October 30, 2002

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Vol. 22, Issue 09
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In north Georgia, where the Civil War dead have slept for more than a century, the timeless bones of history, heritage, and race have been stirred by a battle over Confederate-flag clothing at a local high school.
The safety measures that schools in the Washington region enforced over the past three weeks during a string of deadly sniper attacks were perhaps excessive at times, some school security and risk experts say. But the precautions, they are quick to add, were a natural response to an unprecedented crisis.
Many groups leave their mark on education policy, but it's hard to think of any that tries harder to shape education policy than the teachers' unions.
The teachers begin arriving at union headquarters around 4:30 p.m. They grab a plate of Mexican food delivered by a local restaurant, pick up a binder of scripts, and settle in at 37 phones spread out on folding tables. Carolyn Vega, the phone-bank "captain" for the evening, offers a few tips on tactfulness before they get started.
As a teachers' strike in Maple Heights, Ohio, entered its eighth week, schools remained open last week with substitutes at the helm.
The National Science Foundation has announced three grants that complete its $100 million precollegiate initiative to improve the quality of math and science teachers and the instruction they provide.
Departments
  • Pa. District Revokes Online School's Charter
  • Arson Suspected in Burning of Education Activist's Car
  • Atlanta School Employees Will Receive Bonuses
  • Oakland Schools' Shortfall Prompts State Intervention
  • Catholic Work-Study Schools Planned for Two Cities
  • N.Y.C. Schools to Receive Money for Sept. 11 Losses
  • Death: Robert W. Beyers
Departments
As tuition at four-year colleges jumped over the past year by the greatest amount in a decade, the slice of the overall financial-aid pie awarded in grants increased faster than the share for loans for the second straight year, according to College Board data released here last week. Includes a chart, "Grants and Loans."
The chart below shows the percentage breakdown of student financial aid awarded through grants and loans since 1991-92. The bulk of student aid continues to be awarded through loans. But the percentage of student aid in the form of loans fell for the third straight year and, for the second straight year, the percentage of students receiving grants—which include state, federal, and institutional pools of money—increased slightly.
High school seniors and their families in Los Angeles will be able to receive considerable help filling out college-aid forms next spring, thanks to an initiative from Mayor James K. Hahn.
Departments
Donald G. Fisher, the founder of the Gap Inc., is helping a handful of enterprising young educators pursue ambitious dreams.
Departments
Politics Page One of the most significant local contests on the Nov. 5 ballot is in Cleveland, where citizens will decide whether to keep a 4-year-old system of mayoral control of their district or return to an elected school board.
The nation's 1,100 community colleges have the potential to provide more than 25 percent of the teachers needed to staff classrooms over the next decade, but to date remain an overlooked resource, a report released last week contends.
California researchers, in a new study, manage simultaneously to clarify and deepen the mystery about the skyrocketing number of childhood autism.
  • School Officials Study Facility Costs
  • Support for 'Heritage Languages' Encouraged at Conference
The sniper shootings that occurred over a three-week period this month had an impact on the school lives of more than 1 million students and 65,000 teachers in about 30 school districts, some as far as 125 miles from Washington. After two suspects were arrested last week in connection with the shootings, schools in the region prepared to ease the tight security restrictions they had put in place for the better part of this month.
A new major player is making its presence known in Florida gubernatorial politics: a 122,000-member teachers' union that, by most accounts, has turned a long-shot candidate into a serious contender for the state's top job.
How many public schools are excelling in Arizona? Not many, if the state's new ratings system for schools is a good gauge.
Scores of California home schooling parents defied the instructions of the state schools chief and filed affidavits this month with the state education department saying that they are running private schools.
Departments
  • Mass. Reinstates Teacher Bonuses
  • Anti-Bullying Program Suspended in West Virginia
  • Study: Minnesota Tests Mean Extra Year for Many
  • Arizona Judge Reverses School
    Budget Cuts
California has again rescinded its performance bonuses for schools because of the state's budget woes, leaving the future of one of Gov. Gray Davis' pet education programs in limbo.
Elections 2002 As the Nov. 5 midterm elections approach, control of one or both chambers of Congress could change hands again. Education spending may lie in the balance. Includes:
Likely changes to U.S. copyright law this fall would give schools and higher education institutions new rights to use copyright materials over the Internet and in other technologies used for "distance learning."
Departments
The U.S. Supreme Court declined last week to take up the appeal of an openly gay former teacher who claimed he was driven from his job, and into a nervous breakdown, by harassment from students and parents that his school district failed to address.
  • Bill Loosens Controls on Border Students
  • Chinese-U.S. Project to Aid in Language Instruction
  • ECS to Track Progress on New Federal Law
  • Paige Scolds States for Skirting ESEA Goals
  • Agency Publishes Guide on New Law
The midterm elections next week could change the balance of power in Washington. While most political analysts have suggested it would be difficult for Democrats to wrest control of the House from Republicans, the Senate is generally considered to be a near tossup between the parties. Currently, the Democrats control the chamber, which has 50 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and one Independent who generally votes with the Democrats.
Elections 2002 As the midterm elections loom next week, Republicans are jockeying to keep their majority in the House, while Democrats are racing to capture the handful of seats that could put them on top for the first time since 1994.
In an era when schools are trying both to respond to calls for more individualized instruction and to make parents partners in the classroom, special programs with parent-participation contracts are popping up in a lot of places. But the question is, are they fair?
The "No Child Left Behind" Act will be successful only insofar as it makes a real difference in the lives of our most at-risk children, says Rosa A. Smith.
If there is hope for vouchers, or for any method of reforming our schools, it will come through dialogue and debate, says independent school-founder and doctoral student Ted Fish.
Is it possible to uphold the First Amendment and protect children? Amitai Etzioni explores the issue.
Letters
Departments
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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