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 June 23, 1982:
Illegal Immigrants: In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that immigrant children who are in this country illegally are entitled to a free, public education. The court’s decision in Plyler v. Doe finds that a Texas law, which permitted districts to charge tuition for children who are illegal immigrants, violates the 14th Amendment.
Catholic Education: Two soon-to-be-published studies suggest that urban Roman Catholic schools may be more effective in educating students than their public counterparts. The authors of one study argue that many Catholic schools will not survive, however, without tuition tax credits or vouchers.
Finance Reform: The West Virginia board of education says it won’t appeal a court ruling that found the state’s system of financing schools unconstitutional. The ruling by Ohio County Circuit Judge Arthur M. Recht set forth a detailed list of standards that West Virginia schools must meet to achieve a constitutionally mandated “thorough and efficient” system of free schools.
Video Future: A report sponsored by the National Science Foundation predicts that the “widespread dissemination of textual and graphic information by wholly electronic means” may create closer links between family life and schooling. The report foresees “a shift away from the traditional school and work socialization processes to ones in which peer groups and alliances are electronically determined.”
Desegregation Challenge: In a case with potentially far-reaching ramifications in Illinois, the state’s authority to order racial desegregation in its schools is being tested before the Illinois Supreme Court. The court is expected to rule soon on the state board of education’s appeals of two appellate decisions that struck down state desegregation guidelines.
Academic Achievement: U.S. Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell tells educators educators at the National Diffusion Network’s annual conference that the federal government cannot afford to promote programs that delve into the “affective domain” of students. Rather, he suggests, “our highest possible priority in this era needs to be academic excellence and achievement.”
Saxon Math: A controversial mathematics program that stresses repetition and continuous review is producing gains in achievement for many students. But so far, the program developed by former test pilot John H. Saxon Jr. has drawn a flurry of rejection slips from publishers.
Taxpayer Revolt: A brand-new, $14 million high school in Brandon Township, Mich., will stand vacant in the coming fall because local taxpayers sank a proposed tax increase. The defeat of the April referendum cut into the building’s operating funds.
A version of this article appeared in the June 19, 2002 edition of Education Week as Retrospective