schools by wulinqing


									       I hope that our class will provide you with the ability
to critically understand what is happening in the real
       To facilitate your ability to take what you learn in
class and apply it to the real world, I have compiled a
series of current newspaper articles. These newspaper
articles pertain to topics that we discuss in class and are
covered in the textbook. I hope that you can discover the
relevancy of our class discussions through your reading of
these newspaper articles.
       I will include questions from the newspaper articles
on your exams to reward those who have attempted to
broaden and deepen their education.

                                                                       Alleghany County

                                                                            Bath County

                                                                         Bedford County

                                                                           Btand County                                                                                     100%

                                                                        Botetourt County

                                                                            Buena Vista                                                                 79%

                                                                          Carroll County


                                                                           Craig County

                                                                           Floyd County



                                                                            Giles County

                                                                         Grayson County

Source: Senate Finance Committee Roanoke Times, November 21, 1998

                                                                           Henry County



                                                                     Montgomery County

                                                                          Patrick County

                                                                          Pulaski County


                                                                        Roanoke County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Classrooms with Internet Computers


                                                                      Rockbridge County
                                                                                                                                                                                          Percentage of classrooms in Western Virginia that have computers connected to the internet


                                                                          Smyth County

                                                                      Washington County

                                                                          Wythe County

                                                                    STATEWIDE AVERAGE
Poor school districts file new disparity suit
Associated Press Roanoke Times 6/13/92

RICHMOND-A group of poor school districts filed a lawsuit Friday contending that Virginia's method of funding schools is unconstitutional
because it denies equal opportunity to all students.

It was the second time the coalition of rural and inner-city schools has taken the state to court. A lawsuit filed in November was abandoned after
legislators promised to come up with more school money.

"We have worked with them and tried to work with them consistently," said Kenneth Walker, coalition chairman and superintendent of Halifax
County and South Boston schools. "We can't afford to keep waiting and let the children of Virginia do without an equal-educational opportunity.”
State Secretary of Education James Dyke said the lawsuit would effectively halt the state's efforts to ease disparity.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed that they decided to go this route," Dyke said. Gov. Douglas Wilder said he was "surprised at the willingness of
these localities to spend scarce taxpayer dollars on lawyers and consultants, rather than the education of the children.” He said the state would
aggressively defend itself against the suit.

While the first lawsuit named 31 school boards as plaintiffs, the latest lawsuit names seven school boards and 11 students. The lawsuit filed in
Richmond Circuit Court states that 24 other school divisions in the coalition are backing the litigation.

The school board plaintiffs are Buchanan, Halifax, Pulaski and Russell counties and Petersburg, Radford and South Boston; Walker said all 31
school districts are paying the legal costs and other districts may join the effort. Lunenburg County dropped out of the coalition last month
because it thought the lawsuit would fail.

The assembly boosted school funding by $74 million to help students at risk of failing, students speak English as a second language, building
maintenance and school divisions that are losing enrollment.

But the coalition voted to refile the lawsuit, saying as much as $800 million would be needed to solve disparities.

Virginia funnels more state money to poor localities, but tax support in wealthy school divisions more than makes up the difference. For example,
Page County spends the least per pupil a year-$3,700-while Arlington County spends the most-$8,371.
Roanoke Times and World News--Editorial

but don't try to claim lack of funds

MORE SCHOOL FUNDS, wisely invested and more fairly distributed, could in a lot of ways create more opportunities for
children in disadvantaged localities, or for disadvantaged children anywhere.

Ford Quillen, the state delegate from Far Southwest Virginia, cites a few such ways. More money could be used to:
_ Bring 4 year-olds into the school system.
_ Provide guidance counselors in the early grades.
_ Lower teacher-pupil ratios.
_ Expand computer learning.
_ Add a month to the school year far teacher-development.

Who will argue that such steps wouldn't improve schools in poorer localities, that they wouldn't bring the scales just a little
closer toward balance between the prospects of children in rural and inner-city districts and those of students from Virginia's
affluent suburbs?

Claiming lack of state funds is the chicken's way out. A state Senate majority this year supported a modest rise in the tax on
joint incomes of more than $100,000. A House majority supported a half-cent increase in the sales tax.

Both measures failed in the end, but the fact they attracted as much on the-record backing as they did shows more leadership
on the issue from the General Assembly than from the governor's office.
The lawsuit filed by the poorer school divisions remains perilous. The far preferable alternative is for elected representatives
to do their jobs instead of abdicating responsibility to the courts.
If the governor backed by the General Assembly could summon the gumption, the lawsuit could be made irrelevant and,
more to the point, the education of poor kids made better.
Lawsuits piling up across USA
States struggle to reform schools

By Maria Puente USA Today

Millions of students head back to school this week, while their elders struggle with a perennial question: Who's going to pay for their education?

In Michigan last week, Gov. John Engler signed a new state law eliminating property taxes as a funding source for public schools starting in 1994.

Now, legislators there have until next fall to figure out where to find the S6 billion needed to keep schools open.

Among the options: Raise income taxes, sales taxes or create a school tax.
"They drank the hemlock ... now the question is, 'Does someone have an antidote nearby?’ asks Denver school consultant John Augenblick.

Teacher unions are furious. "To create that kind of uncertainty is unbelievably irresponsible," fumes Bella Rosenberg of the American Federation
of Teachers.

Michigan isn't alone when it comes to controversy over public school financing. Around the country, lawsuits over inequities in spending among
districts are piling up.

In the past two decades, at least 30 states have been taken to court over their school financing systems. So far, 13 states have seen their systems
struck down as unconstitutional because of inequities in spending among districts.

The problem is getting worse because of a collision of factors: As operating costs, tax rates and student population increase, local economies,
property values and the percentage of people with children in schools is decreasing.

Still, "the state courts are saying ... kids anywhere in a state have the right to the same treatment and opportunities, no matter which district they're
in," says Augenblick.
There are people who argue performance doesn't depend on money. But that hasn't stopped the lawsuits: In Texas, prohibited by its constitution
from enacting a state income tax or state property tax, voters rejected a plan-known as "Robin Hood" - to reduce inequities by forcing property-
rich districts to share their wealth with property poor districts.

Now, the Legislature has a new scheme that would let rich districts choose among five options to share their wealth with poor districts. Some
residents will go to the polls Saturday to choose their options. But there still are objections from all sides, and the plan could be rejected by the
court this fall.
In New Jersey, the state Supreme Court struck down its system in 1990, ordering that the 30 poorest, urban districts get as much funding as the
surrounding suburban districts.

But the cost to do that exceeds the state's resources. Various proposals have been rejected until a special commission reports to the Legislature this

Wyoming, Montana, Utah and Kansas recently adopted what's known as "recapture" systems of financing.

Under a uniform statewide property tax rate, each district is entitled to certain levels of funding. If property-rich districts raise more, the excess is
collected by the state and placed in the general fund.

"But some areas of Kansas are threatening to secede over this," says Augenblick
California may throw out its entire system-an idea that could spread across the nation just as California's tax revolt spread in the 1970s.

Voters decide in November whether to approve a measure which would give parents vouchers for $2,600 per child annually, to use for tuition at
any private school, including religious schools. Also, anyone with 25 students could start a school with voucher money.

Conservative backers of the measure say public schools are so bad they must be forced to compete with private schools. Opponents-especially
teacher unions-fear public schools will be destroyed and taxpayers will be forced to subsidize any alternative school.

"We have just as much right as Christians to start our own school" says Debbie Babcock, spokeswoman for the Contra Costa County (Calif.)
Pagan Association, which plans to start a school for witches' children if the measure passes "We pay our taxes, we don't just sit around and cast
spells all day." One state where reform is working is Kentucky, ordered to recreate its educational system in 1990. So far, no one has challenged
the new system.

Each district gets a base level of funding. Wealthier districts can raise up to 15% more and the state makes up the difference to the poorer districts.

“Kentucky is a possible model, the first out of the gate," says Rosenberg "We expect more themes and variations within that model.”
Disparity proposal shot down
By Elizabeth Theil Landmark News Service

RICHMOND-The General Assembly went home Saturday unable to break a House-Senate deadlock on a proposal to put
about $20 million in additional state aid into poor school districts in 1994.

Instead, legislators decided to delay additional efforts to close the financial gap between Virginia's poor and rich school
systems for another year while they study the problem.

"I'm not prepared to put something this complicated into statute in the waning hours of the session," said Sen. Hunter
Andrews, D-Hampton, the measure's primary opponent, as a six-member House-Senate committee tried Saturday afternoon
to hammer out an agreement.

Saturday's collapse of the disparity plan capped two days of intense wrangling between delegates looking to secure an
election-year promise of extra money for their districts and senators who denounced the late-blooming effort as irresponsible.

The struggle culminated in a standoff between advocates of the proposal and Andrews, who as Senate majority leader and
chairman of the Senate Finance Committee is one of the state's most powerful legislators.
Andrews, who on Friday blocked efforts to convene a committee to work on a compromise, backed down Saturday and
allowed the committee to meet. But he did not drop his opposition to the idea.

The main sticking point was how the $20 million proposed to be returned to localities from the state tax on real estate sales
would be divided among school systems.

Andrews said he feared that giving extra money to some relatively well-off school districts, as a House-passed plan proposed,
would hurt the state's defense in a lawsuit filed by poor school districts.
Other nations increase member of graduates

U.S. loses high schools grad rank
The report found that the United States still has the second highest college graduation rate.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Roanoke Times, November 24, 1998

WASHINGTON -As more and more students graduate from high school in other industrialized countries, the United States seems to be running in

In its annual study of international education statistics, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris found that 22
countries outpaced the United States in 1996 high school or equivalent graduation rates for 18-year-olds.

"The U.S. has lost its supremacy as the premier educator," said Andreas Schleicher, principal administrator of the OECD. He said that has
occurred "not because the United States is doing worse, but because there are so many countries who have become better."

Economic troubles, including high unemployment, have motivated young people in many countries to seek higher education so they can compete
in the work force.

The report also found that American eighth-graders continue to lag behind their counterparts in many industrialized countries when it comes to

Poor math skills among American children seem to develop over time: The report found that, between fourth and eighth grades, math test scores
for American students get progressively lower compared with other countries. By eighth grade, the lowest-scoring quarter of Japanese and
Koreans still scores above the average American eighth-grader in math.

The report found that United States still has the second highest college graduation rate-35 percent of the population at the typical graduation age
finishes college.

The United States also remains one of the highest spenders on public education-5 percent of the nation's gross domestic product in 1995.

However, this money is not necessarily going toward teacher pay. A high school teacher in the United States with 15 years' experience earns
$32,500 on average, which is just slightly more than the U.S. GDP per capita.

Only the Czech Republic, Hungary and Norway pay their high school teachers less than the U.S. in terms of GDP per capita.
More than a fourth of U.S. quit school
Roanoke Times & World-News. Wednesday, Feb. 12, 1986, The New York Times

NEW YORK-Teachers College Record, the quarterly published by Preachers College at Columbia University, will devote its spring to-the
problem of high school dropouts.

Horace Mann, the college's patron saint, would have been surprised. About 150 years ago he predicted that universal education would become
"the great equalizer" that was sure to prevent the exploitation of the poor by the rich. Once schools were opened wide, he was certain, all would
rush in.

Nothing since has proved Mann wrong in his assessment of education as an indispensable factor in eliminating poverty and reducing inequality,
but he was wrong in his optimistic forecast that once education became universally available, every youth would rush to get it. Instead, the
country today faces an epidemic of dropouts and the threat of leaving a permanent, unemployable underclass.

More than one-fourth of all young people, and more than one third in New York City, drop out before high school graduation. Even those figures
tell an incomplete story. Most dropouts are black, Hispanic or poor white students. In some inner cities the dropout rate is closer to half the school
population. Dale Mann, professor of education administration at Teachers College, says teen-age unemployment in inner cities may be twice the
unemployment rate of the Great Depression.

Educators, politicians and social reformers realize that the dropout situation is at the heart of most social problems-the economy, the crime rate,
personal alienation and family instability.

In New York City, a successful principal, Dr. Victor Herbert, has been named assistant superintendent for dropout prevention.
Last month several inner-city schools in Boston began a campaign to create incentives to prevent student absenteeism, the prelude to dropping
out. Randomly selected students, if present in their assigned classes, get certificates for a free McDonald's or Burger King hamburger, movie
passes or a variety of other prizes. In addition to the reward itself, said one principal, "it provides excitement and mystery.”

In New York, Joseph S. Murphy chancellor of the City University of New York, which has a network of senior and community colleges, gave
every high school Feldman a promissory note of admission to one of those institutions upon successful graduation from high school.

Perhaps the most spectacular antidote to dropping out, however, was illustrated five years ago by Eugene Lang, a wealthy businessman, when he
tore up his prepared commencement speech and spontaneously told the graduating class of his old elementary school in Harlem that he would pay
each youth's full college tuition if he or she graduated from high school. Five years later, all of them qualified.

Page 1 of 2
The story received nationwide attention. It prompted Education Secretary William J. Bennett to urge businesses to follow Lang's example with
similar personal promises. Such aid to students, he said, could be more effective than the grants and loans by the federal government. (Bennett
ignored the fact that Lang had pledged to pay the entire cost of tuition, where federal support in most instances covers only a fraction of the bill.)

The Lang episode has led to much guessing as to why the formula was so successful. Many commentators agreed that just as important as the
money was the signal to the students that somebody cared. Suddenly they had become more than anonymous bodies in a huge school.

Horace Mann could not have predicted that urban schools would some day grow into monstrosities housing 2,000 to 5,000 restless adolescents
whom few of those in charge know by name. Lost in the mass, it is easy to founder, fail and eventually to give up.

Some observers have proposal alternative systems of schooling, with part of the time spent in school and part spent in the world of jobs or
community service. But in a recent discussion on the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour, Herbert said that while there may be value in alternatives,
"there's got to be a way to deliver education better in the. traditional school.”

"We know that there is no guarantee that the high school diploma; leads to something," he said. "And so you say to a young person, 'Sit through
chemistry and physics and biology, even if you don't know why. Do it.' And he says, 'But I have a cousin who graduated from high school, maybe
even college and he doesn't have job. Why should I do it?”

Responding to such questions Gov. Mario M. Coumo of New York recently talked of plans to have private and public employers in the state
guarantee a job for everyone who graduates from high school."

Other ways of reducing drop-outs, and thus the potentially cost and growing danger to society could be part of general school reforms.

Unwieldy large schools to could be divided into smaller units, perhaps with no more than 500 students each led by carefully selected managing
teachers responsible to the principal of the entire institution. Instead of the present deans who are mainly disciplinarians each unit might have its
own master or managing teacher to who students could turn to with personal and academic problems before they grow beyond solution. This
might respond at least in part to the recent demand by the Committee for Economic Development, a national organization of business leaders, that
school pay, more attention to the attitudes that make young people employable.

Students' families must also be enlisted. It is worth noting that the children of some recent immigrant groups, where family ties are strong, are not
dropping out, even if they arrive without knowledge of English. Possibly most crucial, particularly for youths who lack home support, is an early
start, perhaps at 3 years of age or even sooner, in an environment conducive to literacy and the desire to learn. Experiments have shown that early
childhood education of high quality can give children the skills and attitudes needed for success in school and life. Sending students to high
school without such skills and attitude virtually forces them to drop out, first out of school and later out of society.

Page 2 of 2
Teachers don't think students college-ready
U. S. cities' schools earn poor grade

The analysis of the schools that teach a quarter of American students presents a bleak picture.

THE WASHINGTON POST-Most students in urban public schools around the country are failing to master even basic skills in reading, math and
science, a new report concludes.

In all three subjects, only about 40 percent of fourth- and eighth-graders in urban schools scored what educators consider a "basic" level of
achievement in recent years on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, an exam given regularly to a sampling of students nationwide
and known for its rigor. About two-thirds of students in suburban or rural schools met or exceeded that standard.

The 270-page report, to be published today by the journal Education Week, is one of the most comprehensive assessments ever of urban public
schools. It presents a bleak portrait of abundant, chronic problems facing those schools, which educate one. fourth of the nation's students.

The report attributes some academic problems to the growing concentrations of poverty in many cities and cities' dwindling financial resources.
Urban districts spend about $4,500 per student annually, compared with $5,066 per student in non-urban districts, the study found. An urban
district was defined as one in which at least 75 percent of the households served were in the central city of a metropolitan area.

But the report also cites "unstable leadership, huge bureaucracies, and special-interest groups" as a cause of trouble. Nearly one-third of urban
school superintendents last only a year in the job. Urban districts also are twice as likely as non-urban ones to hire new teachers with temporary

A national survey of urban teachers also was included and illustrates another crisis: low expectations for students. Only 19-percent of the teachers
polled said they believed all or most of their students had the skills needed to do well in college, compared with 47 percent of non-urban teachers.
Nearly half of urban teachers, and nearly 40 percent of those in non-urban areas, said their schools promote students from one grade to the next
even if they lack necessary academic skills.
Survey finds college growing less affordable for the poor
More loans go to middle-class families

Federal grants and loans cover a lower portion of college costs than they did 20 years ago.


As college costs have risen and federal grants to needy students have declined over the last two decades, higher education has become
significantly less affordable for students from poor families, a new national survey shows.

Some academicians who took part in the survey blamed the higher-education lobby in Washington for the predicament,

Maintaining that the lobbyists exercised political triage by throwing most of their weight behind unpinning a lower interest rate on
federally backed college loans rather than more money for federal Pell grants. Loans serve primarily the middle class, while Pell grants
help low-income families.

In 1976 and 1977, the average Pell grant covered 19 percent Of the annual price of a private four-year institution and 39 percent of a
public four-year institution. But in 1996 and 1997, it covered only 9 percent of a private college and 22 percent of a Public college, the
survey found.

Similarly, over the same period, the maximum Pell grant declined to 13 percent of the price of a private college, from 35 percent, and to
34 percent of the price of a public institution, from 72 percent.

The last Congress raised maximum Pell grants to $3,125, from $3,000, and reduced the interest rate on college loans to 7.46 percent, from
8.25 percent.

The survey, entitled "Do Grants Matter? Student Grant Aid and College Affordability," found that in the six years ending in the 1995-96
academic year, the average net cost of a public four-year institution rose 28 percent, to $7,829 from $6,140, for undergraduates whose
annual family incomes were $20,000 to $39,999.

Roanoke Times, Wednesday, November 18, 1998
13% have leaky roofs;
45% need wall outlets

Va. schools dilapidated, study says
"These figures . . . are pretty much in line with what we knew already;" delegate said.
ASSOCIATED PRESSRICHMOND-State officials who say Virginia's schools are dilapidated have new numbers to back them up: A survey
released Thursday found that more than 200 schools have leaky roofs, more than 700 need more electrical outlets, and dozens were built more
than half a century ago.
The survey of the state's 1,901 public schools drew about 1,600 responses. Of those, 44 schools described themselves as "obviously out-of-date,
nonfunctional, seriously inadequate," and another 191 were described as having "significant deficiencies."The General Assembly's Commission
on Educational Infrastructure requested the study this fall after members decided they needed fresh data before they could recommend a school
construction funding plan to the legislature. The survey was compiled by Virginia Commonwealth University's Center for Public Policy."These
figures . . . are pretty much in line with what we knew already," said Del. Alan Diamonstein, D-Newport News, who is co-chairman of the
legislative commission with Lt. Gov. John Hager. "There are many schools that need the funds. I think this certainly justifies the actions of the
governor and the General Assembly.

Among the findings in the study:

              204 schools, or 13 percent of those that responded, reported
 having roofs that leak with ever rain.

               712 schools, or 45 percent, said they do not have enough wall units for computers and other equipment in their classrooms.

               436 schools, or 28 percent, said their buildings do not have access for the handicapped as required by the federal Americans with
               Disabilities Act.

               87 schools, or 5.5 percent, were built before 1940, and 389, or 26 percent, were built before 1960.

James M. Ellis Jr., a senior research associate at VCU's Center for Public Policy, told commission members the numbers would be higher if all
school districts had responded to the survey. For example, Richmond city schools were not included, and Richmond has some of the slate s oldest
school buildings.
The commission is one of two studying the school construction issue.

Last month, a commission established by Gov. Jim Gilmore endorsed the governor's plan to earmark the state's lottery profits for schools. Gilmore
has said that the plan would send an extra $246 million to schools for construction and other needs over two years.

Both Democrats and Republicans took credit for the idea, each saying they devised the plan and the other party later came on board.

Members of the legislative commission will have to hammer out details, including how the money would be divided among localities and what
restrictions the state would put on how localities can use the funds.

Roanoke Times, December 18, 1998

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