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Indiana Civic, Business Leaders Urge School Reform

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The Indiana Congress on Education, a coalition of 500 business, community, and education leaders, has decided that "education should be a high priority for the citizens of Indiana." The group voted last month to study how to increase the professional image and status of teaching and how to develop a salary system to attract and retain effective teachers.

The congress, founded two years ago by the Indiana Council on Educational Administrative Associations, voted on these and 30 other measures in an attempt to lay the groundwork for a statewide consensus on educational improvement. Following an initial meeting last June, the group met last month to approve the recommendations. The recommendations grew out of a se3ries of interviews and hearings conducted by regional delegates over the last six months.

The recommendations will now be studied by the congress's futures committee, which will decide on strategies to implement the recommendations and report back to the congress this spring. "We are interested in changing public policy at a grassroots level," said Nancy Cobb, director of the congress. "We don't want to be just another lobby group.''

Among the other recommendations for the state that the group will analyze:

Developing a funding approach that will permit short-range and long-range educational planning;

Recognizing educational excellence and rewarding academic6achievement of students at all levels and learning abilities in all programs;

Re-examining teacher-certification requirements;

Reducing the nonteaching duties of teachers;

Providing stronger leadership and support for teachers from the administrative and school-board level, especially in the area of discipline;

Providing broad use of school facilities by the total community;

Teaching communication, critical thinking, decision-making, problem-solving, and study skills as an integral part of learning; and

Determining the curriculum needs created by demographic, economic, occupational, and technological shifts.--ab

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