Published Online: November 27, 2002
Published in Print: November 27, 2002, as Retrospective

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20 years ago ...

DEC. 8, 1982

  • The National Council of Teachers of English, in two new reports, says that educators and state leaders have concentrated too much on minimum-competency testing, to the detriment of students' critical-reading and analytic skills. While such tests may be "politically expedient," one report argues, they provide little useful information for teachers and lead to "a mass-production type of education."
  • A Minnesota students' group has filed a lawsuit against the Selective Service System and the U.S. Department of Education, challenging a law that requires young men to register for a possible military draft in order to receive federal aid for college. The law says men applying for such aid must sign a statement affirming that they have registered.
  • The 10-year-old National Institute of Education, the federal education research agency, has been consistently underfinanced and generates little respect among makers of policy and opinion, experts in the field say. They contend that the NIE, housed within the Education Department, has suffered from a revolving door of leaders, poor staffing, and misdirected priorities.

10 years ago ...

DEC. 2, 1992

  • School districts around the country are formulating codes to protect students from various forms of harassment. But the codes are generating flak from both advocates of free speech and, in some cases, socially conservative parents who see a veiled endorsement of homosexuality in such policies.
  • President-elect Bill Clinton's education agenda is still a work in progress. But it is expected to include national education standards and a plan to allow student-loan recipients to "pay back" their loans with community service and income-contingent payroll deductions.
  • Federal appellate courts are split on a critical issue for school administrators: Can the parents of students somehow injured or abused in school sue the officials in charge? The fundamental legal question, one that could come before the U.S. Supreme Court, is whether the Constitution imposes a duty on school officials to protect students from harm.

Vol. 22, Issue 13, Page 6

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