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A Survey of State Initiatives

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Delaware is anticipating a statewide shortage of about 25 teachers in both mathematics and science next year if the state board of education approves a recommendation to increase graduation requirements in those subjects, said Randall L. Broyles, assistant state superintendent for instructional services. The recommendation will be considered this month and would increase requirements in both from one to two years.

In its latest session, the state legislature undertook no initiatives to encourage new teachers to enter these fields. However, it did create a committee to monitor teacher shortages that might arise in any subject area. Called the "Statewide Committee to Insure Availability of Teachers in Critical Curricular Areas," the 21-member group includes representatives from industry, community groups, the public schools, and colleges, and was appointed by the state education department.

The group held its first meeting in June. It is scheduled to deliver a full report to the Governor and the legislature next January.

The state education department's curriculum committee this spring rejected a proposal by Gov. Pierre S. du Pont 4th to make computer-literacy courses a graduation requirement. The committee recommended that computer-related objectives be integrated into the general curriculum rather than addressed in a separate course.

Delaware was one of the first states to promote the use of computers in schools, officials said; it has a state-wide computer network, called Project Direct, which links all schools and offers computer-assisted programs in the basic skills, primarily at the elementary level. Delaware requires local districts to clear new purchases of computer hardware and software with the state education department in order to maintain compatibility throughout the system.

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