March 20, 2002

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 27
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Charter school preschool programs, now being operated at scattered sites areound the country, have emerged for much the same reason as charter schools themselves: They meet a need or provide an alternative that is not available within the existing public system.
The former pro-wrestling superstar who won the governorship of Minnesota in 1998 with an education-friendly platform and a veteran teacher as his running mate is now convinced there's something deeply wrong with the public school system. And, as one might expect, he's not shy about saying so.
Charter schools arrived a decade ago. But even as the charter movement matures, this legislative season finds states still seeking the right level of oversight for the nearly 2,500 independent public schools operating nationwide.
A new tax break measure included in the economic-stimulus package passed by Congress this month allows teachers, their aides, principals, and counselors can take a federal tax deduction of up to $250 annually for out-of-pocket classroom expenses.
In a move that has inflamed relations between Miami-Dade County school unions and district leaders, union members have filed suit against the school board and the state, challenging a Florida law that they fear will be used to force them to take two unpaid days off.
Three years after becoming a national symbol of a high-stakes approach to school choice, a Florida elementary school slated for closing is poised to be turned over to community members who want to run it as a charter school.
Departments
  • Los Angeles District Makes Another Round of Cuts
  • Chicago School Pulls Out of Catholic Sports League
  • Lawsuit Faults Mich. School in 6-Year-Old's Shooting Death
  • San Francisco to Close Low-Performing High School
  • Hartford Schools Chief Plans to Move On
  • Cheerleaders Relinquish State Championship Trophy
Departments
The Los Angeles school district, facing an urgent need to relieve overcrowding and seat thousands of new students, is pushing forward with construction of the vast Belmont Learning Center, the controversial facility that is believed to be the nation's most expensive public school.
The Houston school district will purchase some 15,000 Compaq laptops for its teachers in an exclusive three-year deal that also includes maintenance and technology support.
Departments
Think Pulitzer Price or Nobel Prize. Then think education. That's what philanthropist Eli Broad hopes people will do now that he's unveiled his Broad Prize for Urban Education.
Departments
Selected stories from March 24, 1982: A congressional subcommittee lashes out at the EPA on asbestos protection in schools; states struggle with a new federal block grant law; districts stuggle with school-closing proposals; the secretary of education flies coach; and a U.S. appeals court says student prayer meetings before and after classes violate the First Amendment.
Taking his cue from initiatives championed by his brother—both as governor of Texas and now as president—Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida has been rolling out his own brand of reading reform over the past few weeks.
Girls are more likely than boys to be reading by the spring of 1st grade. Boys, on the other hand, show greater proficiency in mathematics by that time, according to the latest results of an ongoing, federally financed study of elementary school children.
In Britain, the Assessment Reform Group has made a concerted effort to balance the focus on large-scale, external testing with efforts to improve the quality of classroom assessments that inform teaching and learning on a daily basis.
The College Board, whose tests have been a part of the culture of American high schools for more than a century, will soon expand its reach into middle school with instructional materials intended to get students on track for college.
  • L.A. Teacher Wins $4.35 Million Harassment Verdict
  • Gay Harasssment
Departments
Texas' Democratic Party muckety-mucks have been talking for months about a "dream ticket" for November. Victor Morales, a high school teacher and underdog political candidate, is definitely not the man of their dreams.
More than 1,000 people turned out last week for a biology lesson in Columbus, Ohio. The 2 ½-hour debate between scientists over how schools should teach natural selection drew scientists, educators, students, and parents, as well as members of the state board of education, who will decide what to include in new science standards to be issued by the end of the year.
Departments
  • Legislative Panel Says No to Columbine Inquiry
  • Arkansas Takes Two Districts' Reins
  • Vermont Voters Nix School Budgets
  • Wyoming Board OKs First Charter
  • Hawaii Weighs Governance Shift
  • Arizona to Release Test Questions
The fate of what might be the nation's largest online charter school was scheduled to rest in the hands of a Pennsylvania judge early this week.
The Department of Education failed to adequately represent parents and students on a negotiating panel named to help craft new federal rules on standards and testing, advocacy groups for civil rights and disadvantaged children charged this month.
The number of special education faculty members at universities has dwindled in the past 20 years, meaning fewer people are equipped to train new teachers needed to ease the shortage.
Departments
  • Research-Overhaul Bill Passed by House Panel
  • Edwards Bill Proposes High School Volunteer Corps
Mexico's President Vicente Fox Quesada campaigned on a pledge to provide greater access to schools, but the obstacles ahead are monumental. Includes a photo gallery and the stories
To have a truly transformational impact on education, says Laurence Goldberg, school technology must become ubiquitous and flexible in a way that it isn't now.
One way to enable students find their own answers to moral questions is for teachers to modulate their authority in proportion to the particular issue at hand, writes Joan F. Goodman. Includes a table, "Six Levels of Teacher Authority in Moral Education."
Letters
Departments
New federal money from the reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act may help improve teacher quality, but only through effective local and state programs, according to the Milken Family Foundation's Lewis C. Solmon and Kimberly Firetag.
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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