National News Briefs
The National Association of State Boards of Education will form two study groups to examine multicultural and special education during the coming year.
A. Walter Esdaile of Connecticut, NASBE's new president, announced the topics during the organization's annual meeting in Newport, R.I., last month.
The study group on multicultural education, which will meet for the first time in January, will examine how teacher training and curriculum materials can better reflect the increasing cultural diversity of the classroom, said Brenda L. Welburn, NASBE's deputy executive director. In addition, the group will examine how race, culture, language, and socioeconomic status affect teaching and learning.
The study group on special education will consider the place of special education in a restructured school system. "We have created a second system over the last two decades, feeling that there were gaps in the primary system of education," said Patricia B. Mitchell, staff director of the study group. "Now, how do we create one system that really can serve the vast majority of kids?"
During the annual meeting, delegates to NASBE also passed a resolution endorsing parental choice within public schools. But they advised the federal government not to make major program funding contingent on state choice plans. Other resolutions adopted by the group advocate the development of a multicultural teaching force and the creation of a national policy on children, youth, and families.
Seven new board members have been elected to the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Elected last month to three-year terms were Gil R. Alexander, a secondary-school science teacher from Helena, Mont.; ThomCole Jr., president of Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta; Eugene H. Cota-Robles, assistant vice president for academic affairs at the University of California, Berkeley; E. Harold Fisher, vice president of the National School Boards Association; Keith B. Geiger, president of the National Education Association; Gerald N. Tirozzi, Connecticut education commissioner; and Janice F. Weaver, president of the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education and dean of education at Murray State University in Murray, Ky.
Among those whose terms expired were Mary Hatwood Futrell, past president of the N.E.A.; Ruth E. Randall, former Minnesota education commissioner; and Phillip C. Schlechty, president of the Center for Leadership in School Reform.
The N.B.P.T.S., which is attempting to establish a nationwide teacher-certification system, also re-elected 14 board members for another three years, including Chairman James B. Hunt Jr., the former Governor of North Carolina.