April 23, 2008

This Issue
Vol. 27, Issue 34
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The Forum for Education and Democracy report calls for moving away from k-12 tests and sanctions and, instead, do what other countries with high student achievement do.
As state leaders reassess the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in a competitive economy, they are weighing plans to gauge how their schools measure up against those of Singapore, South Korea, and Japan, as well as Finland and other European nations—all perennial leaders on international assessments.
The new models may help revive confidence in 1-to-1 laptop programs, which some school districts have backed away from in recent years because of the high cost of standard laptops.
News in Brief
Report Roundup
News in Brief
Report Roundup
The annual event is meant as a show of support by students and teachers for gay young people.
In its largest single philanthropic commitment to date, AT&T Inc. announced plans to commit $100 million to help reduce the dropout rate in U.S. high schools and better prepare students for college and the workforce.
A project at Stanford University works with local communities to collect data from multiple child-serving agencies to inform policy and program decisions.
Pope Benedict XVI praised the U.S. Catholic community for developing a "remarkable network of parochial schools" while urging steps to ensure their long-term sustainability, during an address at the Catholic University of America while in Washington last week.
The belief that teacher-candidates need to demonstrate they can help their future students learn before they enter classrooms as full-fledged educators has gained strength over the past decade. A new book highlights assessments crafted by teacher education programs in recent years.
One of an emerging array of choices for low-cost computing in schools, “thin client” computing is an old idea that has been made new again.
China’s education system has undergone significant changes over the past quarter-century, some brought into classrooms directly by government policy, others swept along by the rising tide of free-market reforms.
Today, a mounting database of results from international studies has made it possible for researchers to start exploring the relationship between education and economic growth in much more systematic ways than in 1983.
India's education landscape reveals that its image as a rising force in science and math fields is driven mostly by changes in the private school sector.
The European Union has its share of education successes with Finland outperforming the world on international exams and several other European countries scoring above the international average.
The education system has long been viewed as a model because of its strong performance on international-comparison tests, but among its citizens, schooling in the nation is seen as inadequate.
The movement is gaining some ground as legislatures advance proposals that would indirectly funnel taxpayer money to families who want to send their children to private schools.
It remains unclear how long Texas state officials will be responsible for the schooling of the 416 children removed from a polygamist group's compound.
State Journal
Capitol Recap
The secretary plans to issue a white paper describing "how far we've come and how far we need to go."
Federal File
The measure would raise borrowing limits on some federally backed loans so that students wouldn't have to turn to private lenders.
The push to ensure that all students, not just the academically gifted, take introductory algebra and do so earlier has gained widespread acceptance in U.S. schools over the quarter-century since A Nation at Risk advocated strengthening graduation requirements in math.
One can debate whether a straight line can be traced from the release of A Nation at Risk in 1983 and the signing of the federal No Child Left Behind Act in 2002, argues Howard Gardner.
The persistent lack of significant improvement since publication of A Nation at Risk is owing to the unwavering persistence of the very ideas that caused the decline in the first place—the repudiation of a definite academic curriculum in the early grades, argues E.D. Hirsch Jr.

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