March 13, 2002

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Vol. 21, Issue 26
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A new federal law does not explicitly require that results from "the nation's report card" be used as evidence to confirm progress on state tests, but its mandate that all 50 states now take part in the National Assessment of Educational Progress makes such comparisons more likely. Includes "A NAEP Primer."
Academic performance is improving at a faster rate in California charter schools that serve mainly poor children than it is in regular public schools serving a similar population, according to a study being released this week by researchers at California State University-Los Angeles.
In a case expected to result in long-awaited guidance for schools nationwide, the Supreme Court is about to take up the constitutionality of a drug-testing policy at an Oklahoma school.
The Department of Education will try to strike a delicate balance as it seeks to translate the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act into reality: offering states and districts a proper measure of latitude without compromising core elements of the law.
The emotional chants and songs of protesters forced the Detroit board of education to abruptly adjourn its meeting late last month. Now, the board is reviewing strategies to cope with the animated audiences it sometimes draws.
Even though a group of Oakland, Calif., high school students has returned from its tour of civil rights landmarks, the story of how the trip almost didn't happen still has the city buzzing.
  • Ind. Supreme Court Upholds District Drug Testing
  • Piper, Kan., Board Accused of Open-Meetings Breach
  • Denver Schools Strengthen Sex-Incident Reporting
  • Conn. Elementary School to Keep North Korean Flag
  • Los Angeles Schools Set to Receive Defibrillators
  • Safety Concerns in Alaska Prompt Rural School Closing
Compared with their wealthy counterparts, many low-income school districts in Massachusetts are doing more with less when it comes to performance on state exams, a new analysis contends.
The testing requirements in the new federal education law are affordable, given the additional federal dollars provided for that purpose, a report argues.
  • No Common Cause Found for Outbreaks of Rashes
  • Debate Over Drinking
Selected stories from March 17, 1982: Separate studies find that male school administrators earn much more than their female counterparts; boys are no better than girls at high-level mathematical reasoning; Michigan education officials say that 70 state school districts could go bankrupt; and William J. Bennett says teachers should understand why Mozart is more compelling than the Grateful Dead; and more.
When the federal welfare overhaul was enacted nearly six years ago, policy experts worried about what would happen to young children in families on public assistance when their mothers went to work. New findings, however, buttress earlier reports indicating that experts should have been concerned about teenagers, too.
Paul G. Vallas took the helm of the Chicago public schools in 1995. Now, the man widely credited with turning around the nation's third-largest school district has taken on yet another closely watched challenge: the race to be chief executive of Illinois.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and eight philanthropies based in Baltimore are granting the Baltimore public schools $20.8 million to retool nine struggling high schools, as part of an ongoing effort by the Gates Foundation to decrease school size.
  • Growth and Expansion Highlighted at BAEO's Second Symposium
The National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as "the nation's report card," has measured the achievement of America's students in core subjects for more than 30 years. A brief history and description of the program follow:
A report prepared by the board that governs the National Assessment of Educational Progress cautions that measuring an achievement gap does not come down to a single statistic. Includes the chart, "Charting Gaps and Gains."
The following charts compare the mathematics performance on NAEP of 4th graders eligible and inligible for free school lunches in "State A" between 1996 and 2000.

The first chart shows that the performance of both groups has improved during that time across the entire range of test-takers, because both curves have moved to the right. The second chart shows that the achievement gap between the two groups also has narrowed. For example, the gap between students at the 30th percentile decreased from 26 points in 1996 to 20 points in 2000.

Two come-from-behind candidates advanced in California's March 5 primary elections, bringing unexpected voices to the state's debate on education and its struggling economy.
Almost every California school district that asked voters to pay for school construction and renovations last week got the same resounding answer: Yes, yes, yes.
A political impasse over Oregon's budget troubles continued this month, following the end of a second special legislative session to resolve a funding gap of almost $1 billion in the state's current two-year budget.
  • Maryland's 8th Grade Tests to Be Optional This Spring
  • Ala. Clips Birmingham Title I Aid
  • New Illinois Award Shows Gaps
  • After Tussle, Ariz. Teachers Get Raise
  • Scarsdale, N.Y., Eschews Test Boycott
The "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001 will bring new money to rural schools, and more ways to use the money. But the new law will likely do little to solve key problems in rural schools, such as difficulties in teacher hiring and training, rural school experts say.
President Bush's recent call for Americans to devote 4,000 lifetime hours to volunteer work could inspire a stream of people to offer their services at schools across the country. But some service-learning advocates say the plan falls short on enlisting a large population of potential volunteers: K-12 students.
President Bush last week seized the opportunity of a White House conference to promote his plans to expand a college-loan-forgiveness program for teachers and set up a federal tax-deduction plan to repay those who have spent their own money on school supplies.
  • Administration Looks to Boost Summer-Meals Participation
  • Fund for Afghan Children Now at $3.7 Million
  • Agency Backs Special Education Study
The Department of Education has begun to craft the rules and guidelines needed for carrying out the general requirements embedded in the new Elementary and Secondary Education Act. As required by the esea, a collaborative "negotiated rulemaking" process will help hammer out the rules for standards and testing under Title I. Below is a timeline for a few of the key actions the department is undertaking. The dates may be subject to change.
In response to a school shooting, Playwright William Mastrosimone stayed up all night to write "Bang Bang You're Dead." Performed thousands of times by students, it's now the basis of a movie. Mastrosimone's message: Only kids can stop the killing.
Rick Stiggins, president of the Assessment Training Institute Foundation, says there is another way in which assessments can contribute to the development of effective schools, one that has been largely ignored.
If American education overall is to be improved, writes Paul Marx, the boundaries between cities and suburbs must be torn down.
Can policy keep pace with changing practice in our high schools, ask Michael Cohen and Adria Steinberg.
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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