Volume 14, No.4

Summer 2000

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  • Is There Value in Value-Added Testing?

    By Bob Peterson

    Milwaukee plans an unprecedented expansion of testing. Here’s why it’s a mistake.

  • Teaching In Dangerous Times

    By Gloria Ladson-Billings

    In this era of demands for teacher quality, it is crucial to develop culturally relevant ways to assess teachers.

  • MPS Parents Protest Budget Cuts

    By Barbara Miner

    Parents call upon School Board to find money to offset $32 million deficit.

  • Walk on the Child’s Side

    Wisconsin march in June 2000 will protest spending caps.

  • The Case for Smaller Classes

    By Barbara Miner

    Small classes have long been popular with parents and teachers. Evaluations of Wisconsin and Tennessee programs also show that small classes improve academic achievement.

  • Voucher Backers Illegally Funnel Money

    By Barbara Miner

    A suit by the State Elections Board of Wisconsin has accused voucher supporters of illegally funneling money into the Wisconsin Supreme Court campaign of Justice Jon Wilcox.

  • Voucher School CEO Sentenced To Jail

    By Barbara Miner

    The head of one Milwaukee voucher school draws a six-month sentence for tax fraud connected to another venture, as the sentencing judge calls the voucher program “easy pickings for people who are not inclined to be honest.”

  • Raising Children’s Cultural Voices

    By Berta Rosa Berriz

    A third-grade teacher describes how she uses children’s writing to expand cultural awareness and teach Spanish and English in a two-way bilingual program.

  • Learning in Four Languages

    “In this class you can learn Spanglish, Africa-American English, Standard English, and Standard Spanish.”

  • Kids Protest Tax on Books

    Fifth-graders in Springfield, MA, traveled to the state legislature in Boston on Apr. 26 to address a legislative taxation committee and demand that children’s books be exempted from the state’s 5% sales tax.

  • Students Protest Tests

    Hundreds of high school students from across Massachusetts boycotted the state’s high-stakes test this April.

  • The Educational Costs of Standardization

    By Linda McNeil

    More testing might sound nice as a policy soundbite. But as Texas shows, the move toward high-stakes tests shortchanges learning in the classroom.

  • Dangers of Early Childhood Testing

    By Bob Peterson

    As early as 1976 the Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI) called for a moratorium on standardized testing in the early schools years. A decade later, it strengthened its positions, saying: “We now believe firmly that no standardized testing should occur in preschool and K-2 years. Further we question the need to test every child in the remaining elementary years.”

  • Operation Bearlift

    By Kate Lyman

    An elementary teacher, weary of gimmicks such as Gum Day and Hat Day, turns to social action to build classroom community.

  • The Tea Party

    By Linda Christensen

    A high school English teacher uses a “tea party” – in which students give brief previews of good books – to entice reluctant readers to read.

  • A Journey to Openness

    By Daniel R Ryan

    An elementary principal tells of his journey to openly gay administrator.

  • Fed Up with Gay-Bashing

    An 11-year-old student takes a stand against homophobic slurs.

  • Defending Freedom of the Press

    By Alex Diamond

    A middle school student organizes to defend a student newspaper.

  • Students’ Rights

    A handy rundown of the free-speech rights students have under current law.

  • Please – No More Magic Bullets!

    By the Editors of Rethinking Schools

    High-Stakes testing is the latest reform designed to save public education. But this reform du jour is a recipe for disaster.

  • A Vision of School Reform

    By the Editors of Rethinking Schools

    A working draft outlining eight principles to guide school reform.

  • Shorts 14.4

    African American and Latino youth are treated far more harshly than white youths when facing the juvenile justice system, according to a new report