November 7, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 10
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The National Science Foundation is taking a new tack with it's K-12 grant money by turning to universities and nonprofit groups to address specific problems in science education. Includes an accompanying story, "Agency's Education Job Is 'Dream Come True'."
The 246,000-student Clark County, Nev., school district, among the nation's largest, is one of the few districts in the country that provide through one program—and dually trained teachers—overlapping English-acquisition and special education services for students.
The July closing of Memphis's closely watched effort to install schoolwide improvement programs in every school in the city was just the latest in a string of setbacks in the nationwide movement known as comprehensive or "whole school" reform.
New financial controls will help protect against future misuse of Department of Education resources, agency leaders vowed last week in releasing a final report on efforts to overhaul the department's management system. Includes a table, "Path to Improvement."
Gov. Mark S. Schweiker of Pennsylvania proposed last week that the Philadelphia schools be taken over by a private management company, a move that would turn one of the country's largest school systems into the biggest public-school-privatization experiment yet.
Departments
  • Md. Students, Staff Members Tested for Anthrax Bacteria
  • Commission on Teaching Gets New Executive Director
  • El Cajon, Calif., School Shooter Commits Suicide in Jail Cell
  • Newton, Mass., Parents Question Charges Against Driver in Fatal Crash
  • California District Scraps Proposal for Families to Buy $2,000 Laptops
  • Indianapolis Students Sue to Form Gay-Straight Club
  • Admissions Plans Approved for Competitive S.F. Schools
  • Reported Crimes in Schools Drop Slightly, Report Says
  • 800-Student Calif. District to Sell Superintendent's $80,000 BMW
Ask any realtor: Prospective buyers with children compete for homes in neighborhoods where the public schools are top-notch, believing it will increase the youngsters' chances of admission to the best colleges. A recent study, however, suggests that can actually put applicants at a disadvantage.
While nearly all the states and the District of Columbia have embraced academic standards as a primary means for improving public education, none has a coordinated system that links all the pieces, according to an evaluation by the American Federation of Teachers.
Departments
The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts has placed performing artists in preschool classrooms and child-care centers for one- and seven-week residencies for 20 years. The organization's work is now focusing on building young children's literacy and language development.
District of Columbia voters reject tuition tax credits; a survey finds that most history teachers are white males; and Sen. Dan Quayle seeks to strip the Education Department's power; and more.
With results from the 2000 U.S. Census in hand, state politicians and local school board members have plunged into the unglamorous but politically charged job of redrawing voter boundaries to reflect new population figures.
Feeling left out of the loop, some Los Angeles teachers say a program that was promoted as a way to reward teamwork is now fueling divisiveness by rewarding teachers based on seniority.
Student achievement at schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as measured by scores on standardized tests is considerably lower than that of public schools, according to a report by the federal General Accounting Office.
Departments
The SAT, the nation's most widely used college-entrance exam, may not be as good at predicting success in college as the more subject-oriented SAT II, a study by researchers at the University of California concludes.
States' posting of school performance evaluations online is giving parents and educators quick access to vital information they need, but some states are doing a much better job of it than others are, said a Heritage Foundation panel last week.
  • Rural Educators Await Choice of New Leader
Departments
Some developing countries have made considerable gains in providing schooling for all their citizens, moving away from traditions of educating only the privileged or those with exceptional academic aptitude, a UNESCO report says.
Principals should primarily be instructional leaders, a booklet released by the NAESP last week says, and delegate administrative tasks to others.
Though last year's bump in urban teachers' salaries was significant, the average increase over the 10-year period was only 3.2 percent, the report says, half a percentage point lower than the 3.7 percent average annual raise all U.S. workers received during that time.
The New York City board of education has hired four test-preparation companies to get teachers ready for the state's mandatory licensing exam.
To help states share the powerful online educational tools that some are developing, 14 states have joined together to form the U.S. Open e-Learning Consortium.
States hardest hit by the economic aftermath of the September terrorist attacks took action last week to shield public schools from the most severe budget cuts— at least for now.
Departments
Illinois is poised to change the way it licenses teachers, setting up a clash between teachers' unions and business groups.
  • N.Y. Tells District to Enforce Attendance for State Tests
  • Mich. Bill Seeks Equal Military Access
  • Md. State Test Gets a Passing Grade
House and Senate negotiators last week tackled some of the vexing social issues embedded in the pending education bill, as they cast votes on provisions concerning hate crimes, school prayer, and school access for the Boy Scouts.
The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to review the constitutionality of a Virginia law that requires a daily minute of silence for public school students to "meditate, pray, or engage in any other silent activity."
Departments
President Bush unveiled another initiative last week connecting schoolchildren and the ongoing international conflict over terrorism, asking schools across the country to invite veterans to speak to students during the week of Nov. 11.
The Department of Education has drawn up a list of annual goals to improve its financial-management systems. Among the highlights:
The Senate, in a break from its past stance, agreed last week to distribute a portion of Title I aid under a formula that seeks to better target money to high-poverty school districts.
In an ambitious attempt to redefine the way prospective educators are trained and inducted in to the field, the Aurora Partnership for Teaching plunges college students into the life of a local school from their first moments on campus.
In the current rush to support reading achievement in the primary grades, we are in danger of neglecting the needs of older students, writes Janet I. Angelis.
We urgently need to revolutionize science education, specifically by connecting science to real life, argues Ray Ann D. Havasy.
Tom Neumark believes that currently fashionable "constructivist" pedagogies only sound new and, what's more, fail to give students a solid foundation for learning.
At a time when things don't seem as certain as they once did, Katherine G. Simon writes, we have an opportunity to create a curriculum of greater moral depth.
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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