February 25, 2009

Education Week, Vol. 28, Issue 22
Federal Quality Seen as Job One for Charters
A quarter-century after A Nation at Risk warned of a "rising tide of mediocrity," efforts are afoot to strengthen the growing charter sector.
February 23, 2009
11 min read
Federal Charters Seen as Lab for Report's Ideas on Teachers
Scholars are studying how staffing practices in charter and regular public schools diverge, and what impact those differences make.
Debra Viadero, February 23, 2009
7 min read
Budget & Finance Commentary Using Stimulus Funds to Build a Bridge to Better Practice
"Businesses have options to write off restructuring costs and go into debt to finance new approaches. Without such options, school districts are forced to make incremental changes only," writes Karen Hawley Miles.
Karen Hawley Miles, February 23, 2009
6 min read
Federal Congress Revisits Construction Tiff
As Congress rushed to finalize the $787 billion economic-stimulus package on Feb. 12, one relatively small program held things up: school construction.
David J. Hoff, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Beverly L. Hall, the superintendent of the Atlanta school district, has been named National Superintendent of the Year for 2009.
Beverly L. Hall, the superintendent of the Atlanta school district, has been named National Superintendent of the Year for 2009.
Christopher Powers/Education Week-File
School & District Management News in Brief Beverly Hall of Atlanta Named Superintendent of the Year
Beverly L. Hall, the superintendent of the Atlanta school district, has been named National Superintendent of the Year for 2009 by the American Association of School Administrators.
Catherine Gewertz, February 23, 2009
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup High School Graduation
Students who take five years to graduate from high school are nearly four times more likely to complete a college degree than those who obtain GEDs, according to a new analysis.
Catherine Gewertz, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Teaching Profession Report Roundup Teacher Pensions
The cost of teachers' retirement benefits is higher than those for private-sector professionals, researchers contend in a study that contrasts with other published reports on the topic.
Stephen Sawchuk, February 23, 2009
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup AYP Rules Skew Schools' Results, Study Concludes
A school’s ability to achieve its goals under the federal No Child Left Behind Act’s accountability system may have as much to do with geography as student achievement, a new report says.
David J. Hoff, February 23, 2009
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup College and Career Readiness
More states are moving toward aligning their standards, graduation requirements, and assessments to reflect the demands of colleges and employers, according to a new report by Achieve, Inc.
Catherine Gewertz, February 23, 2009
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Study: PBS Cartoon Show Boosts Early-Reading Skills
Watching “WordWorld,” a public-television show in which letter-shaped cartoon characters morph into words, significantly increases preschoolers’ emerging literacy skills, says a new federally financed evaluation of the program.
Debra Viadero, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Federal Report Roundup Gender and Science
At a time when educators are looking to encourage more students, and more girls in particular, to pursue careers in science, a new study suggests that gender bias in students’ views of their high school teachers’ abilities could be setting back those efforts.
Sean Cavanagh, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education News in Brief Tenn. Group Backs Schools
Former U.S. Sen. Bill Frist is heading a new bipartisan group of Tennessee residents, announced last week, that aims to increase collaboration among groups concerned about K-12 education.
Dakarai I. Aarons, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education News in Brief Wis. Candidates Advance
Two candidates, one with 34 years of professional education experience and the other with none, advanced in the Feb. 17 primary for the nonpartisan position of Wisconsin state schools superintendent.
The Associated Press, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education News in Brief Hartford Mayor Gives Up Board Chair
Mayor Eddie Perez of Hartford, Conn., has given up his leadership positions on the city’s board of education and school building committee.
The Associated Press, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education News in Brief R.I. Teachers Get Notices
Nearly 200 teachers are expected to get pink slips as the West Warwick, R.I., school committee tries to close a projected $3.7 million operating deficit.
The Associated Press, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education News in Brief Va. High School Accreditation to Use Test Scores, Grad Rates
Virginia’s public schools will soon be measured by both test scores and graduation rates, under an enhanced accountability plan state education officials approved last week.
The Associated Press, February 23, 2009
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Reducing Dropout Rates
One of the first steps for anyone wanting to reduce the dropout rate in a community may be to convince others that a dropout problem exists, according to a guide released this month.
Mary Ann Zehr, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Special Education Autism Ruling Blow for Activists
Although a special federal court has rejected claims that vaccines cause autism, the decision is not likely to tamp down the assertion.
Christina A. Samuels, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education News in Brief Louisiana State Superintendent Seeks Changes for Local Boards
Louisiana Superintendent of Education Paul Pastorek wants to overhaul the laws governing local school boards to reform and modernize education.
The Associated Press, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education News in Brief Nevada School Board Ordered to Turn Over E-Mail Records
A judge has ordered the Clark County, Nev., school board to turn over e-mails to a citizen watchdog who challenged its public-records policy in court.
The Associated Press, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education News in Brief Obama Education Adviser Decides To Remain at Calif. University Post
Linda Darling-Hammond, who was widely believed to be a candidate for a top job in the U.S. Department of Education, said last week she is going to stay in California.
Alyson Klein, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education News in Brief California Lawmakers Agree on Plan to Close Budget Deficit
California lawmakers last week approved a plan to close a $42 billion budget deficit after an epic impasse that involved several all-night sessions as the state hovered on the brink of economic disaster.
The Associated Press, February 23, 2009
1 min read
Federal In Historic Package, Hefty New Funding For Pre-K, Beyond
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 will funnel about $100 billion to states and school districts, about half of it through existing federal education funding formulas.
February 23, 2009
1 min read
Teacher Preparation Scores Unaffected by Teacher-Training Route
Students with teachers from alternative programs do no worse than those with teachers from traditional programs, a study finds.
Mary Ann Zehr, February 23, 2009
2 min read
Families & the Community Parents Schooled in Learning How to Help With Math
Interest is growing in math workshops for parents, which encourage them to take an active role in their children's learning and answer questions and concerns.
Sean Cavanagh, February 23, 2009
7 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Wanting Public Support, But With Private Control
To the Editor:
In his Commentary "Rethinking the Notion of Public vs. Private" (Jan. 21, 2009), Doug Tuthill rolls the dough of his horseradish privatization muffin in the sweet oatmeal of President Barack Obama’s political campaign, hoping that no one will notice what he is selling.
February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education Letter to the Editor Parental Responsibilities—'That's True Accountability'
To the Editor:
I agree with Richard Rothstein on the importance of reforming accountability, but not only for the classroom ("Getting Accountability Right," Commentary, Jan. 28, 2009). My life’s work has been trying to get educational accountability right for the family and community. President Barack Obama refers often to parental responsibilities—that’s true accountability.
February 23, 2009
1 min read
Education Funding Letter to the Editor Teacher Salary Schedules a 'Tall Mountain to Climb'
To the Editor:
In your Jan. 28, 2009, article "School Leaders Target Salary Reform Toward Newer Teachers," the National Education Association is identified as favoring shorter salary schedules as a method for improving compensation for new teachers and teachers overall. This certainly is a valid proposal. Most salary schedules are a tall mountain to climb from entry-level to maximum pay. Many teachers can’t wait out a stretched-out schedule, and leave the profession far too early.
February 23, 2009
1 min read
Federal Letter to the Editor 'No Dog Left Behind' Satire Draws a Serious Response
To the Editor:
Marion Brady asks a dangerous question in his Commentary "No Dog Left Behind" (Jan. 28, 2009): "Why are one-size-fits-all performance standards inappropriate to the point of silliness when applied to dogs, but accepted without question when applied to kids?" I’m fine with advising Chihuahuas not to be guard dogs, but which students should we decide aren’t going to be able to read, write, or do math? And how young should we tell them?
February 23, 2009
1 min read