March 29, 2006

Education Week, Vol. 25, Issue 29
Recruitment & Retention Scarcity of Language Teachers Retards Growth
Even with growing demand and the prospect of new federal and state aid for improving foreign-language instruction, expanding offerings is especially difficult because of a shortage of qualified teachers in what are deemed critical languages, many experts say.
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, March 28, 2006
1 min read
School & District Management Data Scarce for Gauging Scope of Language Study
By all accounts, interest in language classes outside the traditional offerings has grown over the past several years as more attention is paid to the need for speakers of Arabic and Chinese to help deal with the United States’ security and economic concerns. But hard data are lacking in a field that is measured only periodically.
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, March 28, 2006
1 min read
Sixth grader Emma Ivie works on a social studies project in Chinese at Hosford Middle School in Portland, Ore., one of the few districts to offer the language.
Sixth grader Emma Ivie works on a social studies project in Chinese at Hosford Middle School in Portland, Ore., one of the few districts to offer the language.
Ian Malkasian for Education Week
Federal Students Taking Spanish, French; Leaders Pushing Chinese, Arabic
At a time when many policymakers and business leaders are clamoring for American children to take up the languages of Asia and the Middle East to help buttress the United States’ international competitiveness and national security, the policies and resources are as much of a mismatch as the languages that are being taught.
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, March 28, 2006
14 min read
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings addresses the first meeting of her Commission on the Future of Higher Education last October, as panel Chairman Charles Miller listens.
Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings addresses the first meeting of her Commission on the Future of Higher Education last October, as panel Chairman Charles Miller listens.
File photo by Christopher Powers/Education Week
Federal U.S. Panel Weighs Accountability in Higher Education
College presidents last week told a federal commission considering ways to bring more accountability to higher education that some measures for assessing a college’s effectiveness, including graduation rates and standardized tests, might present problems.
Alyson Klein, March 28, 2006
5 min read
Early Childhood HHS Plan to Restructure Children’s Programs Draws Fire
A plan to restructure children’s programs in the Department of Health and Human Services is drawing fire from advocacy groups and members of Congress.
Linda Jacobson, March 28, 2006
3 min read
Federal Control of Regional Education Labs Shifting
Four of the Department of Education’s 10 regional educational laboratories will be run by different contractors, and all of them will have a revised mission, under a round of newly awarded five-year contracts worth more than $326 million.
Debra Viadero, March 28, 2006
4 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Report Faults Calif. on College Preparation
California students face major roadblocks en route to college, according to a report, which found the Golden State sends a smaller proportion of high school seniors—23 percent—to four-year colleges than any other state but Mississippi.
Lynn Olson, March 28, 2006
3 min read
Education Measures of Success in Hidalgo, Texas

Achievement on State Tests


The school district’s results on the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills steadily increased, so that more than 90 percent of students met standards in core subjects.
March 28, 2006
2 min read
Federal Gulf Coast Districts Get Restart Aid, But Ask Whether It Will Be Enough
Gulf Coast school districts teetering on the brink of financial disaster after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck last year have high hopes for the pot of federal aid intended to help them recoup money they used to get up and running again. But many have yet to see the funds, and others say it won’t be enough.
Michelle R. Davis, March 28, 2006
7 min read
Education Honors & Award Honors & Awards

ECS District Leaders Network


The Denver-based Education Commission of the States’ National Center for Learning and Citizenship has announced the first round of members for its 100 District Leaders for Citizenship and Service-Learning Network. The 44 superintendents and school board members are recognized for their commitment to citizenship education and service-learning in their districts. They will meet at the National School Boards Association Annual Conference in Chicago next month to discuss their work. An additional 56 members will be selected this fall.
March 28, 2006
2 min read
Education Events

April


26-27—Curriculum: Animals in the Classroom Workshop, sponsored by the Pet Care Trust, for K-12 educators, at the Humane Society in Colorado Springs, Colo. Contact: John Pitts, 3881 Leland Valley Road W., Quilcene, WA 98376; (360) 765-3237; e-mail: jlpitts@olympus.net; Web site: www.petcaretrust.org.
March 28, 2006
8 min read
Education Deadlines
Educator and School Fellowships, Contests, Awards, and Other Deadlines
March 28, 2006
3 min read
School & District Management Upward Journey
The schools in Hidalgo used to be among the worst in Texas. But now, the low-income Latino children who fill its classrooms are outperforming students in wealthier, whiter communities.
Catherine Gewertz, March 28, 2006
9 min read
Education Opinion Chat Wrap-Up: The Problem With Boys
On March 15, the topic for discussion was “The Problem With Boys,” and readers addressed their questions to Thomas Newkirk, a University of New Hampshire professor of English and the author of Misreading Masculinity: Boys, Literacy, and Popular Culture (Heinemann, 2002).
March 28, 2006
7 min read
Federal Group Signs Off With Progress Report on Teacher Quality
A high-profile group formed to boost the quality of the nation’s teaching corps says progress toward that goal has been just middling over the past three years.
Bess Keller, March 28, 2006
3 min read
Assessment Urban Schools Continue Test-Score Gains, Report Finds
Students in urban school districts have made steady gains on state tests in the past four years, in many cases outpacing their states’ average rates of improvement, a study issued last week concludes.
Catherine Gewertz, March 28, 2006
3 min read
Special Education Wide Variation Seen in Testing of Students With Disabilities
Driven by the accountability movement and the demands of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, states are requiring students in special education, like their peers in general education, to take state-mandated tests.
Christina A. Samuels, March 28, 2006
3 min read
Equity & Diversity Reduced Tuition for Undocumented Students Debated
As immigrants have moved into new territory in growing numbers, state lawmakers are becoming increasingly embroiled in debates over what public services to provide the newcomers among them living in the United States illegally.
Mary Ann Zehr, March 28, 2006
6 min read
School & District Management Opinion Keeping Reforms on Track
Authors Jane L. David and Larry Cuban offer guidance to reformers and citizens on how to cut through the hype surrounding the different types of school reforms.
Jane L. David & Larry Cuban, March 28, 2006
7 min read
School & District Management In Boston, Stability Is Key Issue in Search for Leader
With three months left in Thomas W. Payzant’s decade-long tenure as superintendent of the Boston schools, those charged with finding a successor are getting an earful from scholars, community groups, and civic leaders as they consider how much of a change agent the district needs.
Jeff Archer, March 28, 2006
4 min read
Federal Complaint Targets NCLB Transfers in Calif.
A team of conservative legal scholars last week filed a complaint charging that two Southern California school districts fail to offer students school choice as required under federal law and asked the U.S. Department of Education to withhold the districts’ federal funds.
David J. Hoff, March 28, 2006
5 min read
Classroom Technology Wis. Court Sides With Virtual Schools
A legal challenge to a virtual charter school in Wisconsin has failed, the second time in three years that a state court has turned down arguments from Wisconsin’s largest teachers’ union that the Internet schools are illegal.
Bess Keller, March 28, 2006
1 min read
Teaching Profession Opinion Aligning the System
Theodore Hershberg and Barbara Lea-Kruger make their case for linking teachers' pay to student achievement.
Theodore Hershberg & Barbara Lea-Kruger, March 28, 2006
9 min read
Education Funding International Baccalaureate May Get Lift From Booster Bush
Known for its demanding curriculum and global outlook, the International Baccalaureate is seeking to capitalize on an endorsement from this country’s top elected official, even as it faces a challenge at the grassroots level.
Sean Cavanagh, March 28, 2006
8 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion Missing the Mark on Graduation Rates
Education researchers Jay P. Greene, Marcus A. Winters, and Christopher B. Swanson respond to an essay economist Lawrence Mishel wrote in Education Week in which he criticized the data they used to calculate high school graduation rates.
Jay P. Greene, Marcus A. Winters & Christopher B. Swanson, March 28, 2006
7 min read
Education Letter to the Editor NSF Program Evaluation Reaped Many Benefits
As a former director of one of the National Science Foundation’s Local Systemic Change Through Teacher Enhancement programs, I am writing to clarify and expand upon several key points regarding the Horizon Research Inc. evaluation study of the NSF program ("NSF Educator-Training Effort Seen as Helpful," March 8, 2006.).
March 28, 2006
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Dropout Research: Heed Voices of the Underserved
In response to your March 8, 2006, article about Civic Enterprises’ study on dropouts ("H.S. Dropouts Say Lack of Motivation Top Reason to Quit"), I am resisting the urge to say “Well, duh!” to the report’s results.
March 28, 2006
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor ‘Asian Downside’ Study: Take With a Grain of Salt
Amid the national zeal for turning to Asian and Asian-American students as inspirational models, Deanna Kuhn’s March 8, 2006, Commentary ("Does the Asian Success Formula Have a Downside?") provides a refreshing perspective.
March 28, 2006
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Economics, Knowledge, and the Keys to Success
I began reading “The Exaggerated Dropout Crisis” with great hope. Perhaps we Americans are doing better at graduating our students than we have been led to believe. Then I was stunned by the blithe opening premise of Lawrence Mishel’s exposé: “Knowledge is becoming more important in the economy, and ‘returns to skill’—higher wages for workers with more education—should be growing.”
March 28, 2006
1 min read