National News Roundup
The Teacher Education Council of State Colleges and Universities believes it may be swimming against the current, but has nevertheless adopted three resolutions urging "more rigorous" standards for teacher training.
At the council's October conference in Cleveland, two major topics--existing teacher shortages and "the declining talent pool" in teacher education--were discussed.
As a result of those discussions, council members endorsed the use of competency tests for teacher-education candidates prior to admission and graduation; "rigorous selection proce3dures" to screen out unqualified applicants for teacher-education programs; and maintenance of ''high-quality standards" by all chief state school officers regardless of teacher shortages.
State colleges and universities prepare approximately 80 percent of all teachers certified each year in the United States.
"American education is good. I am convinced that our high schools are the best in the world, but they are not perfect, and they were designed for a different era."
The speaker, Eastern Michigan6University President John W. Porter, was making "the case for reform" at a conference for educators sponsored by the Council for Basic Education late last month in Washington. (See related story on page 5.)
The high schools of today, still using curricula that are essentially unchanged since the 1950's, are the last hold-outs of "the decentralized society of the past," Mr. Porter said.
While technology, social problems, and the media have helped create a more homogeneous nation, the educator added, "we are a nation of 16,000 autonomous school districts with no common linkage."
The schools must begin to educate all students to function, live, work, and contribute as members of a centralized society within a global community, Mr. Porter said.