March/April 2004

This Issue
A graduated approach to solving the dropout problem.
  • Offensive Weapon
  • Unbarable Truth
  • Act of Faith
  • A School Apart
  • Class Act
  • Well-Read
  • Peace Protests
Retire/rehire laws have lured thousands of experienced teachers back to school, but at a price.


Something's not being taught in many teacher-education programs: education. So says David M. Steiner, an associate professor of education at Boston University, after reviewing more than 200 course outlines from 16 education schools. Steiner's findings were part of a recent draft paper, which concluded that education professors "are too often trying to teach an ideology to teachers." Critics say Steiner's research is personally and politically motivated.

Some educators tire of teaching in the shadow of lawsuits.
"While Rome burns, the Department of Education fiddles with bulletin boards."
—David Pecoraro, a teacher at Beach Channel High School in Queens, New York, referring to a superintendent's memo about school bulletin boards. The memo appeared the same week a student rammed another student's head into a glass trophy case.
In schools across the country, classes once considered part of core curricula are on the chopping block.


From the Gut: A self-sacrificing Mexican teacher has offered to sell one of his kidneys for $55,000 in a desperate bid to raise money to build three classrooms for his elementary school, the Mexican national newspaper Reforma reports. The 41-year-old teacher ran a classified ad offering the kidney—blood type O-positive—for weeks. "When I went to take the advertisement, the person stared at me, stunned," the teacher told Reforma. "I don't have anything else to sell or pawn."

A new junior high school flies in the face of the small-school movement—big time.
A new math curriculum has boosted test scores in several states. So why haven't some New York City parents signed on?
Her Teenage Liberation Handbook encouraged kids to leave school. Now Grace Llewellyn is helping them stay.
For Houston high schoolers who have trouble fitting in, Rebecca Bass' art cars offer an award-winning solution.
Fifth Dimension is a successful, global after-school program. But can it succeed in North Carolina?
The No Child Left Behind Act requires students with disabilities to meet the same standards as their peers. Many teachers wonder if it's possible. Includes "Not Separate, but Equal"; "Tandem Teaching"; and "Supplemental Success."
James Russell Lowell Elementary has shut down all of its special ed classrooms.
A cooperative approach at Clark Middle School asks special ed teachers to master new subjects.
With a study-skills class, Cabrillo High School helps students with disabilities learn how to learn.
Fed up with out-of-shape students, an elementary school teacher trades classroom time for daily walks.
A veteran tries to bring theory to the classroom after five years in grad school.
A slice of life in a progressive school, teaching in troubled times, and closing the book on homework.
Joan DelFattore, professor of English and legal studies at the University of Delaware, explores two centuries of religion and schools.
An introverted young girl discovers a mystical kinship with animals; plus, a Korean American kid tries to fit-in, a child is sensitive to the sun, and a young lad goes fishing to save his family.
Following are application deadlines for grants and fellowships available to individuals and schools. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.
Following are application deadlines for awards, honors, and contests available to teachers. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.
Following are dates for workshops, conferences, and other professional development opportunities for teachers. Some events may include administrators, policymakers, parents, and others. The list is organized by region, though some events are national meetings. Registration deadlines may close before the date of the event. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.
Following are application dates for student contests, scholarships, and internships. Asterisks (*) denote new entries.
Shopping for a new school site in Florida can be 'toxing'.

Infectious Enthusiasm

Every day's a sick day for students in Jason Rosé's epidemiology class.

Every day's a sick day for students in Jason Rosé's epidemiology class.
—Photograph by Fred Mertz

In 1773, an outbreak of yellow fever in Philadelphia sent residents fleeing in panic from the city and crushed efforts to dissuade the federal government from relocating to Washington, D.C. Sound like something students would read about in history class? At the King's Academy, a college preparatory Christian school in Sunnyvale, California, kids study this story and others like it in a science class called Pestilence and Civilization.