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Education News Beat

Find out the latest in education news, breaking public school education issues concerning funding and student safety issues. News that matters, covering issues of concern to parents of school aged children. [Submit an article.]

 Title   Date   Author   Host 

SFGate (CA)

by Heather Knight

October 7, 2003

Currently, neighborhood students get priority only if they add to a school's diversity -- as measured by the district's "diversity index," a compilation of six socioeconomic factors, not including race.

Washington Post

by Rosalind S. Helderman

October 6, 2003

Critics Call Effort Hurtful, Unscientific

Across the nation, more than 400,000 teachers at more than 23,000 schools have received ratings. The site, based in California, includes commentary on teachers at most high schools and many middle schools in the Washington area.<a href="" target="_blank" title="Visit Rate My Teacher"></a>

by Suzanne Fields

October 6, 2003

Kids don't get enough homework.

That's the latest dismal finding in our search for the answer to the question why our schoolchildren trail children much of the rest of the world. The implications are enormous.

The Washington Post

by Rosalind S. Helderman

October 6, 2003

Budget Shortfall Threatens to Consolidate Sister Schools for Deaf and Blind

Even as enrollment declines at both schools, the state spends $12 million each year to keep them open -- about $63,000 per child, tens of thousands of dollars more than local school districts spend to educate students with disabilities. For years, Virginia legislators have debated whether to merge them, and this year they say they're determined to do it.

St. Petersburg Times (FL)

by A Times Editorial

October 6, 2003

The education commissioner's misappropriation of $1.1-million in voucher funds raises more questions about program oversight and concerns about public schools being cheated.

The law that sets up a dubious experiment in online elementary education was written narrowly, in part because some senators were skeptical about whether Florida would be underwriting home-schooling. So the $4.8-million in virtual vouchers this fall were to go only to "students who were enrolled and in attendance at a Florida public school during the prior school year."

Saint Paul Pioneer Press (MN)

by Megan Boldt and Julio Ojeda-Zapata

October 5, 2003

The Stillwater school district's decision to provide laptop computers to junior high students for use at school and home plunges it into a debate taking place across the country: Are such efforts worth the money-

The five-year, $1.7 million deal finalized last week puts Oak-Land Junior High in the national spotlight as Apple Computer's fourth demonstration site on laptop use.<br><br>The idea has popped up at dozens of schools across the nation. Maine issues a laptop to every junior-high student and teacher in the state. Similar programs are in place in Henrico County, Va., and at Evergreen Valley High School in San Jose, Calif. A few Minnesota schools also tried similar programs.

The Guardian (Britain)

by Gaby Hinsliff

October 5, 2003

Cherie Blair's former closest aide launches a scathing attack today on parents who pay for private education, warning that by buying privileged schooling for their children they damage the chances of others.

Fiona Millar, who officially left Downing Street last week, said private schools should be stripped of their charitable status and state school pupils given preference over fee-paying students with the same grades when applying for university, as they were likely to have had to work harder to get good grades. <br><br>She added that adults who had been privately educated and had only mixed in narrow social circles often 'find it quite a shock to the system' to mix in normal life.

Providence Journal (RI)

by Julia Steiny

October 5, 2003

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to allocate vouchers valued at $7,500 to 1,300 low-income Washington, D.C., children.

The D.C. schools have the sad distinction of having both the worst performance of the nation's schools as a whole and having among the highest costs, about $11,000 per pupil. The Senate hasn't weighed in yet, so it's not a done deal.<br><br>The one, pretty sizable reservation I have about vouchers is that they transfer money from an accountable school -- presumably deemed failing -- to an unaccountable school, which might well be failing too, according to the same standards. We don't know. This seems both inexplicably unfair, but more importantly, specifically designed not to tell us anything. No private school students in the existing voucher programs -- Milwaukee, Cleveland, Florida and now Colorado -- take tests that are remotely comparable to those the public school students take. We need to know how they compare.

Independent Record (MT)

by Laura Tode

October 5, 2003

Laura Tode spent time with a number of Helena students recently to get their perspective on how safe their schools are and what problems they see.

There isn't any question in the minds of Helena's high school students as to what might cause someone to bring a gun to school.<br><br>The constant torture of threats, harassment and bullying can push most anyone to the brink -- a breaking place where a child will consider anything to stop the insults, stop the battery and stop the fear.

by R. Cort Kirkwood

October 4, 2003

Skeptics who rightly scoff at the latest brainstorm from the public schools, giving grades to parents, ask a logical question: Why not grade the teachers-

It's a good question, but only a rhetorical one for two reasons. Teachers and school bureaucrats will never submit to impartial evaluation of their performance, and if they did, the evaluations would be a waste of time.<br><br>Government schools operate beyond the control of parents and taxpayers and no matter how many bad "grades" teachers might get in whatever form, nothing will improve them.

Carschooling by Diane Flynn Keith

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