Nearly 100 newspapers across the country have endorsed the concept of a national professional examination for teachers since the first of the year, according to the American Federation of Teachers, whose president, Albert Shanker, called in January for making such a test a requirement for all new teachers.
"To require teachers to pass a tough examination before they can work in a classroom makes a great deal of sense," said the Ft. Lauderdale News.
"Educators in Virginia should listen to [Mr. Shanker's] proposal," editors at the Charlottesville Daily Progress wrote. "It is designed to improve the jobs of good teachers, while keeping the incompetents out of the field."
"The standards for most of the teacher-competency tests used today are too low," according to an editorial in the Seattle Times.
Mr. Shanker called for the establishment of an "American Board of Professional Education" to supervise the development and administration of an examination for teachers that would be similar to those that govern access to the medical and legal professions.
School officials in the Chesapeake, Va., school system report success with a new program designed to attract the top students from nearby colleges of education.
All of the nine students who were dined, entertained, and interviewed by the board and other staff members last spring now are completing their student-teaching in the district and have signed contracts to teach there next year, according to Winston M. Whitehurst, assistant superintendent for personnel.
The students from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and Norfolk State University were "wooed" by the district during their junior year and offered contracts at that time, Mr. Whitehurst said.
A newsletter for teachers interested in learning and teaching about nuclear science is available free of charge from the American Nuclear Society. Re-actions, published three times a year, includes descriptions of curriculum materials on the topic, classrooms projects, and workshop listings.
The American Nuclear Society is a nonprofit, professional organization for scientists, engineers, and educators. Its international membership is "dedicated to the peaceful application of nuclear technology," said David J. Jolliffe, a spokesman for the group.
Any requests for subscriptions must be on school letterhead and should be addressed to the Amercian Nuclear Society, Re-actions editor, Department PC-17, 555 North Kensington Ave., La Grange Park, Ill. 60525.
A survey conducted by the Oklahoma Education Association has found that nearly half of the state's teachers spend more than 50 hours a week on school-related activities.
The survey confirms, said Weldon Davis, president of the oea, that teaching "is not, as some believe, a part-time job." --cc