October 2, 2002

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Vol. 22, Issue 05
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Two Los Angeles subdistricts are gaining national attention for their dedication to treating parents as partners to help them get actively involved in their children's education.

Conducted with an air of extreme secrecy, Cincinnati's recent search for a new superintendent may be a harbinger for future hunts in other big cities, observers say. But it has not sat well with everyone.
When voters in 36 states elect governors next month, they will choose a new wave of state leaders who stand to make a powerful impact on K-12 education. Includes: "Faces to Watch."

The mayor of Rochester, N.Y., and six city residents have taken the unusual step of asking the state commissioner of education to overturn the severance deal between the city's school board and former Superintendent Clifford B. Janey.
A judge has ordered Georgia to pay one of its biggest school districts $110 million for using a flawed calculation that greatly reduced the amount the state was obligated to pay for busing costs over the past 23 years.
Students in two districts in Washington state finally started the school year last week, after teachers in the communities called off their strikes. (See Education Week, Sept. 18, 2002.)
  • Number of Charter Schools Up 14 Percent, Report Says
  • N.J. Asks Court to Back Changes to Camden District
  • Chicago Principal Charged With False Report of Gun
  • N.Y.C. Superintendents Eligible for Performance Pay
  • Colo. District Approves Yoga Despite Religious Objections
  • Report of Tiger Attack Prompts Investigation
  • Cobb County, Ga., Board OKs Alternatives to Evolution
  • Washington State Strike Settled
Several recent incidents involving undocumented immigrant students in American schools have drawn conflicting responses from lawmakers on how the U.S. government should deal with such students, particularly when their illegal status becomes public.
Nine student-teachers have gotten a jump on their initial year in the classroom with full-time teaching positions in the Kansas City, Mo., public schools.
Faced with the two-pronged pickle of rising tuition and investment woes of their own, a number of the 20 states with prepaid-tuition programs have approved or are considering raising the prices they charge families to enroll.
International Page In Egypt, it's known as "Alam SimSim." In China, it's "Zhima Jie," and in South Africa, "Takalani Sesame." No matter what the language, children from sub-Saharan Africa to the low-lying Netherlands know the popular American children's television show "Sesame Street."
Making good on its promise to scrutinize applications for the federal Reading First program, the U.S. Department of Education has returned many state proposals to their authors for revision.
High-quality preschool programs, computers in the home, and policies that allow for a more "equitable distribution" of pupils from different racial and economic backgrounds across public schools can help reduce the learning deficits many children bring to kindergarten, a new report week concludes. Includes a chart, "Poorer Families, Lower Scores."

A recent study shows that kindergartners' reading and math test scores are directly linked to the students' socioeconomic levels.
The number of minority students seeking two- and four-year college degrees rose during the 1990s, but blacks and Hispanics continue to lag behind white students in finishing high school and enrolling in higher education, a report issued last week says.
Based on a review by independent researchers, the Education Commission of the States is discounting the conclusions of a small study that showed teachers from Tennessee who received national board certification did not markedly affect their students' achievement.
In the first legal challenge to Massachusetts' high-stakes tests, lawyers representing students who have failed the state graduation exam have filed suit in federal court claiming that the state has not adequately prepared students for the assessments, and that the tests discriminate against minority students.
In the legal battle over school choice, two college students sued the state of Washington last week for the right to complete their student-teaching requirements at private religious schools.
  • Florida Delays Choice on K-12 Chancellor
  • Standards Make Difference, Illinois Study Contends
  • West Virginia Reviews Time Spent on Buses
  • Company Drops Suit Against Georgia Dept.
  • States Have New Resource to Find How They Rank
Illinois education officials have approved a new set of rules that all teachers must meet, and which the state hopes will bring it into line with new federal mandates aimed at raising teacher quality.
  • Minnesota
Stormy Dean wants to make the ambitious leap from his local school board directly to the governor's office.
The Senate education committee last week unanimously passed its version of the long-awaited overhaul of the Department of Education's main research office.
As the country's schools begin working to meet the requirements of the new federal education law, 6 million middle and high school students are not being supported by the legislation, argues a report unveiled last week, along with four initiatives designed to address the situation.
After a blockbuster 2001-02 U.S. Supreme Court term involving such hot-button issues as private school vouchers, drug testing in extracurricular activities, and student privacy, the new court term that begins next week has nary an education case on the docket.
Researchers weighed in last week on ways to rethink the often-controversial background questions that accompany "the nation's report card," in an attempt to enhance the assessment's research and policymaking value.
Under Mike Moses' leadership, the Dallas public schools are regaining credibility in the community, and making academic strides, after years of turmoil.
A collaborative project in New York offers an urgent example of how to enhance students' involvement in democracy and civil society, says high school principal Nicholas O'Han.
Richard W. Paul argues that the SAT I's new writing component should stress critical thinking rather than rhetorical skill.
We risk leaving a good many children behind if we fail to provide greater resources and more qualified teachers to low-income communities, argue Mary Hatwood Futrell and Iris C. Rotberg.
Particularly in today's education climate, multiple-choice assessments are not a bad choice, writes Michael H. Kean.
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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