April 24, 2002

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Vol. 21, Issue 32
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Twelve charter schools have opened in this economically embattled Rust Belt city in the past three years as eight regular public schools have closed. The ensuing competition for students is literally giving the Dayton public school system a run for its money. Part 2 of our series, "Changed by Charters."
In spite of their concerns about national security and the economy, American voters continue to list education and school funding among their top priorities. And they're unlikely to vote for candidates who don't share their views, according to a poll being released this week.
Venture philanthropists have sought to distinguish themselves from traditional gift-giving organizations. They've raised a few eyebrows in the foundation world, where some argue that the business-investment strategy is a bad fit for trying to solve social ills like poverty, crime, and inferior education.
Next week, Chicago voters will exercise their distinctive brand of school democracy by choosing more than 5,000 fellow citizens to serve on panels that wield potent influence over their neighborhood schools.
The highest-performing high school in the San Diego district has been granted a charter school's freedom to decide how to teach its students—without converting to charter status.
The Seattle school district must stop using race as a factor in assigning students to popular high schools, because the policy violates a 1998 state ballot measure prohibiting racial preferences in school admissions, a federal appeals court ruled last week.
  • Teacher's Union Draws Fire in L.A.
  • Vt.Wrestler, School Penalized for Use of Chokehold
  • Florida Teacher Loses License for Alleged Breach of Test
  • Court: Young Packers Fan's Speech Rights Not Violated
  • Anonymous Donor Saves Lamb From Slaughter at N.C. School
  • Wisconsin Team Takes Decathlon Title
  • Deaths: Byron R. White, William Alexander Stewart
Nearing the end of a hotly contested campaign, Birmingham is poised to become the latest Alabama city to replace its appointed school board with one that is elected. The shift adds momentum in that Southeastern state to put local school systems in the hands of elected representatives.
The Kansas City, Mo., public school system averted a state takeover after state officials decided last week that the district had improved just enough to have its unaccredited status lifted.
NASA plans to launch a new type of astronaut, "the educator mission specialist," who has completed the same rigorous training as astronauts with specialties in engineering, physics, or medicine.
Two University of North Carolina researchers say that the gap in educational achievement between black and white students has closed considerably over the past decade; Secretary of Health and Human Services Richard S. Schweiker announces plans to convert all summer Head Start programs to full-time status; a Colorado state lawmaker fights against the teaching of secular humanism in public schools; and more.
Similar to the United States' creation of public schools that operate outside the regular public school system, the Mexican government has established an informal set of schools intended to improve education for Mexican children in rural communities and youths who can't afford to attend even a public high school or university.
A student-teacher in Maine has been dismissed from his internship at a high school after students and parents contended that a unit he prepared for a world history class stepped over the line between informing students about Islam and advocating the faith.
America's most ambitious public school privatization venture continued to take shape in Philadelphia last week, as a state panel divvied up control of 42 failing schools to private companies, nonprofit organizations, and two universities.
A group pushing for improvement in middle-grades education is calling on states to set separate licensing requirements for middle-level teachers.
High school cadets will be marching to the tune of standards-based school initiatives beginning in the fall.
From Bangladesh to Uruguay, a global grassroots effort to make public education more accessible in poor countries is scheduled to kick off this week with rallies and other awareness activities, as well as letters to government officials around the world.
High-stakes testing is a "failed policy initiative" that does not produce gains on other measures of student learning, researchers at Arizona State University in Tempe argue in a recent paper.
Teachers are changing what and how they teach in response to state testing programs, preliminary results from a multistate survey have found. Those changes are greatest in states where more consequences are attached to test results, according to the two-year study by researchers at Boston College's National Board on Educational Testing and Public Policy.
The Delaware Department of Education took a first step last week toward revocation of the charter of a 7-month-old school that closed recently, despite parents' passionate efforts to save it.
The University of California system has accepted a higher percentage of underrepresented minority students for the upcoming fall semester than it did in 1997, the last year before it abolished race-based affirmative action in admissions. Includes the table "Minority Admissions to the University of California System."
Students are less likely to engage in drug use, violence, and early sexual activity when they attend schools with caring teachers and tolerant discipline policies, according to a new study.
The number of minority students admitted to the University of California system has returned to the levels seen before the passage of Proposition 209. Asian- Americans are not considered to be underrepresented minorities.

When charter schools were catapulted from a policy notion to a reality on Arizona's education landscape in 1995, district superintendents realized that the change would affect their jobs.

This is the second installment of a three-part series examining how teachers, school districts, and the private sector have been "Changed by Charters." The series is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation.

A 26-year-old desegregation dispute in Dayton came to a close last week, after the two sides in the case agreed on a new plan to improve academic programs and school facilities there.
Three troubled elementary schools in Chicago will be closed this coming fall, the city's school board has announced. The step is the most dramatic action that district officials have taken against schools they see as failing since Mayor Richard M. Daley was given control of the city's schools in 1995.
A compromise may be within reach in the difficult negotiations between Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York and state lawmakers over the mayor's wish to have greater control of the nation's largest school district.
Certified special education teachers in Hawaii have been barred from transferring to posts outside their specialty for the coming school year.
Funding for education is being slashed in several states as a sluggish economy continues to create budget headaches for lawmakers, according to a new fiscal report from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
  • Mich. Commission Urges More Charter Schools
  • ESL Complaint in Pa. Resolved
  • NCSL Creates Online Database
  • Va. Governor Reappoints State Chief
  • S.C. School Finance Trial Delayed
  • Texas School Finance System Upheld
A recent study found that urban high school students in Massachusetts blame their own lack of effort and poor school attendance as the main reasons for failing on the MCAS.
A 37-year-old lawsuit that became one of the landmarks of the desegregation era reached a quiet conclusion last week with a one-sentence order from the U.S. Supreme Court.
If Tom Briggs taught school in Washington's Virginia or Maryland suburbs, he probably would still have a job. But a little-known provision of federal law prohibits teachers in the District of Columbia from running for political office.
The federal welfare overhaul of 1996, which required many mothers receiving cash assistance to get a job, hasn't significantly improved the home lives of poor children, according to the latest results of an ongoing study.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week struck down key provisions of a federal law that criminalized "virtual" child pornography, which includes computer-generated images of children, rather than actual children, engaged in sex.
Forget about big ideas and large-scale studies. When it comes to studying children's learning and development, a limited but growing group of researchers says thinking small is the way to go. Includes a list of resources, "Thinking Small: Where to Learn More."
The adequacy movement has the potential to advance democratic reform and equal educational opportunity significantly, argues Michael A. Rebell.
We now have available almost a century of experimental research in reading, much of it designed to help educators along the road to this predictive certainty. Yet, argues Thomas Newkirk, definitive answers are stunningly absent from the National Reading Panel's recent report.
Breakthroughs in brain research show why a leader's moods have enormous impact on those they lead, says Richard E. Boyatzis. Educators should find it reassuring to know that, as adults, we can still learn and change in crucial ways.
With private-sector investments in technology programs waning because of the recession, with state budgets under the biggest crunch in years, the need for smart public-private partnerships to bridge the digital divide is more important than ever, says Norris E. Dickard.
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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