October 24, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 08
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When relationships between school officials and the media break down, schools often react by restricting reporters' access. While such a strategy may shield schools temporarily from unfavorable news coverage or unwanted interruptions, media experts say schools may pay a price in the long run.
Policymakers and educators in many places are asking whether cyber charter schools—in which students primarily stay home and access materials online with little direct contact with licensed teachers—should be counted and financed as public education.
The images of war dominating the news and the overwhelming public support for the U.S.-led military response to the Sept. 11 terrorist assaults are difficult for even the most devout peace educators to reconcile with the lessons they've been teaching. Includes: "Foundation Nourishes Soul With Poetry Grants."
Now in its fourth year, a federal "demonstration project" has channeled $37 million in school construction funds to Iowa schools. It could be construed as pork, but the senator says it's working.
Discoveries of unidentified white substances, mistakenly feared to be anthrax bacteria, have disrupted schools around the nation in the past two weeks, causing educators to reflect on how best to be prepared to handle the latest perceived threats to school safety.
Departments
  • Judge Rules Columbine High Must Display Religious Tiles
  • Miami-Dade School Board Taps Interim Superintendent
  • Authorities Investigate Cause of Fatal Nebraska Bus Crash
  • Teachers in Illinois City Return to Work After Strike
  • PTA Treasurer in N.M. Confesses to Stealing
  • Two Students Charged With Rape of Girl at School
  • Judge Bars Association From Ban on Cheerleading
  • Calif. District Tackles Abuse After Boy Beaten at School
The Madison, Wis., school board last week reversed a week-old policy that was widely perceived as banishing the Pledge of Allegiance and the words to "The Star-Spangled Banner" from its schools.
The National Science Foundation announced a $100 million campaign last week to improve the quality of science teaching.
Departments
Although they've captured headlines lately, young principals aren't a common sight in the nation's schools. And that worries some experts, who had anticipated that people under age 35 would be filling the void left by retiring school leaders.
D.C. voters debate private school tuition tax credits; Houston gives teachers bonuses for showing up for work; correspondence courses make a comeback; "school phobia" acknowledged as real; and the Soviet Union discovers sex ed.
Researchers from the Six-Nation Education Research Project have been collaborating on a wide range of studies for the past six years, all of them aimed broadly at exploring the links between education and the economy. They shared their results last week.
The pressure is building on the nation's premier association for early-childhood education to overhaul its accreditation system.
After more than two decades of only limited success, why is the national effort to radically improve public education largely confined to fixing the schools the country already has?
The hope of the new U.S. poet laureate is simple but profound: On every day of the school year, in every school in America, children will hear one poem read aloud.
Nature Online: The video equivalent of an intriguing and wonderful nature guidebook has just been placed on the Web, thanks to the combined efforts of nearly 30 public-television stations nationwide.
  • Report: U.S. Schools Lack E-Learning Policies
The nation's leading accreditor of teacher-preparation programs has unveiled standards for professional-development schools, which team up with school districts to train prospective and beginning educators. Includes the table, "Standards for Professional Development Schools."
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education released standards last week, condensed below.
Despite concerns that they would not have enough time to gather the information, all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico were expected to file report cards ranking their teacher-preparation programs with the U.S. Department of Education last week.
Departments
The national association representing elementary school principals last week rejected a proposal to add middle schools to its name.
  • Girls' Math Scores Linked to Role Models
  • Literacy Project
  • Archiving History
  • Standards, With Conditions
Believing that verse nourishes the soul and the intellect, the aim of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation's poetry program is to show teachers and students how to make a passionate connection to poetry.
Just two days before the release of a report calling Massachusetts' system of academic standards and assessments a national model, the state last week released test results showing dramatic increases among the first cohort of students needing to pass the high-profile exams to earn a diploma.
Nearly three years after Virginia's school rating system got off to a spectacularly difficult start, the state has released figures showing that the number of schools meeting state standards has risen sharply.
Departments
  • Fiscal Problems Color School Spending Choices
  • State Targets Neediest Students and Schools
Teacher's Alleged Threats Tied; To Pressure From Texas Tests; Pa. House OKs Bill Requiring Pledge; S.C. Urged to Overhaul Career Ed; Georgia to Cut Budget for Schools
Department of Education officials are facing the largest breach of security in the 32-year history of the federal education testing program.
When President Bush called on America's youths to donate dollar bills for the children of Afghanistan, the teachers and students of C.W. Hill Elementary School sprang into action.
Departments
Education legislation faced another delay last week when concerns over anthrax contamination on Capitol Hill, which prompted the House to shut down for several days, led lawmakers to abruptly cancel a meeting on the bill.
  • Bush Chooses Stroup for Postsecondary Chief
  • Former Aide to Hickok Named
    Ed. Dept. Press Secretary
  • Bush Appoints Commission to Study
    Hispanic Achievement
  • Puerto Rico Should Return Title I Money,
    Inspector Says
  • House Encourages Schools to Display
    'God Bless America'
Eight universities around the country will establish centers to study ways of improving the education of students with special needs, thanks to $8.7 million in recent grants from the Department of Education.
Twice-exceptional children, those who are gifted and have learning disabilities, are one of the most underserved populations in schools. Few school districts have screening procedures to identify them. Fewer still have special classes or programs to meet their needs. Includes an accompanying story, "Mining Maryland's Diamonds: One District's Solution."
"Freeze!"

Elementary school teacher Kathleen Famulare halts her 5th grade advanced-math students as they scramble to grab flashcards to answer the questions about long multiplication and division on the chalkboard.

Mike Schmoker says the explanation for the reading gap might be simpler than we thought: Kids in early-grade reading classes are often coloring instead of reading.
Teacher Jane Ehrenfeld writes that standardized testing is the biggest obstacle to teaching well and may ultimately cause the best teachers to abandon the field.
When seen in the context of overall educational value, writes author Peter Sacks, the SAT's continued use as an important gatekeeper to many colleges is ethically suspect.
Letters
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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