May 1, 2002

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 33
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Poor air quality in school facilities is a growing problem that is usually overlooked, EPA officials say, but that can have serious ramifications for the health of students and teachers.
Four finalists in the search for a Portland, Ore., schools superintendent have bowed out of consideration, triggering a new round in the search for a leader and a host of questions about how the district lost all four nationally prominent candidates.
Lawmakers, reading experts, and publishers are urging the Department of Education to clarify reading requirements under the "No Child Left Behind Act" of 2001, amid widespread perceptions that a small number of commercial programs will win favor while other popular approaches might be discouraged or spurned.
With the company's annual sales approaching $100 million and a back-to-basics movement in full swing, Oklahoma-based textbook company Saxon Publishers is gaining market share.
A tussle between the Inkster, Mich., school district and Edison Schools Inc. may lead to state intervention in order to force the system to pay its $1.2 million bill for the company's services.
Departments
  • Florida Board Approves Gay Sensitivity Training
  • Michigan Judge Orders Truant's Mother to School
  • Mother-Daughter Work Day to Shift Focus, Include Boys
  • Reno Casinos Roll Dice, Support Arts in Schools
  • L.A. School Bars Recruiters After Muslim Student Detained
  • Priest Returns to Fla. School; Allegations Deemed Unfounded
  • Two Columbine Students Suspended for 'Hit List'
Departments
With the slumping technology economy, some of the nation's top undergraduate computer-science programs have seen a major drop in applications from seniors around the country.
Departments
Several members of an American Indian tribe in rural South Dakota are suing the local school district in federal court, claiming its method for electing board members discriminates against Native Americans by weakening their voting power.
Officials in more than half the nation's major cities are bracing themselves for the worst because of unprecedented unemployment rates among teenagers; censorship in schools and libraries more than triples; Utah officials brace for an enrollment boom; Texas is raising standards for would-be teachers; and more.
Departments
Prospective teachers training at the University of Texas at Austin will be required to purchase Apple laptop computers next fall for use in their education classes and student-teaching assignments.
The resilience of students from the 19,000-student Arlington district and elsewhere is leading to a faster-than-expected recovery for the growing student-tour industry in a school year marked by unusual worries over travel.
Revisions to the General Educational Development certificate that took effect earlier this year have caused headaches for testing officials from several states as they struggle to implement the changes to the high school equivalency program.
The school district in New Orleans is offering bonuses to newly certified teachers—and looking for help to pay for the incentive.
Departments
  • Despite Economic Woes, Foundation Giving Rises
  • Mentoring Advice
  • Voter Education
  • Grant Hunters
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has released voluntary guidelines and set up a Web site, www.epa.gov/iaq/schools, to help schools become more aware of daily cleaning and maintenance practices that could harm air quality in schools. Below is a partial list of the recommendations. The full list of guidelines is available at the Web site.
New Hampshire's highest court, in a decision that school finance experts around the country will likely be studying in the coming months, has ruled that the Granite State is not doing enough to hold local schools accountable for the quality of education they provide.
Giving voice to mounting frustration among state officials, the governor of Vermont says it might make sense for his state to reject $26 million in federal money rather than comply with the new education law President Bush engineered.
Departments
Nearly six years after Connecticut's landmark desegregation order, the group that initiated the lawsuit that led to the ruling is asking the courts to step in again—this time with a plan of its own that proposes how state leaders should carry out the mandate.
  • Texas Commissioner to Name 'Dropout Czar'
  • Plan to Abolish Hawaii Board Dies
  • State, Schools to Pay Ohio Mediator
  • Illinois Requires New Vaccinations
The argument that students and parents should be able to go to court to enforce the 1974 federal law that guarantees the privacy of student records met with skepticism in the U.S. Supreme Court last week.
The Pell Grants financial-aid plan has paid tuition, defrayed the financial hit from room and board, and helped millions of college students cover costs they couldn't on their own. But their popularity has carried a price.
Departments
A bipartisan bill introduced by Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., on April 24 aims to speed up the way students with visual impairments receive instructional materials.
If a Senate committee hearing last week was any indication, the congressional authors of the "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001 will be keeping close tabs on the Department of Education's efforts to translate the law into practice.
  • Ed. Dept. Sets Meetings
    On Draft Rules for New ESEA
  • Court Declines Religious-Mural Case
  • Second Teacher Eyes Senate Seat
Pell Grants were established in 1972 by Congress as the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant program and took effect a year later. The grants were created to help low-income students pay the costs of postsecondary education. Many experts in student aid, however, say the amount of the awards has failed to keep pace with the rising costs of college. Adjusting the $1,400 maximum award in 1975 for inflation, the maximum grant's value fell from $4,205 to $3,300 in 2000-01, according to a study by the American Council on Education.The following table shows how participation in the program, and the amount of money the federal government has devoted to it, have grown over time:
Some preschools are testing a new program that makes science the foundation for virtually everything youngsters are learning in school.
When considering mandatory drug testing for extracurricular activities, Johanna Wald asks why schools would try to further alienate the disengaged students who are most likely not to participate because of such a policy.
In the constantly shifting, highly verbal world of public education, parents are at a distinct disadvantage. As soon as your child enters kindergarten, you recognize that the people in the school buildings speak a different language. One that you'd better learn quickly, warns Daniel Wolff.
Gifted children have unique intellectual and emotional needs that demand respect both for their adult-like mental abilities and for their inherent fragility as children, according to James R. Delisle, an education professor and gifted education teacher.
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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