September 25, 2002

This Issue
Vol. 22, Issue 04
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Why would a school district turn over the keys to its major technological assets—its information system, communications network, and computers—to an outside company to maintain and manage?
Recent prosecutions for alleged violations of open-meeting laws illustrate the frequent clash between the public's right to know what its school policymakers are up to, and board members' desire—innocent or otherwise—to confer informally or confidentially with colleagues.
The Department of Education created two new high-level offices last week that will promote the Bush administration's agenda for school choice and homeland security.
Federal officials have said they wanted "supplemental educational services" for students in low-performing schools to be available at the beginning of this school year. But that ambitious target proved difficult for many states. Includes a summary of the requirement.
Despite a wave of patriotic fervor washing over the country during the past year, most Americans expect schools to teach children the bad as well as the good about U.S. history and government, a survey by Public Agenda reveals. Includes the chart, "Lessons to Remember?"
Scrambling to keep its schools open during a strike, an Ohio district has found a way to get around a state law that limits short-term substitutes to teaching a class for up to five days.
Departments
  • School Trust Managers Vote Not to Sell Hershey Foods
  • U.S. Court Eases Monitoring of Little Rock Desegregation
  • Election Commission Drops Complaint Against NEA
  • Tenn. High School Closes for $1 Million Mold Cleanup
  • Ga. High School Sports Group OKs Use of Prothetic Fin
  • Wash. District Settles Lawsuit Over Treatment of Black Students
  • Death: Pamela L. Mountjoy
Departments
When the Mount Carmel Area School District in eastern Pennsylvania adopted a strict dress code for its elementary school in 2000, it did not sit well with some of the district parents.
The protest slogan pictured here, ironed on to a school uniform, was prohibited by officials in the Mount Carmel (Pa.) Area School District, who viewed it as demeaning to those students conforming to the district's uniform policy. District officials, however, gave the OK to the slogans shown below the picture.
Departments
Rural districts in many places—but especially in sparsely populated areas west of the Mississippi—have made four-day weeks a way of life.
Departments
In the first formal discussion by members of a commission studying Title IX, panelists made it clear last week they have more questions than answers.
Politics PageThe combination of massive redistricting and the legislative term limits that have been enacted in many states could create the most significant turnover in state legislatures in a decade. Includes a map, "Legislative Elections."
More than 6,000 seats in the state legislatures are up for grabs Nov. 5. The chart below shows the partisan control of state legislatures going into the fall election.
  • Testing researchers make pitches for Refining ESEA rules.
Departments
Pennsylvania legislators are gathering in a special session this week, driven by a drumbeat of constituent voices demanding an overhaul of the state's property-tax and school funding systems.
School choice activists have launched a fresh legal challenge to a Maine program that provides public funding for students to attend secular but not religious private schools.
Departments
  • Ex-Secretary Reich Loses Mass. Primary
  • Scholarships on Hold Pending Mich. Vote
  • Calif. Allows New Restrictions on Pesticides Near Schools
  • Michigan Governor Unveils School-Data Web Site
  • Books by the Pound? Maybe, in California
Elections 2002Educators throughout Oregon breathed sighs of at least temporary relief last week, after voters approved a state ballot measure that adds a much-needed $150 million to school district coffers and sets up a rainy-day education fund.
President Bush's announcement this month that the United States is rejoining UNESCO, after withdrawing 18 years ago, is generally drawing praise from experts in education and international affairs.
After almost a decade of steady decline, the rate of students defaulting on college loans increased slightly in the latest year for which figures are available. Federal officials described that rise as statistically irrelevant, but some financial-aid observers said it is a potentially troubling turn.
Departments
  • Black Colleges Urged to Aid Teacher Push
  • Indian Education Office Gets New Director
  • Bush Trip Includes Aid for Alexander, Pledge
  • Program Aims to Help Schools With New Law
With the nation's main welfare law set to expire next week, child-care advocates—and many members of Congress—have grown increasingly concerned that the Senate will not act to reauthorize the legislation and approve spending to expand child-care services for low-income families.
Several education groups are urging the Department of Education to rethink draft regulations that would prohibit states from holding providers of extra academic help to the same standards the federal government is demanding of public school instructors.
Japan's fabled educational system produced a diligent and capable workforce that propelled Japan to economic dominance. But parents and policymakers have grown weary of the toll that the system's high expectations is taking on their children. After more than a decade of debate, the government is implementing a series of reforms promising a more relaxed approach to education.
Local grassroots groups and the policy-advocacy organizations represent the nascent infrastructure of a real education justice movement, writes John M. Beam.
For educator Elizabeth Randall, public education embodies the purest of American ethics: It's free to all, and it's as good as we want to make it.
Commentator John Merrow says the federal Head Start program has failed to live up to its mission to "level the playing field" for poor children.
Amartya Sen, the 1998 Nobel laureate in economics, on basic education and ecomonic progress.
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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