February 20, 2002

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Vol. 21, Issue 23
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Vandalism has long been a pervasive problem in schools, but these days a single case can carry an especially hefty price tag—thanks to the increased presence of expensive technology on school campuses.
The nation's most popular honors programs for high school students fail to offer an enriched learning experience to high achievers in math and science, says a study from a panel of leading mathematicians and scientists.
What exactly does proficient mean? The answer, it appears, depends on where you live. Yet how states define the word is at the heart of the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act.
Amid the fanfare and optimism surrounding President Bush's Reading First initiative, some educators anticipate that the program's stringent requirements will narrow their choices to a handful of commercial reading programs, severely limiting how teachers teach children to read.
A task force of leaders from the National Education Association has determined that educators cannot ignore the risks faced by homosexual students and school employees, but that deciding how to deal with the issue should be a matter of local concern.
A report on the health risks to children from the diesel exhaust from school buses is being received skeptically by school transportation experts.
Departments
  • AASA President-Elect to Reimburse Home District
  • Judge Orders Tenn. District to Stop K-5 Bible Classes
  • Philadelphia Boy Injured During Officer's Safety Talk
  • Pupils Send Valentine's Day Notes to U.S. Troops Overseas
  • Maryland State Board Overturns Firing Off District Superintendent
  • New Jersey School Objects To Boy's Wheelchair Message
Departments
Support for full-day kindergarten is on the rise around the country, not only among parents, but among educators and policymakers. In places like Seattle, some parents are footing the bill themselves.
Departments
While American children once learned to add by reading a poster of animals and birds, they do it now by playing games on computers. Each step in between is documented in a new display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
Selected stories from Feb. 24, 1982: The Reagan administration aims to overhaul rules on educating children with disabilities; a federal judge rules that a school may suspend a spec. ed. student; Clarence Thomas is chosen to head the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; and testimony in Calif. describes school deterioration since the adoption of ballot-initiative to lower property taxes; and more.
Concerned that schools under pressure to raise test scores in reading and mathematics will downplay other subjects, National Council for the Social Studies board memebers are quickly crafting a national strategy to ensure their discipline's place as a linchpin in the curriculum.
Last week, Edison Schools Inc. learned just how sensitive Wall Street is to the issue: The school management company's stock plunged 11 percent after a report raised questions about how it adds up its revenues. Includes a chart, "Quarterly Blues"
The chart below shows quarterly losses recorded by Edison Schools Inc. in the past two years. The company had a net loss of $38.1 million on revenues of $376 million in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2001. The company has never had a quarterly profit.
  • On the Menu: Plum Burgers?
Departments
To improve the quality of math and science programs for high-achieving high school students, the National Research Council recommends in a new report that:
Departments
As the chart below shows, what's "good enough" to qualify as "proficient" may vary widely from state to state. Education Week compared the percent of students who scored at or above proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and on state assessments in mathematics in 2000. Only the 25 states that participated in the state-level NAEP in 2000, tested students in math in the 4th or 8th grade that year, and reported test results by proficiency levels were included in the analysis. In every state, the percent of students performing at the proficient level on state tests was used, except where the state employs a different, but similar, term. See also the accompanying "What's Proficient" chart for 8th Grade Math.
As the chart below shows, what's "good enough" to qualify as "proficient" may vary widely from state to state. Education Week compared the percent of students who scored at or above proficient on the National Assessment of Educational Progress and on state assessments in mathematics in 2000. Only the 25 states that participated in the state-level NAEP in 2000, tested students in math in the 4th or 8th grade that year, and reported test results by proficiency levels were included in the analysis. In every state, the percent of students performing at the proficient level on state tests was used, except where the state employs a different, but similar, term. See also the accompanying "What's Proficient" chart for 4th Grade Math.
Proposals are brewing in several states to raise the mandatory school attendance age to 18. Proponents of the idea argue that the move would help slash dropout rates.
After clashing over how to address Oregon's $715 million budget shortfall, state legislators ended a three-day special session with a bailout plan that Gov. John Kitzhaber has vowed to veto, at least in part.
Departments
  • Pennsylvania
  • Connecticut
  • N.J. Commissioner Wants to Limit Teaching
  • California Adopts Curriculum on Labor Leader
  • Warner Picks Two for Virginia Board
  • Washington Anti-Bullying Bill Moves Ahead
An overhaul of the nation's guiding special education law, the next major education item on Congress' to-do list, will almost certainly fall into 2003, a key congressional aide said last week.
President Bush's talk about "leaving no child behind" hasn't been met by action, contends a report released last week by a nonprofit organization that monitors civil rights laws and enforcement.
Departments
When President Bush laid out his proposed fiscal 2003 federal budget, his requested increase for discretionary education spending fell short of some congressional Democrats' dreams.
Elsie Thomas, a preschool teacher at the Miramonte Early Education Center here, holds up a book titled Store as she leads a circle of 24 children in a discussion. Together, they determine that shoes come from a shoe store and toys from a toy store.
As policymakers and educators try to puzzle out the heap of reports and studies on education that cross their desks, some researchers are concerned about education research that may be colored by advocacy—and the difficulty that readers face in distinguishing it. Includes "Clued In: How to Look for Potential Biases."
Without training in research methodology or access to a researcher's data, it's often difficult to tell how objective a study may be. But experts agree that educators and policymakers can find some clues about a study's potential biases by asking themselves certain questions about the study's design and the researcher's motives. Here are examples of the kinds of questions that researcher say may be useful to keep in mind:
Speaking from experience, Carl A. Cohn, superintendent of the Long Beach Unified School District, divulges school-improvement practices that worked for his district.
Social dance can play a cohesive, empowering role in the lives of adolescents, says librarian and former teacher Paul Rockwell.
RAND education researchers Brian Stecher and Laura Hamilton offer steps to help states maximize the potential benefits and minimize the potenial harm of test-based accountability as prescribed in the "No Child Left Behind" Act.
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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