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Panel Issues Manifesto on Reform

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An independent, ad hoc group of 27 educators, policymakers, and scholars released a manifesto last week intended to sustain and redirect the education-reform movement. (See Education Week, Oct. 24, 1984.)

Developed under the leadership of Edward A. Wynne and Herbert J. Walberg, professors of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, the statement asserts that educators must pay greater attention to "the critical issue" of student character development.

"Apart from the family, the school is the fundamental institution where our children learn to be human and acquire the unique values of our democratic society," said Urie Bronfenbrenner, professor of human development and family studies at Cornell University, in a statement accompanying the release of the manifesto.

"The evidence indicates that schools are now doing a poor job of transmitting such skills and values to our children," he also said.

The 40-page statement discusses eight other "education problem areas," ranging from the teaching profession to parental choice in schooling, and includes 55 recommendations, such as the availability of community-service projects for students, tax credits for the parents of private-school students, and wider use of master teachers in the selection of textbooks.

Half Signed

Approximately one-half of those asked to review the statement signed it, including Nathan Glazer, co-editor of The Public Interest, Stanley M. Elam, contributing editor of Phi Delta Kappan, Paul De Hart Hurd, professor emeritus of education at Stanford University, James Q. Wilson, professor of government at Harvard University, and Michael Novak, director of the religion and public-policy project of the American Enterprise Institute.--tt

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