January 12, 1994

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Vol. 13, Issue 16
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Education reformers have greeted Walter H. Annenberg's pledge to donate $500 million to public education with praise for the largest private gift ever to American public schools--and uncertainty over where the bulk of the money will go and what it will do.
In a decision with profound implications for a state that trails the nation in financial support of schools, the New Hampshire Supreme Court has ruled the state is obligated to fund public education.
The process by which Walter H. Annenberg decided to make public education a primary beneficiary of his massive fortune provides an interesting tale of philanthropic philosophy and personal chemistry, according to players in the drama that culminated in last month's announcement.
All five former U.S. Secretaries of Education, meeting in a forum last month in Atlanta, agreed that it is important to hold students to high standards.
The Media Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is housed in a stark I.M. Pei-designed building that seems to say, "Serious things go on here.'' Its surface, composed of hundreds of large gray squares, is severe, almost uninviting. In his book The Media Lab: Inventing the Future at M.I.T., Stewart Brand likened the structure to "a modern appliance.''
At my university, in the middle of a great and often daunting city, hardly a day passes that I don't see a group of young people, anywhere from the middle grades to high school juniors and seniors, being shown around the campus. Of course we would be delighted if some of them wound up enrolling here, but we're also glad to be a place where young people who may never have thought about college before look around them, listen to the student guides, and say, "This is great. How can I get to college?"
Reference today to the First Amendment generally elicits strong sentiment about the protection of our constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of religion, speech, assembly and petition, and the press. That sentiment comes down on all sides of those rights -- from the recognition of the right of an individual to bum the American flag as a protest, to the burning and banning of books such as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, The Catcher in the Rye, and To Kill a Mockingbird from school libraries.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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