Education is getting a great deal of attention this month from three major television networks.
This week, CBS News has mustered its newsgathering forces for a major effort on the topic, including special reports on the evening news, a prime-time special, and a national conference.
The centerpiece of the network's "Project Education" will be a two-hour special, "America's Toughest Assignment: Solving the Education Crisis." The program, to be anchored by Charles Kuralt, will present nine recommendations for improving the nation's schools, and will show examples from schools around the nation. The special airs at 9 P.M. Eastern time on Thursday, Sept. 6.
On the same night, following the late local news (11:30 P.M. Eastern time), CBS will air a one-hour forum including teachers, students, and community leaders around the nation.
On Wednesday, Sept. 5, the CBS News is bringing together education experts for a national conference to discuss such topics as teachers, school finance, and student assessment. Portions of the conference will be broadcast on the "CBS Nightwatch" program on Friday, Sept. 7, from 2 A.M. to 4 A.M. Eastern time.
Ernest L. Boyer, president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, is the educational consultant for the network's effort.
Meanwhile, on the Public Broadcasting Service, the correspondent Roger Mudd this week will present a follow-up to last year's "Learning in America" documentary series.
"Learning in America: Schools That Work" is scheduled to air from 9 to 11 P.M. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, although viewers should check local listings. The program will look at four thriving elementary schools--in Manhattan, Kan.; Landover, Md.; Lowell, Mass.; and Corpus Christi, Tex.
The program is a co-production of MacNeil/Lehrer Productions and public-television station WETA in Washington.
On Sunday, Sept. 9, the Cable News Network will air a one-hour report, "The Education Revolution," examining such issues as school choice, computers in the schools, and partnerships with business. The special airs at 9 P.M. Eastern time.
Next April, the entertainment divisions of the four major broadcast networks--ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox--plan to spend a week incorporating educational themes into their regular series, such as portraying teachers as role models.
The networks announced the project last month in Hollywood, Calif., although the specifics remain sketchy.--MW