As Education Week marks its 20th anniversary, here are some of the people, events, and issues that were making news 20 years ago.
Selected stories from April 14, 1982:
Calling for Credits: After an intense six-month lobbying campaign in favor of tuition tax credits, the nation’s Catholic-school educators and parents expect the keynote speaker at their Chicago conference this week—President Reagan—to unveil his administration’s tax-credit proposal. Mr. Reagan’s scheduled address to the National Catholic Educational Association, which represents 10,000 Catholic schools that educate 3.5 million students, would make good on a pledge he had already made to the Chief Administrators of Catholic Education to grant tax benefits to parents who send their children to private schools.
Payless Payday Averted: Michigan’s treasury officials have approved a $20 million cash advance for the Detroit school district, ending the prospect of a payless payday for the district’s 21,000 workers. “We do not want the largest school district in the state to miss a payday,” says State Treasurer Loren E. Monroe. “We just can’t let that happen.”
Debating Language: Proposed changes in federal policies involving bilingual education threaten to “destroy a crucial and effective program,” according to educators who advocate using native languages to teach students who aren’t proficient in English. The National Association for Bilingual Education has assailed the Reagan administration for policy shifts now being considered that would downplay the role of native-language teaching in favor of other methods that emphasize teaching in English.
Military Science: The liveliest debate at this year’s gathering of the National Science Teachers Association is provoked by the suggestion of a leading scientist that help for the troubled teaching profession may be available from a controversial new source: the U.S. Department of Defense. “We must begin to rebuild our bridges to the Defense Department,” suggests D. Allan Bromley, the president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a physics professor at Yale University.
Voluntary Prayer: The Louisiana chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union plans to file suit in federal district court against the school board in Rapides Parish if officials there continue to allow teachers to begin their classes each day with a voluntary-prayer period. In January, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower- court ruling that struck down the state’s 1980 law allowing students and teachers to say prayers in the morning.
Ethics Ultimatum: The Massachusetts State Ethics Commission has issued an ultimatum to teachers who serve on town and city councils that they must resign from those positions or face a maximum $1,000 fine. The order is based on the assumption that a teacher’s contractual agreement with a municipality conflicts with the decisions required of the teacher as a member of the town or city council.
Troubled District: A Mississippi school district that was found guilty of racial discrimination lays off 15 teachers after its federal aid is cut off by the U.S. Department of Education. The teachers received their termination notices the same day that the Perry County school district’s Title I aid for disadvantaged children was discontinued.
A version of this article appeared in the April 10, 2002 edition of Education Week as Retrospective