July 11, 2001

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Vol. 20, Issue 42
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Memphis district leaders have announced that, after six years and $12 million, they are pulling the plug on their closely watched experiment to put schoolwide improvement models in every public school in the city.
As efforts to expand preschool programs in the United States have increased, so has interest in looking abroad to see how other countries are educating their youngest children. And perhaps no system of early-childhood education has captured the attention of U.S. educators and policymakers quite like the French model.
Hopes that Congress will complete an overhaul of federal education legislation by summer's end appear to be waning, with observers predicting that some of the differences between the House and Senate versions of the bill will not yield to easy solutions.
In an interview with Education Week, Secretary of Education Rod Paige addressed questions about his stewardship of the department, discussed his role in the education bills now before Congress, refuted rumors that he might resign, and laid out his vision for improving America's schools. Includes an edited transcript.
As the new chief executive officer of the Chicago schools settled into his position late last month, only one of the nation's 10 largest districts was being run by a leader with more than two years on the job.
  • Chicago Catholic League Votes To Admit School
  • Corning, N.Y., Voters OK Plan
  • Review Raps Dallas District
  • Couple Charged With Kidnapping
  • Kansas Superintendent Charged
  • Miami District Declared Unitary
Leaders of the Boston and New York City districts have announced that some of their high-performing schools will be rewarded with greater flexibility over regulations and budgets.
Constructing an assignment that elicits good writing may be as difficult for teachers as writing the essays is for students, a forthcoming study suggests.
Bureaucratic red tape kept the Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year from transferring to a low-income school and landed her instead in one with higher test scores.
Princeton Review Inc. has taken its big admissions test on Wall Street. Its scores didn't quite put it at the head of the class. Includes an accompanying story, "Deal Reached To Keep Edison in S.F. School."
In a compromise that ends the threat of losing a high-profile contract, Edison Schools Inc. will sever its relationship with the San Francisco school district but is poised to continue managing an elementary school there under a state charter.
To help students who are forced to change schools frequently because of their parents' military careers, the U.S. Army last week announced a plan designed to ease such transitions for students and administrators in nine districts.
Stories of global economic challenges are expected to drive much of the discussion when some 1,000 teacher leaders from across the globe converge in Jomtien, Thailand, later this month for a meeting of Education International, a worldwide coalition of organizations representing education workers.
The question of how public schools should deal with homosexuality, if at all, became the source of a highly emotional debate here last week, both within the National Education Association and among outside groups that condemned an NEA proposal on the issue.
  • NEA President Blasts Testing Proposals
  • Delegates Debate Partnership With AFT
  • Two New York NEA Affliates Vote Switch to AFT
  • Refining Union's Stance on Charter Schools
  • Considering Candidates for Next NEA President
An eight-year federal effort to improve mathematics and science education in urban schools paid off in higher test scores and increases in the number of minority students taking high-level courses, according to an analysis of the project.
About 10 percent of the District of Columbia's teaching corps was fired last month for being uncertified.
College athletes should be treated the same as other students in admissions decisions and graduation requirements, a commission that has studied college sports for more than a decade says.
American students lack even a basic knowledge of Asia—and of world affairs and cultures in general—despite the continent's significance in U.S. history and in current and future economic and security matters, the report of a national panel suggests.
  • Surgeon General Urges Teaching
    About Abstinence, Contraception
  • Low Iron and Poor Math Skills
  • Driver Education
Most states could learn from New York City when it comes to creating a more unified education system that promotes partnerships between higher education and secondary schools, according to a report that highlights the city's efforts in making pre-K-16 collaboration a priority.
Here are the schoolwide reform programs in place during the 2000-01 school year in the Memphis public school district, along with the number of schools in the city in which those models were being used. Some schools used more than one of the programs. Two of the models, Middle School Initiative and Widening Horizons Through Literacy, were locally developed.
Michigan’s new schools chief has scrapped a school accreditation system that had yet to produce its first public ratings, saying it relied too heavily on state test scores.
Reversing a lower court ruling that would have cushioned the impact on school districts of midyear state budget cuts, the Alabama Supreme Court has ruled that public schools and higher education institutions have to share the burden of such cuts equally whenever state revenues fall short.
  • Florida
  • Maine
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Washington
The Bush administration is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the Cleveland voucher case and to use it to rule that the inclusion of religious schools in educational choice programs does not violate the U.S. Constitution.
President Bush's choice for the Department of Education's top civil rights job, announced in late June, has sparked concerns among some liberal groups. Meanwhile, disability-rights advocates cheered his selection for the agency's special education chief.
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide in its next term whether school districts violate federal law when they allow students to grade each other's classwork. Inlcudes a table, "Education and the Supreme Court: The 2000-01 Term."
Many legal observers expected this U.S. Supreme Court term to be relatively quiet. It was, until the small matter of Bush v. Gore (Case No. 00-949) came along in late fall after Election Day. Besides the two extraordinary decisions stemming from the disputed presidential election, the justices also handled a number of cases involving schools or related issues of interest to educators.

Many legal observers expected this U.S. Supreme Court term to be relatively quiet. It was, until the small matter of Bush v. Gore (Case No. 00-949) came along in late fall after Election Day. Besides the two extraordinary decisions stemming from the disputed presidential election, the justices also handled a number of cases involving schools or related issues of interest to educators.

Here are capsule summaries of the education-related cases decided by the high court in its 2000-2001 term:

The national associations representing elementary and secondary school principals are anxious about the fate of their two top legislative goals: bills that aim to attract and keep school leaders.
The governing board that oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress, concerned about preparations for the wave of new testing contained in education legislation before Congress, has voted overwhelmingly to delay giving a national civics test.
School districts across the country would be required to notify parents before using bug-killing chemicals on school property, under legislation now moving through Congress.
Beneath the surface of the contemporary debate over standards and testing, a set of assumptions has congealed in which most of the participants are stuck, says education professor William A. Profriedt.
Rather than rail at the injustices of life and the bad taste of the American public, Arthur Levine has decided that it's time to take the road not taken. He's decided to write books people are willing to buy.
Former U. S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley offers his opinions on the new administration's education initiatives, Congressional action on those initiatives, and the present position of the federal education department.
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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