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NASBE Begins Yearlong Study of Multicultural Ed.

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The National Association of State Boards of Education announced last week that it will begin a yearlong study of multicultural education and its implications for state policymakers.

Walter Esdaile, the 1991 president of the association, said in a statement that he proposed the study because of the changing demographics of the nation's classrooms and the increasing need for state boards of education to address the challenges that the changes will pose in the next decade.

"We know that the classrooms of today and tomorrow are going to have more and more African-American, Latino, Native American, Pacific Island, and Asian children," Mr. Esdaile said.

While these demographic changes represent an "enormous opportunity,'' he added, they also will be "a serious responsibility for our states to ensure that our education policies and practices reflect this expanding mosaic."

The policy group, which was to begin its work with a weekend meeting in Alexandria, Va., Jan. 11-12, will focus on three areas: teacher preparation and staff development, curriculum, and student learning styles.

The group plans to identify policies that will assist teachers in preparing for the broader understanding of people and cultures necessary to teach a diverse group of students, present policy options for infusing a "culturally responsive" school curriculum in grades K-12, and suggest policies states can adopt to promote better understanding of individual student learning styles.

The group will present a report of its findings and recommendations at nasbe's annual conference, scheduled for Oct. 1-12 in Biloxi, Miss.--ab

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