August 27 2004 Edition

Picks of the Week:

Republicans Fully Fund NCLB: Though the likelihood of it happening seems less even than a Presidential denunciation of the Swift Boat ads, what if the Republicans in New York City at the convention next week actually called the Democratic bluff and moved towards fully funding NCLB? No Dollar Left Behind National Review Online. See NCLB below for more.

Ed School Accountability in Louisiana: Linking publicly funded education schools to how well their graduates teach children is a complicated, controversial business that nonetheless seems to be drawing increased attention as the Higher Education Act reauthorizes approaches and policymakers wonder how to make ed schools more accountable:
La. may be first to draw link The Advocate

"Ren-Ten" Riot: Renaissance 2010 (aka "ren-ten"), Mayor Daley's much-ballyhooed effort to take the Chicago school system to the next level (i.e., one in which most parents who have alternatives actually send their children to Chicago schools), ran into predictable and vociferous opposition at this week's school board meeting during which community activists rightly exposed the plan's unclear and highly suspect process for closing roughly 10 percent of the schools in Chicago over the next six years:
School reform in flux? Chicago Daily Southtown. See Chicago Illinois below for more.

NCLB: More rhetoric and more mixed news as states and districts release AYP data and sanctions start to kick in. Is it good or bad news that there are finally a few more "persistently dangerous" schools in the US? Is it any surprise that criticism of the NCLB rating system is on the rise again now that some low-performing schools will soon be closed and reopened as charter, contract, or state-run schools?

Public conflicted about No Child Left Behind rules Houston Chronicle
AYP Veterans For Truth? Eduwonk.com
Children left behind San Francisco Examiner
School reform elusive without ample resources Miami Herald
Public Schools Struggle to Meet 'No Child Left Behind' Transfer ... Civilrights.org
No Child Left Behind loophole Palm Beach Post
Group urges city parents to take power in children's education Baltimore Sun
Rule Changes Benefit Schools; But if Progress Is Made, Who Gets Credit? SEATTLE TIMES
District receives warning from state phillyburbs.com
Special ed scores trip up some districts Lancaster Newspapers
Transfer Requirement Frustrates Suburban School Districts Chicago Sun-Times
Special ed factor leaving schools behind Washington Observer Reporter
District program allows aides to comply with law Windsor-Heights Herald
Many Ohio Charter Schools Struggling  PlainDealer
16 Schools Warned To Reduce Violence BALTIMORE SUN
Federal Requirements Not Met by 49 in Cincinnati Public Schools Alone CINCINNATI INQUIRER
Union warns against data on underperforming schools Star Tribune
School Progress above Adequate PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER
Baltimore Schools Placed On Watch List Washington Post
Big Increase In Number Of Schools Missing No Child Goals Minneapolis Star Tribune
Student test scores improve Cincinnati Inquirer
Minnesota's Ailing-schools List Grows MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE

Campaign 2004: Not that it happens that much these days, but there's actually something sort of disturbing about watching most candidates for public office try and discuss education issues -- as anyone who's seen a mayoral candidate trying to explain literacy strategies or a senator trying to discuss AYP already knows.
School spending is center stage in gov's races Stateline
Daschle Calls For Strength At Home Yankton Daily Press
Candidates slam No Child Left Behind program Provo Daily Herald
Bush Lauds 'No Child Left Behind' Law in Weekly Radio Address Voice of America

New & Notable:
Public's Views On Schools A Moving Target, Poll Finds USAToday
U.S. Opinions on Schools Contradictory CNN.COM
Report Offers No Clear Victory For Charter School Opponents New York Times
AFT Report Is the Best News Ever for Education Reform EIA Online
A Windfall for a Student Loan Program New York Times
Big threat on campus: credit cards Christian Science Monitor
More states offer single-sex schools USA Today
School of Hard Choices Washington Post
The New Activism CSM
Lesson Plans (Vallas Update) Philadelphia City Paper
Voices On The Right CSM
Don't Know Much About Much WSJ
Danger: Smart Parents With Data Washington Post
Demand on special ed is growing Christian Science Monitor

Chicago Illinois:
300 protest Renaissance plan Chicago Sun Times
Foes Of School Plan Camping Out CST
School proposal backed by former Hales chief Chicago Sun Times
Chicago schools revamp stirs protest during board meeting Chicago Tribune
It's tight, but CPS is hanging tough Chicago Sun Times
City Schools Slash Construction Plans Tribune
Chicago schools looking for community input Chicago Daily Southtown
$5 Bil. Budget Gets OK Today With No New Schools  Chicago Sun-Times
School Scores A In Ecology Chicago Sun-Times
New School's Users Give It High Marks Tribune
Opinion: School Success Should Be Based On Many Factors Tribune
Opinion: Charter Schools Tribune
Daley Calls Income Ceiling For Head Start Families Outdated Sun-Times
Chance To Transfer Can't Rival School Ties Tribune
Catholic High School Opens In Waukegan Tribune
Rising Costs Force Schools To Milk The Lunch Money CST
Northside Prep Whiz Kids Stay Ahead Of Their Class CST
Catholic school test scores top national averages Chicago Sun Times
Career Education grand jury reported Chicago Tribune

School Life:
Ultimate Guide to Becoming a Teacher US News
Feeling the Heat Washington Post
Internet Gives Teenage Bullies Weapons to Wound From Afar NYT


August 20 2004 Edition

Growing Backlash Against Charter Schools:  A long, long time ago, it seems, charter schools were the seemingly perfect political compromise between public school advocates and those who favored competition and private school vouchers – a compromise that public school advocates (including teachers unions) endorsed just in the nick of time to avoid losing voucher debates in Congress and elsewhere.  

Without charters, there would almost certainly be more publicly funded private school voucher initiatives in operation than the current handful.   Under Al Shanker, the AFT endorsed charter schools, and Bill Clinton and many other Democrats (including Ted Kennedy and John Kerry) helped spur the creation of more than 3,000 charter schools around the country.  

As this week's flurry of articles and denunciations shows, however, that compromise seems on the verge of collapse -- but why?   The overall quality of charter schools seems the least likely reason.  Perhaps it was the loss of Shanker’s progressive leadership, or tight budget times that pit charter schools against their traditional counterparts, or the spread of private and for-profit education management organizations (EMOs) running charter schools, or lack of strong Democratic leadership -- or a combination of factors.  

Still, what seems hard to understand is why anyone would take this particular moment to pick a fight against charter schools (or create a wedge issue during a campaign homestretch).  What remains unclear as of yet is whether pressure from labor will force Democrats to undo bipartisan support for charters in the future.  

Bad News on the Charter Front New York Times
Charter Schools Remain Subject Of Debate CNN.com
Charter Schools and Education in America On Point Radio
Times Crusade I—Anti-NCLB Slate.com
Charter Schools Underperforming, Results Repeatedly Delayed  AFT
Charter School Scores Seen as Bad News for Bush
NPR (audio)
Kids Come Last New York Post
Chester E. Finn, Jr.: Defaming Charters New York Post
Classes of Last Resort New York Times
Downplayed results show charter schools are no panacea The State, SC
Dog Eats AFT Homework W
all Street Journal
Opinion: AFT's charter study virtually meaningless The Wall Street Journal

Campaign 2004:
Effort by Bush on Education Faces Obstacles in the States NYT
Kerry's College Plan Fails Poor Kids Los Angeles Times
Is The Education Prez Making The Grade? Business Week
Bush Mythology National Review
School proposals help define candidates for war-fixated voters USA Today

Lists, Transfers, Corrections, Surprises, and a ‘No Thanks’ (NCLB)
Education law requires fixes, not a full-scale retreat USA Today
High schools 'failing' key test Saint Paul Pioneer Press
No clamor for school transfers Atlanta Journal Constitution
Most schools make progress under No Child Left Behind Jackson Sun, TN
Top suburban schools hit by sanctions Chicago Tribune
85 Schools Don't Make The Grade St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Graphic: The Impact of No Child Left Behind
Some schools labeled as failing dispute data Chicago Tribune
Shape up this year, or else, state tells 22 Chicago schools Chicago Sun Times
(or see Overhaul moves closer for 22 schools Catalyst)
Complex Title 1 formulas create new winners and losers The Washington Post
States' formula-tweaking has Some Children Left Behind The New York Times
2 school districts reject funds Chicago Tribune
Evanston undecided on rejecting US grant Tribune
Few Students To Transfer Out of Low-scoring MPS Schools MILWAUKEE-JOURNAL SENTINEL
Correction lifts North Hardin in ‘No Child Left Behind' Elizabethtown News Enterprise
Picard foresees revamp of No Child Left Behind Act Baton Rouge Advocate

New & Notable:
High school graduation tests found to lack clear purposes USA Today
Average ACT Scores Rise For First Time In 7 Years  USAToday
State Says 13 Schools No Longer Dangerous  Philadelphia Inquirer
ACT average scores up for the first time in years  The Boston Globe/Associated Press
SAT and ACT feature high-stakes essay questions: USA TODAY
Teacher Licenses Will Reflect New State Standards BISMARCK TRIBUNE
LOW-SCORING SCHOOLS Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
Classroom Tech: Informate, not Automate Teacher Magazine
Bloomberg: Social Promotion Reform Successful 1010 WINS
Promotion Rate for 3rd Graders Looks Stable New York Times
Clint Bolick: Good Schools: For The Rich Only New York Post
Miami-Dade schools chief offers major fixes for failing schools The Miami Herald

Chicago Illinois
Part of the puzzle Baltimore Sun
Future of Quest Center, partnership schools in limbo Catalyst
Opinion: The Facts About Charter Schools Tribune
Daley defends charter schools here as a success Chicago Sun Times
Least Prepared Help Boost State On ACT Tribune
Backers Won't Flee School On Watch List Tribune
More bad news Chicago Daily Herald
17 DuPage schools singled out Chicago Daily Herald
Wredling must offer students chance to transfer
Students' scores ...
Chicago Daily Herald
ACT Scores In City Jump, But They're Still Too Low Sun-Times
State drops writing, social science tests Pioneer Press Online
Experts to attempt to solve education crisis Chicago Daily Southtown
More teachers stay in schools Tribune
And that's without No Child Left Behind Chicago Sun Times
CPS budget raises taxes to the limit Chicago Daily Southtown
Huge school bureaucracy cheats taxpayers, students Chicago Sun Times
Critics Say Budget Cuts For Schools Don't Add Up Chicago Tribune
Opinion: Illinois' plan to cut out writing tests bucks national trends Chicago Tribune
Illinois to screen new school hires more rigorously  Chicago Tribune

School Life

Schools relax cell phone policies Teacher Magazine
Truant Teens Lose Licenses in Georgia and Other States Stateline.org


August 13 2004 Edition

Picks of the Week:
School's In, but 'No Child' Report Isn't (Houston Chronicle). Not every state is behind schedule getting state test results back, but lots are -- again.
Education Stocks Offer A Lesson In Unfairness (Washington Post). It's always good to be reminded that it's an unfair and arbitrary world even for the "bad" guys.
Algebra's for Everyone Now (USA Today). There's even a sample word problem if you want to torture (or reassure) yourself.
School-Based Coaching:Â Revolution or Fad? (Harvard Education Letter). A timely and critical look at everyone's favorite new professional development strategy, if I do say so myself.

Election 2004: Between terrorism fears, hurricanes, the Olympics, and a gay governor, education issues once again didn't stand much of a chance this week. Nonetheless, there are a few clips worth reading:
House parties set to focus on education (AP), Who's the education president? (CNN.com), Kerry Aiming For the Center (Education Week), Education Group's Ads Assail Bush (Miami Herald), Bush has No Child Left Behind; Kerry has a focus on teachers (Fort Wayne News Sentinel), Election Issue of Education Is Promoted (NYT).

Test Results and Transfers: More than enough good and bad news for both sides to chew on as the school year fast approaches: Student Transfers: 7,000 Can, 6 Do (St. Petersburg Times), 81 percent of state schools pass No Child Left Behind measures (Tennessee Commercial Appeal), No Child Left Behind Scores Show Gaps (Argus Leader), District 29 7th Graders Will Have Fewer Choices Than They Hoped (Queens Chronicle), More than 200 Schools Statewide on Troubled List (Oregonian), City schools fail U.S. tests (Cincinnati Inquirer), No JoCo schools on 2004 'needs improvement' list, More Schools To Face State Censure (New Orleans Times-Picayune), No Child Left Behind Details for Memphis City Schools, More than 200 schools statewide on troubled list, Federal law uses labels to inspire improvement, (Oregonian), 371 schools in Oregon fail federal standard (Salem Statesman), Thirteen schools join warning list, 13 removed, 354 look to switch schools in Fayette (Lexington Herald-Leader), Norfolk allows No Child Left Behind transfers from 2 elementaries (Virginian Pilot), Schools make federal mark (Gallatin News Express), No Child Left Behind changes educational climate (Stamford Advocate), No Child Left Behind results come down today (Jacksonville TN Sun), No mass exodus from Riverheads Elementary (August Free Press), State Delaying Schools Report (Connecticut Now).

What Next for NCLB? In the meantime, lawmakers and reformers debate what, if anything, should happen to NCLB after the election.
Critics Float 'No Child' Revisions (Education Week), A debate not left behind (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Dodd Proposes Education Reform (The Hartford (Conn.) Courant), No Child Left Behind scores are irrelevant (Lexington Herald), Congressman: No Child Left Behind is working Ohio Republican says... (Chicago Daily Herald), 'No Child Left Behind' a positive tool for Oregon schools, (Oregonian, OR), 'No Child' No Help At Many Schools (Atlanta Journal-Constitution).

New & Notable:
Lofty education standards require stable state funding (Seattle Times)
N.C. High Court Rules State Must Spend More on Schools (EdWeek)
Mid-level staff: the forgotten link (Cross-City Campaign for Urban Schools)
To Stem Dropouts, Urban Districts Switch Strategies (Education Week)
Standardized tests show no benefit to laptops (Washington Post)
Plan would let principals pick staff (Phila. Inquirer)
Researchers Question Clearinghouse Choices (EdWeek)
Teacher Certification Will Face its Own Test (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

School Financing Overhaul Sought

Teachers Union Election Upheld
Stewart Declared Head Of CTU
$40 Million School Property Tax Hike Is OK With Daley
Chicago schools budget includes 2.4 percent property tax hike
Area mayors push for school funding reform
Tribune chided by Daley on request
7th Middle School Is Backed
District In Talks For School Site

School Life:
Crucial Unpaid Internships Increasingly Separate The Haves From The Have-Nots (NYT)
Bush Backs Ending Admission Preferences for Children of Alumni (NYT)


August 6 2004 Edition

Campaign 2004
Kerry Softens Rhetoric On 'No Child' Law
Who's the Education President?
Daschle, Thune split on No Child Left Behind
A debate not left behind
$500 billion spent on education
Pols get earful from educators on No Child Left Behind law
There's no doubt No Child law works
Living 'No Child Left Behind'
NEA President Goes Beyond Party Line in 'No Child' Critique

Scores & School Ratings (NCLB)
50 Failing Schools Pass Federal Test
Rating changes may help Del. schools
Making the grade under No Child Left Behind is an all-or-nothing ...
75 percent of Kentucky schools meet No Child Left Behind Law goals
AYP has value, but not in comparing states' progress
What the Machine Reads
Alaska Agrees To Let Disabled Have Help on a School Exam

Tutoring and Transfers (NCLB)

Despite 'No Child' Law, Few Transfer Slots in D.C. Schools
Transportation Issues with No Child Left Behind
LAUSD moves to promote its tutor program
City schools to give tutoring 2nd wind
Tutoring Money May Be Lacking
'No Child' No Help At Many Schools

Funny Business (NCLB)
Teacher standards ease amid reforms
Illinois Teacher Certification Games

Michigan's 32 teacher college grads not as perfect as schools report
No Georgia Schools Deemed 'Persistently Dangerous'
SE states struggle with teacher quality rules

Urban Reform
Seven Myths About Diverse Schools
Less Is Expected of Poor Students
Genghis Klein
Cloning A. Charter School From Connecticut
Michele Cahill on the City's Education Policy Strategies
Education Plan Draws Fire
No More Social Promotion? Studying Instead of Criticizing
Virtual District Real Improvement: A retrospective evaluation of the Chancellor's District, 1996-2003

Chicago Illinois
My Own Private School District
The Duncan Way
Plan for Mid-South schools draws support, ire from community groups
Chicago sees wide-ranging improvement in test scores
Daley: School Scores Improving 'Incrementally'
Latino children post solid gains on Illinois state tests
City's schools get gold star; 74% improve
Grade School Math, Reading, Writing Leaps
Preliminary Math and Science ISAT Analysis
3 Schools To Offer Prestigious Programs
City To Add 5 Magnet Schools
Lawmakers put the brakes on governor's education agenda
Schools to rally neighborhoods for high-attendance opening day
Mandatory School Attendance Hiked to 17 To Curb Dropouts
Illinois Eases Some Teaching Requirements
State Workers, Teachers' Pensions Are $122 Million Short
20 Chicago Principals 'Taken To Woodshed'
School Board Dumps Chicago's 'Worst' Principal
Principals face stricter standards
School Counting Up Successes
Namaste: In a class of their own
A century later, debate over role of teachers goes on

New & Notable
Teachers Sue Test Firm, Claim It Has Monopoly
Public Schools Seek Private Partners
California's largest charter school votes to close two schools
Breaking the Silence
The rap on reading: TV, Internet aren't only culprits
When Computers Go to School
The Risk of Reading
American Indians Expand College Hopes
New Law Limits Kindergartners This Fall
Quick Trip To A New Career
The Kids Are All Right
Shortcut to Tragedy
1.1 Million Students Are Home-Schooled

School Life
New SAT Is So Old School
NCAA Outlaws Private Planes, Strippers For Recruiting
Can you be a techie if you can't type?
The Best Question Comes From A Third-Grader
Public School Signs Say Blah, Blah, Blah
Held back to get ahead
'Senioritis' Can Be Lethal To Students


July 30, 2004 Edition

Campaign 2004:
Department of Education: The Pet Goat Approach (New Yorker)
Education proposals in the 2004 presidential campaign (Brookings)
The governors speak--but are they listening? (The Gadfly)
Out to Lunchtime (National Review)
Kerry proposal would boost teachers, but with a price (LAT)
Daley's advice to Kerry: Be yourself (Chicago Daily Herald)

This Week in NCLB:
Few Needy L.A. Kids Get Promised Tutoring (LA Daily News)
City Schools To Give Tutoring 2nd Wind (Chicago Tribune)
Few eligible students accept offer to switch schools (Miami Herald)
'Needs Improvement' list out today (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
21 Schools Will Accept 'No Child' Transfers (AJC)
Leaving The Children Behind (NY Post)
Indian Schools Struggling with Federal Mandates (Education Week)
Louisiana Faces Uphill Battle to Close Achievement Gap, PAR Says
Where does all the federal education money go? (Cato Institute)
Some schools do better with review of data 16 percent still behind ... (Chicago Daily Herald)
Title I Funds: Who's Gaining, Who's Losing & Why (Center on Education Policy)
Ideas to Improve the Accountability Provisions Under NCLB (Center on Education Policy)
The ABCs of AYP (Education Trust)
Union Delegates Give New Leader Go-Ahead to Attack Federal Law (Education Week)
Teacher-Quality Rules Uneven For Rural States (Education Week)
Middle schools test 'No Child Left' goals (AJC)
Rural schools get extra time to meet requirements (Houston Chronicle)
Teachers Get Lessons on No Child Left Behind (LAT)
Meeting the Need for High Quality Teachers (Education Development Center)
No Child Left Behind may soon see changes (The Advocate)
Calls Grow to Reform Bush Education Act (NPR)

New & Notable:
Instruction Versus Exploration in Science Learning (Monitor on Psychology)
It's As Simple As ABC: Preschool Teachers Should Have A B.A. (USAT)
Selling out higher-education policy? (Chronicle of Higher Education)
Correcting misconceptions about home schooling, (Washington Post)
Full-day and Half-day Kindergarten in the United States (NCES)
Barbara Sizemore Dies; DC Superintendent (Washington Post)
Survey: More Teens Fear Going to School (CNN)
Seattle schools' racial tiebreaker ruled improper (Seattle Times)
Delay, Deadline and Another Court Date on Schools (NYT)
Grading Teachers (Progressive Policy Institute)
Teaching Teachers How To Connect With Urban Students (Washington Post)
Winning the substitute game (District Administration)

Chicago Illinois:
State's students show test gains (Tribune)
Hispanic students lead gains in reading, math (Sun-Times)
Chicago Has a Nonunion Plan for Poor Schools (NYT)
Morning Edition interview: Mayor Daley's Plan (NPR)
Dueling Protesters Spar Over School Closings (Chicago Sun-Times)
Renaissance a step back: protesters (Daily Southtown)
Schools scramble to satisfy law (Chicago Daily Herald)
Budget won't be a boon to schools (Chicago Daily Herald)
Cuts hurt teacher training program (Daily Southtown)
Blagojevich fires back at Madigan (Tribune)
Book review: School Reform in Chicago (Teachers College Record)
Illinois drops writing and social studies exams (Tribune)
Budget Forces Elimination Of Writing, Social Studies Tests (Sun-Times)
Gov. adds tax break to tuition program (Sun-Times)
Teacher chief ruling due soon (Tribune)

School Life:
In a Scribbler's World, the Fountain Pen's Flourish Gets Some Glory (NYT)
Could A Blue Shirt And Metallica Be Key To Higher Sat Scores? (AP)
To Play Sports, Many U.S. Students Must Pay (USAT)
Lingua Franca? Yes, It's English (NYT)
Cyber Charter School Schedules Meetings (San Diego Union Tribune)