The American Federation of Teachers has launched a l0-part television series, "Inside Your Schools," hosted each time by a different teacher.
The half-hour program, which is written in a news-magazine format, is being aired the first Tuesday of each month at 3 P.M. by The Learning Channel, a cable network that reaches about 3.5 million homes. Replays can be seen at 2:30 P.M. on Thursdays and at noon on Sundays.
One reason for the $250,000 project is "to dispel ignorance" about the schools, says John Stevens, the show's executive producer; another is to present the federation's position on education issues, he said, adding, "Our members want us to tell our side of the story."
Besides the television series, the aft has also scheduled four regional meetings to bring together state and local union leaders with leaders from government, education, and business for talks on the school-reform proposals that have been made in recent national reports.
Sites and dates are: San Francisco, Oct. 14-16; Albany, N.Y., Nov. 11-13; Chicago, Dec. 2-4; and New Orleans, Jan. 13-15. For further information, contact Scott Widmeyer, American Federation of Teachers, 11 Dupont Circle, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036.
The National Education Association is also turning to television. During September, the association initiated a $1.5-million campaign of 30-second spots promoting funding for the schools.
The commercials appeared 128 times on ABC and NBC during news programs such as "Good Morning America" and "World News Tonight," according to a spokesman.
Georgetown University's School of Languages and Linguistics has begun a new master's degree program for 20 bilingual-education teachers.
The program, funded under a grant of $197,753 from the U.S. Education Department, offers a mixture of classes in Spanish, linguistics, and psychology, said John J. Staczek, assistant dean at the school. The program is open to 10 full-time and 10 part-time students, who receive free tuition and a book allowance. Applicants must be certified teachers with at least two years' teaching experience, he said.
About five years ago, the University of Utah and the Salt Lake City School District launched a small master's degree program for elementary-school teachers. The program allowed district personnel and teachers to play a large role in forming the program's curriculum; district officials team-taught some courses, the superintendent personally approved topics for theses, and teachers designed their own curriculum projects.
Today, the program, called the Cooperative Education Program, is so much in demand that the university has to rotate it between the Salt Lake district and several other districts. "Usually, the university decides everything," said one participant. "Here, they accept ideas from the people involved."--ha