& Views -
Feb, 2001 Issue (page
A HOME AWAY FROM HOME
(October 2, 2000) David L. Marcus, in a U.S. News article entitled, “The Toughest Cases Find a Home Away: Therapeutic Boarding Schools are on the Rise,” http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/001002/therapeutic.htm, gives a favorable report about the rising numbers of residential schools and programs that serve a sub-population of young people who are not doing well behaviorally, are getting into serious trouble and are jeopardizing their future.
SPECIAL EDUCATION CONFLICT
(November 5, 2000) The New York Times, New Jersey section, contained the article: “From the Classroom To the Trenches: Special Education Directors, on the Hot Seat, Are Hard to Find and Even Harder to Keep.” It discusses the increasing pressure on Special Education departments and public schools from parents who demand services required by the 1975 Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. This act, which guarantees a “free and appropriate public education” for all disabled students, is causing considerable turnover in School Special Education Directors, due to parent demands and litigation. Directors are also plagued by tight budgets since funds that formerly were used for other educational purposes are now directed into special services for disabled students.
HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED…
(December 5, 2000) An article by David W. Kirkpatrick, Senior Fellow for Teacher Choice at the Alexis deTocqueville Institution in Arlington, VA, entitled, “Have you ever wondered…” can be found at http://www.educationnews.org/alexis_detocqueville_have_you_ev.htm. Kirkpatrick addresses some contradictions he sees in public education, for example, “WHY the public school establishment, which claims to ”teach critical thinking and problem solving,” is unable to think critically and solve its own problems? WHY is it only in education that those who are public employees feel the need to attack and denigrate those who are privately employed? WHY isn’t former NEA President Keith Geiger, who said that “inner- city schools are absolutely terrible—they ought to be blown up,” willing to at least let the students leave first?”
(December 5, 2000) Laura Scott, 760-434-3481, is the contact for a new Web site called Cyber Family Network (CFN). The site, http://www.cyberfamilynetwork.com, provides daily wisdom and guidance for families via 3-minute streaming videos about topics such as communication, problem-solving, priority-setting, conflict resolution, time allocation, forgiveness, patience and more. The first month is free, and a modest subscription rate is charged thereafter.
RISKY BEHAVIOR CAUSES
(December 6, 2000) Education Week, in an article by Jessica Portner, titled “Teens’ Risky Behavior Tied to School Troubles” reported research suggesting a student’s academic performance and friends are better predictors of the causal factors of drinking, smoking, carrying weapons, etc. by than is race or family income.
(December 6, 2000) Education Week, http://www.edweek.com/ew/ewstory.cfm?slug=14facilities.h20, in an article by Mark Stricherz, titled “Bricks And Mortarboards” questions the popular movement to put more money into school facility construction. He concludes, with the words of Eric A. Hanushek, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution Stanford University: “I think having reasonable schools is important. What I object to is putting money into gold-plated school facilities.”
PAY AND TEACHER EXODUS
(December 7, 2000) A survey by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, http://wwwtppf.org, indicates, “the problem of teacher recruitment and retention in Texas will not be solved by addressing pay or benefits.” Teacher attitudes suggest pay and benefits is their third ranked concern, behind student attitudes and behavior, and treatment by administrators.
JAILS WITHOUT MENTAL SERVICES
(December 7, 2000) The Star Tribune, http://www.nandotimes.com reported the Coalition for Juvenile Justice study found that between 50 to 75 percent of jailed juveniles suffer from mental health problems, but there are few programs to help them.
THE MALE MINORITY
(December 7, 2000) Time Magazine, http://www.time.com/time/education/printout/0,8816,90446,00.html, reports that as males slip to just 44 percent of the nation’s undergraduates, some colleges are actively recruiting them to keep a gender balance.
LOSERS IN HIGH-STAKES TESTING
(December 7, 2000) Peter Sacks, an independent education researcher, predicts that the current measurement obsession with state-imposed standards, more standardized testing and harsher sanctions will result in the losers being the children of the poor, the working class and undereducated. The winners will continue to be the children of the privileged, well educated and the affluent. This is similar to the obsession with mental tests throughout the 20th century. That were used to categorize. The article can be found at the American Association of School Administrators web site http://www.aasa.org/publications/sa/2000_12/sacks.htm, titled “Predictable Losers in Testing Schemes.”
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1999-2001, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)