July 30, 2008

Education Week, Vol. 27, Issue 44
School & District Management Report Roundup Work Flexibility Urged as Key Step For Bolstering Low-Wage Families
A new report by the Urban Institute calls for setting national policies so that low-wage working parents will get at least seven paid sick days a year and the right to ask for flexible work schedules so they can better care for their children and help them improve their performance in school.
Debra Viadero, July 29, 2008
1 min read
Teaching Profession Report Roundup National Board Certification
Conflicting data on the extent of the impact that nationally certified teachers have on student achievement do not paint a complete picture of the benefits, a report by a group of teachers that have earned the credential concludes.
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, July 29, 2008
1 min read
Education Funding Report Roundup Financing Extra Learning Time
A second report released by the Center for American Progress on July 21 explores the costs involved in moving to an extended school schedule and suggests options educators can take to pay for it.
Debra Viadero, July 29, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Expanding Learning Time
A report released July 21 profiles more than 300 initiatives across the country that are all aimed at expanding learning time in schools with large concentrations of disadvantaged students.
Debra Viadero, July 29, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Youth Quality of Life
The lives of America’s children have not improved much since 2002, even though federal spending on domestic programs has increased since that time, says a new index.
Linda Jacobson, July 29, 2008
1 min read
English-Language Learners Report Roundup English-Language Learners
In Appalachia, many school districts with little or no experience working with English-language learners have enrolled such students in the past 10 years, says a new report.
Mary Ann Zehr, July 29, 2008
1 min read
Teaching Profession Report Roundup Collective Bargaining
State law is increasingly governing issues such as teacher evaluation, tenure laws, and dismissal procedures for teachers—issues once considered the purview of school districts, a report says.
Vaishali Honawar, July 29, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Friedman Foundation Picks Leader
The founder and chairman of the Internet shopping site Overstock.com is the new co-chairman of the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice, an Indianapolis-based school choice advocacy group.
Michele McNeil, July 28, 2008
1 min read
Teaching Profession News in Brief Mathematica Study Finds ABCTE Teachers Landing Jobs
Six out of 10 teacher-candidates who earned their credential through the American Board for Certification of Teacher Excellence had found jobs in K-12 schools by the end of the last year, a survey shows.
Vaishali Honawar, July 28, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief Head of NAEP Governing Board Takes Position with ACT
Charles E. Smith, the executive director of the National Assessment Governing Board, has announced that he will step down from that post to take a position with the Washington office of ACT, the testing service.
Sean Cavanagh, July 28, 2008
1 min read
Education Correction Correction
A story in the July 16, 2008, issue of Education Week on urban districts narrowing the teacher gap incorrectly identified the program that will provide as many as 20 percent of the Boston district’s teachers this year. It is the Boston Teacher Residency Program.
July 28, 2008
1 min read
Kirsten Kainz, a statistician and research faculty member at the University of North Carolina, is using her fellowship to study the impact of different classroom contexts on children’s learning.
Kirsten Kainz, a statistician and research faculty member at the University of North Carolina, is using her fellowship to study the impact of different classroom contexts on children’s learning.
Photo by Sara D. Davis/Education Week
School & District Management Fellowships Aim to Nurture Research Talent
Hundreds of education researchers across the country are getting the gift of time to pursue research and hone methodological skills, through fellowships aimed at nurturing young talent in the field.
Debra Viadero, July 28, 2008
8 min read
Education Funding School Finance Law Passage Highlight for N.H. Legislature
New Hampshire lawmakers’ biggest accomplishment this year was passing a new school finance law—one that is expected to bring the state into compliance with the state supreme court ruling that declared the old law unconstitutional in 2006.
Debra Viadero, July 28, 2008
1 min read
Education Funding Missouri Increases School Spending
Gov. Matt Blunt has signed into law measures that promise to boost state spending on schools, lessen some of the pain of property-tax increases, and create a new route into the teaching profession.
Debra Viadero, July 28, 2008
2 min read
Curriculum Textbooks Moving Into Cyberspace
As college-bound members of the high school class of 2008 look ahead to fall, some can also look forward to textbook sticker shock: New required textbooks can cost as much as $125, and some are not resalable.
Scott J. Cech, July 28, 2008
1 min read
Federal Federal File Policymakers Take Phys. Ed. Break
With the NCLB law off the agenda until next year, federal officials are looking for ways to show that they’re addressing important K-12 issues.
David J. Hoff, July 28, 2008
1 min read
Superintendent Michael Bennet, center, Rudy Andras, left, an A-Plus Denver member, and Alan Gottlieb, a business coalition member, stay after a June ProComp meeting.
Superintendent Michael Bennet, center, Rudy Andras, left, an A-Plus Denver member, and Alan Gottlieb, a business coalition member, stay after a June ProComp meeting.
Photo by Preston Gannaway/Rocky Mountain News/Polaris Images
Teaching Profession Model Plan of Merit Pay in Ferment
The collaborative spirit between school district and teachers’ union that made the compensation system a national model is now in jeopardy, with officials engaged in a protracted battle over proposed changes.
Vaishali Honawar, July 28, 2008
8 min read
Curriculum Letter to the Editor ‘Reading First’ Enthusiasm May Have a Financial Source
To the Editor:
It’s not surprising that school districts and administrators like the Reading First program and want to save it (“‘Reading First’ Funds Headed for Extinction,” July 16, 2008). Of course they do—they love having the extra funding it brings in and don’t want to lose it. And not only does Reading First boost budgets in districts that are perpetually short of money, it also pays for a lot of extra staff members.
July 25, 2008
1 min read
Curriculum Letter to the Editor AAUW: ‘Girls and Boys Are Succeeding Together’
To the Editor:
In his Commentary “Where the Girls Aren’t” (June 18, 2008), Leonard Sax levels criticism at the American Association of University Women, saying that our latest research report, "Where the Girls Are: The Facts About Gender Equity in Education," misses the point. Specifically, Dr. Sax believes that the AAUW should have looked at how “girls are losing out in physics and computer science.”
July 25, 2008
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor What the Public Wants, and What the Media Give Us
To the Editor:
As you reported in “Education Slips as Election Issue” (July 16, 2008), a Public Education Network survey recently showed that Americans’ interest in education is waning, and that the public wishes the U.S. presidential candidates would spend more time talking about education issues. I thought this was a rather remarkable finding, since it would seem to suggest that the media have a great deal of power to shape our attitudes merely by what those in the press choose to focus on; and, at the same time, that there is an undercurrent of opinion that would like to see more attention paid to schools and schooling.
July 25, 2008
1 min read
Curriculum Letter to the Editor Look Closely at Texts That ‘Explore’ Evolution
To the Editor:
Recently passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana Science Education Act (Senate Bill No. 733) states that teachers may use, in addition to a standard textbook, “supplemental textbooks and other instructional materials to help students understand, analyze, critique, and review scientific theories” (“Vouchers, Evolution Top Issues in La.,” July 16, 2008). Among topics specifically listed as those a teacher and students may critique are “evolution, the origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”
July 25, 2008
1 min read
Sen. John McCain of Arizona appears at the NAACP annual convention in Cincinnati on July 16. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee pledged to expand private school choice and direct federal funding to alternative teacher-certification programs.
Sen. John McCain of Arizona appears at the NAACP annual convention in Cincinnati on July 16. The presumptive Republican presidential nominee pledged to expand private school choice and direct federal funding to alternative teacher-certification programs.
Photo by Carolyn Kaster/AP
School & District Management Candidates' K-12 Views Take Shape
As their education plans begin to crystallize, sharper differences are emerging between John McCain and Barack Obama.
Alyson Klein, July 25, 2008
7 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Commentary Raising Graduation Rates in an Era of High Standards
Cheryl Almeida and Adria Steinberg argue that the time has come for policies to reduce dropout rates to be made as high a priority as policies designed to raise overall academic performance to a college-ready standard.
Cheryl Almeida & Adria Steinberg, July 25, 2008
7 min read
School Climate & Safety Commentary Reason and Rebellion
Frances G. Wills, superintendent for the Briarcliff Manor Union Free School District, discusses how one student's act of rebellion can undermine the reasoning of a good education.
Frances G. Wills, July 25, 2008
6 min read
Federal Audits Go On as Department's Watchdog Retires
John P. Higgins Jr. retired as the Department of Education’s inspector general after 40 years as a watchdog, but the office he led for the past six years continues turning out reports without him.
David J. Hoff, July 25, 2008
3 min read
Teaching Commentary In Their Shoes
Rock climbing helped new teacher Jennifer McDaniel understand the depth of frustration and embarrassment her students feel when they fail.
Jennifer McDaniel, July 25, 2008
5 min read
BRIC ARCHIVE
Illustration by Steve Dininno
Education Funding Commentary NEEDED: Federal Action for Fair Funding of High-Poverty Schools
Federal education-funding requirements exacerbate existing inequality in education, say John Podesta and Cynthia G. Brown.
John Podesta & Cynthia G. Brown, July 25, 2008
6 min read
From left to right, Colin Perez, Selena LeDoux, and Anthony Casias remove their boat from the pool after the boat-building challenge at the 2008 SciTech Summer Camp.
From left to right, Colin Perez, Selena LeDoux, and Anthony Casias remove their boat from the pool after the boat-building challenge at the 2008 SciTech Summer Camp.
Photo by Matthew Staver/Education Week
Equity & Diversity Building Bridges to the Future
An intensive summer camp exposes sought-after Hispanic students to college and career possibilities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Scott J. Cech, July 24, 2008
10 min read
Education Funding State Budget Woes Threaten to Chill Education Initiatives
Legislators gathered in New Orleans heard gloomy fiscal news, even as presidential campaign advisers floated education reform ideas.
Michele McNeil, July 24, 2008
3 min read