Issues in K-12 Education: Selections from CQ Researcher
Publication Year: 2010
Issues in K-12 Education is now available through CourseSmart. Request an online exam copy today.
Are Students Being Prepared for the Technological Age?; Can AP and IB Programs Raise U.S. High-School Achievement?; Do Teachers Assign Too Much Homework?
These are just a few of the provocative questions posed in Issues in K-12 Education. This engaging reader allows students to see an issue from all sides and to think critically about topics that matter to them. Classroom discussion will never be dull again!
About CQ Researcher Readers
In the tradition of nonpartisanship and current analysis that is the hallmark of CQ Press, CQ Researcher readers investigate important and controversial policy issues. Offer your students the balanced reporting, complete overviews, and engaging writing that CQ Researcher has consistently provided for more ...
- Front Matter
- Chapter 1: Racial Diversity in Public Schools: Has the Supreme Court Dealt a Blow to Integration?
- Should School Systems Promote Racial Diversity in Individual Schools?
- Should School Systems Seek to Promote Socioeconomic Integration in Individual Schools?
- Is the Focus on Diversity Interfering with Efforts to Improve Education in All Schools?
- The ‘Common School’
- ‘Elusive’ Equality
- ‘Diversity’ Challenged
- Current Situation
- ‘Resegregation’ Seen
- Legal Options Eyed
- ‘Minimal Impact’?
- Chapter 2: No Child Left Behind: Is the Law Improving Student Performance?
- Has No Child Left Behind Raised Student Achievement?
- Are Too Many Schools Being Labeled “in Need of Improvement”?
- Is No Child Left Behind Improving the Quality of Teaching?
- Is No Child Left Behind Adequately Funded?
- Federal Reforms
- Achievement Gaps
- Current Situation
- States Push Back
- Teachers' Union Sues
- War of Words
- Reform Unlikely?
- Chapter 3: Special Education: Do Students with Disabilities Get the Help They Need?
- Should the Federal Government Spend More to Educate Disabled Students?
- Does the Availability of Federal Funding for Special Education Encourage the Overdiagnosis of Learning Disabilities?
- Has Idea Increased Discipline Problems in Public Schools?
- Idea Aids States
- Escalating Costs
- Revamping the Law
- Current Situation
- Paying the Bill
- Reauthorization Fight?
- Support from Both Presidential Candidates
- Chapter 4: Fixing Urban Schools: Has No Child Left Behind Helped Minority Students?
- Has the No Child Left Behind Law Helped Urban Students?
- Should Governments Make Schools More Racially and Economically Diverse?
- Are Teachers Prepared to Teach Successfully in Urban Classrooms?
- Educating the Poor
- Two Tracks
- Minority Schools
- Poor in School
- Current Situation
- Congress Divided
- Retooling NCLB?
- Agreeing to Disagree
- Chapter 5: Charter Schools: Will They Improve or Hurt Public Education?
- Are Charter Schools Harming the Traditional Public School System?
- Do Charter Schools Foster Innovation and Achievement?
- Should Private Companies Be Allowed to Run Charter Schools?
- Born on a Napkin
- States Climb Aboard
- Creative Resources
- Seeking Accreditation
- Current Situation
- Federal Support
- Vouchers Link
- Steps Forward and Back
- Just a Fad?
- Chapter 6: Home Schooling Debate: Is the Movement Undermining Public Education?
- Should the Government Regulate Home Schooling?
- Should the Public-School System Support Home Schooling?
- Does Home Schooling Threaten the Fundamental American Concept of Universal Public Education?
- ‘Common Schools’
- Rise of Reformers
- States' Rights
- Current Situation
- Nationwide Movement
- Into the Mainstream?
- ‘Saber Rattling’
- Limited Growth?
- Chapter 7: Single-Sex Education: Do All-Boy and All-Girl Schools Enhance Learning?
- Does Single-Sex Education Enhance Learning?
- Do Single-Sex Schools Reinforce Gender Stereotypes?
- Do Single-Sex Schools Help or Hurt the Goal of Gender Equity?
- ‘Tide of Coeducation’
- Gender Equity
- Single-Sex Revival
- Current Situation
- Starting New Schools
- Revising Federal Rules?
- A New Era?
- Chapter 8: Religion in Schools: Should the Courts Allow More Spiritual Expression?
- Are Barriers to Prayer in Schools Too Rigid?
- Are Christian Groups “Sneaking” Religion into Schools?
- Should Taxpayer-Supported Vouchers Help Parents Send Their Children to Private or Religious Schools?
- Colonial Intolerance
- ‘Common’ Schools
- Court Decisions
- Conservative Christians
- Current Situation
- Limits on Prayer
- Voucher Battles
- Bush's Impact
- Chapter 9: Students Under Stress: Do Schools Assign Too Much Homework?
- Are Students Today Under More Academic Pressure Than in Past Generations?
- Are Schools Assigning Too Much Homework?
- Are High-Stakes Tests Putting Too Much Pressure on Students?
- Schooling Expands
- Different Visions
- Cold War Fears
- Bulging Backpacks?
- Current Situation
- Reevaluating Homework
- Testing the Tests
- Learning to Teach
- Chapter 10: Gender and Learning: Are There Innate Differences Between the Sexes?
- Is There Really a Gender Gap in Math and Science?
- Are There “Innate Differences” Between Males and Females in Math and Science Aptitude?
- Is Enough Being Done to Encourage Women in Science and Math?
- Women in Science
- Growing Sexism
- ‘Weak-Minded’ Women
- Gender-Equity Fight
- Current Situation
- Discrimination or Choice?
- More Women Scientists
- Crisis Ahead?
- Chapter 11: AP and IB Programs: Can They Raise U.S. High-School Achievement?
- Are AP and IB Programs Effective?
- Should AP and IB Be More Broadly Available?
- Can Advanced High-School Courses Close the Achievement Gap?
- It's Not Academic
- Starting Small
- Reform Movement
- States Back AP, IB
- Current Situation
- States Resist
- Challenge for All?
- Chapter 12: Teaching Math and Science: Are Students Being Prepared for the Technological Age?
- Are U.S. Students Proficient in Math and Science?
- Are U.S. Math and Science Curricula Adequate?
- Are U.S. Math and Science Teachers Well Trained?
- Wake-Up Call
- The ‘New Math’
- ‘A Nation at Risk’
- Setting Standards
- Current Situation
- Congress OKs Testing
- Improving Teachers
- What Works?
- Revisiting the Standards
- Evolution Debate
- Funding Questioned
- Chapter 13: Reading Crisis? Do Today's Youth Read Less Than Past Generations?
- Do Young People Read Less Than in the Past?
- Is There a Literacy Crisis?
- Will Harm Be Done If New Technologies Crowd Out Traditional Reading?
- Breaking the Code
- Reading Truce?
- Current Situation
- Boys, Teens Lag
- Online Literacy
- Cuts in Reading Programs
- Future of Reading
- Chapter 14: Video Games: Do They Have Educational Value?
- Does Playing Video Games Improve Literacy?
- Are Video Games Addictive?
- Do Video Games Prepare Young People for the Future Job Market?
- Pinball Precursor
- Equity Gap?
- Gender Gap Narrows
- Current Situation
- Big Business
- Social Networking
- Libraries Log on
- Saying Less?
- Testing the Hypothesis
- Chapter 15: Teacher Shortages: Should States Ease Certification Standards?
- Should “Fast-Track” or Alternative-Certification Programs Be Used to Reduce Teacher Shortages?
- Would Raising Teacher Pay or Overhauling the Teacher-Compensation System Solve the Teacher-Shortage Problem?
- Early Reforms
- First Shortages
- Lowering Standards
- Current Situation
- Revamping ESEA
- States' Efforts
- Bush's Plan
- Chapter 16: Discipline in Schools: Are Zero-Tolerance Policies Fair?
- Have Zero-Tolerance Policies Made Schools Safer?
- Is Racism Responsible for High Suspension Rates Among Minorities?
- Should Students Have More Legal Rights in Discipline Cases?
- Rise of Zero Tolerance
- Violence and Bullying
- Teacher Education
- Current Situation
- ‘Scarlet Letter’
- Save Act
- State Proposals
- Zero Tolerance?
- Chapter 17: Zero Tolerance: Is Mandatory Punishment in Schools Unfair?
- Are Zero-Tolerance Policies Effective?
- Are Zero-Tolerance Policies Constitutional?
- Are Zero-Tolerance Policies Fairly and Consistently Applied?
- ‘We Need to Get Tough’
- ‘Broken-Windows’ Approach
- Is Violence Declining?
- Current Situation
- Alternative Schools
- Amending Idea
- Zero-Zero Tolerance
- Ebb and Flow
- Chapter 18: Bullying: Are Schools Doing Enough to Stop the Problem?
- Is Bullying a Serious Problem?
- Is Enough Being Done to Curtail Bullying?
- Are School Anti-Bullying Programs Effective?
- Early Research
- Changing Society
- Learned Behavior
- Current Situation
- Christian Opposition
- Federal Law
- Going to Court
- Chapter 19: Cheating in Schools: Are High-Stakes Tests to Blame?
- Are Students Today More Dishonest Than Earlier Generations?
- Should Schools Adopt Honor Codes to Reduce Cheating?
- Should Educators Be More Aggressive in Stopping Cheating?
- Ancient Crib Sheets
- Values Confusion
- Feminism and Multiculturalism
- Current Situation
- High-Stakes Testing
- Defending the Tests
- Preventive Measures
- Character Education Gains Supporters
- More Cheating?
Copyright © 2010 by SAGE Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Issues in K-12 education : selections from CQ researcher.
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 978-1-4129-8007-4 (pbk.: alk. paper)
1. Early childhood education. 2. Education, Elementary. 3. Education, Secondary. I. Sage Publications, inc.
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Annotated Contents[Page ix]Issues in Justice, Equity, and EqualityRacial Diversity in Public Schools: Has the Supreme Court Dealt a Blow to Integration?
Fifty years after the Supreme Court outlawed racial segregation in public schools, a new ruling has raised doubts about how far local school boards can go to integrate classrooms. The court's 5-4 ruling in cases from Seattle and Louisville bars school districts from using race as a factor in individual pupil assignments. Like many other school districts, the two school systems used racial classifications to promote diversity in the face of segregated housing patterns. But parents argued the plans improperly denied their children their school of choice because of race. Dissenting justices said the ruling was a setback for racial equality. In a pivotal concurrence, however, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said schools still have some leeway to pursue racial diversity. Meanwhile, some experts argue that socioeconomic integration — bringing low-income and middle-class students together — is a more effective way to pursue educational equity.No Child Left Behind: Is the Law Improving Student Performance?
More than three years have passed since President Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act. The controversial legislation mandates “highly qualified” teachers in every classroom and holds schools that accept federal funds accountable for raising the achievement of all students, particularly those with disabilities, those from low-income families and racial and ethnic minorities and those with [Page x]limited English proficiency. Supporters call the law an evolutionary change in education policy while critics call it a revolutionary federal incursion into states' historic domain that makes too many unfunded demands. Eight school districts and the nation's largest teachers' union have sued the Department of Education over the law's funding provisions, and legislators in several states have introduced bills seeking exemptions from the law. Supporters, meanwhile, worry that No Child Left Behind is not being enforced stringently enough and is in danger of being diluted.Special Education: Do Students with Disabilities Get the Help They Need?
The Education for All Handicapped Children Act was passed in 1975 after the courts ruled that states must provide a “free appropriate public education” to children with physical, mental or emotional problems. Under the law, renamed the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the federal government is required to help local school boards pay for the special-education services needed by students with disabilities. Although the law has produced many successes in integrating the nation's 6 million disabled children into public schools, troubling problems remain. The dropout rate for disabled students is far higher than for non-disabled students. And countless disabled children, especially from low-income, minority or rural communities, are not receiving the full benefits of the law.Fixing Urban Schools: Has No Child Left Behind Helped Minority Students?
African-American and Hispanic students — largely in urban schools — lag far behind white students, who mostly attend middle-class suburban schools. Critics argue that when Congress reauthorizes the 2002 No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), it must retarget the legislation to help urban schools tackle tough problems, such as encouraging the best teachers to enter and remain in high-poverty schools, rather than focusing on tests and sanctions. Some advocates propose busing students across district lines to create more socioeconomically diverse student bodies. But conservative analysts argue that busing wastes students' time and that permitting charter schools to compete with public schools will drive improvement. Meanwhile, liberal analysts point out that successful charter programs are too costly for most schools to emulate, and that no one has yet figured out how to spread success beyond a handful of schools, public or private.Charter Schools: Will They Improve or Hurt Public Education?
A decade after the birth of the charter school movement, reform activists and mainstream educators disagree over whether these experimental public schools are a promising innovation or a damaging distraction. The nation's nearly 2,700 charter schools operate in 39 states, enjoying freedom from many traditional regulations. But they must deliver concrete results in a specified period or risk being shut down. Charters vary as much in their instructional approaches as they do in their genesis, facilities, quality and political constituencies. Yet, the evidence remains inconclusive as to whether they are boosting student achievement. The evolving movement remains divided between critics, who see it as the first step in dismembering America's public education system, and those who see it as the system's last best hope.Home Schooling Debate: Is the Movement Undermining Public Education?
The number of U.S. children educated at home has nearly tripled in the last 10 years, as mainstream parents have embraced a movement once considered the domain of aging hippies and religious fundamentalists. Advocates say home schooling is the best way to assure a high-quality education and want it exempted from federal and state accountability requirements. But critics warn that removing children from the public schools threatens an essential pillar of democracy while depriving students of vital contact with children and adults from other backgrounds. And school officials complain that when home schooling doesn't work, parents “dump” their children back in the public schools, which are then blamed for the home-schoolers' poor performance.Single-Sex Education: Do All-Boy and All-Girl Schools Enhance Learning?
The Bush administration wants to make it easier to establish all-boy or all-girl public schools. While there is a long tradition of private single-sex schools in the United States, there are probably fewer than two dozen [Page xi]single-sex public schools. Advocates of single-sex education believe it represents a valuable educational option, especially for girls, who they say flourish away from boys' teasing. But critics say the approach offers no real social or educational benefits for girls or for boys. Federal law currently casts doubt on the legality of single-sex public schools. The law bars single-sex programs unless comparable services are available to boys and girls alike. The Department of Education is considering revising its regulations to soften that provision, reversing three decades of federal policy.Religion in Schools: Should the Courts Allow More Spiritual Expression?
In the past half-century, the U.S. Supreme Court has consistently ruled against religious observance in public schools, citing the First Amendment wall between church and state. But civil liberties groups point with concern to renewed efforts by conservative Christian groups and others to foster religion in schools by distributing Bibles, posting the Ten Commandments and allowing student-led prayers. While conservatives say the barriers to spiritual expression in public schools are too rigid, liberals warn that conservatives are “sneaking” religion into the schools. President-elect George W. Bush says he supports student-led prayer as well as controversial taxpayer-funded school vouchers for religious and other private schools. But his greatest impact on religion in schools ultimately may come from his appointments of new Supreme Court justices.Issues in Teaching and LearningStudents Under Stress: Do Schools Assign Too Much Homework?
The average homework load for first- through third-graders has doubled over the past two decades, even though research shows homework doesn't benefit such young children. Indeed, some schools require preschoolers to tackle academic subjects like reading and writing. In response a parents' movement has arisen — mainly in middle- and upper-income suburbs — protesting excessive homework and other forms of academic pressure, including so-called high-stakes testing. Parents say the added pressure robs children of needed play and family time and can cause stress, sleep deprivation, depression and family strife. Some schools have responded by limiting homework for the youngest children and downplaying stress-causing programs, such as academic honor rolls. At the same time, however, U.S. high school students spend less time in class than students in most other countries, and their homework loads remain far below the two hours per day that research shows is optimal for college-bound students.Gender and Learning: Are There Innate Differences Between the Sexes?
Harvard President Lawrence Summers ignited a firestorm recently when he suggested more men than women are scientists because of differences between males and females in “intrinsic aptitude.” Many scientists — both men and women — expressed outrage at Summers' remarks and blamed any lag in math among girls mainly on discrimination and socialization. They point out that girls have closed the gap in average scores on most standardized math tests in elementary and high school. Today women constitute almost half of college math majors and more than half of biology majors. But Summers's supporters say he courageously raised a legitimate question for scientific inquiry. Indeed, in recent years some researchers have been pursuing a scientific explanation for the discrepancies in math and science aptitude and achievement among boys and girls and have found differences, including biological ones.AP and IB Programs: Can They Raise U.S. High-School Achievement?
More than 25 percent of first-year college students need remedial courses. Concern about the ability of American high-school graduates to handle college-level work has led some schools to offer Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. Engaging students in more challenging coursework appears to boost learning and achievement, although there is little research on the effects of AP and IB programs. Higher-income students are much more likely to be offered AP and IB classes or other challenging learning experiences than students from disadvantaged educational or socioeconomic backgrounds. Over the past decade, most school reform has focused on the elementary grades, but a growing number of states are now concentrating on improving the college readiness of their high-school [Page xii]students. But critics say the effort is wasted if younger students aren't given adequate preparation for high school.Teaching Math and Science: Are Students Being Prepared for the Technological Age?
Americans have always been leaders of technological innovation. The good news today is that more students are taking higher-level math and science than ever. But their performance on international math and science tests has been lackluster, raising questions about their ability to face the unforeseen challenges of a technological age. Educators agree that students need more math and science, but they disagree vociferously about how the two subjects should be taught. The new No Child Left Behind Act requires school systems to develop educational standards for core subjects and to test how well students are meeting those standards. Meanwhile, attracting qualified teachers remains a critical problem throughout the nation.Reading Crisis? Do Today's Youth Read Less Than Past Generations?
The number of Americans who read for pleasure has been dropping for decades, and now recent data show the lowest levels ever, especially among Americans ages 15 to 24. At the same time, reading scores among teenagers are dropping. Some literacy experts are declaring the situation a crisis. They warn that with fewer fluent, habitual readers, America may soon lack not only the skilled workers needed for an information-based economy but also the informed voters crucial to democracy. Others dismiss such views as alarmist, arguing the data don't capture the large amount of online reading today, especially by young adults. Technology experts also note that computers and video may be simply changing the form of literacy needed today, just as the printing press and typewriter did in ages past. While book reading formed the core of 20th-century literacy, in the 21st century literacy is more likely to mean writing blogs and instant messages as well as skimming online video and audio, along with text, to gather information.Video Games: Do They Have Educational Value?
More than three-quarters of American youths have videogame consoles at home, and on a typical day at least 40 percent play a video game. Some academic scholars claim playing games is good for literacy, problem-solving, learning to test hypotheses and researching information from a variety of sources. Others say gaming may be good for understanding technical information but not for reading literature and understanding the humanities. Enthusiasts claim gaming is preparing young people for the knowledge-based workplace. Critics worry that it's making kids more socially isolated, less experienced in working with others and less creative. Experts remain divided about whether addiction to games is widespread and whether violent games produce violent behavior. Increasingly, researchers are studying why games are so engrossing, and some are urging educators to incorporate games' best learning features into school programs.Issues in School EnvironmentTeacher Shortages: Should States Ease Certification Standards?
Severe teacher shortages are expected over the next 10 years, mainly because of widespread teacher retirements, swelling school enrollments and the trend toward smaller classes. Education experts and policy-makers are bitterly divided over how to offset the shortages, which will primarily affect inner-city and rural schools and hard-to-staff subjects such as math and science. Most of the states now permit “fast-track” certification programs that can turn out teachers in as little as four weeks. And some districts issue emergency teaching certificates to people with little or no teaching experience. But critics fear that alternative-certification initiatives are lowering teacher-quality standards. They say that raising salaries and giving teachers the professional recognition and support they deserve is the only way to reduce shortages while maintaining quality.Discipline in Schools: Are Zero-Tolerance Policies Fair?
More than a decade after a string of deadly school shootings focused attention on student discipline, the search continues for effective methods to curb classroom misconduct. Zero-tolerance policies, widely adopted during the 1990s, have led to skyrocketing suspension and expulsion rates in many school districts, sparking criticism that get-tough conduct codes are ineffective at stopping misbehavior and harmful to the education process. [Page xiii]Civil-rights and child-advocacy groups say such codes have led to too many cases of harsh punishment for relatively minor violations, sometimes sending youngsters out on the street where they get into worse trouble. Critics also charge that black students are far more likely to be punished for similar misconduct than whites under the zero-tolerance approach. Meanwhile, a provision in the federal No Child Left Behind law, which requires states to identify “persistently dangerous schools,” is the subject of sharp debate as the law moves toward possible reauthorization this year.Zero Tolerance: Is Mandatory Punishment in Schools Unfair?
A series of schoolyard mass killings in recent years has prompted school officials and lawmakers to impose mandatory punishments for a multitude of misbehaviors, many of them seemingly minor. Proponents credit tough disciplinary policies with driving school crime rates down. But critics question their effectiveness and worry about the impact the policies are having on individual rights. And civil rights advocates say the policies are being used to kick out minority, disabled and academically challenged students who might drag down standardized test scores. But the latest school violence — the shooting of a Michigan first-grader on Feb. 29 by another 6-year-old — left little doubt that zero-tolerance policies will remain in force.Bullying: Are Schools Doing Enough to Stop the Problem?
The nation received a shocking wake-up call about bullying when investigators revealed that the Columbine killers and other school shooters had been repeatedly bullied by classmates. On a typical school day today three out of 10 American youngsters are involved in bullying as perpetrators, victims or bystanders, and an estimated 160,000 children skip school for fear of being harassed. Bullied students are more prone to suicide, depression and poor school performance; bullies have a far higher likelihood of committing crimes as adults. At least 16 states have passed laws requiring schools to provide anti-bullying programs, but many states and school districts have been slow to act. Their reluctance may stem in part from opposition by conservative Christians, who argue that anti-bullying legislation and programs aimed at reducing sexually oriented teasing promote homosexuality and impinge on Christian students' freedom of speech.Cheating in Schools: Are High-Stakes Tests to Blame?
Cheating is at or near an all-time high in schools and colleges. In addition to cheating on tests, students are plagiarizing from on-line term-papers mills. Many educators say the intense pressure created by high-stakes tests fosters cheating by students who worry that college admission, or graduation, hangs on the outcome of a single test. Moreover, teachers are cheating too, test critics say, because test results often determine whether schools retain their accreditation, whether educators get fired or get raises — and even whether local real estate values go up or down. Exasperated ethicists ask whether educators are doing everything they possibly can to curtail cheating and instill core values, while others think implementing honor codes in more schools and curtailing high-stakes tests might help solve the problem.[Page xiv]
Are students being prepared for the technological age? Can AP and IB programs raise U.S. high-school achievement? Do schools assign too much homework? These questions — and many more — are at the heart of K-12 education. How can instructors best engage students with these crucial issues? We feel that students need objective, yet provocative examinations of these issues to understand how they affect students, teachers and schools today and will for years to come. This collection aims to promote in-depth discussion, facilitate further research and help readers formulate their own positions on crucial issues. Get your students talking both inside and outside the classroom about Issues in K–12 Education.
This first edition includes nineteen up-to-date reports by CQ Researcher, an award-winning weekly policy brief that brings complicated issues down to earth. Each report chronicles and analyzes executive, legislative and judicial activities at all levels of government. This collection is divided into three distinct areas — issues in justice, equity and equality; issues in teaching and learning; and issues in school environment — to cover a range of issues found in most foundational or introductory education courses.Cq Researcher
CQ Researcher was founded in 1923 as Editorial Research Reports and was sold primarily to newspapers as a research tool. The magazine was renamed and redesigned in 1991 as CQ Researcher. Today, students are its primary audience. While still used by hundreds of journalists [Page xvi]and newspapers, many of which reprint portions of the reports, the Researcher's main subscribers are now high school, college and public libraries. In 2002, Researcher won the American Bar Association's coveted Silver Gavel award for magazine excellence for a series of nine reports on civil liberties and other legal issues.
Researcher staff writers — all highly experienced journalists — sometimes compare the experience of writing a Researcher report to drafting a college term paper. Indeed, there are many similarities. Each report is as long as many term papers — about 11,000 words — and is written by one person without any significant outside help. One of the key differences is that writers interview leading experts, scholars and government officials for each issue.
Like students, staff writers begin the creative process by choosing a topic. Working with the Researcher's editors, the writer identifies a controversial subject that has important public policy implications. After a topic is selected, the writer embarks on one to two weeks of intense research. Newspaper and magazine articles are clipped or downloaded, books are ordered and information is gathered from a wide variety of sources, including interest groups, universities and the government. Once the writers are well informed, they develop a detailed outline, and begin the interview process. Each report requires a minimum of ten to fifteen interviews with academics, officials, lobbyists and people working in the field. Only after all interviews are completed does the writing begin.Chapter Format
Each issue of CQ Researcher, and therefore each selection in this book, is structured in the same way. Each begins with an overview, which briefly summarizes the areas that will be explored in greater detail in the rest of the chapter. The next section chronicles important and current debates on the topic under discussion and is structured around a number of key questions, such as “Does corporate social responsibility really improve society?” or “Does corporate social responsibility restrain U.S. productivity?” These questions are usually the subject of much debate among practitioners and scholars in the field. Hence, the answers presented are never conclusive but detail the range of opinion on the topic.
Next, the “Background” section provides a history of the issue being examined. This retrospective covers important legislative measures, executive actions and court decisions that illustrate how current policy has evolved. Then the “Current Situation” section examines contemporary policy issues, legislation under consideration and legal action being taken. Each selection concludes with an “Outlook” section, which addresses possible regulation, court rulings and initiatives from Capitol Hill and the White House over the next five to ten years.
Each report contains features that augment the main text: two to three sidebars that examine issues related to the topic at hand, a pro versus con debate between two experts, a chronology of key dates and events and an annotated bibliography detailing major sources used by the writer.Acknowledgments
We wish to thank many people for helping to make this collection a reality. Tom Colin, managing editor of CQ Researcher, gave us his enthusiastic support and cooperation as we developed this edition. He and his talented staff of editors and writers have amassed a first-class library of Researcher reports, and we are fortunate to have access to that rich cache. We also wish to thank our colleagues at CQ Press, a division of SAGE and a leading publisher of books, directories, research publications and Web products on U.S. government, world affairs and communications. They have forged the way in making these readers a useful resource for instruction across a range of undergraduate and graduate courses.
Some readers may be learning about CQ Researcher for the first time. We expect that many readers will want regular access to this excellent weekly research tool. For subscription information or a no-obligation free trial of CQ Researcher, please contact CQ Press at http://www.cqpress.com or toll-free at 1-866-4CQ-PRESS (1-866-427-7737).
We hope that you will be pleased by this edition of Issues in K–12 Education. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for future editions. Please direct comments to Deya Saoud, Senior Associate Editor, SAGE Publications, 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320, or email@example.com.—The Editors of SAGE
Thomas J. Billitteri is a CQ Researcher staff writer based in Fairfield, Pennsylvania, who has more than 30 years' experience covering business, nonprofit institutions and public policy for newspapers and other publications. He has written previously for CQ Researcher on “Domestic Poverty,” “Curbing CEO Pay” and “Mass Transit.” He holds a BA in English and an MA in journalism from Indiana University.
Charles S. Clark, a senior editor at the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, has written on education for Teacher magazine, Phi Delta Kappan, Educational Leadership and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He is a former CQ Researcher staff writer, Washington Post editorial writer and National Journal managing editor. He graduated with a BA in history from McGill University.
Marcia Clemmitt is a veteran social-policy reporter who previously served as editor in chief of Medicine & Health and staff writer for The Scientist. She has also been a high-school math and physics teacher. She holds a liberal arts and sciences degree from St. John's College, Annapolis, and a master's degree in English from Georgetown University. Her recent reports include “Climate Change,” “Health Care Costs,” “Cyber Socializing” and “Prison Health Care.”
Rachel S. Cox is a freelance writer and contributing writer to CQ Researcher. She also writes for The Washington Post and is a former [Page xviii]associate editor of Preservation magazine. She holds an AB in English from Harvard University. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two school-age sons.
Sarah Glazer, a New York freelancer, is a regular contributor to CQ Researcher. Her articles on health, education and social-policy issues have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Public Interest and Gender and Work, a book of essays. Her recent CQ Researcher reports include “Increase in Autism” and “Stopping Genocide.” She graduated from the University of Chicago with a BA in American history.
John Greenya is a freelance writer in Washington, D.C., who has written for The Washington Post, The New Republic, The New York Times and other publications. He teaches writing at George Washington University and is the author of several books, including Silent Justice: The Clarence Thomas Story and P.S. A Memoir, written with the late Pierre Salinger. He holds an AB in English from Marquette University and an MA in English literature from The Catholic University.
Brian Hansen joined the CQ Researcher after reporting for the Colorado Daily in Boulder and the Environment News Service in Washington. His awards include the Scripps Howard Foundation Award for Public Service Reporting. His Researcher reports include “Kids in Prison” and “Nuclear Waste Disposal.” He holds a BA in political science and an MA in education from the University of Colorado.
Joan Hennessy is a freelance writer in Laurel, Maryland, who specializes in education policy. She previously was a reporter and editor at the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville. She holds a master's degree from the University of Maryland School of Journalism and a bachelor of fine arts from Loyola University in New Orleans.
Kenneth Jost graduated from Harvard College and Georgetown University Law Center. He is the author of the Supreme Court Yearbook and editor of The Supreme Court from A to Z (both CQ Press). He was a member of the CQ Researcher team that won the 2002 ABA Silver Gavel Award. His previous reports include “School Desegregation,” “Black Colleges” and “Affirmative Action.”
Kathy Koch specializes in education, youth and social-policy issues. She was one of several CQ Researcher writers who won the 1999 Society of Professional Journalists Award for Excellence for a 10-part series on health issues. Kathy has worked as a daily newspaper reporter in South Florida and as a freelancer in Asia and Africa for the Christian Science Monitor, USA Today and other publications. She also covered environmental legislation for CQ Weekly. She received a journalism degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Barbara Mantel is a freelance writer in New York City whose work has appeared in The New York Times, the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology and Mamm Magazine. She is a former correspondent and senior producer for National Public Radio and has won several journalism awards, including the National Press Club's Best Consumer Journalism Award and Lincoln University's Unity Award. She holds a BA in history and economics from the University of Virginia and an MA in economics from Northwestern University.
Patrick Marshall is a freelance writer in Bainbridge Island, Washington, and former opinion page editor of The Oakland Tribune.