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20 Years Ago ... MARCH 2, 1983

  • In an unprecedented move, the chief state school officers of 38 states meet at Yale University with the presidents of more than 40 leading colleges and universities to discuss ways they can cooperate to get more academically talented people into teaching, while keeping the best of those who are already in the profession.
  • Reagan administration officials, whose 1981 proposal to reduce the Cabinet-level U.S. Department of Education to a small foundation was rebuffed by Congress, design another plan for reorganizing the department. One administration source characterizes the new proposal as "more credible in a political sense."
  • Access to computers, both sides of a 20-year-old desegregation controversy in San Francisco agree in a voluntary settlement, is becoming an integral part of elementary and secondary education—and one in which poorer students are usually left behind. Some note that the widespread use of new technology is such a profound development that the inequities could threaten the basic value of free access to public education.

  • President Clinton's proposal to spend more than $1.2 billion over five years on youth apprenticeships aimed at moving young people into skilled jobs adds momentum to an already popular idea. But experts say the task of crafting a high-quality system that combines school and work-site training remains daunting.
  • The rapidly growing number and variety of before- and after-school programs based at schools and other sites have expanded opportunities for working parents to find a haven for their children during nonschool hours, concludes the first broad national study of those programs. But the study also suggests that the potential to serve more poor families has been limited by a reliance on paid tuition.
  • Appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, the lawyer for an Arizona family argues that a public school district may provide a sign- language interpreter for a deaf student in a Roman Catholic high school because such aid does not advance religion. The case involves James Zobrest, a deaf young man who as a child attended a state school for the deaf before transferring to a regular public middle school, and then moving to a Catholic high school.

Vol. 22, Issue 24, Page 6

Published in Print: February 26, 2003, as Retrospective

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