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Published in Print: November 28, 2001, as Retrospective


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As Education Week marks its 20th anniversary, here are some of the people, events, and issues that were making news 20 years ago this week.

Illegal Aliens: The U.S. Supreme Court hears oral arguments in a case involving a 1975 Texas law that cuts off state reimbursements to children who are not "legally admitted" to the United States. Under the law, districts are permitted to charge tuition or exclude such children from school altogether. The case is expected to redefine the rights of illegal aliens.

School Quality: A class action charging that rural West Virginia school districts are severely underfunded winds down in Kanawha Circuit Court in Charleston. The plaintiffs charge that the state's method of paying for public schools relies too heavily on property taxes, thus discriminating against property-poor districts.

Private Schools: Futurist Helen Brudner tells a joint meeting of the National Association of Independent Schools and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education that private schools will be "the only game in town" as federal and state support for public education continues a downward spiral. But she predicts a "terrible divisiveness" in the private sector as nonsectarian schools face competition from mainly fundamentalist schools.

Grading Reagan: The Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank, gives President Reagan a report card evaluating his first year in office. The president receives a 58 percent score in education policy for taking action on 17 of 29 policy changes recommended by the foundation. "A commendable change in direction," the report says.

Women Superintendents: The Women's Caucus of the American Association of School Administrators holds its first separate national conference in Arlington, Va., five years after its founding. "We exist to jar sensibilities, to keep people alert, to build networks, to learn, and to promote the gathering of statistics," says Susan Kaye, the director of pupil-personnel services and grants for the Bellmore-Merrick Center High School District in New York and the president of the caucus.

Aristotle in 4th Grade: An elementary school in Fort Worth, Texas, is among dozens nationwide using a program designed to help improve children's reasoning skills. Developed by Matthew Lipman, the director of the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children at Montclair State College in New Jersey, the program features his book Harry Stottlemeier's Discovery, which presents Aristotelian logic in story form. (Not available online.)

Vol. 21, Issue 13, Page 6

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