States News Roundup

May 10, 1989 3 min read

The Idaho Board of Education has postponed a proposal to allow people without undergraduate preparation in education to become secondary-school teachers through on-the-job training.

The decision by the board last month will make it impossible to implement the alternative-certification plan for the next school year, according to Lindy High, a spokesman for the state education department.

The board directed the Professional Standards Commission, which sets certification standards for teachers, to hold public hearings on the plan and submit a report by Aug. 15.

The proposed rule would allow people with bachelor’s degrees in the subjects they wish to teach to be hired as “teacher trainees” for two years. The prospective teachers would be required to pass the National Teacher Examinations and take education courses in the summer, Ms. High explained.

“It’s quite a stringent program,” she added. “It’s not easy for people to do it.”

But the Idaho Education Association views the plan as “an attempt to circumvent certification requirements and make it easier for people to become teachers at the risk of the students,” according to Gayle L. Moore, a spokesman for the union.

The iea’s delegate assembly last month voted to oppose the rule change.

Maryland high-school students will6not have to pass a test of writing ability to graduate this spring, the state board of education has decided.

The board has agreed to delay until 1990 the requirement, which was to have gone into effect for the first time this year, because of concerns over the fairness of a new scoring system.

The system was changed this year to make it compatible with the scoring of the state’s required reading, mathematics, and citizenship examinations.

Although every 10th- to 12th-grade student had been given a booklet describing the change, some local officials claimed the information was “unevenly disseminated and understood by students and parents,” according to Curt Matthews, a spokesman for the board.

“Even though there is no legal basis for a challenge, in our opinion, there could have developed a sense of unfairness,” he added.

Only 560 of the 47,000 students who took the examination this winter failed to pass it.

Louisiana teachers who paid a fee to be fingerprinted and have their backgrounds checked may be eligible for refunds under a 1988 state law that bars such charges.

The state labor department has ruled that a prospective teacher in Lafayette who paid $13 for a background check was entitled to a refund, according to Jeff Simon, director of communications for the Louisiana Association of Educators.

“Now it’s a question of who owes the money,” Mr. Simon said last week. The money went to the state health department and police, but may have to be refunded by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, which required the checks, he noted.

Maryland’s special-education rules violate federal law by promoting segregation of handicapped students, two parent groups have charged.

In separate letters last month, Parents for Integrated School and Community Education Settings and the Maryland Coalition for Integrated Education urged U.S. Education Department officials to look again at Maryland’s regulations before acting to award federal grants for the 1989-90 school year.

Although state officials have drafted proposed regulations to address many of the parents’ concerns, the state school board is not expected to vote on the changes until July--weeks after the federal grants go out.

“Our letter is sort of an insurance policy to make sure the regulations change,” said Mark Mlawer, executive director of mcie

Georgia officials are investigating possible antitrust violations in the sale of milk products to schools.

Attorney General Michael J. Bowers declined last week to specify how many of the state’s dairy producers may be involved. He said he had contacted local school superintendents to ask how they wanted to be represented in the case.

As a result of a similar investigation in Florida last year, several large dairy companies were ordered to pay settlements totaling $18.5 million.

A version of this article appeared in the May 10, 1989 edition of Education Week as States News Roundup