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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 Feb. 17, 1982:

Teacher Glut: The demand for elementary and secondary teachers falls for the second consecutive year, according to an annual survey.

The drop in the number of education school graduates that resulted in an increased demand for teachers from 1976 to 1980 has been offset by the effects of declining enrollments and budget cuts, says James N. Akin, who conducted the survey for the Association for School, College and University Staffing, a membership organization.

Schools continue to be plagued by shortages of mathematics, science, and vocational education teachers. In contrast, the survey found an oversupply of art, physical education, and elementary school teachers.

With the increase in births in the late 1970s, Mr. Akin predicts that demand will soon grow.

Job Actions: Teachers in Warwick, R.I., end a seven-day strike over terms offered in a new contract, while those in another Rhode Island district volunteer to give up pay increases to save jobs.

Some 1,100 Warwick teachers had walked out in protest of school board plans to lay off more than 50 teachers because of budget restrictions, declining enrollment, and proposed salary increases.

In Jamestown, R.I., meanwhile, the district's 38 teachers agreed to forfeit $1,000 apiece to prevent personnel cuts.

Removing the Blindfold: Wesleyan University reverses its 15- year-old policy of admitting all qualified students regardless of their ability to pay, becoming the first university in the nation to end what is known as an "aid blind" admissions policy.

Under its new policy, the private institution will admit students who can pay their own way or those whose needs can be met within a "capped" financial-aid budget.

Educators express concern that other private colleges and universities would follow the Middletown, Conn., institution's lead, thereby narrowing the choices of less well-to-do students and making private, selective schools the exclusive province of the wealthy.

Morning Meditation: Idaho's House education committee approves a bill that would require public school students to set aside a minute each morning for "meditation or prayer."

Rep. Gary Paxman, the bill's sponsor, says he believes the measure would pass constitutional muster because it does not compel mandatory, organized, or spoken prayer.

Suspension Twice Over: High school students who were lost overnight on a snow-covered mountaintop are suspended from school for disobeying the teacher who led them on a hike up Mount Wrightson in Arizona.

More than 50 volunteers searched for the eight students from the Canyon Del Oro Alternative School in Tucson, Ariz., after they strayed from a larger group.

According to their teacher, the youths deliberately wandered off from the larger group. A helicopter belonging to a television station lifted them off the mountainside two at a time.

Vol. 21, Issue 22, Page 6

Published in Print: February 13, 2002, as Retrospective
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