May 8, 2002

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 34
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Teachers make judgments about students' work every day. Soon, they'll have the first set of professional standards to help guide them in making such decisions.
All Philip Moore wanted was for the parents here at T.R. Smedberg Middle School to talk about the achievement gaps that separate many of his students. Instead, he ended up with an unlikely label for an African-American principal: segregationist.
After a three-year gestation, a proposal to replace the Department of Education's main research office with a more independent "Academy of Education Sciences" sailed through the House last week.
Schools are missing out on what could be more than a billion dollars a year in Medicaid reimbursements for coordinating and providing medical services to special education students from low-income families, school advocates say. Includes "Medicaid-Ready States," and "New York, Meanwhile, May Have to Repay Medicaid Money."
While it doesn't amount to throwing tea into Boston Harbor, a decision by the Cambridge, Mass., school committee to grant diplomas to students who haven't passed state exams signals that dissent remains strong over high-stakes testing in the Bay State.
Tens of thousands of New York City schoolchildren were suffering from depression, severe anxiety, and other mental-health disorders six months after the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, according to a new study.
Departments
  • Los Angeles Bus Drivers, Contractor Settle Strike
  • Judge to Decide Whether Iowa Choir May Sing Hymn
  • Calif. Vice Principal on Leave for Student-Underwear Check
  • Alaska Student Challenges Suspension for Display of Banner
  • Five Districts Named Finalists in Urban Education Competition
  • School Guards' 'Quick Draw' Leads to Fatal Shooting
Former Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. of North Carolina thinks today's state leaders have a lot to learn about improving schools. With a new institute that bears his name, the 64-year-old Mr. Hunt hopes to educate the next generation of education governors on the fine art of pulling off a large-scale school improvement agenda.
American voters express overwhelming support for education at a time when national security and lingering economic worries have dominated the headlines.
Departments
A little-known fact outside of music circles: A lot of serious musicians are technology enthusiasts, using computers, electronic keyboards, and notation software to compose, manipulate, and perform music.
President Reagan proposes a constitutional amendment to permit organized prayer in public schools; rural educators from 35 states gather in Washington to discuss ways to promote "excellence" in their schools; a nationwide study finds that most students fail to meet basic physical fitness standards; and more.
Departments
Education research is not what anyone would call a "hot topic" on Capitol Hill. It doesn't make headlines back in the congressional district or draw crowds to hearing rooms. It doesn't have the constituency that research on cancer or heart disease has.
President Bush says he wants to improve the skills of preschool teachers and child-care providers, but he may be underestimating how many need to be trained, suggests a new report.
The newspaper that made colorful charts and numeric tidbits commonplace in American journalism is now making its mark in U.S. textbooks.
The recently reauthorized federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act drew the attention of many of the grantmakers assembled here last week for the annual conference sponsored by the Council on Foundations.
The Educational Testing Service, which only recently broke into the state accountability market for K-12 students, has won the coveted endorsement of the California state school board to conduct its testing program, starting next year.
Arizona lawmakers may temporarily halt a burgeoning 12-year-old program that allows the creation of special vocational school districts. The districts have grown steadily, but critics say the initiatives have become a financial burden the state may no longer be able to afford.
Departments
Citing a new report, educators in Michigan say that adjustments to dozens of state tax laws since 1994 have added up to nearly $2 billion in lost revenue for schools—nearly $550 million in fiscal 2002 alone.
  • Indiana
  • South Dakota
  • West Virginia
  • Florida Voters to Have Say in Classroom Sizes
  • Rural Iowa Schools Sue State Over Funding
  • Louisiana Gets 'Moment of Silence' in Schools
An increase in food poisoning in schools has some politicians and experts calling for a streamlined system to deal with outbreaks.
The debate among federal lawmakers over how students should pay for college—and how much the government is obligated to help them—boiled over last week.
Departments
An employer's seniority system cannot ordinarily be trumped by a disabled worker seeking an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week.
Here are some of the key provisions of HR 3801, the House-passed bill to replace the Department of Education's office of educational research and improvement with an "Academy of Education Sciences."
Just 21 states have plans approved by the federal government for submission of Medicaid claims related to special education medical costs. Another seven states have such plans pending before the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for approval. The plans establish procedures for collecting the reimbursement. Without such plans, schools run the risk of losing out on Medicaid money by filing claims improperly.
Financially strapped school districts in New York state now have another major worry on the horizon: They may be forced to repay millions of dollars in Medicaid money to the federal government.
The Montessori and Direct Instruction teaching methods can seem worlds apart. But in Texas' Aldine district, parents can pick between them—at the same schools.
"Does peer review deserve to be deified as the one true god of education research?" Chester E. Finn Jr. doesn't think so, and offers explanations why.
A teacher wonders if the great educators of history would approve of modern education ideas and policy.
Kelly Arey, from the Center for Artistry in Teaching, argues that more professional autonomy for teachers, rather than micromanagement, would better allow them to help all children succeed.
Douglas B. Reeves, from the Center for Performance Assessment, argues that all research is neither definite, nor infallible, but that its shortcomings do not make it useless to education policy.
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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