January 23, 2002

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 19
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In its first alteration since 1988, the GED has been tailored to reflect more accurately the equivalency of a high school graduate's skills at a time when states have been focusing on standards-based education reforms and high-stakes tests. Includes a chart, "Who Takes the GED?"
Across the country, school administrators are making tough choices to reduce budget deficits. Already staggering from declining property-tax revenues and losses of aid triggered by falling enrollments, many urban systems are seeing their woes compounded by recent state funding shortfalls.
With the legislative runway now cleared of the recently signed Elementary and Secondary Education Act, lawmakers on Capitol Hill face what may prove to be the most contentious IDEA reauthorization in the law's history.
The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether individuals may sue schools and colleges over violations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, the 1974 federal law that guarantees the privacy of student records.
A federal district judge in Baltimore has found significant flaws in a Microsoft Corp. proposal to funnel more than a billion dollars worth of software, reconditioned computers, and technology training to about 14,000 needy schools around the country.
A tiny district in the Rocky Mountains high plains that offered a bounty to lure home-schooled students is headed for a showdown with the Colorado education department over the amount of state aid it deserves for student enrollment.
Departments
  • Two Students Wounded in N.Y.C. School Shooting
  • Chicago Archdiocese to Close 14 Schools,
    Open 3 Others
  • Business, Education Leaders Appointed
    To Phila. Schools Panel
  • Student Holds Two Administrators Hostage
    At Mississippi School
  • Teacher Suspended for Role
    In Science-Fair Bomb Project
  • California District Acquires Brothel Site
    In Plea Deal
  • Student's Controversial Sweatshirt Didn't
    Violate Dress Code, Judge Says
Departments
The main English/language arts textbooks for California's elementary and middle schools will incorporate lessons for English-learners for the first time, reducing the need for separate materials in most classrooms.
A group of wrestling coaches and university groups claims in a lawsuit filed last week that the Department of Education has instilled discrimination against men's sports teams into its interpretation of the federal Title IX law.
Departments
Idaho officials planned to announce this week that they are adopting an Internet-based testing system that will enable them to measure students' achievement over time and to provide results to pupils and teachers within 24 hours.
Selected stories from Jan. 26, 1982: Bilingual educators enumerate obstacles; ETS admits to a poorly worded test question; a boiler explosion kills 6 at an elementary school in Okla.; an Idaho superintendent turns down a raise; the Ed. Dept. finds that Title I actually works; and more.
Departments
Scientists in the field of intelligence theory have argued for decades over whether people's intelligence is determined mostly by their genes or their upbringing. Over the past 15 years, however, the puzzle has taken on a new wrinkle: If people's intelligence is due mostly to heredity, as many experts believe, why is it that IQ scores have been rising?
Departments
GED testing officials say that one of every seven high school graduates today earns his or her diploma through the GED program. The average age of GED exam-takers is 24.
Howard S. Bellman is being asked to do what no Ohio lawyer, legislator, or governor has been able to do: Resolve a school finance suit that is a decade in the making—in less than 10 weeks.
Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas has proposed a broad education reform plan for a state that has struggled to improve student achievement in recent years, and that faces a court order to overhaul how it pays for schools.
Departments
  • N.J. Requires Permission for Student Surveys
  • Ventura Says Cuts Are a Must
  • Small Raise Eyed for Ga. Teachers
  • N.Y. Mayors to Talk of Takeovers
  • Utah Teacher Bonus a Hit
The State of the States
  • Virginia
  • Arizona
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Massachusetts
  • Nebraska
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Washington
The new federal education act promises to give children in chronically failing public schools new educational options, including federally financed tutoring services. That's good news for eligible children and their parents, supporters of the provision say. The nation's supplemental education industry is gearing up to share in their delight.
It's one of the most persistent issues in education: African-American children, statistically, are more likely to be designated as special education students than white students. Conversely, a much higher percentage of white students are classified as gifted.
Departments
Secretary of Education Rod Paige, launching a presidential commission on special education last week in a year in which the subject likely will grab the education spotlight, made clear that President Bush's focus on accountability extends to those who teach children with special needs.
  • Bush to Seek Increase for Jobs Corps and WIC
  • Agency Puts ESEA Information on Web
Some researchers think that boys' academic performance is suffering because educators have failed to recognize that boys and girls have much different learning styles. Includes a Q & A with William S. Pollack, director of the Center for Men and Young Men at McLean Hospital, and "Resources on Boys' Academic, Social Needs."
Reactions to international-comparison tests like PISA and TIMSS fail to confront the large-scale inequities in U.S. schools, argues Gerald W. Bracey.
Jane W. Urschel, whose father argued for the state of West Virginia before the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark 1943 flag-salute case, champions the "lessons of democracy."
An 1906 article by the philospher William James can give students a valuable perspective on coping with catastrophe, writes Edwin J. Delattre.
Letters
Departments
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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