Academies Awarded $7.6 Million To Train Educators

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WASHINGTON--The Education Department last week awarded 18 grants totaling more than $7.6 million to school-leadership and teaching academies, calling the state and regional centers "essential parts" of the Bush Administration's education plan.

State education departments, universities, and associations in 13 states shared in the awards, which ranged from slightly less than $200,000 to more than $500,000. The grants are to cover about 18 months of work at each site.

Secretary of Education Lamar Alexander said last week that the centers will be charged with upgrading the skills of teachers and administrators in an effort to meet the national education goals adopted by President Bush and the National Governors' Association last year.

"They will also be a resource for communities seeking teachers and school leaders trained to get results,'' Mr. Alexander said.

The grants were funded under the Fund for Innovation in Education, an arm of the department's office of educational research and improvement.

The Administration's effort to use discretionary grant funds to further the President's America 2000 program has been criticized by members of the Congress who have argued that officials are using research funds to support programs lawmakers have not authorized. (See Education Week, June 19, 1991.)

Legislation offered by the White House to enact the President's America 2000 proposal would establish academies for teachers and school leaders in each state, to be administered by the governor's office.

In announcing last week's grants, Mr. Alexander said each of the centers would be in close contact with state chief executives.

Academies' Mission

Under the grant program, the school-leadership academies are to develop model training programs focusing on instructional leadership, school-based management, and accountability efforts.

The centers will select candidates from both public and private schools, provide training and jobs, and offer such follow-up services as mentoring and continued training. Training is to begin during the current school year.

The teaching academies will train teachers in the core subjects of English, geography, history, mathematics, and science. The centers will offer advice on teaching students from different backgrounds and those with special physical needs.

The academies are also charged with familiarizing teachers with new technology and equipping the instructors to begin developing their own curricula.

Receiving grants for academies for school leaders were:

The Alaska Council of School Administrators, Juneau, $486,747; the University of Delaware, Newark, $399,747; the North Central Regional Educational Lab, Oak Brook, Ill., $492,249; the University of Maine system, Bangor, $360,177; and the President and Fellows of Harvard, Cambridge, Mass., $494,996.

Receiving grants for academies that will address all of the core subjects were:

The Colorado Center for 3R's, Denver, $405,603; the University of Connecticut, Storrs, $338,315; and the Massachusetts Foundation for Teaching and Learning, Randolph, $471,496.

Receiving grants for academies that will focus on specific core disciplines were:

The California Department of Education, Sacramento (mathematics), $562,735; the University of Dallas, Irving (science), $317,398; Lesley College, Cambridge, Mass. (English), $432,301; the University of Northern Colorado, Greeley (geography), $474,775; Florida State University, Tallahassee (geography), $395,567; Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos (geography), $409,386; the University of California regents, Los Angeles (history), $495,000; the Research Foundation of the State University of New York at Buffalo (history), $487,220; the National Council for History Education, Westlake, Ohio (history), $415,673; and Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah (history), $192,140.

Vol. 11, Issue 06, Page 30

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