November 14, 2001

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Vol. 21, Issue 11
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As state education departments and local school districts look for ways to cut their spending in the face of an ailing economy, experts in educational technology say such programs appear to be among the first targets of the budget knife.
As children await the release of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, some educators and children's literature experts predict a new wave of popularity for the books. But beware: Their brew of supernatural fantasy and adventure could cast another spell of controversy over students' access to the books in school. Includes the story, "Troublesome Tomes."
Spanish River High School seems an unlikely place for worries about deadly microbes. But when anthrax spores from contaminated mail were found in the nearby headquarters of American Media Inc., principal Geoff McKee took immediate action. Includes an accompanying story, "School Mail Now Eyed More Closely Because of Bioterrorism Cases."
Some Washington lawmakers and officials are concerned that the federal Fund for the Improvement of Education has grown too large and strayed from its mission, becoming instead something of a parking lot for pet projects and pork.
New Yorkers chose Republican Michael R. Bloomberg as their new mayor last week, handing the billionaire businessman two daunting tasks: stabilizing a city awash in economic woes after the Sept. 11 World Trade Center attack, and restructuring governance of city schools.
  • W. Va Student Prohibited From
    Starting 'Anarchy' Club
  • Schools Near Trade Center Site
    Turned Back to N.Y.C. Board
  • Elgin, Ill., District Settles
    Athletic-Discrimination Case
  • Ga. High Court Rules Sex at School
    Not Protected by Right to Privacy
  • Savannah, Ga., Schools Ban 'Lewd'
    Student Performances
  • Students' Medical Records Mistakenly
    Posted on Web
  • Pa. Police Absolved in Suit Over
    Gay Student's Suicide
Just for the Kids Inc., a Texas group, is launching an effort to review test scores, identify schools that do not meet expectations, and show troubled schools practices that work elsewhere.
A new study will profile 15 successful urban superintendents, examining how they seek to raise student achievement and overcome urban woes.
The drug methylphenidate, the generic form of Ritalin, may cause lasting changes in brain-cell function, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Buffalo.
The Minnesota Department of Education unexpectedly disposes of toxic chemicals in chemistry labs; a school in Rhode Island constructs padded cells for students ... and more.
Ontario lawmakers have enacted the largest and least restrictive education tax-credit plan in North America for parents whose children attend independent schools.
Middle-level curriculum recently came under increased scrutiny as educators gathered at the annual National Middle School Association conference to discuss the academic and emotional needs of early adolescents.
Research on early-childhood literacy is scant, a top department official told educators at the annual conference of the National Association for the Education of Young Children.

These were the most frequently challenged works in the 1990s, based on voluntary reports from school districts and public libraries to the American Library Association's office on intellectual freedom:

1. Scary Stories (series, 1984-1991) by Alvin Schwartz

Many school districts across the country have tightened their procedures for handling mail in response to the recent anthrax attacks through the U.S. Postal Service.
In a historic change of political gears, New Jersey voters last week shifted control of the governor's office and one house of the state legislature from Republican to Democratic, revamping leadership at a time when lawmakers have their sights set on improving public schools.
Virginians elected Democrat Mark R. Warner as their new governor Nov. 6—and with his victory, the wealthy businessman promised to make schools there the best in the nation.
The Ohio supreme court has agreed to reconsider its recent ruling that required the state to spend billions of dollars more on public schools.
  • Florida Lawmakers Take Another
    Look at Budget
  • NCSL Sees 'Bleak' Fiscal Future
  • Michigan Debates Ritalin Use
  • Schools' Test Results on Hold
  • Md. Panel to Urge More School Aid
The U.S. Supreme Court agreed last week to review an Oklahoma district's policy of random testing of not just athletes but also students involved in other interscholastic activities, such as cheerleading, band, and the Future Farmers of America.
The money sent by many schoolchildren for the special relief fund for Afghan children has been piling up at the White House's off-site postal facility, in effect quarantined after anthrax spores were found there last month.
  • Education Spending Bill for 2002
    Clears Senate
  • White House: Pell Grant Ceiling
    Is Unlikely to Rise This Year
  • Supreme Court's Agenda Includes
    Two Disability Cases
  • Paige, School District Officials
    Discuss Security Concerns
The Fund for the Improvement of Education was designed primarily to provide competitive grants to further national education priorities. Last fiscal year, however, much of the fund was consumed by earmarked projects, which are financed at the behest of members of Congress outside the normal grant process. Here is a sampling of the earmarks for fiscal 2001:
The scratches and bruises, inflicted in an attack by an angry student, have long since healed. But even after going back to her classroom in New York City, Laura Marks isn't quite the same teacher she once was.
More states are turning to quick-fix programs to get more teachers into classrooms. But they're missing the crux of the problem and often doing more harm than good, says David Haselkorn, president of Recruiting New Teachers Inc.
The Seattle fish market is showing up in school districts in the form of a 17-minute video. Deanna Burney tells why.
"Multiple measures" has become almost a mantra in discussions about how to improve state assessments, but there is no consensus on what it means, says S. Paul Reville. He proposes a set of criteria as a starting point.
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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