News in Brief: A State Capitals Roundup
Beasley Proposes S.C. Teacher-Bonus Plan
South Carolina teachers who volunteer to take a standardized competency test and do well on it would receive an annual $6,000 bonus, under a nine-point proposal released by Gov. David Beasley this month.
The teachers would have to score in the 50th percentile on the new PRAXIS 11 exam to receive the money. The Republican governor's plan, which still requires legislative approval, also would mandate that new teachers take the exam for certification. Those that didn't make the grade would be required to participate in three-year-long "professional growth" programs. Currently, teachers only must score in the 5th percentile on a state competency exam for certification.
Critics contend standardized tests alone cannot measure the worth of teachers. A spokesman for Jim Hodges, Mr. Beasley's Democratic opponent in the upcoming governor's race, dubbed the plan "yet another Beasley Band-Aid."
Calif. Board Puts Prop. 227 Waivers on Hold
The California state school board has put on hold several requests from districts seeking exemptions from the state's new law that requires that limited-English-proficient students be taught mostly in English.
The board at first had refused to consider requests to waive the requirements of Proposition 227, the law adopted by state voters in June. But last month, Alameda County Superior Court Judge Henry Needham ruled that the board must hear such requests. ("Calif. Awaits School Board's Action on Prop. 227 Waivers," Sept. 9, 1998.)
Rather than vote up or down on the waivers during its Sept. 9-11 meeting, the board decided to appeal the judge's decision and put the requests on hold until a state appellate court ruling is made. Gregory McGinity, a spokesman for the board, said that the formal appeal will be filed as soon as a written ruling is received from the superior court.
--Robert C. Johnston
Vol. 18, Issue 3, Page 20