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 April 21, 1982:
Rethinking Desegregation: School and civic leaders in Duval County, Fla.—widely considered one of the most successfully desegregated districts in the country—are studying the possibility of dismantling the district's court-ordered busing plan and sending children to neighborhood schools. "It could be adjustment in what we're doing, it might be elimination, or it might be doing nothing, just leaving it as it is," says Herb A. Sang, the superintendent of the 99,000-student district.
Computerized Testing: Military researchers are experimenting with a computerized version of a group of vocational-aptitude tests administered to about 800,000 armed-forces personnel annually. The new system, which requires test-takers to sit at computers and answer questions electronically, is likely to make paper-and-pencil methods of testing obsolete, some testing experts believe.
Creationist 'Science': A committee of the Virginia state board of education has recommended that graduates of the teacher education program at Liberty Baptist College be eligible for certification as public school teachers, even though the college's biology department teaches the "scientific basis for biblical creationism." The Rev. Jerry Falwell, the leader of the Moral Majority, is the chancellor of the college.
Sorry, Aristotle: The suspension of Cyril Lang, a Maryland high school teacher who was temporarily relieved of his duties for teaching classics deemed too difficult for 10th graders, has been upheld by the state board of education. Mr. Lang contended that the principle of academic freedom entitled him to teach the works of Machiavelli and Aristotle, and his case became the focus of much media attention. Mr. Lang was transferred to another Montgomery County high school.
IEP for All: North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction Joseph Crawford's plan to provide the majority of the state's public school pupils with individualized education programs by 1984 "is not only irresponsible, but borders on irrational," according to the president of the North Dakota School Boards Association. Under the plan, all public school students in the state would be tested and assessed annually in much the same manner that children with disabilities are.
Power Shift: The Michigan legislature has adopted a plan to reunite Detroit's eight-region school system, spelling an end to the city's 11-year-old experiment with decentralized management. The new "recentralization" plan is expected to give more power to the superintendent and could affect the racial composition of Detroit's school board.
'Right Wing' Politics?: William C. Clohan Jr., who was dismissed as the undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education, charges that pressure from the "right wing, both within and outside of the government," prompted the Reagan administration to fire him. The former second-in-command of the Education Department says he suspects that administration officials were responding to recent demands by conservative leaders that Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell resign.
Vol. 21, Issue 31, Page 6Published in Print: April 17, 2002, as Retrospective