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Remembering 1988: The Year in Education

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In key rulings, the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the right of administrators to regulate student speech in school-sponsored publications and restricts the right of schools to exclude disruptive handicapped students from classrooms.

Economic prospects for the "forgotten half"--non-college youths--are bleak, a major study concludes.

The federal Centers for Disease Control urge schools to provide aids instruction in all grades.

Gov. Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin proposes an experimental voucher-style program for Milwaukee's disadvantaged pupils.

The National Geographic Society launches a $20-million project to foster "geographic literacy."


Following a December 1987 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit that the Constitution limits the ability of courts to order states to pay for local desegregation programs, an Eighth Circuit panel holds that Arkansas can be ordered to support Little Rock's program.

For only the second time in his eight-year tenure, President Reagan asks the Congress to increase federal education spending--by $900 million for fiscal 1989.

A national survey finds enrollments in teacher-training programs surging by up to 20 percent.

Georgia becomes the first state to mandate consideration of standardized-test scores in the promotion of kindergartners.

In a case believed to be the first of its kind, a federal district judge in Indiana rules that mandatory drug-testing for high-school athletes does not violate their constitutional rights.


The National Education Association agrees to drop its legal challenge to a Georgia teacher-testing program after the state agrees to modify the program.

U.S. Justice Department officials indicate they will ask federal judges to dismiss as many as 220 school-desegregation cases.

The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching calls for comprehensive efforts to rescue "imperiled" urban schools.

The Congress overrides the President's veto of the Civil Rights Restoration Act, which expands coverage of anti-discrimination laws.

Rebuffing U.S. Justice Department arguments, a federal judge rules that Atlanta peace activists may enter city schools to express their views on military service.

A federal commission recommends major changes in the way the nation's 1.2 million hearing-impaired children are educated.

Attorneys general in nine states initiate legal action against insurance companies accused of restricting the liability coverage offered to cities and school districts.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children warns that "readiness" testing may have ill effects.


Student achievement remains "unacceptably low" despite the positive impact of the reform movement, Secretary Bennett charges in a report marking the fifth anniversary of the release of A Nation at Risk.

The Supreme Court surprises the legal community by deciding to reconsider a 1976 ruling that allows blacks to sue private schools that deny them admission on racial grounds.

Despite the "meteoric" rise in computers' popularity, few students are knowledgeable about computer applications and programming, the first national assessment on the subject finds.

Minnesota becomes the first state to enact a "choice" plan allowing parents broad discretion in their choice of school districts.

A national report urges changes in school structure to help immigrant students succeed.

Black students' achievement in mathematics and science improved substantially in the 1980's, the National Science Board reports.


Tennessee adopts the first statewide policy allowing school districts to require students to take drug tests.

Most schools fail to provide students with effective instruction in the arts, argues a National Endowment for the Arts report.

In a ruling expected to be influential, a federal appellate panel upholds a Virginia law exempting church-related day-care centers from state licensing requirements.

New Jersey officials move to take direct control of Jersey City schools, under a new "academic bankruptcy" law fought hard for by Gov. Thomas Kean. The action is the first in the nation under such a law.

Secretary Bennett announces he will leave office in September.

Connecticut lawmakers become the first in the country to link state aid to districts with students' test scores.


California business leaders, proposing a thorough overhaul of the state's schools, suggest reducing required attendance from 13 years to 9.

American high-school students' proficiency in mathematics is "dismal," a naep assessment finds.

Groups long at odds over church-state issues join forces to argue in favor of teaching about religion in schools.

The Supreme Court lets stands a controversial lower-court order that linked school- and housing-desegregation efforts in Yonkers, N.Y.

Baton Rouge, La., announces an improvement plan that is seen as the first to combine the popular strategies of parental choice and school-based management.

Ruling on a South Dakota law, the Supreme Court finds no constitutional barrier to charging poor families for their children's transportation to school.

Florida's pioneering incentive-pay program for teachers expires, as lawmakers adjourn without providing required funding.


President Reagan signs legislation giving schools another seven months to submit plans for asbestos containment in their buildings.

Mississippi school officials decide to end standardized testing of kindergartners.

A Washington State judge rules that the public has a right to view school records when a teacher's certification is revoked.

District and union officials in Dade County, Fla., hail a new contract that gives teachers substantial pay raises and more power in school management.

Kentucky officials move to take control of the Pike County school district, and Gov. Arch Moore Jr. of West Virginia signs a bill that gives the state sweepingity to manage failing districts.

A federal appellate panel rules that the Education Department acted properly in awarding a California consortium the grant to operate the National Center for Research in Vocational Education.

President Reagan signs a measure allowing states to bill the Medicaid program for some health-related services provided to handicapped students.

National Education Association affiliates in a handful of states forge "no-raid" agreements with other major unions that enroll school support personnel.


In his last major report before leaving office, Secretary Bennett proposes a model curriculum for elementary schools.

In a nationally watched case on the funding of school desegregation in Kansas City, Mo., a federal appeals court rules that a judge can order hikes in property taxes, but not income taxes, to finance the costly plan.

Florida becomes the sixth state to adopt a "learnfare" plan requiring young mothers on welfare to attend school or seek job training.


New Jersey becomes the first state to adopt standards allowing candidates with no previous experience in education to be hired as principals.

Few states have taken effective steps to solve the educational problems of "at risk" students, a major study by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation concludes.

Naep finds a "distressingly low" level of achievement in science.

The Institute for Educational Leadership argues that working conditions in some urban schools have become "intolerable."

In California, a bellwether state for textbook trends, a panel urges adoption of reading texts emphasizing "real literature" over skills development and drills.

All students need some exposure to agricultural education, a three-year study by the National Research Council concludes.

Minority students made substantial gains in college-entrance-test scores in 1988, while students' performance on the exams remained static over all, annual test data show.

Children make up the fastest-growing segment of the nation's homeless population, a Congressionally mandated study says, calling the situation "a national disgrace."

A report by leading historians and history educators warns of a "crisis" in their field and urges schools to expand the amount and content of history instruction.


Catholic educators in Detroit assess implications of a historic announcement by the archdiocese that it plans to close more than one-third of the city's churches.

In its final weeks, the 100th Congress approves a massive welfare-reform bill mandating education or training for aid recipients, but fails to pass measures providing subsidies for child care and mandating unpaid leave for parents to care for children.

Vermont officials unveil plans to assess student performance on the basis of work portfolios as well as test scores.

A panel of the National Association of State Boards of Education calls for scrapping graduation requirements based on Carnegie units.

Congress clears legislation increasing funding for school anti-drug programs and allowing the courts to bar drug offenders from receiving student aid.

The parents of a severely handicapped boy appeal a federal judge's unprecedented ruling that the boy is ineligible for special education because he is not "capable of benefiting" from it.

New York State's school chief, Thomas Sobol, unveils a plan to allow parents to transfer their children out of schools deemed by the state to be "educationally unsound."

The Justice Department, in a policy turnaround, says aids patients and carriers who do not pose a threat to others cannot be discriminated against in schools receiving federal funds.

The Educational Testing Service announces plans to replace the paper-and-pencil National Teacher Examinations with "radically different" forms of assessment.


Business leaders in Boston refuse to renew their six-year-old partnership with the public schools until the schools speed up the pace of reform.

Publishers of achievement and college-admissions tests sign a "code of fair practices" aimed at protecting the rights of test takers.

The Interior Department announces plans to require virtually all employees of federally operated Indian schools to undergo random drug testing.

A report commissioned by the nation's governors urges states to increase the "portability" of pension benefits as a way of facilitating teacher mobility.


After months of debate, the Illinois legislature clears a landmark bill to revamp the Chicago school system by giving power over individual schools to panels of teachers, parents, and principals.

The Defense Department ponders plans to transfer some or all of the 17 schools it operates on domestic military bases to neighboring school systems.

Although teachers express satisfaction with their jobs, they are deeply worried about student behavior, lack of principal support, and inadequate working conditions, according to a massive survey by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

Popular beliefs about television's ill effects on student learning appear to be overstated, or unsupported by existing research, a federally financed report says.

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