law.
New Department of Education research concludes that charter schools are helping other public schools and districts improve through competition.
With Senate approval last week of its version of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act—the House finished its bill in May—responsibility will now fall to a House-Senate conference committee to bridge the differences. Here are highlights of the two bills the committee will be considering.
The Senate voted narrowly last week to withhold federal funds from school districts that close their doors to the Boy Scouts of America based on the group's exclusion of homosexuals.
The following are excerpts from the majority, concurring, and dissenting opinions in the U.S. Supreme Court's June 11 decision in Good News Club v. Milford Central School.

Majority Opinion | Concurring Opinions | Dissenting Opinions
The Waldorf method of teaching emphasizes art, music and an appreciation for nature, but a growing number of critics say public Waldorf schools are infusing religion into everyday learning.
Education writer and analyst Denis P. Doyle says that the most robust vehicle for education reform—and school choice—could be the E-rate.
The children of our growing population of prison inmates are the hidden victims of their parents' crimes, and they represent yet another problem placed on the plate of educators, writes school administrator Cynthia Martone.
Standardized tests are a measure of basic skills, but they don't prepare students for what they will encounter when they leave school, writes former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert B. Reich.
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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