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Coalition Launches Campaign To Highlight Teaching Profession

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A partnership of education, media, and business groups has launched a national campaign to reward outstanding teachers and highlight their profession.

The "Thanks to Teachers" program, announced last week, was conceived by Apple Computer Inc., Group W Television, the National Alliance of Business, and the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education.

In addition to identifying superior teachers in at least 24 television markets, the program will include a one-hour TV special profiling exemplary teachers that will be aired by participating stations.

A series of public-service ads designed to raise the public's awareness of the importance of good teaching is also planned.

"By honoring teaching as a profession [the program] hopes to attract more of our best and brightest young people to choose teaching as a career," Bernard Gifford, Apple's vice president of education, said in a statement.

Beginning next month, participating stations will air announcements inviting viewers to nominate outstanding teachers for special awards.

Nominees will be asked to complete an application form that will be evaluated by a panel of business, civic, and education leaders chosen with the help of the n.a.b. and a local nonprofit sponsor.

Panels will judge the teachers on the basis of their impact in the classroom and their success in involving groups outside the school in education. Finalists will be interviewed and visited in their classrooms by panel members.

Five teachers from each station's viewing area will be selected as winners. Each will receive an Apple computer and be featured in May on a local evening-news program.

In June, the winners will participate in a national ceremony in Washington and take part in a symposium on educational issues.

The n.f.i.e., a teacher-financed foundation established by the National Education Association, is the chief educational consultant for the program. The foundation will prepare a "white paper" on the findings from the symposium that will be distributed next September.

So far, according to the organizers, the following TV stations have agreed to take part:


Alaska, KIMO, KATN, KJUD; Albuquerque, N.M., KOAT; Atlanta, WSB; Baltimore, WJZ; Boston, WBZ; Buffalo, N.Y., WKBW; Dallas-Fort Worth, KTVT; Detroit, WDIV; Hartford, Conn., WFSB; Honolulu, KHON; Houston, KHOU; Memphis, WMC; Miami, WPLG; Minneapolis, KSTP; Philadelphia, KYW; Phoenix, KPNX; Pittsburgh, KDKA; Raleigh, N.C., WRAL; Sacramento, Calif., KXTV; Salt Lake City, KUTV; San Francisco, KPIX; St. Louis, KMOV; Tallahassee, Fla., WCTV; Washington, WJLA.

--ab

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