States News Roundup

October 14, 1987 3 min read

Two panels established by State Commissioner of Education Saul Cooperman have presented the New Jersey Board of Education with recommendations for a proposed plan to upgrade the training and licensure of school principals.

The commission on management science urged that such knowledge areas as human-resources management, public finance, and school law be emphasized in both training programs and a proposed licensing examination for principals.

In a second report, a panel on internships for principals suggested a number of specific duties, such as chairing a curriculum-committee meeting and observing teachers at all grade levels, that would help interns for the principalship develop skills in curriculum evaluation, instructional supervision, and community relations.

Under the plan proposed by Mr. Cooperman last year, prospective principals would be required to earn a master’s degree in a field of management or leadership science, pass a written examination, and complete an internship in a public school.

The commissioner is to present a final version of the plan to the state board in December, according to Leo Klagholz, state director of teacher preparation and licensure. A vote on the changes is expected early next year, he said.

Nearly half of Arizona’s 222 school districts have missed a deadline for filing “no-pass, no-play” policies with the state education department.

A spokesman for the department said last week that 110 districts had not met the Sept. 30 deadline imposed by the state board of education. Most districts that filed policies require students to pass five courses every semester to remain eligible for extracurricular activities.

Later this month, the board will consider a proposal that would require students throughout the state to pass all their courses before being allowed to participate in noncredit activities. The board tabled the proposal last May to allow time for its review of local no-pass, no-play rules.

A proposed survey on teen-age pregnancy in Utah is “too graphic,” some school administrators in the state have complained.

The survey, to be administered to a cross-section of 1,200 teen-agers this year, was developed by Gov. Norman H. Bangerter’s task force on teen-age pregnancy.

State Senator Steven Rees, chairman of the task force, denied last week that the questionnaire was too explicit.

“I think the most graphic question on it was, ‘Have you ever had sex?”’ said Mr. Rees, a Republican from Salt Lake County. He added, however, that the panel would seek permission from the local school boards and written parental consent before surveying students in Utah’s public schools.

The head of the Rhode Island branch of the American Civil Liberties Union has asked the state’s board of regents to reverse a policy requiring that social workers in the schools take an examination given to prospective teachers.

Steven Brown, the group’s executive director, said the board had overstepped its authority by requiring nonteaching professionals to take the test. He also argued that “it is inappropriate to be giving social workers a test specifically designed for teachers.”

But Edward E. Dambruch, director of teacher certification for the state department of education, said nonteaching professionals, including social workers and school psychologists, take only the communications-skills and general-knowledge portions of the National Teacher Examinations.

The Oregon Supreme Court has agreed to hear next month a challenge to the state’s adoption of a 4th-grade social-studies textbook that environmentalists say propagandizes in favor of business interests and the consumption of natural resources.

The textbook, Get Oregonized, was written by state educators and published by Oregon State University with funding provided by various agriculture and timber industries.

But the Oregon Environmental Council and the the Portland Audobon Society charged in a lawsuit that neither the state textbook commission nor the state board of education had applied standard book-reviewing criteria when considering the textbook. The Oregon Court of Appeals upheld the state agencies’ decision to adopt the book.

A version of this article appeared in the October 14, 1987 edition of Education Week as States News Roundup