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Black Teachers Sought

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The American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education plans to launch a program to counter the shortage of minority students entering the teaching profession.

Two other organizations, the Educational Testing Service (ets) and the National Association for Equal Opportunity, will serve as co-sponsors, according to aacte.

An aacte spokesman said the group decided to take action on the minority-teacher shortage in light of data showing that the number of new teachers produced by its member black colleges has decreased by nearly 50 percent in the past five years--a period during which the enrollment of black students in public schools has risen.

"It's a problem America can't afford to ignore," said Jack L. Gant, former president of aacte Mr. Gant said the testing service would be involved in the program because many of the southern states in which the black colleges are located now require education students to pass an ets basic-skills test before they are certified. Higher proportions of black and Hispanic candidates than of whites have failed the test.

"ets has a responsibility to describe the minimum curriculum that is going to be covered on the test," said Mr. Gant, who is dean of Florida State University's education school. Then colleges can tailor their programs to develop the skills their students will need to pass the tests, he said.

As a first step in addressing the teacher-shortage problem, aacte plans a colloquium for deans of education schools. No date for the meeting has been set.--ha

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