February 27, 2002

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Vol. 21, Issue 24
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The Milwaukee school district and others around the country are honing their marketing tactics as competition for students rises.
Riding a wave of fiscal good times, California in 1996 launched an ambitious statewide push to lower class sizes in the crucial elementary grades. Now, as an era of hearty budget surpluses has given way to leaner times, some California districts are taking a hard look at whether smaller classes are worth the hefty price tag.
A long-awaited constitutional showdown over religious school vouchers finally reached the U.S. Supreme Court last week, with the justices engaging in a vigorous debate over school choice that often put voucher opponents on the defensive.
Allowing students to grade each other's papers in class does not violate the federal law that guarantees the privacy of education records, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week. Includes excerpts from Justice Anthony M. Kennedy's opinion.
Organizations offering educational tours of Washington's policymaking world have had to cut operating costs in response to drops in enrollment since September 11.
  • L.A. Pulls Copies of Koran After Footnotes Draw Fire
  • Miami-Dade Board Member Hit With Election Charges
  • Dallas Considers Switch to District-Run Police Force
  • Calif. Bookkeeper Charged With Swiping School Funds
  • Pa. Department of Education Sues 'Cyber' Charter School
  • Valentine's Day Treats Cause the Fur to Fly
  • Mass. District Eyes Fees to Relieve Budget Woes
The latest results from a pair of studies of school choice programs in New York City and the District of Columbia raise as many questions as they answer about what happens when students are given vouchers to help pay for their private school tuition.
John W. Gardner, one of the architects of the educational and other social programs enacted as part of the Great Society initiatives of the 1960s, died Feb. 16 at the age of 89. He had prostate cancer.
Efforts to close an $81 million budget shortfall in Florida's Miami-Dade County schools stalled last week when Superintendent Merrett R. Stierheim declared an impasse in negotiations with the local teachers' union.
Stories from March 3, 1982: A study finds mandatory desegregation more effective than voluntary plans; Virginia's House passes a bill to require a two-year probationary period for teachers; the S.D. Supreme Court upholds the firing of a teacher accused of spending too much time teaching creationism; the National Governors' Association says the U.S. will be left behind in technological development if math and science education aren't improved; and more.
The Center for Arts Education has given nearly 100 grants to New York City public schools that seek to involve more parents in their children's education. The grants pay for activities that will create stronger parent-school ties through arts education.
A provision of the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act requires school districts to formulate policies for notifying parents—and for protecting families' privacy—when students are asked to take part in surveys that contain questions about a variety of sensitive topics.
Statements made by two male high school students to a school counselor about the sexual assault of a female student were not protected by teacher-student confidentiality, a Michigan appeals court has ruled.
Most states are studying new taxes, budget cuts, or tapping reserves as they build fiscal 2003 budgets. The picture is a far cry from the good times of recent years, which allowed lawmakers to give generous increases to education, while also trimming taxes.
Ushering in what he called a new age of cooperation, New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevey signed an executive order last week designed to ease the rocky implementation of billions of dollars in court-ordered improvements in the state's poorest school districts.
Following a scathing report on the state's role in overseeing charter schools, the Ohio state board of education has asked the legislature to overhaul the state's charter school law.
  • Extension Granted in Ohio Funding Case
  • States Join Forces on Teacher Quality
  • Broad Florida Voucher Bill May Stall in Senate
  • Illinois
  • Rhode Island
The Michigan state board of education has unanimously approved a package of rules for special education, closing the door on a yearlong battle with angry parents, students, and advocates for children with disabilities.
As administrators clamor for guidance on the new reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, a cottage industry has been born to answer the call. Consultants and businesses are leaving behind no opportunity to come to the rescue of districts with ESEA-related products and services.
Last week, most of the former secretaries, plus Rod Paige, currently occupying that post, came together on the campus of Duke University in Durham to hash over the state of education.
  • Court Declines to Hear Case
    On Condemnation for School
  • Bush Names HBCU Advisory Panel
Representatives from both the pro-voucher and anti-voucher camps gathered in line Feb. 19 at the base of the Supreme Court's steps to secure a seat for the arguments the following morning.
Following are excerpts from the opinion of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Owasso Independent School District v. Falvo.
As education schools face pressure to retool, and as accelerated programs churn out new teachers, Shady Hill represents a third way of training educators.
Five years after his death, Al Shanker's tough liberalism looks better than ever, says Richard D. Kahlenberg.
Dramatic changes in large, long-established urban systems take time, stable leadership, and political will, say Michael D. Usdan and Larry Cuban.
Arthur E. Wise and Marsha Levine offer 10 steps to help urban districts boost achievement in low-performing schools.
One professor says there is no mystery about what's needed to make city schools that serve poor, minority students become models of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision.
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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