Federal News Roundup
Noting that "all of our teachers must be certified if we want quality education," a Bureau of Indian Affairs official has said he will ask the U.S. Interior Department's office of Indian education to review the status of uncertified teachers in the agency-funded schools and determine how they can best be certified.
Ken Smith, the department's assistant secretary for Indian affairs, told a group of bia school officials meeting in Phoenix on April 17 that more than half the teachers in the schools are now uncertified. Moreover, the teachers are not required to hold certification.
Until 1978, civil-service teachers
in the bia schools were not required to be certified, Mr. Smith said. When a 1978 law was passed, those teachers already employed were "grandfathered" in, and were not required to work toward certification.
"I am told that we already have the methods within our present system to require the certification," Mr. Smith told the group, adding that he was determining whether those methods should be added as an amendment to the law governing American Indian education programs.
A federal appeals court last week rejected an affirmative-action plan of the New Orleans police department that required the promotion of equal numbers of blacks and whites until half of the department's ranks were black.
However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit also rejected the Reagan Administration's position that racial quotas can only be used to remedy past discrimination and that court-ordered remedies can only be applied to individuals who can prove that they were victimized by unconstitutional practices.
School officials have kept a close watch on the New Orleans police case and others like it because its outcome could affect similar hiring and promotion plans for teachers and other school employees.
The New Orleans plan, which was contained in a consent agreement that the city signed to avoid a prolonged legal battle, was suported by black officers but opposed by whites, women, and Hispanics. The Administration intervened in the 11-year-old case, Williams v. City of New Orleans, early this year.
The Administration also sought U.S. Supreme Court review of a similar plan involving the Detroit police department. The Justices declined to review the case, Bratton v. City of Detroit, last January.
Vol. 03, Issue 32