April 17, 2002

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 31
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Students and teachers at schools with large Jewish or Arab-American populations, or both, were walking the same impossibly fine line as others in the country last week when talking about the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians. Includes: "Mideast Violence Leads U.S. Teachers, Students to Revise Travel Plans."
In a recent meeting arranged for Education Week by the National Association of Elementary School Principals, six administrators who together boast nearly 90 years of experience as principals detailed a seemingly boundless job.
As most cash-strapped states struggle just to maintain education funding this year, Maryland legislators are taking another path: They passed a six-year plan last week to ultimately add $1.3 billion annually for schools and to reduce inequities.
Many states are still working to comply with the 1994 ESEA, even while they grapple with a new set of requirements on testing and accountability from the "No Child Left Behind" Act. Includes the accompanying story, "1994 ESEA: The State of State Compliance."
Leaders of the St. Louis school district are trying to piece together how a former Roman Catholic priest was allowed to work in counseling jobs with public school children for seven years after officials learned that he had been accused of sexual molestation.
Truant officers who patrol Boston neighborhoods looking for teenagers playing hooky have a new tool: a wireless system that provides student records instantly.
Departments
  • Kansas Student Dies in Pole Vaulting Accident
  • N.M. District Ponders How to Fill Board Vacancies
  • Chicago District Disbands Elementary School Council
  • Piper, Kan., School Board Addresses Plagiarism Issue
  • Vermont Board Election Is Still Up in the Air
  • Toxic Leak May Cost Oregon District $94,600
  • Alaska School Reopens; Receives State Review
  • San Diego Board Renews Superintendent's Contract
The principal of a middle school in Elk Grove, Calif., has stirred up controversy with his decision to divide parents by race and ethnicity for talks about student academic performance.
Departments
Responding to recent tragedies, parents, foundations, and private groups around the country are advocating that heart defibrillators be made readily available in a variety of public places.
The suspension of a Md. teacher for teaching classics deemed too difficult for 10th graders is upheld; military researchers experiment with computerized vocational-aptitude tests; the Mich. legislature has adopted a plan to reunite Detroit's school system; a former undersecretary of education says pressure from the "right wing" prompted the Reagan administration to fire him; and more.
A bitter disagreement over which Texas school would represent the state in the United States Academic Decathlon ended last week with a ruling by the Texas Supreme Court just a day before the national competition began.
In a decision that could prove pivotal for Philadelphia's school system, the appointed panel running the district has chosen three school management companies and three nonprofit organizations to manage 75 of its lowest-performing schools.
Former Mayor Ron Kirk of Dallas could become the first African-American to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, after winning the state's Democratic runoff last week against schoolteacher Victor Morales.
Under the new federal law that tightens regulations on campaign spending, the two largest teachers' unions may gain political clout from the numbers of people they can call on, rather than in the dollars they are accustomed to spending.
Students at 1,776 high schools across the country protested harassment of gay students last week by refusing to speak for an entire school day, organizers of the event say.
It was a nail-biter of a race in the nation's second-largest school district, but in the end, Los Angeles teachers chose John Perez to lead their 41,000- member union in a runoff election that concluded last week.
Departments
While the school year in Oregon is already the shortest of any state's, the Portland public schools could cut more than a week from their academic calendar under a controversial cost-saving measure approved by the district's school board.
A study of 17,600 Philadelphia schoolchildren suggests that full-day kindergarten programs may have both academic and financial payoffs.
Schools using Direct Instruction, a teaching method sometimes criticized for its tightly scripted teaching lessons, are generally seeing gains in student learning, according to a new package of studies that tracked the program in Florida, Maryland, and Texas.
  • Massachusetts' History and Social Studies Debate Resurfaces
  • What to Teach?
  • Salary Stagnation?
  • Union Ban
  • From Grants to Pets
The escalating violence in the Middle East has prompted U.S. students and teachers to reconsider, postpone, and, in some cases, cancel their plans for education-related field trips and study tours to the region.
Florida lawmakers will trudge back to the state capital soon for their second special session in as many months, after failing to pass a rewrite of the laws that govern the state's education system.
After losing a bruising battle over teacher compensation and certification two years ago, the Kentucky legislature has quietly passed what appears to be a first-of-its-kind law that will experiment with new ways of paying teachers, while also raising the amount of money they earn under the current salary schedule.
Departments
It's turning into a rough spring in Indiana, where some school districts are preparing to lay off teachers and increase class sizes to absorb $190 million in cuts to the state's K-12 education budget, and another $280 million in delayed payments to schools announced last month.
  • Milwaukee Voucher Program Threatened by Budget Rift
  • Ariz. Judge: Do More for English Learners
  • Federal Court Upholds N.H. Bond Vote Law
  • Calif. Nearing Biggest-Ever Bond Measure
  • Colo. Court Finds Bilingual 'Title' Vague
The Maryland legislature approved a measure last week to reconfigure the Prince George's County school board and replace the superintendent's post with a chief executive officer, a move that would force Superintendent Iris T. Metts to reapply for her job.
A case going before the U.S. Supreme Court next week could either strengthen the power of the Family Policy Compliance Office to enforce FERPA, or result in federal judges' taking a greater role in reviewing such complaints.
The Education Department's Planning and Evaluation Service has drawn considerable political heat and attention during past administrations. Now, the current Bush administration has decided to break up the office and divide its various responsibilities three ways.
Departments
  • Paige Wants College Presidents
    To Make Ed. Research a Priority
  • Bush Outlines National Service Plans
  • Former Ambassador to Head HBCU Office
A majority of states still have not fully met the standards and assessment requirements of the 1994 version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, even though the formal deadlines have passed. The last of those deadlines, for the assessment provisions, ended with the 2000-01 school year.
Five years after the Oakland school board modified its divisive 'ebonics' resolution, educators there have not backed away from its original intent.
Educational consultant Kalman R. Hettleman says the battle to reform special education is being lost.
In a society that saturates the lives of children with commercialism, schools must work doubly hard to fight the temptation to join that race, says retired teacher Joseph Bauers.
Research and experience confirm what common sense suggests: What happens outside the classroom is every bit as important as what happens inside, say the Coalition for Community Schools' Ira Harkavy and Martin Blank.
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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