Column One: Teachers

December 02, 1992 2 min read

The New Jersey Education Association has announced that it plans to develop two innovative education programs during the 1992-93 school year.

The first program would transform New Jersey schools into round-the-clock resource centers for teachers, parents, and students, according to the N.J.E.A.

Community Learning Centers would operate year-round, offering children not only an education, but health care, social services, and counseling. In addition, the centers would offer evening and weekend events for parents to interact with their children in a learning environment.

The “schools of the future’’ would sponsor professional-development courses for teaching staff and would develop continuing-education classes for the whole community.

The “centers will provide educators with new opportunities to reconnect with the people who support our schools with their tax dollars, but too often see no reason to continue that support,’' said Betty Kraemer, the union’s president.

The union has said that it will propose new “scope of negotiations’’ legislation that would allow local boards and education associations to consider flex-time plans and 12-month contracts for school staff.

The N.J.E.A.'s other plan is to develop an Institute for Educational Excellence that would provide professional support and development to teachers and would raise money for school-related projects.

The institute would be launched with a $1 million N.J.E.A. endowment raised through a one-time dues assessment. The N.J.E.A. is also asking the state’s large corporations to contribute to the fund and become members of an advisory council for the institute.

Teachers in the Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., school system have published a professional journal designed to recognize and celebrate the contributions of local educators.

The journal, Refocus, is in its second year of publication. The essays, articles, poems, and artwork compiled for the annual journal cover topics as diverse as homophobia in the schools and mentor programs for middle grades and elementary school students.

According to the teachers who started it, the 43-page journal connects colleagues who are often isolated in the world within their classrooms.

This summer, at a writing seminar at Northeastern University, teachers from around the country talked to the editors of Refocus about how to publish journals in their hometowns. The participants also encouraged the Martha’s Vineyard teachers to share their work with a national group.--J.R.

A version of this article appeared in the December 02, 1992 edition of Education Week as Column One: Teachers