October 6, 2010

Education Week, Vol. 30, Issue 06
College & Workforce Readiness Opinion 'Superman' Builds Houses—and Learns
A program stressing real-world skills and student support helped him finally succeed in school and in life, writes former dropout Safford "Lavelle" Baskins.
Safford "Lavelle" Baskins, October 5, 2010
4 min read
Curriculum Opinion The Quest for 'Deeper Learning'
When she became a foundation's point person on education, Barbara Chow, with her new colleagues, set out to map a course for the future.
Barbara Chow, October 5, 2010
5 min read
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg speaks to 11th grade math students at the KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy, in Newark, N.J., on Sept. 25. He visited the school to highlight the $100 million deal with Newark schools that he announced earlier in the week with mayor Cory A. Booker and Gov. Chris Christie.
Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg speaks to 11th grade math students at the KIPP Newark Collegiate Academy, in Newark, N.J., on Sept. 25. He visited the school to highlight the $100 million deal with Newark schools that he announced earlier in the week with mayor Cory A. Booker and Gov. Chris Christie.
Gary He/Facebook/AP
School & District Management Facebook-Driven Newark Overhaul Lurches Forward
Questions about legality and governance surround the plan fueled by $100 million from Facebook's founder to remake Newark's schools.
Catherine Gewertz, October 5, 2010
7 min read
Federal Groups Say Race to Top Overlooked ELL Pupils
Federal officials promise to do better when they provide technical assistance to states.
Mary Ann Zehr, October 5, 2010
4 min read
Former first lady Laura W. Bush and Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa take part in unveiling a nationwide principal-training initiative last week at Dallas High School. The program is the first venture for the George W. Bush Institute, which is the policy arm for the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Set to start this year in six cities, the effort aims to revamp the way principals are recruited and trained.
Former first lady Laura W. Bush and Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa take part in unveiling a nationwide principal-training initiative last week at Dallas High School. The program is the first venture for the George W. Bush Institute, which is the policy arm for the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Set to start this year in six cities, the effort aims to revamp the way principals are recruited and trained.
Lara Solt/The Dallas Morning News
Professional Development Initiative Aims to Refashion Training Path for Principals
Former first lady Laura Bush announced an effort, set to begin in six cities, that aims to change the way America's principals are recruited and prepared—and how they run schools.
Dakarai I. Aarons, October 5, 2010
7 min read
California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown greets his Republican rival, Meg Whitman, at a Sept. 28 debate. Education funding is a top issue in California.
California Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown greets his Republican rival, Meg Whitman, at a Sept. 28 debate. Education funding is a top issue in California.
Hector Amezcua/Pool/AP
Teaching Profession Teachers' Unions Come on Strong in State-Level Races
Democratic candidates on state-level ballots this fall are drawing the lion's share of support from teachers' unions, with the maintenance of school funding a prime concern.
Sean Cavanagh, October 5, 2010
8 min read
Eighth grader Joshua Chee answers questions in Chinese during Chinese-language class at Herricks Middle School in Albertson, N.Y. as teacher Elizabeth Yu Ellsworth listens.
Eighth grader Joshua Chee answers questions in Chinese during Chinese-language class at Herricks Middle School in Albertson, N.Y. as teacher Elizabeth Yu Ellsworth listens.
Mustafah Abdulaziz for Education Week
Teaching Chinese Aid Boosts Mandarin-Language Instruction in U.S.
With China's growing power and influence on the global stage, efforts are burgeoning to promote teaching the official Chinese language in U.S. schools.
October 5, 2010
8 min read
Recruitment & Retention Obama Seeking Teacher Recruits
The Obama administration hopes to recruit 10,000 new mathematics and science teachers over the next two years.
Alyson Klein, October 5, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Community Schools
Arguing that current federal reform models are failing struggling rural schools, a new report makes the case for a new "community schools" turnaround option.
Mary Schulken, October 5, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup STEM Education
Five years after issuing a warning that the U.S. was losing its competitive edge by not producing adequate numbers of scientists, engineers, and mathematicians, a national panel is back saying not much has changed.
October 5, 2010
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness Report Roundup College Completion
States throughout the South should increase the percentage of working-age adults with postsecondary degrees or credentials to 60 percent by 2018, says a report by the Southern Regional Education Board.
Debra Viadero, October 5, 2010
1 min read
School & District Management Report Roundup Attention Problems
A study suggests that playing white noise in the background of a classroom may help children with attention problems focus on what their teachers are saying but may impede learning for others.
Debra Viadero, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Teacher Preparation Report Roundup Scholars Hold Divided Views of School Reform
The professors who prepare the nation’s teachers hold views about the field that are often—but not always—at odds with the reform strategies that are at the front and center of national education debates, according to a new report.
Debra Viadero, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Andrés A. AlonsoCEO of Baltimore City Public Schools
Andrés A. Alonso<br><i>CEO of Baltimore City Public Schools</i>
Stephen Voss
School & District Management News in Brief Baltimore Contract Embraces Merit Pay, More Teacher Input
A new Baltimore teachers' contract, announced last week and headed to union members for a ratification vote this month, is being hailed as one of the most progressive in the nation.
McClatchy-Tribune, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Law & Courts News in Brief Ga. Schools May Split Prize Money
A proposed court settlement would give half of the $1 million that former Georgia state schools Superintendent Kathy Cox won on a TV game show to three state-run schools for the blind and deaf.
The Associated Press, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Law & Courts News in Brief Judge Tosses W.Va. School Boards' Lawsuit
A Kanawha County judge threw out a lawsuit filed against the state's Public Employees Insurance Agency, its finance board, and the state auditor by 50 of West Virginia's 55 county school boards.
The Associated Press, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Special Education News in Brief 'Intellectual Disability,' Not 'Retardation'
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation to remove the terms mentally retarded and mental retardation from federal laws.
Christina A. Samuels, October 5, 2010
1 min read
School Choice & Charters News in Brief Ed. Dept. Giving $50 Million to Charters
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that the department will give $50 million in grants to 12 charter management organizations.
The Associated Press, October 5, 2010
1 min read
School Choice & Charters News in Brief Charter School Fund Sets $160 Million Goal
The Charter School Growth Fund said it had commitments from funders for over $80 million of a planned $160 million fund aimed at producing high-performing charter school networks.
Christina A. Samuels, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Law & Courts News in Brief Texas Desegregation Order Lifted
A federal judge in Tyler last week lifted a 39-year-old statewide school desegregation order from all but nine rural Texas public school systems.
The Associated Press, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Law & Courts News in Brief Pa. Court Rejects Challenge to Teacher-Address Release
A Pennsylvania appeals court has thrown out a lawsuit filed by the state's largest teachers' union, which sought to prevent the public release of public school employees' home addresses.
The Associated Press, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Education News in Brief Some Cite L.A. Times Report After Teacher's Suicide
Mourners at the funeral of 5th grade teacher Rigoberto Ruelas expressed anger at the Los Angeles Times for publicly posting its "value added" ratings for teachers in the district.
McClatchy-Tribune, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Education Funding News in Brief Race to the Top Assessment Winners to Get Extra Money
The two consortia that won grants from the U.S. Department of Education to create more-uniform assessments are getting an extra $31.7 million to complete their work.
Alyson Klein, October 5, 2010
1 min read
College & Workforce Readiness News in Brief Gates Gives Cities $12 Million to Boost College Completion
Four U.S. cities will receive $3 million each over the next three years from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for programs to improve college graduation rates.
Caralee J. Adams, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Law & Courts News in Brief NAACP Files Complaint Over Wake County Schools
The NAACP has filed a federal complaint in an effort to overturn a controversial decision by the Wake County, N.C., school board to stop using economic diversity in school assignments.
The Associated Press, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Education Funding News in Brief Bill Would Extend Race to the Top
Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo., and Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., introduced a bill last week that would authorize the Race to the Top program for five more years.
Alyson Klein, October 5, 2010
1 min read
Science and engineering teacher Amir Abo-Shaeer, one of 23 winners of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants," stands in his lab at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, Calif.
Science and engineering teacher Amir Abo-Shaeer, one of 23 winners of this year's MacArthur Foundation "genius grants," stands in his lab at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta, Calif.
Amanda Edwards/MacArthur Foundation/AP
Science News in Brief High School Science Teacher Wins 'Genius Grant'
A high school science and engineering teacher who develops project-based-learning courses to inspire his students has been named one of this year's 23 MacArthur Fellows.
October 5, 2010
2 min read
Education Funding Election Could Remake Congress' Face on K-12
Some key Democrats face tough reelection fights, while potential newcomers are keen on the education issue.
Alyson Klein, October 5, 2010
7 min read