Published Online: April 16, 2003
Published in Print: April 16, 2003, as Retrospective



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20 years ago ...

April 20, 1983

  • Public secondary school students are devoting less time to academic subjects and more to a wide range of elective courses, says a federal study. One of the most "startling" findings, according to the report, prepared for the National Commission on Excellence in Education, is the rise of the "general track."

  • A single swing vote in a committee of the Tennessee Senate halts Gov. Lamar Alexander's intensive campaign to enact a merit-pay plan for teachers. The negative vote defers further discussion of the controversial proposal for at least a year.
  • Lawyers for the Bristol, Va., school district contend that its Bible-study classes do not constitute "religious instruction" and that, even if they do, the First Amendment does not prohibit such instruction. The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit against the classes in the federal district court in Abingdon, Va.

10 years ago ...

April 21, 1993

  • Three- and 4-year-olds born into poverty who participated in the famed Perry Preschool program show dramatic social gains at age 27, the latest data from a long-term study show. Young adults who had taken part in the project had committed fewer crimes, earned more money, and possessed a "greater commitment to marriage" than their peers from similar backgrounds who did not receive the preschool services.
  • For the first time in nearly 30 years, enrollment in Roman Catholic schools nationwide has increased significantly. Officials of the National Catholic Educational Association, which released the data, attribute the 0.7 percent jump in 1992-93 to the popularity of prekindergarten and kindergarten programs.
  • Experts warn that President Clinton's hotly debated proposal to spend an extra $1 billion on summer-jobs programs for teenagers from low-income families may give young people a short-term boost, but will have little lasting educational or economic impact.

Vol. 22, Issue 31, Page 6

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