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Thursday, January 6, 2005

The Knoxville News Sentinel headline says Education Gets Short Shrift. The Tennessean says Schools Get Another So-So Report Card. I'm saving the links to both articles and watching for others on the subject for discussion in news writing classes later this month.

Both stories report on a national study of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., that places Tennessee 46th in spending on salaries, textbooks, programs and other areas of pre-college education. Titled "No Small Change, Targeting Money Toward Student Performance," the study is the ninth annual "Quality Counts" report by Education Week magazine.

The editors assigned no "letter grades" for overall spending, but Tennessee's grades in other parts of the national comparison ranged from C- for equity to B for academic standards, with improvements in some areas, as noted in this Tennessean summary.

The issues the study raises concerning equity, adequacy and productivity of school funding, "will probably get intense scrutiny when the state legislature convenes next week," the Tennessean said. has the full report online, with a "report card" profile of the state including financial stats, student proficiency test grades and state policies.

A quick search of the Memphis Commercial Appeal site at noon Wednesday didn't find a Tennessee angle on the report, only a MidSouth regional Associated Press item pointing out that Mississippi's per-capita spending ranked 49th, ahead of only Arizona and Utah. Perhaps someone in Memphis is working on a local story for Thursday's paper.

Florida and Nevada were the other states ranked lower than Tennessee. At the top of the per-pupil spending list were the District of Columbia, New Jersey, New York, Vermont and Wyoming.

(Note: The Commercial Appeal, KnoxNews and EdWeek all require free registration to read the full articles.)

1:50:47 PM    

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the first Wiki website -- the even-you-can-edit-this-page collaboration software behind the Wikipedia encyclopedia.

I've mentioned contributing to Wikipedia, but not the increasing interest in using Wiki software for within organizations -- including newspapers and magazines, a recent topic on the online-news mailing list. The technology news weekly, InfoWorld, is one early adopter, as Jon Udell mentions in his blog and article, Year of the enterprise Wiki. Here's an excerpt:
Flexible, direct, lightweight, and requiring only a Web browser to use, Wikis suit a wide range of applications. There are Wiki implementations for a dozen programming languages and content management systems. Wikipedia, the collaborative encyclopedia project that began in 2001, reached critical mass in 2004. Wikipedia milestones this year included the millionth article, the 30,000th contributor, and an explosion of press coverage.
 [Full story at] Weblog: [Jon's Radio]

11:25:30 AM    

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