Associations Column

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Warning school-board members to join "the vanguard" of the education-reform movement so they won't be bypassed by more determined leaders, officials of the National School Boards Association urged delegates to the group's recent annual meeting in San Francisco to adopt policies in line with those recommended by the National Commission on Excellence in Education.

Resolutions approved by the group's delegate assembly included those supporting strengthened high-school graduation requirements, additional instructional time, and improved training and salary programs for teachers.

The assembly also approved a resolution opposing the language of the federal block-grants law as it relates to participation of private-school children. The resolution instructed the association's officials to consider filing suit against the law.

The assembly failed, however, to adopt a resolution that said, "It is inappropriate for government to organize, prescribe, direct, or supervise prayer in the public schools." Gwendolyn Gregory, the association's general counsel, said opinion varied widely on the measure, with some members wanting to add the verb "prohibit" to the resolution.

The National Organization on Legal Problems in Education will discontinue publication of its semi-annual nolpe Law Journal with the November issue.

According to Thomas Jones, acting executive director of the Topeka-based organization, the journal is losing money and is not as scholarly as the group's leaders would like. "We could continue the journal and raise the dues or keep the dues the same and eliminate the journal," Mr. Jones said. "And to be candid, we weren't getting a lot of journal articles submitted."

The organization is considering either affiliating with another school-law journal or creating a new one of its own on education law and policy. The new journal, if established, would be "more like a law-school journal," with extensive footnoting and analysis, according to Mr. Jones. And, unlike the current journal, it would be available by subscription to nonmembers.

As of last week, the city of Seattle and the National Education Association--the sponsor of one of the largest conventions in America--were still at an impasse over whether the union would bestow the favor of one, and perhaps two, annual gatherings on the economically troubled community.

The question arose in February, when the nea took the unprecedented step of cancelling plans to hold its 1984 meeting there because of the anti-union hiring practices of several new and refurbished hotels that figured in convention plans.

The union, which had offered Seattle an unusual "back-to-back booking" of its 1984 and 1987 conventions, informed Mayor Charles T. Royer that it would "postpone" its 1984 date to 1987 and continue to count on a second meeting in 1990 if hotel owners would permit union-organizing activities among their3employees, said Arleigh Greenblatt, director of special events for the nea The union asked Mayor Royer to respond by May 1 as to whether "deliberations" to resolve the impasse were taking place, and to provide a final response before June 29.

Mr. Greenblatt said last week that he had not heard from the Mayor. Thomas P. Keefe Jr., special assistant to Mr. Royer, said that "the Mayor takes the nea decision seriously, and has tried to make that clear to both sides." He has volunteered to serve as a catalyst to solve the problem, Mr. Keefe said, but thus far "there has been no significant change." The aide said the Mayor had not called nea leaders, the hotel owners, and representatives of the Washington Employees Service Trades--the protesting local union--to a joint meeting.

But he said the Mayor, who is the president of the National League of Cities and a proponent of tourism to bolster Seattle's sagging economy--would be "very unhappy" if "a new breed of hotel manager" forced an outcome that "would not be in the best interests of taxpayers." The nea's meeting, which has been tentatively scheduled for Minneapolis, would have brought an estimated $8 million to Seattle, according to local business leaders.

Gaudeamus igitur! School districts scouting for qualified instructors of Latin or Greek may turn for help to a service of the American Classical League, a national organization of teachers and scholars interested in classical cultures and languages. Responding to what they term a "strong resurgence" of interest in Latin in particular, and a resulting teacher shortage, league officials run a placement service for teachers of Latin, Greek, and the classical humanities.

School-district officials may request dossiers of available teachers from the service at no charge. And members of the league may have their credentials placed on file if they wish. The organization also sends members a newsletter listing current employment opportunities.

For more information, write Robert M. Wilhelm, director, Latin/Greek Teacher Placement Service, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056.

The American Council on Rural Special Education (acres) has stepped in to help school officials find another kind of teacher in short supply--the special-education teacher willing to work in an ex-urban environment. For $25 (or $15 for those organizations employing acres members), school districts can list their job openings in acres'squarterly newsletter and computerized data bank. acres advertises its service to potential job applicants through posters on college campuses, advertisements in national journals, and the interstate "Specialnet" computer network. School officials receive lists of qualified and interested applicants for the positions they advertise.

For more information, write acres Rural Job Services, Box 2470, University Station, Murray, Ky. 42071.

--pc, mm, ew

Vol. 02, Issue 33

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