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20 Years Ago...FEB. 16, 1983

  • The New York City board of education endorses a policy requiring daily homework for all students. Assignments are expected to range from at least 20 minutes a day for 1st and 2nd graders to a minimum of two hours for high school students.

  • Two major studies by prominent educators conclude that most high school students are not challenged academically. In essence, students have reached a "no hassle" truce with teachers that allows them to do little or no demanding work, according to Ernest L. Boyer of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Harvard University professor Theodore R. Sizer.
  • A federal jury awards $514,000 in damages to an Illinois teacher who claimed he had been penalized for talking to school board members about job-related problems. Administrators of Peoria School District 150 had argued that employee communications to the board should be channeled through the superintendent.

  • Joseph A. Fernandez is ousted as the chancellor of the New York City schools. The pending departure of Mr. Fernandez, whose management style, political shortcomings, and stands on such issues as sex education had come under fire, means that the nation's three largest districts are all in the market for school chiefs.
  • A state district judge declares North Dakota's school finance system inequitable and unconstitutional. Judge William F. Hodny orders the legislature to set up a new system within six months that would meet constitutional muster within four years.
  • The Pennsylvania House of Representatives votes overwhelmingly to nullify "outcomes based" education regulations. Critics contend that the regulations promote values that are antithetical to those of many parents.

Vol. 22, Issue 22, Page 6

Published in Print: February 12, 2003, as Retrospective

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