November 21, 2001

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 12
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In some school districts near potential targets for terrorism such as nuclear power plants and chemical-weapons depots, upgrades to school safety and evacuation plans have jumped to the top of administrators' to-do lists.
From Houston to St. Paul to Philadelphia, community-based groups that serve Hispanics are convinced they can do a better job at education than regular public schools do.
Recent improvements on the MCAS are major news in Massachusetts, which has lived up to its history of protest in the battle over the controversial assessment. And educators and policymakers in other states are watching closely.
Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up a case whose impact truly will be felt in the classroom. From desk to desk, in fact. At issue is whether teachers may require students to swap their quizzes, papers, or other work with classmates for grading.
Officials in California reacted with anger last week to reported misspending by the San Francisco school district of as much as $100 million in the past 13 years that was meant for school improvements.
School bus drivers around the country have mounted miniature American flags on their rigs in recent weeks, riding the wave of patriotism that has swept much of the nation since Sept. 11. But just as quickly as they went up, some drivers were ordered to remove Old Glory because its display violates safety regulations in some places.
Departments
  • NAACP Launches Drive to Close
    Achievement Gap
  • Mich. Teenager Kills Himself
    After Standoff at School
  • Grape-Juice Prank Earns Girl
    Nine-Day Suspension
  • Council for Basic Education
    Chooses New President
  • Teacher Fired for Burning Flag
    In Front of 6th Grade Class
  • U. of Ga. Will Not Appeal
    Affirmative Action Ruling
  • U.S. Appeals Court Orders Trial
    For Fired Ky. Teacher
  • Oklahoma City Voters Approve Passage
    of Two Bond Issues
Departments
Large majorities of school leaders feel overworked, according to a survey released last week, and want more power to clear their desks of paperwork, cut red tape, and fire bad teachers. Includes a chart, "Frustrated by Politics and Bureaucracy."
Superintendents and principals were asked: If you had to pick one of the following, which comes closest to your own view? Talented superintendents and principals who leave the field are most likely to do so because they are frustrated by:
Departments
A second generation of studies on charter aims to look more closely at what happens inside the increasingly prominent schools.
The NEA targets 13 Congress members for ouster in the 1982 elections; state school chiefs perceive an animus towards public education in the Reagan Administration; a survey finds that most Americans want both the theory of evolution and creationism; and the Texas board of ed. finds too much George Carlin in the Merriam-Webster New Collegiate Dictionary.
The education industry has emerged from the past two months largely unaffected by the terrors of Sept. 11 and anthrax-tainted mail. Whether it can endure the economic downturn is another question.
It may come as no surprise that the state of West Virginia has seized control of the troubled McDowell County school district. But in an unusual twist, the takeover came at the request of the district's own leaders, who acknowledged that they could no longer handle the job.
A leading Democratic donor and philanthropist and the Republican governor of Michigan teamed up last week to announce the opening of a national center to prepare urban superintendents.
  • Graduation-Rate Data Called Too Optimistic
  • Technology Standards
  • Early-Childhood Issues
  • Technology Solutions
  • After-School Programs
  • Race and Education
  • Language-Minority Students
  • New American Schools
  • Urban Parents' Opinions
Departments
Long considered one of the nation's most influential education groups, the Council of Chief State School Officers wants to carve out a new path for itself.
State merit-scholarship programs nationwide have been growing at fast rates, as more students become eligible for them. But even though the programs are growing more expensive, the scholarships so far are being spared the budget ax.
Departments
  • Texas Board Rejects Text; Cites Errors, Political Bias
  • Arizona School Aid Off-Limits
  • Fla. Mother Sues for Documents
  • Ala. OKs Evolution Label
  • New Jersey
  • Wisconsin
The wheels came off a plan to bulk up the Department of Education's budget last week when Senate Democrats opted to downsize the spending side of their stimulus proposal, including excising about $1 billion that was to have gone for school repair.
Federal lawmakers and the president are mulling plans to expand dramatically the AmeriCorps national-service program, in part to use more recruits in homeland-security roles.
Departments
  • Court Declines Illinois Spec. Ed. Case
  • Education Panelist Roukema to Retire From Congress
Seattle writes its prescription for children with Asperger's syndrome, a mild form of autism that combines uncanny knowledge and awkward skills.
As teachers focus on their students' welfare in the aftermath of Sept. 11, they must make sure they are taking care of their own psychological needs as well, cautions clinical and organizational psychologist Robert Evans.
At a recent gathering of principals, Robert DeBlois found that principals certainly want their schools to be accountable—but many also fear that standardized testing is gaining a life of its own.
Frances Wills, a superintendent in New York, explores how poetry can express the goals and passions of teaching.
If we want kids to be excited about reading, says Joy Hakim, we need to give them access to books.
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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