Elementary Principals Oppose Prayer in Schools

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

New Orleans--The National Association of Elementary School Principals has decided prayer has no place in the classroom.

The 400 delegates of the organization who voted during its annual meeting here last week resolved instead that prayer and other religious practices are family responsibilities and should be left to the home and the church.

The resolution, which is now association policy, comes on the heels of the recent defeat in the U.S. Senate of a constitutional amendment that would have permitted vocal, organized prayer in the public schools.

The delegates, who represented the association's 22,000 members, said their opposition to prayer in the public schools was based on court decisions and the constitutional language that calls for the separation of church and state.

But the controversy that usually surrounds school prayer and other education issues did not find its way to the association's four-day meeting.

The delegates zipped through 23 proposed resolutions, unanimouslyadopting all of them without debate.

The issues that captured the most interest involved mathematics and science education, school-business partnerships, and computer literacy.

Two separate resolutions adopted by delegates urged school principals to take the lead in improving both mathematics and science education. Samuel G. Sava, the association's executive director, said children should be well schooled in mathematics and science before they reach the secondary level.

To help foster that, he said, programs to train principals and teachers in mathematics and science are greatly needed.

In elementary and middle schools, he said, only 11 percent of the principals and 6 percent of the teachers have educational backgrounds in science.

The federal government should provide some assistance to the states to help school personnel upgrade their skills in these areas, Mr. Sava said.

The association also adopted a resolution urging principals to start school-business partnerships. In more than 200 already existingadopt-a-school programs nationwide, business executives are sharing their skills, providing classroom equipment, and lending some of their experts to help out in the schools, naesp officials said.

Computer literacy also commanded considerable attention; the meeting's theme was "Education for a Technological Future." A recent survey conducted by the principals' group showed that 29 percent of principals use their schools' microcomputers exclusively for management purposes, while 50 percent use their equipment to teach computer literacy and drill in other subjects. In a resolution, the delegates urged members to seek legislation and financial assistance for developing and improving computer literacy in their schools.

In a speech delivered at the meeting, Philip Caldwell, chairman of the Ford Motor Company, proposed the use of satellite communication technology to revitalize elementary and high-school programs. Mr. Caldwell said the linking of satellites, television, computers, and cable networks would offer "extraordinary opportunities" for schoolchildren.

Vol. 03, Issue 31

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories

Viewed

Emailed

Recommended

Commented

Sponsor Insights

Free Ebook: How to Implement a Coding Program in Schools

Successful Intervention Builds Student Success

Effective Ways to Support Students with Dyslexia

Stop cobbling together your EdTech

Integrate Science and ELA with Informational Text

Can self-efficacy impact growth for ELLs?

Disruptive Tech Integration for Meaningful Learning

Building Community for Social Good

5 Resources on the Power of Interoperability from Unified Edtech

New campaign for UN World Teachers Day

5 Game-Changers in Today’s Digital Learning Platforms

Hiding in Plain Sight - 7 Common Signs of Dyslexia in the Classroom

The research: Reading Benchmark Assessments

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

All Students Are Language Learners: The Imagine Learning Language Advantage™

Shifting Mindsets: A Guide for Training Paraeducators to Think Differently About Challenging Behavior

How to Support All Students with Equitable Pathways

2019 K-12 Digital Content Report

3-D Learning & Assessment for K–5 Science

Climate Change, LGBTQ Issues, Politics & Race: Instructional Materials for Teaching Complex Topics

Closing the Science Achievement Gap

Evidence-based Coaching: Key Driver(s) of Scalable Improvement District-Wide

Advancing Literacy with Large Print

Research Sheds New Light on the Reading Brain

Tips for Supporting English Learners Through Personalized Approaches

Response to Intervention Centered on Student Learning

The Nonnegotiable Attributes of Effective Feedback

SEE MORE Insights >