This month, the Houston Independent School District carried its aggressive campaign to recruit new teachers into Canada and across the Atlantic to Ireland.
In February, the school district had advertised in the English-language Mexico City News, encouraging readers to apply for teaching positions. (See Education Week, Feb. 27, 1985.)
As a result of the advertisement, the district has been in touch with several qualified applicants who either have U.S. citizenship or have a U.S. teaching certificate, according to school officials.
Houston faces a teacher shortage that could reach 1,200 vacancies by next September, including 400 positions for elementary-level bilingual teachers.
As part of the recruiting program, district officials will travel this month to Vancouver, British Columbia, to meet with prospective recruits there and have talked with a representative of Ireland's government about recruiting from that country, said Robert McCain, assistant superintendent for personnel. There is a surplus of teachers in both countries.
School officials are optimistic about the results of the recruiting campaign, Mr. McCain said, but are in the process of working through such legal barriers to hiring foreign teachers as certification and immigration policies.
A 1983 law that requires Idaho high-school students to maintain a C average in core-curriculum courses to graduate has met with so much opposition that Superintendent of Public Instruction Jerry L. Evans has appointed a task force to consider alternatives. (See Education Week, May 9, 1984.)
"There isn't an educational organization in the state that's for [the C-average rule]," said Helen Williams, a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Education.
The 24-member panel is made up of members of the Idaho Commission on Excellence in Education, which recommended the regulation3in 1982, Ms. Williams said. The group will meet over the summer and is expected to report to the state board of education in the fall.
Arkansas Attorney General Steve Clark has urged that the state amend a recently adopted home-schooling law.
"The state has turned its back on its concern for educational standards and quality" by adopting a home-school law that is "the least restrictive in the nation," he said.
The law, approved in late March, allows parents to educate their children at home if they declare their intent with the local school superintendent and test their children annually, beginning at age 9.
But according to Mr. Clark, home-school children should meet curricular requirements that are "equiv6alent" to those demanded of students attending public schools; the parent should "sign an affadavit saying that the student spends a certain number of hours and days in home schooling"; and "testing should begin prior to age 9."
He also said parents should take the same kind of basic-skills test that is required of all Arkansas teachers.
A new California regulation for transferring students from bilingual to English-only classes may not be used until its legality is resolved in court, a judge has ruled.
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Carol Miller granted a request by California Rural Legal Assistance, an advocacy group that has opposed the test, to halt use of the regulation and scheduled a hearing for June 3.
Ellen M. Peter, a lawyer for crla, said the regulation would "eliminate a critical safeguard ... mandated by statute" by giving school districts discretion in bilingual-education transfer decisions. At present, students may be transferred to an English-only program after they have scored at a certain level on basic-skills tests.
The regulation was approved without dissent by the California State Board of Education last November. Five months later, the State Office of Administrative Law found the regulation did not comply with the 1980 statute that established the state's current bilingual program. (See Education Week, May 1, 1985.)
In early May, Gov. George Deukmejian overruled the oal decision after an appeal by the education board.
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