January 25, 2006

Education Week, Vol. 25, Issue 20
Law & Courts Legal Challenge to Faith-Based Initiative Is Revived
A federal appeals court has reinstated a lawsuit that challenges activities of the centers for faith-based initiatives in the Department of Education and other U.S. agencies.
Andrew Trotter, January 24, 2006
2 min read
School & District Management Whither the Ed. Dept.’s Innovation Office?
With the departure this month of the first head of the Department of Education’s office of innovation and improvement, those who follow the 3½-year-old-office are wondering whether it will continue to play a prominent role in federal policy or whether its influence will fade.
Michelle R. Davis, January 24, 2006
6 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Utah to Give Diplomas to Students Who Fail State Exit Exam
Utah students can receive a high school diploma even if they fail to pass all portions of the state’s exit test, but those diplomas will specify that the students haven’t passed the exam.
Lynn Olson, January 24, 2006
3 min read
Education Californians to Vote on Reiner’s Pre-K Plan
Critics of the actor-director Rob Reiner’s latest early-childhood ballot initiative are fine-tuning their case for defeating the measure on the June 6 statewide ballot.
Linda Jacobson, January 24, 2006
6 min read
Larry G. Rosenstock speaks during a student-advisory meeting at the original High Tech High School in San Diego. He heads a charter-management organization spawned by the school.
Larry G. Rosenstock speaks during a student-advisory meeting at the original High Tech High School in San Diego. He heads a charter-management organization spawned by the school.
File Photo by Tim Tadder for Education Week
School Choice & Charters California Gives High Tech High Special Statewide Charter
High Tech High Learning, a charter-management organization based in San Diego, has become the first recipient of special status from the California board of education that will allow it to open 10 new schools without having to receive approval from local districts.
Jessica L. Tonn, January 24, 2006
3 min read
Johanna Lockhart, who is marketing a K-12 curriculum called CLEAR for the Houston Public schools, says districts are becoming accustomed to the idea.
Johanna Lockhart, who is marketing a K-12 curriculum called CLEAR for the Houston Public schools, says districts are becoming accustomed to the idea.
John Everett for Education Week
Education Funding Houston Marketing Its K-12 Curriculum Nationwide
Rather than write a new curriculum from scratch, Charleston County bought one from the Houston Independent School District. By building on what the Texas system already had produced, the superintendent, Maria Goodloe-Johnson, guesses she saved at least a year in her effort to bring about greater instructional consistency in her own district.
Jeff Archer, January 24, 2006
6 min read
Boston Superintendent Thomas W. Payzant, third from left, speaks during a panel discussion on the city's experimental "pilot" schools with, from left, Boston Foundation President Paul S. Grogan; Peggy S. Kemp, the director of Fenway High School; Richard F. Stutman, the president of the Boston Teachers Union; Adam Urbanski, the president of the Rochester, N.Y., teacher's union; and Arthur Williams, a teacher and parent of pilot school students.
Boston Superintendent Thomas W. Payzant, third from left, speaks during a panel discussion on the city's experimental "pilot" schools with, from left, Boston Foundation President Paul S. Grogan; Peggy S. Kemp, the director of Fenway High School; Richard F. Stutman, the president of the Boston Teachers Union; Adam Urbanski, the president of the Rochester, N.Y., teacher's union; and Arthur Williams, a teacher and parent of pilot school students.
Courtesy of Richard Howard
Teaching Profession Boston’s Small ‘Pilot’ Schools Found to Outperform Others
Boston’s experiment with small, autonomous public schools appears to be paying off in higher test scores, attendance, and college-going rates, a report sponsored by supporters of the schools concludes.
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, January 24, 2006
3 min read
Curriculum Minneapolis District Relaxes ‘Bumping’ Rule for Teachers
Minneapolis teachers will no longer be forced to change subjects to prevent the layoff of another tenured teacher, at least for a year, under a tentative agreement reached between leaders of the teachers’ union and the public school system.
Vaishali Honawar, January 24, 2006
3 min read
Teaching Profession Teachers to Conduct Peer Reviews in Chicago
A program that puts teachers in charge of evaluating and helping some of their own will get a trial run in Chicago starting next fall.
Bess Keller, January 24, 2006
3 min read
Education Funding Grants Grants
GRANTS AWARDED
FROM PRIVATE SOURCES
January 24, 2006
6 min read
Education Events
Events.
January 24, 2006
2 min read
Equity & Diversity D.C. Schools That Take Vouchers Found to Be Less Racially Isolated
A new study of the federal voucher program in the District of Columbia finds that private schools that accept students using the government tuition aid have more racial integration than the city’s public schools.
January 24, 2006
3 min read
Education Report Roundup Teacher Training
More than half the 52,400 teachers surveyed for a federal report judged the professional development they received “very useful.”
Bess Keller, January 24, 2006
1 min read
Education Report Roundup Childhood Obesity
The study—published Jan. 1 in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine—is based on data on 768 randomly selected children in 10 rural and urban communities across the nation. At age 7, the researchers found, children growing up in communities perceived to be dangerous were four times more likely to be overweight than their counterparts in the neighborhoods considered safest.
Debra Viadero, January 24, 2006
1 min read
Education Report Roundup Early-Childhood Education
Produced by the RAND Corp., based in Santa Monica, Calif., the study says well-designed programs return more to society in benefits than they cost in dollars by helping the children improve their thinking and social skills, which in turn help them perform better in school.
Laura Greifner, January 24, 2006
1 min read
Education Report Roundup Youth Crime
According to the poll of mayors and city officials from 436 cities—conducted by the Washington-based National League of Cities—96 percent of officials from towns with curfews believe the laws are “very” or “somewhat” effective in preventing youth crime. Ninety-three percent of those officials view curfew enforcement as a good use of police officers’ time.
Jessica L. Tonn, January 24, 2006
1 min read
Dianne Payne leaves the Tweed Courthouse in Manhattan after asking a judge to force the state to pay the same amount of money that the New York City system spends per pupil for two of her children to attend private school.
Dianne Payne leaves the Tweed Courthouse in Manhattan after asking a judge to force the state to pay the same amount of money that the New York City system spends per pupil for two of her children to attend private school.
Emile Wamsteker for Education Week
School Choice & Charters N.Y. Parent Seeks Tuition From Judge in Aid Case
A New York City mother asked a state judge last week for public money to send two of her children to private school. If her request is granted, she could change the course of school finance cases in New York and other states.
David J. Hoff, January 24, 2006
3 min read
Science Calif. District to Scrap Course on ‘Intelligent Design’
In the first legal skirmish over “intelligent design” since a federal judge declared it to be illegitimate science, a rural Southern California school system has agreed to drop an elective philosophy course presenting the highly charged topic.
Sean Cavanagh, January 24, 2006
4 min read
School Climate & Safety St. Louis Breaks Up Troubled H.S. at Midyear
In a move signaling the profound change in store for the St. Louis public schools, the superintendent has broken up the district’s most troubled high school in the middle of the year, creating a separate school for the freshmen and placing the most accomplished seniors on a college campus.
Catherine Gewertz, January 24, 2006
4 min read
Education Report Roundup Harvard Study Tracks ‘Resegregation’ Trend
Many schools across the country are becoming racially resegregated, says a new Harvard University report that reinforces earlier Harvard studies on the trend.
Jessica L. Tonn, January 24, 2006
1 min read
Mathematics Advocates Urge Bush to Boost Federal Role in Math and Science
A consensus is growing among members of Congress, educators, and corporate leaders in favor of a stronger federal effort to bolster mathematics and science education from the earliest grades through college.
5 min read
Suttiwan Cox, the director of a Georgia charter school, laughs in a marketing class in Washington. She says she's in the Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurs, or LEE, master's program more to get needed skills than a degree.
Suttiwan Cox, the director of a Georgia charter school, laughs in a marketing class in Washington. She says she's in the Leadership for Educational Entrepreneurs, or LEE, master's program more to get needed skills than a degree.
Photo by Sevans/Education Week
School & District Management Enterprising Approach
A master’s-degree program blends courses in education and business to prepare leaders for the entrepreneurial world of charter schooling.
January 24, 2006
7 min read
Early Childhood Opinion Universal Pre-K: What About the Babies?
Early-childhood educator Samuel J. Meisels argues that, given what we know about the development of babies, children younger than 4 should not be overlooked when it comes to prekindergarten policy.
Samuel J. Meisels, January 24, 2006
6 min read
Education Letter to the Editor A ‘Reprehensible’ Side of Federal Hurricane Aid
Congress’ high-handed provision of millions of dollars for vouchers for faith-based schools in Louisiana and Mississippi in the wake of Hurricane Katrina is a slap at both of those states’ constitutions ("Congress Passes Hurricane Aid for Schools," Jan. 4, 2006).
January 24, 2006
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor To Raise NAEP Scores, Improve Access to Books
You report that comparing 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress scores from 11 cities is not beneficial in determining the effectiveness of reading approaches ("NAEP Results Offer Scant Insight Into Best Reading Strategies," Jan. 11, 2006.). But NAEP has taught us a great deal: NAEP results consistently confirm that children with more access to reading material read better, and that children who read more likewise read better.
January 24, 2006
1 min read
Education A Washington Roundup Hurricane-Hit Colleges Get Federal-Aid Bonus
The Department of Education has turned up $30 million in unspent federal financial aid that it will direct to help colleges and universities in the Gulf Coast region recover from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The money was designated for participants in the federal work-study program, the Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, and the Perkins Loan Program, but was unspent for various reasons.
Andrew Trotter, January 24, 2006
1 min read
Education A Washington Roundup Laura Bush Promotes African Textbook Program
First lady Laura Bush and the presidents of six historically black universities visited Ghana last week to promote a U.S. program that provides school textbooks and other instructional materials to African countries.
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, January 24, 2006
1 min read
Education A Washington Roundup Acting No. 3 Official Named at Ed. Dept.
President Bush last week appointed David Dunn, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings’ chief of staff, to the position of acting undersecretary at the Department of Education.
Michelle R. Davis, January 24, 2006
1 min read
Teaching Profession Federal File NCLBlogging
As politically oriented Web logs become increasingly popular, more education groups are setting out to join the sometimes-edgy medium. The 1.3 million-member American Federation of Teachers last week stepped into the cyber arena with a blog that is part of its campaign geared toward the scheduled 2007 reauthorization of the No Child Left Behind Act. The blog is called “NCLB, Let’s Get It Right.”
Michelle R. Davis, January 24, 2006
1 min read