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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 the week of March 31, 1982:

Teacher-Supply 'Crisis': A new survey concludes that shortages of qualified mathematics and science teachers have reached the "crisis point." And the situation is unlikely to change, according to the study by the National Science Teachers Association, unless steps are taken to encourage more people to teach those subjects and to upgrade the skills and salaries of those who are already teaching.

White House Agenda: Members of President Reagan's Cabinet give their approval to a proposal to grant income-tax credits to parents who pay private school tuition, according to administration sources. The controversial plan has been a topic of debate in the Congress since 1969.

Television and Achievement: Sixth grade students who watch up to an hour of television per day perform better on statewide achievement tests than those who watch none at all, a study by the California Department of Education has found. But the analysis also reveals that achievement-test scores decline as television viewing increases from a half-hour to more than six hours a day. [Not in archive.]

Special Circumstances: The parents of three mentally retarded children ask the Nevada Supreme Court to decide whether the state board of education must provide special education for retarded children under the age of 3. A lower court ruled that the state was not obligated to provide special education programs for mentally retarded children under the age of 3, even though it offers such programs for children in that age group whose vision or hearing is impaired.

Desegregating Denver: Bowing to a federal judge's order, the Denver school board votes 6-1 to develop a desegregation plan that includes both mandatory busing and magnet schools. The board's action comes only three days after U.S. District Judge Richard P. Matsch rejected the board's open-enrollment proposal as "an exercise in escapism."

Lunch Records: The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food and Nutrition Service agrees to respond to California education officials' allegation that it is illegal to require Social Security numbers on students' applications for free and reduced-price lunches. The agreement comes in the wake of a directive by Wilson C. Riles, California's superintendent of public instruction, ordering school districts not to deny poor children subsidized lunches solely because their applications lack Social Security numbers.

Catholic Controversy: Four nuns who were fired from their teaching duties at the Sacred Heart School in Hampton, N.H., are suing the diocesan bishop and his superintendent of schools to discover why. The four nuns were dismissed after an anonymous memorandum, originating somewhere in the diocese's hierarchy, accused them of being "cliquish" and uncooperative with local school trustees and parish officials.

Vol. 21, Issue 28, Page 6

Published in Print: March 27, 2002, as Retrospective
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