Secretary Requests 'Powerful' Report On Technology

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Washington--Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell has asked his newly appointed "Task Force on Educational Technology" to prepare a report that, like the much-heralded "A Nation at Risk," will convey its message "so powerfully and eloquently that there will be attention paid to it."

In addressing the group at its first meeting last week, the Secretary termed the task force, which he appointed in early September, "the most significant one that we've ever called together." As of late last week, the Education Department had not yet formally announced the formation of the group, a spokesman said.

According to a letter from federal officials to the group's 26 members--who include teachers, superintendents, publishers, and business executives--the task force was formed "to explain the role that public-private sector collaboration might play in helping to improve American education through the use of educational technology."

Noting that there are now 46,000 partnerships between schools and business and industry, Mr. Bell said he did not "know of any area where we need to establish working partnerships more urgently than in this area of instructional technology."

The Secretary made his remarks on the second day of a three-day meeting here of the new task force. It is expected to meet four times and to issue its report and recommendations by early next fall, according to a spokesman for the National Institute of Education.

The meeting was closed to the press, except for Secretary Bell's informal remarks, in which he noted that the advent of technology in the schools "will turn American education upside down."

"It's going to change the way we go about sponsoring teaching and learning in this country," he said. "So it's important we help to reshape this movement in a way so we don't have the bad, negative effects of it."

Taken 'Too Long'

Mr. Bell admitted that his department has "maybe taken too long to call a group like this together," but he appealed to the task force to produce a report "so well done, with thinking so concise and persuasive, that it will be universally recognized as a source book for all of American education."

Apparently addressing the textbook publishers represented on the task force, Mr. Bell noted that he believed the textbook of the future would have a pouch in the inside cover to hold a computer diskette.

"The biggest problem with the textbook is that it needs to challenge all the youngsters in the class," he said. "With computer software, the ability of the textbook to reach out and meet the needs of all the youngsters in the classroom is so greatly enhanced that the potential is mind-boggling."

"We are going to see so many changes over the next few years as the computer crunches down and crowds in and joins in," the Secretary said. "Whether we want it or not, it's going to be there."

Task-Force Members

The chairman of the technology task force is William Ridley, vice president for academic strategies of the Control Data Corporation. Mr. Ridley is a former president of the Minnesota State Board of Education and a corporate exchange fellow with the National Institute of Education.

The other members of the task force are:

George J. Adams, president, Mobility Systems and Equipment Company, Los Angeles; Carlos Benitez, president, United Schools of America, Miami; Robert Benton, superintendent, Iowa State Department of Public Instruction; William H. Booz, teacher, Fairfax County, Va.; Barbara Bowen, director, Apple Education Foundation, Cupertino, Calif.; Robert C. Bowen, vice president and general manager, college division, McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York City; William H. Bowman, chairman of the board, Spinnaker Software, Cambridge, Mass.; Bruce Brombacher, teacher, Upper Arlington, Ohio; Richard T. Bueschel, senior vice president of technology, Houghton-Mifflin Company, Boston; Barry J. Carroll, vice president, Katy Industries, Des Plaines, Ill.; Sylvia Charp, editor in chief, the Journal, Upper Darby, Pa.; Bobby Goodson, education consultant and president, International Council for Computers in Education, Sunnyvale, Calif.; W.E. Hawkins, president, Hutto, Hawkins, and Peregoy Inc., Winter Park, Fla.; McAllister H. Hull Jr., provost, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; Gregory A. Jackson, associate professor of education, Harvard School of Education, and co-director, Education Technology Task Force, Cambridge, Mass.; Lorrin Kennamer, dean, College of Education, University of Texas at Austin; Daniel W. Kunz, director, educational software, Commodore Business Machines Inc., Westchester, Pa., and launch director of the federal government's Young Astronaut Program; Bernard M. Oliver, technical advisor to the president, Hewlett-Packard Corporation, Palo Alto, Calif.; Benjamin F. Payton, president, Tuskegee Institute, Macon, Ala.; Joseph F. Potts, product manager, personal and educational software, International Business Machines Corporation, Boca Raton, Fla.; Billy R. Reagan, general superintendent, Houston Independent School District; Judah Schwartz, professor of engineering, science, and education, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and co-director, Education Technology Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.; Gordon Stulberg, president, Polygram Picture/Polygram Corporation, and member, board of directors, American Association of Community and Junior Colleges, Culver City, Calif.; William W. Turnbull, distinguished scholar in residence, Educational Testing Service, Princeton, N.J.; and Richard L. Warner, president, R.L. Warner Enterprises, Salt Lake City.

Vol. 04, Issue 10

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