October 3, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 05
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As the nation's economy tightens, many workers appear to be turning to school districts for to find permanent employment. District administrators are thrilled.
Taking on a potentially historic case, the U.S. Supreme Court announced last week that it will decide whether the U.S. Constitution permits government- financed tuition vouchers to be used at religious schools. Includes a Web-extra backgrounder.
Professional journalists are often called to cover disasters and other dangerous or emotionally charged situations. But high school reporters usually write stories of a more benign sort—about dances or club events, sports and academics. Not terrorist attacks, mayhem, death. Includes the related story, "Student Newspapers Pursue the Local Angles Aggressively."
School districts across the country are keeping students close to home following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Read this and other stories in this week's installment of our continuing series, Terror Touches Schools.

Departments
A federal appeals court has ruled that more than three decades of court-ordered desegregation in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., schools should end.
The Miami-Dade County school board last week fired Superintendent Roger C. Cuevas, who had led the nation's fourth-largest district for five years.
  • Poverty Rate Declines, Census Bureau Reports
  • Reporter's Arrest Leads to Community Service
  • Former Miami Board Member Pleads Guilty to Charges
  • Mother Who Disrupted School to Do Community Service
  • Substitute Reinstated in Flap Over Reference to bin Laden
  • Grand Jury Scrutinizes San Francisco District
  • Five Kansas City, Mo., Schools Deemed Failing by State
Gunnar Dybwad, an early advocate for the civil rights of people with developmental disabilities, died Sept. 13. He was 92.
Departments
Most public high school parents and their children's teachers say breaking up large high schools into smaller ones would help educators identify troubled students and make the schools more welcoming places, according to the results of a survey released last week.
Middle school and high school principals around the country report having seen few instances of theft or abuse of stimulant drugs used to treat attention disorders, according to the report last month by the investigative arm of Congress.
Departments
A survey of parents and teachers found both groups see strengths and weaknesses associated with smaller schools.
The National Assessment Governing Board, which oversees the only federal testing program, is proposing to change the guidelines that define the content on its mathematics exams.
Departments
A look back at bilingual education, asbestos in schools, SAT scores, proposed school lunch changes, and more.
Although the public appears to be equally divided over school vouchers, backing for the idea wanes as supporters are told that vouchers could decrease funding for public schools, a national poll released last week says.
Following are two questions asked in a national poll about vouchers sponsored by the National School Boards Association.
The future of Philadelphia's schools, already uncertain, has become even more so following President Bush's surprise announcement that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge will take a new job in Washington as the nation's anti-terrorism czar. Includes "N.Y.C. Mayoral Candidates Eye School Changes."
New York City's mayoral primary, held last week after a two-week delay because of the World Trade Center attack, produced a clear-cut Republican nominee and set up an Oct. 11 runoff between two Democratic hopefuls.
Departments
  • States Consider Forbidding
    Snack, Soda Sales
At Yorktown High School in Arlington, Va., the newspaper staff was writing a story last week about a former student who was a pilot on the hijacked American Airlines jet that smashed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11.
Perennially plagued by a scarcity of teachers, urban districts have gone to great lengths in recent years to fill vacant positions. Now, the variety of strategies is starting to pay dividends.
Arizona has been slapped with another lawsuit that questions the constitutionality of the way the state finances public schools.
Departments
It seemed like a modest, common-sense proposal: requiring long-term substitute teachers in Louisiana to have the same educational level as the people they replace. But some Louisiana superintendents rebelled.
Thousands of California 10th graders just learned whether they passed the state's new high school exit exam. What they don't know—and can't know for another 18 months—is if they needed to.
After months of wrangling over how to head off a fiscal crisis that educators feared could hobble the state's school improvement efforts, North Carolina's governor last week signed off on tax hikes that will allow the state to boost education spending and provide money for several new initiatives.
Michigan lawmakers finally shaped a pared-down education budget last week, cutting about a half-billion dollars in public school aid over three years.
  • Tennessee Unveils List of Ailing Schools
  • Calif. Governor Vetoes Study of Heavy Backpacks
  • Exit-Exam Appeals Process Proposed in Mass.
Congress officially resumed work on education last week when members of a House-Senate conference ratified some of the less controversial elements of a bill to overhaul the federal role in K-12 schools, including President Bush's prized Reading First program.
Departments
  • Release of Student Records OK
    In Terrorism Probe, Deparment Says
  • Student-Loan Payments Deferred
    For Activated Guard, Reserves
  • Music Dean Selected
    To Head Arts Endowment
  • Commission Will Plan Celebration
    For Brown v. Board of Education's 50th
President Bush's top aide for domestic issues is predicting an "evolution in assessments," which would include more tests in more subjects, and perhaps more school choice.
Despite its popularity, block scheduling's effect on learning remains unproven.
We want and need school leaders who can foster improvement, writes Gordon A. Donaldson Jr., but it seems that state and district approaches to reform are convincing our best educators to eschew leadership roles.
For Howard Good, the current nationwide trend toward more frequent standardized testing seems to ignore that you can't force children to become what they aren't ready to be.
Our current national crisis enables us to seize the moment to define our purposes as educators, writes Lew Smith, director of the National Principals Leadership Institute.
Letters
Departments
When talking to students about the terrorist attacks, teachers need to challenge students with hard questions—not just comfort them with easy answers, says professor Jonathan Zimmerman.
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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