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The Public Broadcasting Service is going "back to school" this week by spotlighting education during nine hours of prime-time programming.

Included in the programming are the premieres of two hour-long specials.

PBS will present "Who Will Teach for America?" at 9 P.M. Eastern time on Sept. 3. The documentary examines the much discussed Teach For America program that has placed recent college graduates in teaching positions in needy inner-city and rural school districts. The documentary follows several of the young teachers throughout the program's initial year. Teach For America's second group of teachers is entering schools this year.

The other new special is "Math: Who Needs It?!," which is to be broadcast at 8 P.M. Eastern time on Sept. 4. The show features Jaime Escalante, the acclaimed former Los Angeles mathematics teacher, as well as such celebrities as Bill Cosby and Teri Garr, in a look at how people use mathematics in everyday life.

Other programming includes several reruns of past education specials. Viewers should check local listings for broadcast times in their areas.

The pay-cable television network Home Box Office this month debuts a documentary about a New York City teacher who was attacked by a teenager with a baseball bat while coaching in a South Bronx schoolyard.

"Attempted Murder: Confrontation" focuses on the teacher's attempts to learn why he was assaulted. The brutal attack on the teacher, Gary Smith, resulted in the loss of one eye and some of his hearing. During the documentary, Mr. Smith goes face-to-face with his attacker, who was convicted and sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison.

The HBO documentary will be aired at 11 P.M. Eastern time on Sept. 11.

The Federal Communications Commission has delayed the effective date of new rules that limit the number of commercials during children's television programming.

The rules, which the F.C.C. Was required to adopt by the Children's Television Act of 1990, were to become effective Oct. 1. The F.C.c. voted 5 to 0 on Aug. 1 to postpone the rules until Jan. 1.

The major beneficiary of the delay will be independent television stations--those not affiliated with one of the major broadcast networks--which argued that they would lose as much as $83 million in advertising revenue if they were forced to comply with the commercial limits during the fourth quarter, which includes the busy pre-Christmas flood of toy advertising.

The National Education Association opposed the extension.--M.W.

Vol. 11, Issue 01, Page 1

Published in Print: September 4, 1991, as Media Column
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