Special Education

News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup

July 11, 2001 4 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Schundler, McGreevey To Meet
In New Jersey Governor’s Race

Bret D. Schundler won New Jersey’s Republican gubernatorial primary late last month, virtually guaranteeing that he and Democratic primary winner James M. McGreevey will battle over education in the months leading up to November’s general election. Bret D. Schundler won New Jersey’s Republican gubernatorial primary late last month, virtually guaranteeing that he and Democratic primary winner James M. McGreevey will battle over education in the months leading up to November’s general election.

Mr. Schundler, who until this month was the mayor of Jersey City, N.J., soundly defeated former U.S. Rep. Bob Franks. Mr. McGreevey, the mayor of Woodbridge, N.J., had faced only token opposition in his quest for the Democratic nomination. Mr. McGreevey narrowly lost the governor’s race four years ago to then-Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who left office earlier this year to head the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Mr. Schundler waged his primary campaign largely on the promise of lower taxes. But he is a high-profile advocate of school choice, and with polls indicating that education is a top concern among voters, many expect education to be a major issue in the campaign.

Mr. Schundler favors charter schools and vouchers that would provide public money for poor parents to send their children to religious and other private schools. During the primary campaign, he argued that his plan to expand school choice through tax credits for private scholarship funds, such as one he set up in 1995, would save the state $480 million in education costs. He would target that money for property- tax relief.

Mr. McGreevey is opposed to any form of vouchers, advocating instead a sweeping review of the state’s standards and testing system and a sharper focus on teacher education and training.

—Bess Keller

Exit Exams for Disabled Upheld in Ind.

The Indiana Court of Appeals recently upheld a state board of education requirement that students with disabilities pass the state’s high school graduation test to receive a diploma.

“We are obviously very happy with the decision,” Marc Steczyk, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Education, said of the court’s June 20 opinion. “But I don’t foresee there ever being an end to [the conflict over the diploma requirement]. There will always be that student or parent who thinks what we are doing is wrong.”

Indiana Civil Liberties Union lawyers, who filed a class action against the state in 1998 on behalf of students with disabilities, said they intend to appeal the decision to the state supreme court. They were not available for further comment.

ICLU lawyers had argued that students with disabilities relied on individualized education plans that were tailored to their particular educational needs and not geared toward passing the high school exit exam. (“Indiana Case FocusesOn Special Ed.,” May 31, 2000.)

Lawyers for the state had argued that students were given remedial instruction and multiple opportunities to pass the test. The ruling upholds a lower-court decision, also in the state’s favor.

—Lisa Fine

Anti-Bilingual-Ed. Measure Filed in Colo.

Ron K. Unz and Rita Montero, a former board member of the Denver public schools, have jointly announced the filing of two different versions of an anti-bilingual-education measure they hope will be placed on the Colorado ballot in November 2002.

Mr. Unz is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur who has financially backed successful campaigns in California and Arizona to curtail bilingual education. In bilingual education programs, students are taught some subjects in their native languages while learning English.

Both drafts of the proposed Colorado measure, filed last month, call for English-language learners to be “educated through sheltered English immersion during a temporary transition period not normally intended to exceed one year.” They contain much of the same language as the anti-bilingual- education initiatives passed by voters in California and Arizona.

The two versions of the measure in Colorado differ from each other only in that one calls for a program to teach English to immigrant adults in the state in addition to children, and the other is confined to students in grades K- 12.

Ms. Montero said while she doesn’t philosophically oppose bilingual education, she believes the method has been unsuccessful because school districts can’t seem to find enough well-qualified bilingual education teachers to make the approach work.

“It’s more realistic to think a school district can do a better job if you give it an English teacher who is qualified to teach English as a second language,” she said.

Ms. Montero is the chairwoman of English for the Children of Colorado, an affiliate of the Los Angeles-based English for the Children founded by Mr. Unz.

—Mary Ann Zehr

Related Tags:


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
How to Leverage Virtual Learning: Preparing Students for the Future
Hear from an expert panel how best to leverage virtual learning in your district to achieve your goals.
Content provided by Class
English-Language Learners Webinar AI and English Learners: What Teachers Need to Know
Explore the role of AI in multilingual education and its potential limitations.
Education Webinar The K-12 Leader: Data and Insights Every Marketer Needs to Know
Which topics are capturing the attention of district and school leaders? Discover how to align your content with the topics your target audience cares about most. 

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Special Education Letter to the Editor Schools Must Do Better to Meet IDEA Requirements
More states must follow through on this law.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Special Education Test Your Knowledge: How Does Universal Screening for Dyslexia in Schools Work?
Take our quiz to gauge your knowledge of the language processing disorder—and find links to further reading.
1 min read
 Conceptual image of wooden alphabet tiles scattered across blue metallic surface.
Special Education Letter to the Editor Reevaluating My Language Around Disability
A recent opinion essay encouraged this teacher to unpack her approach to labeling students with specific disability classifications.
1 min read
Education Week opinion letters submissions
Gwen Keraval for Education Week
Special Education Can AI Write a Good IEP? What Special Education Experts Say
AI tools could ease paperwork burdens and offer new supports for students—but privacy and efficacy concerns are real.
3 min read
Image of a plan with a goal, with a digital texture.
Collage via iStock/Gettty