October 15, 2008

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Vol. 28, Issue 08
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Founders of the project chaired by Barack Obama say it has been distorted in the presidential campaign.
Amid tight budgets and shrinking revenue, states are wagering that voters in next month’s elections will agree to expand state-sanctioned gambling in exchange for increased school aid.
The crisis besetting U.S. and world financial markets is hitting school districts hard, as they struggle to float the bonds needed for capital projects, borrow money to ensure cash flow, and get access to investment funds locked up in troubled institutions.
For years, academically gifted children were thought to fit neatly into a category. But developmental psychologists are learning that people who are gifted are not categorized quite so neatly.
News in Brief
Report Roundup
Under Michelle A. Rhee’s outline, principals would implement a little-known procedure allowing them to place ineffective teachers on a 90-day improvement plan. Those who did not improve would face dismissal.
One step being undertaken by the U.S. Department of Education has been the distribution of 160,000 pamphlets, specifically written for parents, to elementary and middle schools around the country.
College & Careers
Their plans for using technology to improve schools differ on specifics, but Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain have each taken the position that educational improvement efforts should be firmly supported using technology.
The Freedom Schools, sponsored by the Children’s Defense Fund, now offers after-school programs in schools, churches, and public facilities in disadvantaged communities in six states, and is poised to expand to other urban districts.
Two of the federal government’s top education research officials are planning to leave their posts to take jobs at private Washington organizations where they will focus on school policy.
The chiefs of the Institute of Education Sciences and the National Center for Education Statistics led the push to make school research a more evidence-based field.
The basic principles of the Reading First­­ program have been widely implemented in participating schools, but those changes have resulted in limited student-achievement gains, concludes the final implementation report on the federal initiative released late last week by the U.S. Department of Education.
The Annenberg Challenge sought to address time, size, and isolation in schools.
Months after conservative commentators began hammering Sen. Barack Obama over his connections to William C. Ayers, Sen. John McCain is clearly making the controversy a part of his campaign strategy.
Commentators on the political right have fueled much of the controversy over connections between Sen. Barack Obama and 1960s-radical-turned-education professor William C. Ayers.
States are trying to revamp education to meet mounting demands that students possess not only academic skills, but also intellectual, social, and life skills needed to excel in college and the workplace.
Dipping for the second time this year into the legislative ranks, the Louisiana Department of Education has hired the ex-chairman of the state’s House education committee, Republican Rep. Don Trahan, to serve as the agency’s liaison with business leaders and public-interest groups.
State Journal
Federal File
Recent incidents have reignited questions about the scope of teachers’ free-speech rights and the place of politics in the classroom and the rest of the school building.
Parents play vital roles in their children’s education, John McCain and Barack Obama agree. But the presidential candidates disagree on what a president should do to encourage parents to participate in the educational experiences of their children.
The Boston Teacher Residency program has been successful in attracting members of racial- and ethnic- minority groups, as well as in retaining teachers.
"The design challenge for school choice is to match supply with demand," say Frederick M. Hess and Bruno V. Manno.
For both principals and the next president, the welfare of others is at the heart of what they do, and successful leaders share many of the same characteristics, says Lew Smith.
"Failing to address the three central flaws of No Child Left Behind could undermine the standards-based-reform movement—and indeed, our entire system of public education," says Richard D. Kahlenberg.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Annenberg Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Spencer Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations.

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