October 22, 2008

Education Week, Vol. 28, Issue 09
School & District Management News in Brief Miami Board Approves Contract for New Schools Superintendent
Following months of upheaval in the district, the Miami-Dade County, Fla., school board has approved the contract of its new superintendent amid controversy over a racy batch of e-mails allegedly exchanged with a newspaper reporter who covered the district.
The Associated Press, October 22, 2008
1 min read
Curriculum Letter to the Editor Impact of School Latin: Good, But Temporary?
To the Editor:
Commentary author Baynard Woods maintains that the study of Latin can help students increase their vocabulary and improve standardized-test performance ("Give Latin (and Potential Dropouts) a Chance," edweek.org, Sept. 22, 2008). Studies done over the last century appear to support this suggestion, but there is reason to be cautious.
October 22, 2008
1 min read
Federal Education on the Ballot
Education will be on the ballot Nov. 4, even if the subject hasn’t been on voters’ minds much during the 2008 campaign season.
Alyson Klein & David J. Hoff, October 21, 2008
11 min read
Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, and her Republican challenger, Dino Rossi, right, watch as debate moderator Enrique Cerna tosses a coin to determine the order of their opening statements for their Oct. 1 debate in Yakima, Wash. Ms. Gregoire, who narrowly defeated Mr. Rossi in the 2004 election, won the toss and elected to give her opening statement after her opponent.
Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire, a Democrat, and her Republican challenger, Dino Rossi, right, watch as debate moderator Enrique Cerna tosses a coin to determine the order of their opening statements for their Oct. 1 debate in Yakima, Wash. Ms. Gregoire, who narrowly defeated Mr. Rossi in the 2004 election, won the toss and elected to give her opening statement after her opponent.
Photo by Gordon King/Yakima-Herald Republic/AP
Federal Fiscal Worries Shadow State Elections
The new class of governors and state legislators to be elected Nov. 4 will inherit financial problems that threaten existing education programs and limit possible new initiatives.
Michele McNeil, October 21, 2008
8 min read
Education Funding Financial Crisis Now Striking Home for School Districts
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.
Michelle R. Davis, October 21, 2008
6 min read
Federal Campaign Notebook McCain, Obama Address Controversy About Ayers
The controversy over Sen. Barack Obama’s ties to William C. Ayers took center stage last week during the third and final presidential debate.
Dakarai I. Aarons, October 21, 2008
3 min read
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley sits in a school bus equipped with safety belts on Oct. 15. A new federal seat belt rule was drafted after the deaths of four Alabama students in a school bus crash in 2006.
Alabama Gov. Bob Riley sits in a school bus equipped with safety belts on Oct. 15. A new federal seat belt rule was drafted after the deaths of four Alabama students in a school bus crash in 2006.
Photo by Jamie Martin/AP
School Climate & Safety News in Brief Small Buses Must Have Safer Belts, U.S. Rule Says
Smaller school buses will have to be equipped with three-point, lap-and-shoulder seat belts for the first time, and larger buses will have higher seat backs, under a federal rule announced last week.
The Associated Press, October 21, 2008
1 min read
Equity & Diversity Sports in the City
When it comes to boys’ and girls’ participation in sports, the most serious gender gap may be an urban one.
Sean Cavanagh, October 21, 2008
1 min read
Education Correction Correction
Because of a production error, the continuation of a front-page story in the Oct. 15, 2008, issue of Education Week on how school districts are reacting to tight bond markets was omitted. The story appears in its entirety here.
October 21, 2008
1 min read
Federal 8th Grade Algebra Teachers in Arkansas to Need State Nod
State officials see the new endorsement as a way to ensure that teachers are qualified to cover the math content as more students enroll in Algebra 1 in 8th grade, rather than waiting until high school.
Sean Cavanagh, October 21, 2008
6 min read
Equity & Diversity Commentary The Real Cost of Educating Low-Income Students
"Funding parity for high-performing charter schools should be a priority for policymakers at every level," writes John H. Scully.
John H. Scully, October 21, 2008
7 min read
A 12-year-old participant in the Youth Music Exchange, which enables students to help create record labels, works on a song at Sunset Park Center School in New York City. The co-founder of the exchange, Columbia University faculty member Michael Bitz, received the first-ever Education Entrepreneurship Fellowship from the Mind Trust, a nonprofit group in Indianapolis.
A 12-year-old participant in the Youth Music Exchange, which enables students to help create record labels, works on a song at Sunset Park Center School in New York City. The co-founder of the exchange, Columbia University faculty member Michael Bitz, received the first-ever Education Entrepreneurship Fellowship from the Mind Trust, a nonprofit group in Indianapolis.
Photo Courtesy of Michael Bitz
School & District Management U.S. Aid Urged for Education's Entrepreneurs
With the presidential candidates both underscoring their support for entrepreneurial initiatives in education, policy experts are advancing ideas for helping such efforts flourish.
October 21, 2008
7 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup After-School Programs
An initiative to build after-school programs in New York City expanded public funding of such programs from $23 million to nearly $300 million from 1998 to 2008, a study has found.
Catherine Gewertz, October 20, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Childhood Obesity
A study of youth in Great Britain shows that children who eat breakfast daily are less likely to become obese.
Christina A. Samuels, October 20, 2008
1 min read
Education Report Roundup Analysis of PISA Finds Private School Effect
A new study that examines test scores from 29 countries concludes that competition from private schools improves achievement for students in both public and private schools.
October 20, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Reading Research
A supplemental reading program known as Accelerated Reader had an insignificant impact on reading fluency, mixed results on comprehension, and some positive effects on general reading achievement, according to a review by the What Works Clearinghouse.
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, October 20, 2008
1 min read
History Makers: Children who were involved in Brown v. Board of Education, which challenged the legality of public school segregation, are shown in Topeka, Kan., in 1953. From left are Vicki Henderson; Donald Henderson; Linda Brown, whose family gave the case its name; James Emanuel; Nancy Todd; and Katherine Carper. The landmark case helped raise courts' role in schools.
History Makers: Children who were involved in <i>Brown</i> v. <i>Board of Education</i>, which challenged the legality of public school segregation, are shown in Topeka, Kan., in 1953. From left are Vicki Henderson; Donald Henderson; Linda Brown, whose family gave the case its name; James Emanuel; Nancy Todd; and Katherine Carper. The landmark case helped raise courts' role in schools.
Photo by Carl Iwaski, Time Life Pictures/Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Law & Courts Scholars Weigh Court Influence Over School Practices, Climate
The courts play a big part in many aspects of public education in the United States, but it wasn’t always that way, according to experts at a conference held last week.
Mark Walsh, October 20, 2008
6 min read
Education Report Roundup Hispanics in College
The income disparity between Latino and non-Hispanic white students entering four-year colleges and universities has quadrupled over the past three decades, according to a new report.
October 20, 2008
1 min read
Teaching Profession Report Roundup Teacher Hiring
California’s demand for teachers over the next decade will not affect its diverse counties in uniform ways, says a new report.
Stephen Sawchuk, October 20, 2008
1 min read
Curriculum Report Roundup Producing Engineers
Policymakers should take steps to produce more minority students capable of becoming engineers and scientists, a new report argues.
Sean Cavanagh, October 20, 2008
1 min read
Education News in Brief Red Lake, Minn., Settlement Reached
Victims’ family members and survivors of the Red Lake High School shooting in Minnesota will split $1.5 million under a settlement reached with MacNeil Environmental Inc., a company hired to come up with a crisis plan for the school.
The Associated Press, October 20, 2008
1 min read
Federal News in Brief Skills With Technology to be Gauged on NAEP
The test known as the “nation’s report card” will soon assess students’ technological skill, in what federal officials say will be the first nationwide assessment of student achievement in that area.
Sean Cavanagh, October 20, 2008
1 min read
Education News in Brief Conn. Governor Seeks to Help Districts With Their Heating Costs
Gov. M. Jodi Rell of Connecticut says she will ask lawmakers to allocate $10 million to help Connecticut social-service providers and schools pay their heating bills this winter.
The Associated Press, October 20, 2008
1 min read
Education News in Brief Baltimore Public Boarding School Welcomes First 6th Graders
State school officials in Maryland this week will dedicate a new public boarding school that will admit students from around the state and provide them with rigorous academics and a 24-hour college-preparatory environment.
Vaishali Honawar, October 20, 2008
1 min read
Federal Campaign Notebook The Polls Are Closed in Scholastic Precincts
If children could vote, Barack Obama would be the next president, according to the Scholastic Presidential Election Poll for Kids.
Alyson Klein, October 20, 2008
1 min read
Teaching Data Accessible, Training Limited
Teachers’ access to student information has increased, but many lack the training and some necessary tools to support the kind of data-driven decisionmaking that leads to instructional change and improved achievement, a report says.
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, October 20, 2008
2 min read
Special Education Math Study Evaluates Digital Aids
University of Louisville researchers are exploring how print textbooks can be converted to digital versions to help students with “print disabilities,” a term for various learning, visual, and physical issues that interfere with reading.
Andrew Trotter, October 20, 2008
5 min read
Federal Federal File House Panel Hits Election-Time Trips
Leading up up to the 2006 Congressional and gubernatorial elections, Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings traveled 19 times to give a boost to Republican candidates, according to a draft report released last week.
Alyson Klein, October 20, 2008
1 min read
Federal States' K-12 Efforts Feeling Budget Sting
States are struggling—and sometimes failing—to hold the line on education budget cuts and day-to-day disruption in the face of budget deficits, flagging tax revenues, and credit jitters that threaten their cash flow.
Linda Jacobson, October 20, 2008
6 min read