January 31, 1996

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Vol. 15, Issue 19
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A bankruptcy trustee is asking hundreds of nonprofit organizations, schools, and universities to return $174 million in grants from a foundation whose philanthropic promise turned out to be a hoax.
Congress and the White House were expected late last week to agree on a new, temporary federal spending plan, avoiding a third shutdown of the Department of Education and other agencies.
President Clinton touched on a long list of education-related issues in his State of the Union Address last week, from school uniforms to school technology, and asked Congress to create $1,000 scholarships for top high school students.
Victorian parents and teachers have often been criticized for treating children as though they were little adults. The period's keenest social critic, Charles Dickens, satirized this ignorance in a collection of brilliant caricatures of schoolmasters and parents ranging from Mr. Creakle, the vicious proprietor of David Copperfield's Salem House, to Mr. Gradgrind, whose merciless doctrine of "hard work" and no play spoke for a culture which would have considered my school's developmental philosophy an abomination.
Education now ranks as the number-one priority among American voters, with 67 percent of those surveyed saying it is a major concern, according to a recent Gallup poll. Nearly every school system in the country is responding to the crisis in American education by scurrying to prepare the next generation for work in the emerging information-age economy. Computer literacy has become a sacred mantra as administrators and teachers search for new and inventive ways of bringing the tools and conceptual language of the digital revolution into the classroom. Underlying the new missionary zeal lies a kind of desperate frenzy, driven by the universally accepted assumption that competitive success in the cyberspace economy of the 21st century requires a new kind of mind able to traverse the virtual corridors of the information superhighway.
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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