A Teacher Internship: The RAND Corp. has released a report outlining a plan to require aspiring teachers to undergo a paid, yearlong internship similar to those required for physicians and other professionals. Such an internship would give novice teachers a chance to work closely with skilled mentors, providing them with a better introduction to the profession. Copies of the report, The Teaching Internship: Practical Preparation for a Licensed Profession, are available for $10 each from the RAND Center for the Study of the Teaching Profession, Publications, 1700 Main St., P.O. Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90406-2138.
More Minority Teachers: Two organizations have taken steps to increase the supply of minority teachers. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, in an attempt to help more blacks become teachers, has launched a pilot project intended to prepare black teacher candidates for the NTE. The program, which started at Baltimore's Morgan State University in September, offers prospective teachers three hours of classes, twice a week for eight weeks. The other organization, the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, has given the Bank Street College of Education $500,000 to expand its scholarship program for minority graduate students. The award follows a $250,000 grant the fund made to the college last year. The new $750,000 scholarship pool will be used to attract per-diem teachers and others within the New York City public school system into graduate programs. The scholarships will cover 80 percent of the students' tuition. In return, the students will be expected to teach in the city schools for at least three years after graduating. Approximately 80 percent of the city's public school students are minority, while 28 percent of its teachers are black or Hispanic.
A Five-Year Plan?: Maryland Secretary of Higher Education Shaila Aery has proposed shifting teacher preparation to a five-year program and deploying college education faculty in the public schools. Aery wants to replace the traditional undergraduate degree in education and require a prospective teacher to earn a liberal-arts degree, followed by a fifth-year paid internship in the schools. The additional year would lead to a master's degree. Aery argues that requiring a liberal-arts education and an education degree would enlarge and improve the pool of prospective teachers.
Reciprocity Proposed: A preliminary report released by the Southern Regional Education Board recommends that states in the South consider granting reciprocity for teacher certification and assessment. Such a move would not be difficult, it says, because Southern states already evaluate teacher performance similarly. The report, directed by Russell French, a professor of education at the University of Tennessee, also urges greater involvement of higher education institutions in teacher evaluation, teacher education, recertification, and professional development.