October 25, 1995

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Vol. 15, Issue 08
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For three busloads of high school boys from Camden, N.J., traveling to the Million Man March here last week was a chance to live something that another generation likely will read about in a history textbook.
Last May, auditors for the city of Washington reported that school officials there had hired thousands of people who had been arrested or convicted of crimes. Among the auditors' discoveries was the fact that about a quarter of the District of Columbia schools' 211 security workers had arrest or conviction records. Over a 15-month period ending in December 1994, the school district had hired 114 people with criminal backgrounds, representing about 6 percent of all its new employees. More than 50 of these persons had been hired as teachers or substitute teachers.
In 1990, America's governors reached a historic consensus on a set of national educational goals as targets for the year 2000. Among these national goals was that " ... every adult American shall be literate." While this goal was widely applauded by those in the literacy community, much more national attention (and nearly 15 times the budgetary resources) has been devoted to the other goals that focus almost exclusively on improving the formal K-12 school system. Now, with the new Adult Education Act, welfare-reform legislation pending in Congress, and renewed debate over the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, the troubling (and enduring) question of low-literate Americans is back in the news.
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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