April 3, 1996

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Vol. 15, Issue 28
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If the national education summit here last week was supposed to be a tightly directed production with few surprises, the players at center stage--from the governors to President Clinton--chose not to stick to the script.
Opposition to an academic-standards bill in the Maine legislature has left the measure's chances of survival in question as lawmakers near the end of their session.
The national education summit was held last week in a cloistered corporate campus with an exclusive guest list, but that did not prevent educators, parents, and others across the country from weighing in with reactions and opinions.
The following is the complete text of the policy statement issued at the conclusion of the 1996 National Education Summit last week in Palisades, N.Y.
Just about anyone might wonder whether an education summit focusing in part on technology and co-hosted by IBM, the world's largest computer manufacturer, would feature computer technology from any other source.
Education reformers rushing to create new forms of schooling may be overlooking a treasure trove of experience and data that could bolster their efforts to improve education.
What is vague challenges us as nothing else can. The just-released national standards for the teaching of English do not offer precise, delineated steps some would like and most would expect. What they offer is much more important: a framework for meaningful discussion about how best to teach English; a challenge to everyone--teachers, parents, politicians--to argue their case in response to these guidelines.
Public school uniforms have become the latest rage in education circles. Parents, teachers, school administrators, and politicians are embracing uniforms as the new policy tool for solving the problem of violence in schools. We hear enthusiastic claims that as a result of uniforms, disciplinary incidents and violence have declined, students' attitudes have improved, and a more serious learning environment has resulted. All these testimonials are confidently communicated, and their sheer abundance is persuasive.
President Clinton has come out for uniforms in public schools. I admire President Clinton. I will surely vote for him. But I can't help wondering whether it's a good idea to have our president beating the drum for putting uniforms on 45 million kids. I am certainly going to find out what companies make such items and buy some stock in them.
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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