As Education Week marks its 20th anniversary, here are some of the people, events, and issues that were making news 20 years ago this week.
Selected stories from Sept. 21, 1981.
Desegregation: School desegregation can improve both learning and race relations, provided certain practices are adopted, concludes a report by a national panel of experts that spent seven years studying the issue. Paramount among effective strategies, the report says, are desegregating schools in the earliest possible grade, fostering an intimate climate in the schools, and expecting students to meet high standards. Yet such measures tend to be overlooked in the confusion and political unrest that often accompany desegregation, according to the panel. [Not in archive.]
Tests for Educators: With the passage of Assembly Bill 757, California becomes the first state to require candidates for school administrative jobs to pass basic-skills tests and the first to require that teacher-aides meet minimum levels of competence. The law also requires all educators to pass a series of tests demonstrating proficiency in reading, writing, and mathematics before public school systems can hire them.
Jesse Jackson: The U.S. Department of Education, which recently rescinded an $825,000 grant to the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson's PUSH-EXCEL program, may reverse itself and award the money after all. Federal officials had revoked the grant because the group allegedly refused to allow a federal review of its auditing procedures. But the Chicago-based organization has now agreed to permit the review.
Title IX: The U.S. Department of Justice refuses a request by U.S. Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell to exclude school employees from coverage under Title IX, the law that bars sex discrimination in education programs that receive federal funding.
Teacher Education: The Kansas board of education joins several other states in raising standards for prospective teachers. Beginning in 1985, students entering schools and departments of education will have to have at least a 2.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and maintain it through graduation to be certified. A 2.0 is the current requirement.
Warning on Beards: Bearded teachers and other professionals whose jobs require gaining children's trust may instead be frightening them with their hairy faces, according to two researchers at Brigham Young University.
Substitutes: Substitute teachers hired on a day-to-day basis now have collective bargaining rights in New York under what is believed to be the first state law of its kind. The law makes most of the state's 41,000 per diem substitute teachers official employees of the school districts they work for.
Private Schools: The Colorado board of education rejects regulations that would have set statewide educational standards for private schools and allowed the state to monitor teaching.
Vol. 21, Issue 3, Page 6Published in Print: September 19, 2001, as Retrospective