March 27, 2002
Education Week, Vol. 21, Issue 28
Education Worth Noting
"How do I teach at this difficult time? I teach carefully, desperately, deliberately, and honestly. The day after the World Trade Center was attacked, a young Arab high school student stopped me in the hallway and grasped my hand a little too tightly. She looked pleadingly into my eyes and said, 'Miss Darvin, I hope that the other kids understand that my family and community had nothing to do with this. They know that, right?' I took a deep breath and felt tears springing to my eyes. What should I say to this girl? I knew in my heart that there would be those people who wouldn't understand, who would let hate and prejudice cloud their judgment and their willingness to understand what had occurred. At the same time, I thought about my role as a teacher. I am supposed to help the students feel safe. I am supposed to tell them that everything's going to be all right. At that moment, though, honesty was the only thing that I could offer to her. 'I hope so,' I said softly. 'I really hope that they do.' The next morning, on my way to school, I stopped at McDonald's for breakfast. As I stood in line, I overheard two people talking behind me. One voice said, 'They should take all of the Muslims that live in New York and send them back to where they came from. We don't need them here.' The second voice replied, 'That's too good for them. We should just execute them all.' I thought about my student and began to cry. I left quickly, without any breakfast."
Student Well-Being LAUSD Orders Charter School To Scrap Its Attendance Policy
A controversy over a charter school's attendance policy has rankled teachers and sparked a heated conversation about standards, accountability, teachers' rights, and the influence of politically powerful parents.
School Climate & Safety Voters in Atlanta-Area Districts Extend Tax for Schools
Six school districts in and around Atlanta expect to have almost $2 billion in sales-tax revenue for school facilities over the next five years, thanks to voters who went to the polls last week.
Education News in Brief: A National Roundup
- District Sued Over Method for Proving Residence
- Albuquerque Breakup Plan Draws N.M. Governor's Veto
- Wrestling Coach in Indiana Charged With Animal Cruelty
- Cincinnati District Seeks Help in Saving School Ornamentation
- Teacher Offers Extra Credit for Buying Flag Stickers
- Mich. Father Wins Refund of Laptop-Computer Fees
- Parents of Slain Students File Claim Against District
Student Well-Being Officials Seek to Refine Lunch Program Tallies
More children around the country are signed up to receive free or reduced- price school lunches than are eligible, program officials say, a discrepancy that affects billions of dollars in federal grants as well as local school district policies.
Law & Courts Supreme Court Hears Case On Expanded Drug Testing
Drug testing in schools stoked an intense argument in the U.S. Supreme Court last week, with a seeming majority of the justices willing to expand a 1995 decision that allowed drug testing of student athletes, and thus uphold an Oklahoma district's policy of testing a wider group of students.
Education Reaching Consensus
The negotiating committee considering rules for state standards and tests under the "No Child Left Behind" Act recommended a number of other changes or clarifications in the draft regulations from the Department of Education. Here are some highlights of the panel's proposals:
Federal Democratic, GOP Education Plans Differ by Billions
The education bidding wars began last week on Capitol Hill, as Democrats sought to one-up—or even two- or three-up—President Bush and congressional Republicans. The result is a multibillion-dollar disagreement over how much to spend on the Department of Education.
Selected stories from March 31, 1982: Shortages of math and science teachers reach crisis point, a survey says; members of the Reagan cabinet approve a proposal for private-school-tuition tax credits; Denver develops a new desegregation plan; four nuns in Hampton, N.H., sue the diocesan bishop and school superintendent to find out why they were fired; and more.
States Blagojevich Defeats Vallas in Tight Illinois Primary Win
U.S. Rep. Rod R. Blagojevich edged out former Chicago schools chief Paul G. Vallas last week in the Democratic primary race to become the next governor of Illinois.
In the On Assignment feature about Mexican education in the March 20, 2002, issue of Education Week ("Educating Mexico,") a map showing the average educational level attained in each Mexican state included incorrect color coding for two states. The state of Michoacán should have been shown in white, meaning its residents had gone to school until the 6th or 7th grade. Chiapas should have been shown in tan, meaning people living there did not, on average, exceed the 6th grade.
States States Weigh Bills to Stoke Students' Patriotism
State lawmakers around the country have been crafting legislation that would have schools begin the day with the Pledge of Allegiance, post the national motto "In God We Trust" in classrooms, or require students to take classes that teach patriotism.
Markets Wizards and Web Sites: Diversified Scholastic Thriving
Richard Robinson's $2 billion-a-year company, Scholastic Inc., is known for classroom magazines and other supplementary educational materials, school book clubs and fairs, TV and Internet ventures, and U.S. children's book publishing that includes a character by the name of Harry Potter.
School Choice & Charters Aid Plan Launched for Urban Christian Schools
A group representing Christian schools is launching a program to help such schools thrive in urban communities. Christian Schools International hopes that by developing a model to guide the creation of self-sustaining schools in urban centers, newly founded Christian schools can remain open.
Accountability Michigan on Verge of Getting New System to Grade Schools
After years of stop-and-start efforts, the Michigan state board of education has approved a school evaluation system that would give each school a grade using what is likely the nation's broadest array of grading criteria.