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20 YEARS AGO...FEB. 9, 1983

  • Gov. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee proposes replacing the traditional teacher-certification system that most states use with a four-stage "master teacher" structure. Under the Republican's proposal, the nation's first statewide incentive-pay plan for teachers, instructors would move up from "apprentice" to "professional" to "senior," and finally to "master," as they gained expertise.
  • Low-performing students made gains, but those who were higher achievers showed declines during the back-to-basics movement of the 1970s, concludes an analysis of the National Assessment of Educational Progress. Researchers studied the reading, mathematics, and science scores of 50,000 to 90,000 students from 1973 to 1980.
  • The longest teachers' strike in Pennsylvania history ends after 82 days, at the same time that bus drivers and maintenance workers walk out in the Philadelphia school system. As a result of the teachers' strike in California, Pa., the 1,400 students in the district outside Pittsburgh will attend school 136 days rather than their usual 180.

  • State policymakers and representatives of the teaching profession release model standards that identify for the first time a common core of knowledge and skills that all beginning teachers should possess. The Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium also plans to draft standards for new teachers in specific subject areas.
  • A jury convicts Bill Honig, California's high-profile superintendent of public instruction, on four felony conflict-of-interest charges. Mr. Honig, who was suspended from his job and faces losing it altogether, was found guilty of approving $337,000 worth of state contracts associated with his wife's nonprofit program.
  • Average pay increases for school principals this academic year are the lowest on record, an annual survey by the National Association of Secondary School Principals shows. Salaries rose about 2 percent from the 1991-92 school year to the present one for elementary, middle, and high school principals.

Vol. 22, Issue 21, Page 6

Published in Print: February 5, 2003, as Retrospective

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