20 YEARS AGO ... May 11, 1983
- Florida can legally
withhold high school diplomas from students who cannot pass a
minimum-competency test, a federal district judge rules. Judge
George C. Carr's decision means that as many as 3,100 Florida
seniors, about two-thirds of them black, will not receive diplomas
- The National Task Force on Education for Economic Growth concludes that America's schools are failing to adequately prepare students for the demands of a competitive, technology-based economy. The task force proposes overhauling how teachers are recruited, prepared, and paid; lengthening the school day and year; and setting "firm, explicit, and demanding" requirements for discipline, attendance, homework, and grades.
- Meanwhile, a task force on federal education policy exhorts the government to replace its focus on "regulations and mandates" with a "new emphasis on incentives" to improve U.S. schools. The panel of scholars and educators calls for "significant new federal outlays in education."
- Experts are predicting that President Clinton's proposals for a national-service program and direct student loans will run into some bumpy stretches on Capitol Hill. Mr. Clinton has promoted the service initiative as an example of how citizens receiving federal benefits can be required to shoulder responsibilities in return.
- Signaling an end to a 17-year-old lawsuit against the Boston school system, a Massachusetts judge has approved a major reorganization of the district's troubled special education programs. With Superior Court Judge Catherine A. White's imprimatur, the district joins a handful of school districts nationwide seeking to devise a more comprehensive and unified approach to teaching students in both regular and special education.
- Texas lawmakers are moving toward a drastic consolidation plan that, in some cases, could force consolidation of districts separated by many miles. Legislators consider the proposal after voters soundly defeated a constitutional amendment that would have resolved the state's school finance crisis by allowing regional sharing of local property taxes.
Vol. 22, Issue 34, Page 6Published in Print: May 7, 2003, as Retrospective