As Education Week marks its 20th anniversary, here are some the people, events, and issues that were making news 20 years ago. Selected stories from May 26, 1982.
Title IX Ruling: In a decision that clarifies one of the most disputed provisions of a 10-year-old law barring sex discrimination in federally funded education programs, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 applies to school employees as well as students. The 6-3 decision in North Haven Board of Education v. Bell affirms the right of the U.S. Department of Education to cut off federal aid to school districts that are found guilty by federal investigators of discriminating against female employees.
Enforcement Resumes: A day after the Supreme Court rules that Title IX protects employees as well as students in schools and colleges, federal investigators begin preparing to “reactivate” their investigations into complaints of sex discrimination in educational employment. The Department of Education’s office for civil rights had suspended action on complaints of sex-based job bias in educational institutions two years earlier after several appellate-court decisions limited the law’s reach to students.
West Virginia Finance: A West Virginia trial judge has ruled that his state’s system of financing public schools is unconstitutional and ordered the state to provide the money to lift all schools to specific educational standards. In a comprehensive, 244- page opinion, Judge Arthur M. Recht of Wheeling holds that not one of West Virginia’s 55 county school systems meets the state’s constitutional standards for a “thorough and efficient” education, which he defines in minute detail.
Dramatic Gains: Citing “the birth of a new spirit in education,” the Ford Foundation awards $1,000 grants to 110 inner-city public high schools. In ceremonies in Detroit, the foundation honors urban schools from 36 cities that made dramatic educational gains over the past decade.
Local Control: Reacting to the concerns of local school districts, the Alaska board of education has endorsed a concept that will recognize “local diversity” in the implementation of a plan for statewide school improvement proposed by the Governor’s Task Force on Effective Schooling. The concept, called “choice and alignment,” will allow districts either to establish their own goals and objectives for curricular content or to follow the state-established goals, according to Ernest E. Polley, the director for educational design and delivery for the state.
Indian Education: Representatives of several American Indian organizations, testifying before a Senate subcommittee, express extreme displeasure with the Reagan administration’s proposal to transfer federal Indian education programs from the U.S. Department of Education to the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. The proposed transfer of several programs to the BIA is part of the administration’s plan for dismantling the department.
Title I Funding: State education officials in New York say they will seek a federal court order to prevent the U.S. Department of Education from using 12-year-old U.S. Census data as the basis for distributing federal aid for disadvantaged children to the states. New York Commissioner of Education Gordon M. Ambach says he made his decision to seek an injunction barring next July’s distribution of Title I aid to states after learning that the department will make those allocations on the basis of 1970, rather than 1980, figures from the U.S. Census Bureau.
A version of this article appeared in the May 22, 2002 edition of Education Week as Retrospective