December 10, 2008

Education Week, Vol. 28, Issue 15
Education Letter to the Editor Adding Better Assessments Is Not NCLB Law's Solution
To the Editor:
Charles Barone is correct that “open source” assessments would be useful tools for improving the way we measure student progress (“Could ‘Open Source’ Testing Help Resolve the Testing Impasse?,” Commentary, Nov. 19, 2008). Test items should be available for teachers to use as they see fit, and should also be open to parent review. A few could be administered more uniformly, such as in the National Assessment of Educational Progress or by states.
December 9, 2008
2 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Career Education
A new policy brief makes a case that students learn more, are more engaged, and are better prepared for postsecondary life when they learn both academic and technical content in a contextualized way.
Scott J. Cech, December 9, 2008
1 min read
Federal Report Roundup Teacher Tenure
A report criticizes teacher-tenure policies for, it says, keeping effective teachers out of the most disadvantaged schools.
Vaishali Honawar, December 9, 2008
1 min read
Federal Report Roundup Mixed-Age Classes
Proponents of mixed-age classrooms in preschool often say younger children benefit from the arrangement because they learn from older children. But a new study finds that such classrooms have negative effects for more mature, advanced children.
Linda Jacobson, December 9, 2008
1 min read
Federal Report Roundup Magnet Schools
A new report highlights the role of magnet schools in providing public school choice, and compares characteristics of students in those schools with those of students in the fast-growing charter school sector.
December 9, 2008
1 min read
Federal Report Roundup Charter Leadership
A report by a charter-advocacy group outlines steps to recruit and prepare the next generation of leaders for the autonomous public schools.
December 9, 2008
1 min read
Federal Report Roundup Charter Diversity
The fourth annual report by a charter school research project concludes that charters are “more different than alike”—in the populations they serve, their academic missions and results, and their responses to local needs and capacity.
December 9, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup English Curriculum
Two national organizations have created a framework to help teachers instill skills they see as needed to succeed in an information-driven global workplace.
Kathleen Kennedy Manzo, December 9, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Social Development
A study points to potential long-term benefits from children’s school-based training in social skills early in life.
Debra Viadero, December 9, 2008
1 min read
Law & Courts News in Brief Fla. Court Rejects Charter Process
It may be harder for charter schools to get approval in Florida after an appellate court decision last week.
The Associated Press, December 9, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief EdisonLearning Gets New Chief
EdisonLearning has named Jeff Wahl as president and chief executive officer.
Ann Bradley, December 9, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Homework Loads
An analysis suggests that children in elementary schools with high concentrations of minority students have heavier homework burdens in both reading and mathematics than their counterparts in schools with fewer minority students.
Debra Viadero, December 9, 2008
1 min read
Student Well-Being News in Brief Founder Levine Severs Ties With 'All Kinds of Minds'
Dr. Melvin Levine, a pediatrician and founder of the educational research institute All Kinds of Minds, has stepped down from his role as a consultant to the Durham, N.C., organization in the wake of sexual-abuse accusations.
Christina A. Samuels, December 9, 2008
1 min read
School & District Management News in Brief N.J. Rejects Suit by Administrators Challenging Rules on Contracts
A federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by the New Jersey Association of School Administrators challenging new state rules aimed at curtailing lavish contracts.
The Associated Press, December 9, 2008
1 min read
Education Report Roundup Student Cheating Found to Increase
In the past year, 30 percent of U.S. high school students have stolen from a store and 64 percent have cheated on a test, according to a survey.
The Associated Press, December 9, 2008
1 min read
International Commentary Reading the TIMSS Results
A superficial reading of this report could lead the reader to believe that the United States is doing well in science and math. But the United States is doing far worse internationally than TIMSS indicates, says Mark Schneider.
Mark Schneider, December 9, 2008
8 min read
Education Letter to the Editor We Must Make Teaching a First Choice, Not a Fallback Plan for New Graduates
To the Editor:
Barbara Beatty is dead-on in her Commentary "How the Bad Economy Could Produce Better Teachers" (Nov. 12, 2008). Tough economic times usually see an increased interest in teaching, not only by professionals who need other options, but also, from the start, among undergraduates considering career possibilities. This has always been true. The Great Depression was the first time in U.S. history when a majority of the nation’s teachers held bachelor’s degrees because many college graduates back then suddenly “discovered” teaching as other doors closed.
December 8, 2008
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Innovative Practice Can Be Fostered in Religiously Neutral Public Schools
To the Editor:
In their Nov. 19, 2008, letter to the editor, Nina S. Rees and Doug Mesecar invoke “innovation” to push the discredited school voucher idea. They carefully avoid mentioning that “well-established private schools” either charge tuition in the range of $25,000, and are thus beyond the reach of a voucher plan such as the one they cite, or are faith-based schools that exist largely for the purpose of pervasive sectarian indoctrination and generally practice forms of discrimination and selectivity that would be intolerable in public schools.
December 8, 2008
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Advanced Placement Latin: Setting the Record Straight
To the Editor:
In his Commentary "Advanced Placement for Whom?" (Nov. 5, 2008), Lee T. Pearcy implies that the College Board is discontinuing its AP Latin program. In fact, two separate courses and exams in AP Latin currently exist, and only one—AP Latin literature—will be discontinued. The College Board is applying to Latin the same model it has applied for years to AP programs in German, Chinese, and Japanese: providing one capstone AP course and exam. This decision does not reduce the board’s commitment to Latin, but instead concentrates our efforts.
December 8, 2008
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Help the Economy by Helping Disadvantaged Gifted Students
To the Editor:
In response to your online article "AFT President Signals Openness to Reforms" (edweek.org, Nov. 17, 2008):
December 8, 2008
1 min read
Federal Budget Woes Could Mean School Cutbacks
The fallout could include layoffs, increased health-care costs for workers, shorter school weeks, and cuts in school programs.
The Associated Press, December 8, 2008
4 min read
President-elect Barack Obama, right, greets Maine Gov. John Baldacci, left, at the meeting of the National Governors Association last week in Philadelphia, as Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich looks on.
President-elect Barack Obama, right, greets Maine Gov. John Baldacci, left, at the meeting of the National Governors Association last week in Philadelphia, as Illinois Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich looks on.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP
Federal Governors Make Pitch to Obama for Stimulus Money
In a meeting with the president-elect, governors made the case that education and health care are in danger of significant cuts.
Michele McNeil, December 8, 2008
1 min read
Federal Bush Impact on Schools to Outlive Term
NCLB is Bush’s top domestic legacy. The president pressed for the school accountability law from the beginning.
David J. Hoff, December 8, 2008
11 min read
Federal State Progress on Data Seen as Threatened
States have come a long way in building longitudinal data systems in just three years, but dire budget conditions won’t make it easy to finish them.
Michele McNeil, December 8, 2008
5 min read
School & District Management Schools Advocate Gets Security Job
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat who is an ardent advocate for education, is headed to a Cabinet post as secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Michele McNeil, December 8, 2008
1 min read
Early Childhood Teach For America Said Boon to D.C.
Teach For America’s expansion into preschool is having positive effects so far, at least in the District of Columbia, a study suggests.
Linda Jacobson, December 8, 2008
1 min read
School Climate & Safety High Court Hears Arguments in Harassment Case
Legal question involves which federal laws are to be used to combat gender discrimination in education.
Mark Walsh, December 8, 2008
5 min read
Federal Federal File Minority Workers at the Ed. Dept.
The number of high-level managers who are members of racial and ethnic minority groups is rising across much of the federal bureaucracy, but not at the Department of Education, according to a Government Accountability Office report.
David J. Hoff, December 8, 2008
1 min read
Federal Spellings' Worldview: There's No Going Back on K-12 Accountability
The secretary of education works on global education issues, but efforts to help schools comply with the No Child Left Behind Act will be her legacy.
Alyson Klein, December 8, 2008
4 min read