August 7, 2002

This Issue
Vol. 21, Issue 43
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The Philadelphia school district is getting down to the nuts and bolts of the biggest school privatization experiment in the country. But with only a month to go before schools open, the path to improvement is anything but smooth. Includes "Edison Outlines Strategies to Reassure Wall Street."
A county judge's decision last year striking down Arkansas' school finance system is driving what may be the state's most determined effort ever to evaluate how its children are educated.
The Department of Education released proposed regulations last week fleshing out critical sections of Title I, from accountability to teacher qualifications, under the "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001. Includes "Schools Needing Improvement."

As states and districts scramble to meet the school choice provisions in the "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001, it appears that relatively few students will parachute out of low-performing schools this fall. Includes "Rules of Choice."
Following weeks of speculation, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg last week tapped Joel I. Klein, the former federal official who prosecuted Microsoft, to be the first mayorally appointed chancellor under the new governance system for the New York City schools.
The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit against school and law- enforcement officials in Wagner, S.D., for using dogs to conduct two drug searches that the suit contends caused "terror" to children as young as age 6.
Departments
  • Andover Raises Millions in Largest Private Drive
  • N.H. High Court Overturns Student's Conduct Conviction
  • Colorado District Settles Suit Over Student Suicide
  • Judge Rules Miami-Dade Schools Can't Bar Union Reporter
  • Camden, N.J., School Board Sues to Block Governance Changes
  • Ex-Principal Pleads Guilty to Having Sex With Girl
  • Health-Care Plan Approved by Los Angeles Commission
Departments
Administrator groups say the results of a national survey to be released this week show that the financial rewards for becoming an administrator are lacking.
Americans believe high-quality public schools help build stronger families and improve local economies, according to a poll commissioned by the Public Education Network and Education Week earlier this year.
Departments
As schools across the country face tight or shrinking budgets and volatile energy costs, energy conservation is again becoming a hot topic for facility planners and administrators. Philadelphia has been cited as a model for the nationwide Green Schools program, which seeks to raise awareness of energy use and to use energy-related issues as a curriculum tool.
The governance of the Pittsburgh school system has been thrown into question after three local foundations announced they were suspending all of their grantmaking activity in the district.
The pressures of an education-obsessed society have led a growing number of middle and upper-class Japanese parents to enroll their children in private 'cram' schools.
When classes resume in the coming weeks throughout the country, districts will have new tools for identifying homeless children in their communities—and new responsibilities for making sure those children are attending school.
With the Texas state school board gearing up to decide which textbooks will be used to teach history and social studies to the state's 4 million public schoolchildren, the recurring battle over what students learn in the subjects has begun anew.
A "quiet but radical" overhaul has transformed the New York City public schools from a top-down to a bottom-up management system—and seems to have improved student achievement in the bargain, a study concludes.
  • Judge Bars Using Abstinence Funds
    For Religious-Themed Programs
  • Another Voucher Boost?
  • Anarchy Club
An American Federation of Teachers report condemning a majority of the nation's charter schools drew substantial fire upon its release last month and, so far, appears to have spurred few second thoughts among state officials about their policies on the nontraditional public schools.
  • AFT Opens Political War Chest for State Affiliates
Students with disabilities who need extra time when taking either of the nation's two major college-entrance exams will no longer be "flagged," beginning in the 2003-04 school year. Advocates for the disabled regard the practice as something of an academic scarlet letter.
  • Teacher-Quality Efforts Draw Strong Support
  • Class-Size Debate
  • Digital Divide
  • Working Mothers
  • Drug-Abuse Prevention
  • Civic Disengagement
  • After-School Programs
  • Class Sizes
  • High Schools
  • School Bus Safety
  • Child Health
  • Latinos and College
  • Drug and Alcohol Use
  • Risky Behavior
Departments
Edison Schools Inc., facing a potentially make-or-break school year, sought last week to reassure Wall Street that it was taking aggressive steps to become profitable by cutting money-losing contracts and speeding development of new business areas.
Massachusetts lawmakers hope that a plan they approved last week to modify current bilingual education laws will persuade voters to defeat the anti-bilingual-education initiative on the November state ballot.
While charter schools in most states are struggling for facilities aid, in Texas they have reaped the benefits of a multimillion-dollar grant program for school renovations and repairs.
Departments
Gov. Michael F. Easley is sticking by his executive order to expand North Carolina's preschool programs and hire hundreds more teachers, even as the legislature wrangles over whether to pay for the expensive mandates.
A California school district is challenging a voter-approved state ballot initiative that requires districts to provide facilities for charter schools. The district argues that it should not be forced to foot the bill for a new facility for Aurora Charter High School because it did not issue the charter under which the school operates.
This year's Education Commission of the States national conference for state education leaders was marked by concerns over new federal accountability mandates and the U.S. Supreme Court's decision upholding vouchers in Cleveland.
  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
  • Oklahoma
  • Calif. Gets New Draft of Master Plan
  • Pa. Empowerment Plan Dumped
  • Ohio Facilities Chief Resigns
  • La. Private Schools Won't Get Tobacco Funds
  • Va. to Link Struggling, Top Schools
  • Former Mich. Chief Heads to Illinois
A law crafted to make the nation's teacher-preparation and -licensure systems more accountable to the public ultimately falls far short of that goal and perpetuates misinformation in the process, critics assert.
A Senate panel has unanimously approved a spending bill for the 2003 fiscal year that would provide nearly $3 billion above President Bush's request for the Department of Education. Includes the table, "Comparing the Numbers."
Departments
After nearly a year of planning, Secretary of Education Rod Paige has announced new rules and a new name for the popular Blue Ribbon Schools awards program.
Reauthorizing the IdeaThe House and Senate education committees are gearing up to introduce their versions of the bills revising the main federal special education law next month.
  • First Title IX Panel Meeting Held Behind Closed Doors
  • House Mulls Education Tax Break
  • Agency Management Gains Seen
  • Report: Tech Divide Still Exists
  • 'Fed Up' Goes Toes Up in House
  • Census Study: Education Pays
  • Surgeon General Confirmed
  • The 2002 Election
Former Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander moved a step closer to joining the Senate last week, when he defeated his opponent in Tennessee's gop primary.
The Senate Appropriations Committee last month approved a spending bill for the Department of Education. Overall, it would provide $53.2 billion in discretionary money for the agency in fiscal 2003. That's nearly $3 billion above President Bush's request. Below are some highlights from the Senate version, compared with the president's proposal and the current year's funding. The House has yet to take any action on the department's appropriation.
Bilingual education opponent Ron K. Unz tried to explain his words early this month after finding himself in hot water for questioning the qualifications of Secretary of Education Rod Paige, indirectly linking that appraisal to Mr. Paige's race.
The Department of Education sought last week to clarify new federal requirements on teachers and paraprofessionals, an aspect of last year's federal education law that has had state and district officials especially nervous.
The "No Child Left Behind" Act of 2001 contains new requirements for public school choice. Here are selected highlights of how the rules are supposed to work.
In this land of symphonic water shows and beaming neon, where an Egyptian pyramid offers craps and Elvis performs weddings, an unlikely collection of locals is staging one of the wildest shows in town. Includes the story, "Best Programs Empower Students."
Not every school has to compete with the world's plushest hotel-casinos for the attention of its students. But many of the nation's top dropout-prevention programs share the overall philosophy of Las Vegas High School's school-to-work initiative.
The root of Edison Schools Inc.'s troubles lies in trying to operate schools as a successful business, write Heidi Steffens and Peter W. Cookson Jr.
Tom Bonnell, a middle school principal, reflects on the creation of a mandala, comparing it to the role of schools in helping children find their place in their community.
A new book, Generation Fix: Young Ideas for a Better World, gives the firsthand testimony of 8- to 16-year-olds from around the country who are trying to make a difference in their world.
Departments
Recent criticism of Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate is a healthy sign that college-level courses are succeeding and expanding, writes Jay Mathews, education columnist for The Washington Post.
Letters
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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