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EducationNews 1.31.02

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  • Richard A. Wilson
    Links fixed? Detroit News Series on Segregation (Links to many articles) http://pc99.detnews.com/specialreports/ POST: Howard Schools Top State Officials Are
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 31, 2002
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      Links fixed?

      Detroit News Series on Segregation
      (Links to many articles)

      POST: Howard Schools Top State
      Officials Are Pleased but Seek to Improve
      Scores by Howard County students on the state's standardized test stayed flat last school year, but falling marks in other counties propelled Howard to first place in the state's ranking, up from
      second last year.
      About half of the county's 37 elementary schools and 65 percent of its middle schools saw declines in their scores on the May 2001 Maryland School Performance Assessment Program. Most of
      those drops, however, were small.

      POST: PG ounty's School Assessment Test Scores Dip Again
      Results Spur Questions About Metts, Exam
      Prince George's public schools' scores on Maryland's premier standardized test have dipped, mirroring a statewide trend and prompting officials this week to question the test. Others said the
      decline makes them question whether the superintendent is doing her job.

      POST: Anne Arundel MSPAP Scores Drop, but County's Rank Rises
      More than half the schools in Anne Arundel County scored lower than the previous year on the 2001 Maryland School Performance Assessment Program tests, but the county still managed to
      improve its statewide ranking because of more dramatic declines in other school districts.
      Only 46.6 percent of Anne Arundel's third-, fifth- and eighth-graders posted satisfactory or better scores on the MSPAP, which is designed to measure each school's success in teaching reading,
      writing, math, science, social studies and language usage. In 2000, 47.5 percent of Anne Arundel students scored satisfactory or better.

      POST: Montgomery County Questions Drop in MSPAP Scores
      Despite New Initiatives, District's Results Decline
      The widespread declines in Montgomery County schools' scores on a high-stakes assessment test couldn't have come at a worse time. The county has become increasingly divided between have
      and have-not schools, and Superintendent Jerry D. Weast has staked his reputation on some new and costly initiatives to try to turn things around.
      Intensive reading programs, smaller class size, new principals and better teacher training were all supposed to have added up to rising test scores.

      POST: Calvert Ranks 2nd In MSPAP Statewide
      St. Mary's, Charles Trail With Lower Scores
      With a slight gain in its overall score, Calvert County public schools became the second-highest-scoring school district in the state on Maryland's annual standardized performance tests, while St.
      Mary's and Charles schools dropped or remained steady in the results released this week.

      POST: Frederick Shows MSPAP Improvement
      System Is 1 of 4 in Md. To Raise Test Scores
      Frederick County's scores last year on Maryland's performance test for elementary schools rose in all three grade levels tested -- an anomaly in a year when scores dropped significantly in many
      districts across Maryland.

      POST: MSPAP scores - Graphic


      POST: School's Debut Awaited
      Reservoir High Principal, Wary Transfers Prepare
      Even as disgruntled southern Howard residents brood over the new high school boundary lines, Reservoir Principal Adrianne H. Kaufman is moving ahead.
      She has prepared a six-page letter of welcome that soon will be mailed to the 657 students assigned to her high school, the county's 11th, which will open in the fall in Fulton.


      HOWARD TIMES: County schools still MSPAP powerhouse, despite slip in scores
      Howard County again was the top-scoring school district on state
      tests administered in 2001, despite a slight drop in scores that left
      some administrators searching for answers.
      "We take this information as something of a reinforcement for our
      efforts," O'Rourke said this week after the Maryland State
      Department of Education released the 2001 scores for the
      Maryland School Performance Assessment Program exams.

      HOWARD TIMES: School board blesses fine-tuned redistricting

      HOWARD TIMES: Scholarship Notices

      HOWARD TIMES: My word
      Abandon the notion of rigid school districts and save ourselves grief

      COLUMBIA FLIER: Letters

      COLUMBIA FLIER: Coyotes

      SUN: Giant leap in learning
      School: Teachers at City Springs Elementary attribute pupils' success to hard work, smaller classes and a new
      instruction method.
      The sounds of "Pomp and Circumstance" and the rap song "#1" filled the auditorium at Baltimore's City Springs Elementary School yesterday as pupils and teachers celebrated the end of an ugly

      SUN: Individual pupil plans will multiply
      Strategy to be used in all elementary grades next year; Help in reading and math; O'Rourke seeks to tailor
      learning to each child's needs
      If some Howard County schools are stuck in the MSPAP mud -- as evidenced by their falling or stagnant scores on the state's annual achievement exams -- Superintendent John R. O'Rourke
      thinks he might have the answer: expanding a groundbreaking accountability program he launched last year with third-graders to include all struggling elementary children.

      SUN: Western Howard Briefs

      SUN: For sophomores at River Hill, a sigh of relief.
      RIVER HILL sophomores breathed a sigh of relief after the Howard County Board of Education made the decision to allow them, as "rising juniors," to stay at the school. The board announced its
      redistricting decisions Jan. 24.

      SUN: Howard delegation approves four bills
      Legislation that would return $1.2 million in real estate taxes to Howard County and seek more state money to help build a new public safety training facility in Marriottsville was approved without
      opposition by county legislators meeting in Annapolis yesterday.

      Headline Stories and Commentaries
      Thursday, January 31, 2002

      New York Times
      University of California Panel Suggests Abandoning SAT
      A University of California advisory panel recommended that the university scrap the SAT in favor of new admissions tests.

      The Montreal Gazette (Canada)
      Poker on curriculum

      Every day in Grade 11 classes across the province, students are being given a primer on gambling. They learn about poker, roulette and slot machines - in their government-approved math textbooks. 

      Chicago Sun-Times
      Education aid limits privacy
      A little-mentioned provision of President Bush's new education act could mean constantly ringing telephones, jammed mailboxes and a loss of privacy for high school students and their parents.

      Seattle Times (Washington)
      A school to call home: At Seattle's First Place, kids have a classroom where they can keep learning
      Ann Vandor is perched on a plastic chair so small that she's folded herself up like the letter N, as she guides a wiggly 6-year-old through his math lesson.

      Los Angeles Times
      Cal State Ouster Rate Rises Slightly
      Education: Nearly 7% of the freshman class fails to master basic English and math. The university began dropping unprepared students three years ago.

      The Times (UK)
      Pupils' progress
      A new scoring system is to replace the crude exam league tables, but will it be any better?
      Children with natural intelligence who are self-motivated and have parents who care about their education are bound to do better than those whose attitude to lessons is hostile, who struggle with numeracy and literacy, have no support at home or have to cope with a deprived home environment.

      Rutland Herald (Vermont)
      Bill would address Ritalin concerns
      MONTPELIER — Concerned that Vermont appears to have one of the highest rates of Ritalin consumption among students nationwide, some lawmakers are pushing a bill that would give parents the ultimate say over whether their child takes the drug.

      The Age (Australia)
      Squeeze on as schools cry out for classrooms
      Eight Victorian primary schools are beginning the school year without enough classrooms, resulting in cramped facilities and bigger classes, State Opposition education spokesman Phil Honeywood said yesterday.

      Houston Chronicle
      Bush seeks more funds for abstinence education
      WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration is asking Congress for a 33 percent increase in funding for sexual abstinence education programs, which bar discussion of birth control or condoms as effective ways to prevent pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

      Houston Press
      Foul Out
      A benched player's mom battles FBISD
      Shar-day Campbell was sitting in tenth-grade Spanish when a friend asked her a question. Shar-day answered, and got in trouble for talking during class.

      The BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation)
      Too many pupils in class
      The level of overcrowding in secondary schools has risen in 63% of local education authorities, says the Audit Commission.

      Baltimore Sun (Maryland)
      Giant leap in learning
      School: Teachers at City Springs Elementary attribute pupils' success to hard work, smaller classes and a new instruction method.

      National Academy of Science
      Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education (2002)

      Additional articles for January 31, 2002

      Normally finished by 9:00 a.m. Eastern

      Commentaries and Reports

      By Joan E. Battey
      Is a guest contributor to EducationNews
      Education has failed. Not good!
      Worse yet, the causes are not linked to the effects. The "causes" were viewed by most parents and taxpayers as minor glitches at the local level, or else explained away as in need of only minor tinkering because our overall education was superior to anything seen earlier. Those who saw a cause/effect link saw its potential (likely-lifelong) harm to the children who are supposedly our chief focus of attention.

      Reading Recovery:
      Just the Facts?
      by Bill Carlson
      Is a regular contributor to EducationNews
      Reading Recovery (RR) devotees often laud RR as the most effective first-grade remedial intervention program available for children having difficulty learning how to read. Others see RR as a mirage, an unintended but cruel hoax that brings children more harm than good. Well then, is RR really what’s best for kids? And what does credible research say about the RR controversy? Considering RR’s extravagant costs (but often grossly underreported!) and the possible academic impairment to children, these questions demand answers. Doesn’t it make sense to examine these critical issues? Does Reading Recovery really belong in public schools?

      News Max
      So ... Bush Wants to Discuss Education?
      Neal Boortz
      I understand that President Bush will be in Atlanta on Thursday. He's coming here to discuss education. More specifically, he's coming here to discuss the grand and wonderful world of government education.

      "Reform-Minded Teachers": A Reply
      by Tom Shuford
      On Jan. 25, EducationNews.org distributed an essay, "Reform-Minded Teachers," by David W. Kirkpatrick.  Mr. Kirkpatrick discussed independent public school teacher organizations--alternatives to the NEA and AFT--and their potential for influencing reform.   An estimated 300,000 teachers belong to independent organizations.

      Educational Testing Service
      A new Educational Testing Service study has important implications for UC President Richard Atkinson’s proposal to replace the SAT requirement with an expanded battery of SAT II tests. The ETS report, entitled Using Achievement Tests/SAT II: Subject Tests to Demonstrate Achievement and Predict College Grades; Sex, Language, Ethnic, and Parental Education Groups, is available free of charge on-line. The following passages have been excerpted from a useful writeup on the study’s findings by Patricia Hausman, the editor of the National Association of Scholars’ Science News Letter.

      National Association of Scholars
      Research: The Validity of SAT II Science Tests
      January 2002-- A new report from the Educational Testing Service reveals that SAT II subject tests vary dramatically in their ability to predict college achievement. According to the findings, science and math achievement tests are the strongest predictors of college performance, while some of the language tests are the weakest.

      Recommendations on standardized testing
      a committee of the UC Academic Senate with responsibility for
      undergraduate admission matters at the University of California, released
      today its recommendations on standardized testing.

      Howard Hughes Medical Institute
      Science Goes to Preschool
      Hunched over their microscopes, peering intently into the eyepieces, they look like biology students or scientists anywhere-with one big difference. These are pint-sized scientists-3-, 4- and 5-year-olds, to be exact...

      Pinocchio Lives!
      By: John F. Borowski
      Disney/ABC's real life "Pinocchio," John Stossel, finds himself awash in journalistic disgrace.

      Maple River Education Coalition (MREdCo)
      The "Standard on Civics and Government,"
      written by the Center for Civics Education (CCE), form the new federal requirements for the new federal curriculum.  "No Child Left Behind," the recently passed education law, put the CCE in charge of defining civics and government for all students, textbooks, assessments and curriculum.

      Education Gadfly
      Important education insights sometimes arise from developments in other fields.
      by Chester E. Finn, Jr.
      This happened to me twice in recent weeks. Both episodes bear on results-based accountability, how it works, what can go awry-and what's wrong with the usual substitutes.

      ARCH's Questions fall on Deaf EarS:
      ARCH accused of lying
      ARCH’s questions regarding the need for and use of sensitive information in the 2001 Schools Census have spawned a host of contradictory statements from DfES
      (or Deaf EarS, as one parent astutely terms them).
      Binmen 'spies' will target truantsManchester Evening News

      Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
      The University of South Florida Betrays the Rule of Law
      USF President Judy Genshaft is firing a tenured professor because it is too bothersome to defend his constitutional rights. USF has deviated from both law and morality. As we all have learned immeasurably in these recent times, a free society under law is a precious thing, not to be abandoned or betrayed.

      The Eagle
      Zero-Tolerance Watch
      You'd expect Texans to have more common sense than this, but an assistant principal at Anderson Elementary School may be hauled up on criminal charges for shooting a possibly rabid skunk on campus. The Bryan/College Station Eagle reports a Grimes County grand jury is reviewing the incident, in which Kimmie DeVillier shot the skunk, which "had trapped a group of elementary students in the school's gymnasium."

      Previous Commentaries & Reports      Jimmy Kilpatrick, Editor

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