Associations Column

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The National Catholic Educational Association has expanded the agenda of its annual convention in Washington, D.C., next April to include, for the first time, a concurrent "mini-conference" on the use of computers in schools and libraries.

In three-hour sessions daily, ncea members will hear from computer manufacturers about their products and have the opportunity to gain "hands-on" experience with desk-top units. Association officials say the sessions on what they call "the inevitable advance of the computer into the classroom" will be open to all convention delegates, but they warn that space will be limited. Speakers will include Robert Maloy, director of libraries for the Smithsonian Institution, and Elizabeth W. Stone, dean of the school of library and information service at Catholic University of America.

There are more women administrators in Michigan--about 28 percent of all administrators, the state education department says--than in many other states, and perhaps for that reason they formed a professional organization about five years ago to share their professional concerns and to promote sex equity.

The group has held conferences, skills workshops, and other "networking" activities, and most recently has worked with the state education department to develop a model for school-district leaders who wish to help qualified women move into top administrative posts.

The "Michigan Model Pilot," as the management scheme is called, suggests that the advancement of able women depends on the support they receive from important groups within the school system and the visibility they are encouraged to attain in their work. More information about the model is available from the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Sex Equity, P.O. Box 30008, Lansing, Mich. 48909.

On the national level, women who are members of the American Federation of School Administrators, afl-cio, have formed a Women's Coalition to share concerns on a countrywide basis. Blanche Schwartz, a staff member in the afsa national office, is conducting a survey of women members that will be used to plan activities and to assist them in achieving career goals. News and information about women in administration may be sent to Ms. Schwartz at the American Federation of School Administrators, 110 East 42nd St., New York, N.Y. 10017.

The National Association of Elementary School Principals is about to begin reaching out for new members in 10 states, says the organization's president, Robert D. Anderson.

Principals in Rhode Island, Ohio, Georgia, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Texas, Kansas, California, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky will soon receive complimentary copies of naesp publications and information about its 1983 annual conference as a get-acquainted gesture. The organization had previously offered current members the chance to win a trip to Bermuda for successfully recruiting new members. The new mailing may enhance the results, Mr. Anderson said.

Prospective members may also be attracted by a new National Fellows Program launched by naesp that will send participants to Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center in Florida next summer to explore "Education and Technology: Today and Tomorrow." The week-long sessions will be held July 3-9 and 10-16; tuition for members is $300, including meals and lodging.

With a $36,800 grant from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the National Association of Independent Schools will establish an advisory service to help member schools set up student-loan programs. The service will provide counsel on how to raise and manage financial-aid money as well as how to administer a loan program.

To support and publicize innovative research and programs in teacher education is the aim of a new foundation being launched by the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education.

The "Foundation for Excellence in Teacher Education," its prospectus says, will seek financial backing from businesses, associations, foundations, and individuals. And, says a letter to aacte members from their president, the venture also hopes to receive contributions from teacher educators themselves.

"Your contribution shows that you care about excellence in teacher education and that you're willing to put your own personal resources behind it," the prospectus states.

The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development is preparing a prototype for a scholarly journal to be called Perspectives on Practice. To be edited by the association's current president, O.L. Davis Jr., the publication will be sent to members next year along with a survey asking them whether it should be continued.

Charging that a U.S. Supreme Court case involving a Minnesota law that permits state-tax deductions for various private-school costs is part of a "concerted national effort by private schools, especially religiously affiliated schools," the National School Boards Association has filed a friend-of-the-court brief opposing the law.

The law, which authorizes income-tax deductions for tuition, textbook, and transportation costs related to attending private schools, was upheld last May by a federal appeals court in the case Mueller v. Allen. The school-boards' group labeled "utter nonsense," the lower court's ruling that the Minnesota law is neutral to religion and serves a secular educational purpose because it assists the parents of both private- and public-school students.

"Only private-school parents, in the great bulk of cases, would have deductible costs," the group argued. "There is little question that the sole motivation was to assist religious education ..."--mm

Vol. 02, Issue 15

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