States News Roundup
The South Carolina Department of Education has announced that it will implement a new screening program to assess the skills of prospective school principals in 20 districts throughout the state.
In announcing the program, which was developed by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Charlie G. Williams, state superintendent, said the quality of educational leaders and managers at the school-building level would improve as the selection process does so.
Under the assessment process, 12 participants would be observed by a team of six assessors trained to rate the participants on their performance in 12 areas.
South Carolina's program, which, according to nassp, is the only one of its kind in the country, will be expanded and offered throughout the state after the first year. But the participation of school districts will be voluntary.
Gov. John V. Evans of Idaho has vetoed a bill allowing local school districts to try four-day school weeks.
Although the House overrode the veto, the Senate sustained it.
The bill's sponsors said it would help school districts save money.
The Governor said in his veto message that a search for innovative ways to run schools was probably a good idea, but that such experiments should be under the direct control of the state board of education.
Gov. Ted Schwinden of Montana has signed a bill that will make it illegal for insurance companies in the state to use actuarial tables based on sex or marital status.
The law will go into effect on Oct. 1, 1985. It was supported by the Montana Education Association and by several women's groups throughout the state, who argued that sex-based tables infringe on the rights of women as individuals. In actuarially-based pension programs, women receive smaller benefits than men because, as a group, they live longer and can collect benefits over a longer period of time.
Montana is the first state to adopt a law prohibiting sex-distinct tables in the local insurance industry, state officials say.
The U.S. Supreme Court is considering the legality of the use of separate tables for men and women in determining pension benefits--an option many states offer for teacher-retirement programs.
Twenty-four of Wisconsin's 30 public and private teacher-training schools have joined in an effort to upgrade the quality of their programs.
Members of the Wisconsin Consortium for Improving Professional Education Preparation Programs will nominate education professors, schoolteachers, school-board members, and lay people to review panels that will evaluate the member schools' education programs and make recommendations for improvements.
A member's programs will be reviewed on a five-year cycle.
Michael J. Stolee, dean of the school of education at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, described the novel consortium as "a method of helping each other" and not an alternative to the voluntary national accreditation offered by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.
But John R. Palmer, dean of the education school at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, said that some of the members of the consortium, including his school, do view the new organization as an alternative to ncate accreditation.
Members of the consortium sub-mit their programs for evaluation voluntarily. The incentive to do so, Mr. Palmer said, is the institution's "sense of professionalism."
Mr. Palmer said the consortium's evaluations are unrelated to the accreditation evaluations of each program conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction
Beginning next fall, Virginia will join the growing number of states that require all schoolchildren, regardless of age, to provide evidence that they have been immunized against the major diseases of childhood.
The law, which takes effect on July 1, expands the current requirement that pupils entering school for the first time and those transferring from other states be immunized. Under the new requirement, students will not be permitted to attend school without the immunization documentation. The requirement covers students in all public and nonpublic schools.
Health officials may exempt students if inoculation is in violation of their religious beliefs or if they have a health problem that precludes immunization.
The change was made in response to the growing consensus among health officials that, in order to prevent outbreaks of disease, older students must also be immunized, according to a spokesman for the state health department.
The new law requires pupils to be immunized against diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, polio, measles, rubella, and mumps.
Despite the superintendent of public instruction's contention that the state is badly in need of teacher-training courses in the use of computers, scholarships for a free computer college course have not been popular with Kentucky teachers this year.
Superintendent Raymond Barber said last week that there are no applicants for more than half of the 180 scholarships that the state is offering under a $25,000 project.
A two-day workshop last fall attracted so many teachers that the department had to schedule four additional ones. More than 200 teachers attended each of those sessions.
But the waiver of the $132 tuition for the full-semester course--which offered three hours of credit--has been so poorly received that Mr. Barber extended the application deadline of April 1 by one month.