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Published in Print: January 16, 2002, as Retrospective

Retrospective

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Block Grant Fallout: A widely praised voluntary school desegregation program in Montclair, N.J., will be all but wiped out next year because the federal money that supported it must be shared by school systems throughout the state. The Emergency School Aid Act, a $149 million federal desegregation program that provided funding to Montclair, was wiped out along with 25 other federal programs when Congress passed a package of education block grants in the summer of 1981.

Dead as a Dodo?: Addition and subtraction will survive as part of the mathematics curriculum, but computers and calculators are likely to render long division "as dead as a dodo bird," predicts Richard D. Anderson, the president of the Mathematical Association of America. But many teachers are resisting the introduction of calculators to the classroom, he notes.

Teaching Values: Donald G. Gill, the state superintendent of schools in Illinois, is moving ahead with a controversial plan to teach values in public schools. Critics, including some members of the state board of education, say his plan may create more problems than it solves.

Philadelphia Flak: A tentative agreement between the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and the city, considered key to stabilizing the school district's finances, has run into strong opposition from the City Council and the business community. Last fall, the opening of the school year was delayed by 50 days during a bitter strike.

Competitive Pressure: The industrialized nations that compete economically with the United States provide much more instruction in math and science than do American schools, according to a panel of educators discussing Japan and East and West Germany. If the United States does not remedy national deficiencies in science education, they warn, future productivity will be seriously jeopardized.

Accountability Plan: A committee of the Tennessee state board of education recommends that the state consider adopting a sweeping accountability plan that would abolish the teacher-tenure system, establish a statewide merit-pay program, and provide incentive grants to districts that improve their academic programs.

Vol. 21, Issue 18, Page 6

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