October 6, 2004

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The horrifying hostage standoff at a school in southern Russia last month underscored the vulnerability of schools around the world.
The New York City school system is setting up, for the first time, a centralized office to routinely translate school information into eight different languages.
At a time of tight school budgets, a new type of field trip to retail outlets have proved successful, but has also generated criticism as a blatant promotional tactic.
A freeze on $3.28 billion in requests for aid under the federal E-rate program has left hundreds of school districts scrambling to pay for their technology needs—and, in some cases, crippled classroom instruction.
Since the start of the school year, teachers have gone on strike in only a few districts. But the relative labor peace is no sign that negotiations have been easy.
Take Note
News in Brief: A National Roundup
News in Brief: A National Roundup
People in the News
Students using state-financed vouchers to attend private schools in Milwaukee graduate from high school at a far higher rate than young people in the city’s public schools, according to a study released last week by a group that supports the high-profile choice program.
Researchers at the Institute for Education and Social Policy at New York University’s school of education have begun a six-year study that will take a closer look at community groups’ efforts to address the most stubborn problems in urban education.
On the eve of a school board election that could decide the fate of those initiatives, a review by more than a dozen education experts and researchers has found solid growth in elementary school literacy but few gains at the high school level.
In all those regions ringing the North Pole, the harsh climate, the effects of hundreds of years of life under colonization, and the encroaching influences of Western culture have combined to pose special educational challenges for the indigenous groups that make their homes there.
English-Language Learners
After a week of confusion over a split vote, the Buffalo, N.Y., school board has officially rejected a bid to place a three-year moratorium on the expansion of charter schools.
More than a month after a judge ruled that the parties in a finance lawsuit should come up with plans to allow the Baltimore schools to spend up to $45 million more this year to help students deemed academically at risk, little has happened.
Concerned by minority students’ perennially lagging academic achievement, a panel of 20 scholars released a report last week that outlines a comprehensive strategy that they say can bridge the learning gaps between black and Hispanic students and their higher-achieving white and Asian counterparts.
Tommie Lindsey believes in the power of language and the art of argument. And he has passed his passion for words and debate on to thousands of students.
Reporter's Notebook
Report Roundup
An unidentified man taken into custody by U.S. authorities in Iraq had a computer disc containing a publicly available federal report on school emergency planning, according to a San Diego school official, who said the district was notified of the incident because the report describes some of the district’s crisis-response procedures.
Atlanta school officials, under close scrutiny from federal agencies and Congress for alleged mismanagement of $60 million in E-rate funding, have issued a report defending the district’s use of the federal technology aid.
State Journal
The prestigious University of California system has raised the minimum grade point average needed for acceptance, a move some argue will hurt the chances of many African-American and Hispanic students to gain admission.
Testing irregularities in Nevada’s public schools, including incidents involving student cheating and teacher misconduct, increased by more than 50 percent in 2003-04 from the previous school year, according to an annual report.
Tennessee’s lottery proceeds are helping to send more than 35,000 students to the state’s public colleges and universities this fall, a number that state leaders say is overwhelming and shows just how popular the new program has already become.
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
Secretary of Education Rod Paige is declaring the No Child Left Behind Act a success, arguing that there is ample evidence the law is improving student achievement. But linking test scores directly to federal policy is a risky business, and some say the Bush administration is getting way ahead of itself.
Federal File
As the U.S. Supreme Court reconvenes this week after a three-month summer recess, the justices have one closely watched education case on their docket and may well take up others in the coming months.
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
The Department of Education should do more to assist small, rural school districts as they struggle to meet the requirements of the No Child Left Behind Act, a federal report released last week says.
Campaign Notebook
Increasingly, school boards nationwide are turning to headhunters to unearth superintendent candidates to solve every problem, from the achievement gap to labor-management woes.
Building the capacity of veteran teachers deserves much more attention than it has gotten, says Denise Glyn Borders.
Parents are emerging as the newest and perhaps most pivitol players in education, writes Irving H. Buchen.
Donald B. Gratz says that charter schools may not necessarily be all that different from regular public schools.

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