April 2, 2008

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Many states have yet to establish a testing system that meets the law’s requirement that they track all students’ progress toward proficiency in reading and math.
In well-to-do districts, high-powered families can bolster schools or be too demanding.
Districts hope the plan will improve communication and student engagement in learning, but many educators are wary.
The uncertainty about math-teaching skills emerges at a time when policymakers at all levels see a need to boost students’ math and science achievement as a key to sustaining the nation’s future economic health.
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Correction
The three-year longitudinal study will cover almost 200 schools within 33 CMOs in 12 states.
The U.S. Department of Education is reviewing a less stringent set of rules for maintaining federal security and protecting the privacy of people who take part in federally subsidized research.
A new British study quantifies and confirms what many teachers have long believed: Students tend to be "off task" more often when they are in larger classes.
More effective teaching in high schools will get its biggest boost from a variety of high-quality assessments of student learning, according to the Alliance for Excellent Education.
Law & Courts
A public-policy group suggests that the scholarship money would be better spent on strengthening services for all students.
With some states needing to slash billions of dollars from their budgets this fiscal year, K-12 isn’t the only area of education targeted for spending cuts.
The plan would inject the influence of university officials into the K-12 system in an effort to improve students’ readiness for college and the workforce.
State of the States
The proposal would be the most comprehensive update of regulations for the main federal school privacy law in two decades.
Federal File
Teacher collaboration is hailed as one of the most effective ways to improve student learning, and one high school in Illinois is often credited with perfecting the concept.
The teacher contracts of the nation’s largest school districts aren’t as restrictive as you might have thought, Michael J. Petrilli & Coby Loup contend.
We need to focus on how computers and other digital tools can help us achieve our educational goals, Andrew A. Zucker argues.
Letters
Robert L. Hampel & Joseph M. Jones ask: Will data-based decisionmaking revive the quest to restructure schools?

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