January 10, 2007

This Issue
Vol. 26, Issue 18
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The radical rethinking of how states manage their schools envisioned by a high-powered commission will run into resistance from state leaders reluctant to consider wresting control of K-12 education from local districts, policy experts predict.
New Jersey officials are promoting research that says bilingual education methods have an edge over English-only methods.
The President invited leading members of the new Congress to the White House to discuss reauthorizing the law by the end of the year.
A new Web site gives users instant access to teacher-contract data in the nation’s 50 largest school districts.
A continuing dispute between the local teachers’ union and school administrators has some education officials in Detroit worried that several alternative schools that opened in August to lure high school dropouts back to the classroom will be forced to close.
District Dossier
News in Brief: A National Roundup
People in the News
News in Brief: A National Roundup
Newly elected Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has called for a sweeping overhaul of the District of Columbia public schools.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has pledged to move ahead with planning for the cluster of 36 “mayor’s schools” that he hopes to be directly overseeing by the start of the next school year.
High school seniors in schools with merit-pay programs for teachers score slightly higher on standardized tests than their counterparts at schools that offer no special salary incentives, according to a national study by the University of Florida.
The St. Louis school district begins the new year facing likely state intervention, following a task force’s proposal for the locally elected school board to be stripped of its authority and for an appointed board to run the system on an interim basis.
English-Learners & Immigrants
Report Roundup
Children & Families
Educators are feeling the pressure to figure out how to assist teenagers who do not pass their high school exit exams.
The governor pledged to provide enough additional school funding to achieve “excellence" in public education.
In a last-minute scramble to get a piece of a $147.5 million teacher performance-pay pie, all 67 school districts in Florida have submitted plans under the state’s program.
State Journal
What was known as the state’s Emergency Repair Program has been converted from an $800 million reimbursement program into a grant program.
News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
State of the States
State of the States
Teacher-quality programs could get extra attention—and resources—when Congress finally tackles the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, a piece of unfinished business that the incoming chairmen of the House and Senate education committees say will be a priority this year.
Beginning next month, states will have to report to the federal government more information for their students with disabilities than they were ever required to do under previous incarnations of the federal special education law.
Federal File
As political dignitaries, family members, and friends said goodbye last week in Washington to the nation’s 38th president, others were trying to make sure that his words regarding special education were remembered and heeded.
Former Sen. Robert T. Stafford, R-Vt., who was such a champion of the federal student-loan program that his colleagues eventually named it in his honor, died Dec. 23 at the age of 93.
The education committees of both the House and the Senate passed bills during the 109th Congress, crafted largely on a bipartisan basis, which called for greater accountability for Head Start grantees and higher professional standards for the program’s teachers.
News in Brief: A Washington Roundup
Separated from the curriculum, the science lab often has been considered a failure. Boston is trying to put them back together.
Getting beyond the No Child Left Behind Act will mean that we will have to change our 19th-century, closed-system mind-set, writes sociologist and author William Spady.
Reforming the science and technology system in K-12 schools is key in order for the U.S. to remain competitive in a global economy, writes Norman R. Augustine, the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin Corp.
Developmental disorders and urban education are among the topics covered in this month's book reviews.
Child development professor David Elkind laments the disappearance of playtime in children's lives in an excerpt from his book, The Power of Play.
On Dec. 15, guests Cecilia Elena Rouse and Isabel V. Sawhill answered readers' questions on recent research showing that economic mobility through education is more difficult to attain in the United States than previously.
Honors & Awards
Get serious about leaving no child behind by going beyond mandates to ensure all students have well-qualified teachers, writes Linda Darling-Hammond.

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