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 June 9, 1982:
Fiscal Woes:Deteriorating fiscal conditions in many states appear to be reversing a decade-long trend toward closing spending gaps between wealthy and poor school districts. A study by the Denver-based Education Commission of the States blames the economic recession, which has caused collections from income and sales taxes to fall far below expected levels.
Bilingual Shortage: The federal government estimates the country has between 15,700 and 55,600 fewer bilingual education teachers than needed to teach children with limited English skills. The study by the U.S. Department of Education predicts the shortage will grow worse, based on a projected increase in the number of non-English-speaking students.
Job Market: Seniors graduating from high school in the spring of 1982 will enter the tightest job market in a long time. Employment experts say the sectors that traditionally have hired inexperienced high school graduates— construction companies, restaurants, and small businesses—have in many cases been hit hardest by the economic slowdown and are shrinking dramatically.
Technology Plan: The Education Department leaps to the defense of a four-year, $16 million technology plan that conservative critics charge would perpetuate "the centralization of curriculum information and development." The plan, developed by Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell, undercuts President Reagan's education policies, according to the national conservative weekly newspaper Human Events.
Seeking Balance: Teachers in New York City may have to be transferred and more minority teachers may have to be hired to achieve racial balance in each of the city's public schools, under an agreement made five years earlier with the federal government. The U.S. Education Department is threatening legal action.
Thinking Skills: Children in a Pennsylvania community are taking philosophy courses as part of a districtwide program to teach 5th through 7th graders how to reason. The program reflects the growing interest in teaching thinking skills, at a time when national surveys suggest that a majority of youngsters lack the analytic skills needed to defend their views, interpret facts, and draw conclusions.
Civil Rights: The fiscal 1983 budget being offered by the Reagan administration marks a "new low point" in civil rights enforcement, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights contends. The report by the independent federal panel charges that the proposed budget points to an increasingly passive role for the government's civil rights enforcement agencies.
Vol. 21, Issue 39, Page 6Published in Print: June 5, 2002, as Retrospective