November 1, 2006

This Issue
Vol. 26, Issue 10
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Graduates of the Chicago-based Academy for Urban School Leadership are channeled directly into low-performing "turn around" schools where they receive guidance from accomplished veterans.
One year after widespread youth violence broke out in many disadvantaged communities in France, the government has embarked on an initiative aimed at adapting its 25-year-old “priority education” program to a landscape that has dramatically changed.
States and school districts spent almost $600 billion on building and renovating schools from 1995 to 2004, an amount that far exceeds earlier expectations, concludes a report released last week.
The U.S. Department of Education has issued final regulations that definitively state it’s legal to educate boys and girls separately under certain conditions. Though the Bush administration had signaled two years ago it planned to change federal rules to allow broader use of single-sex education in public schools, many schools were reluctant to take the plunge until the legal ambiguities were settled.
The U.S. Department of Education will award this year less than half the money appropriated to pay bonuses to principals and teachers whose students perform better on tests and meet tough academic goals.
District Dossier
News in Brief: A National Roundup
News in Brief: A National Roundup
People in the News
News in Brief: A National Roundup
A recent opinion issued by a congressional watchdog agency has stoked debate over what schools should be telling students about condom use.
Report Roundup
Researchers are beginning to learn a great deal from dozens of randomized education studies going on now throughout the developing world. Spurred in part by the success of a bold anti-poverty experiment in Mexico, researchers are using the methodology to evaluate programs for reducing class sizes in Kenya, providing tuition vouchers in Colombia and Chile, and decreasing teacher absenteeism and raising student achievement in rural schools in India, among other projects.
In the lead-up to Election Day next week, the two national teachers’ unions have set their sights on swaying several state gubernatorial contests, as well as a crop of federal races that could help determine control of Congress.
College costs are continuing to rise faster than inflation, but the annual increases aren’t as steep in percentage as they were just a few years ago, the College Board reported last week.
Reporter's Notebook
Three well-established private firms and a recent start-up have merged to create a single large firm focused on superintendent searches.
Three groups that use a yearlong practicum to prepare college graduates for some of the nation’s toughest classrooms recently invited educators and others to take a closer look at their model.
Managers of the Los Angeles school district’s massive program to build 160 new schools and expand and repair hundreds of existing campuses are forecasting a possible funding shortfall as high as $2.5 billion, just as the multiyear project approaches its halfway point.
Wisconsin education officials failed to ensure that schools and districts that received federal Reading First grants adhered to the program’s strict guidelines, a failing that, if not rectified, could cost the state nearly $6 million of its $45 million allocation, a federal report concludes.
At a forum on science and technology in Minneapolis last week, more than two dozen educators and community leaders gathered at Patrick Henry High School to put one of Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s signature policy initiatives into action.
State Journal
In a 4-3 ruling handed down last week, the Ohio Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the state’s charter school law.
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
Capitol Recap
Peter Hutchinson, former superintendent of Minneapolis public schools, said he found the best definition of what it is to be a leader in the most unlikely of places: a 4th grade classroom.
As the midterm election season moves into the final stretch, education policy leaders in Washington are lending a hand in tight races to bolster their parties’ prospects of gaining—or retaining—a majority of seats in the next Congress.
Of all the reasons so few schools are identified as “persistently dangerous” under the No Child Left Behind Act, the label itself may be the biggest, according to members of a federal advisory panel.
Federal File
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
After violence in poor immigrant neighborhoods shook the country last year, France responded by focusing more resources on schools facing the most pressing disadvantages.
A coalition of teachers in France have been staging protests and helping shelter families facing deportation to keep the affected children inside the classroom and on track with their studies.
Jere Confrey, a professor of mathematics education at Washington University, offers her seven-point plan for strengthening the mathematics instructional core.
Robert Dallek, a presidential historian and a senior consultant for McDougal Littell American History, writes that American educators can improve students' interest and involvement in the democratic process.
On Oct. 18, readers questioned Christopher T. Cross, a former assistant U.S. secretary of education for research and improvement under President George H.W. Bush and the author of Political Education: National Policy Comes of Age, on the changing role of the U.S. Department of Education.
Frederick M. Hess, the director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, writes that, although they face resistance, young, unconventional entrepreneurs have the potential to help answer some of education's most stubborn challenges.

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