The Holmes Group's attempt to eliminate undergraduate teacher-education majors may run into problems, even among its members.
A survey released this month of student-teaching directors at 61 Holmes Group schools found:
48 percent "agreed" that their institution joined the Holmes Group but hopes to retain the undergraduate program and "to influence the group to modify that part of the plan;"
68 percent anticipated "either faculty or administration" opposition "when it comes time to make a decision on phasing out undergraduate teacher education."
Many of those who answered the questionnaire--developed by Peter J. Quinn, director of field experiences at St. John's University--said their institutions were adopting a "wait and see" attitude, or had generally agreed to work on a five-year program that would retain and incorporate their undergraduate courses.
The Holmes Group does not advocate eliminating all undergraduate education courses, but it does favor moving most professional preparation to the graduate level.
It is not often that two teachers' organizations disagree about the need to raise school revenues, but that is the case in Missouri this month.
The Missouri State Teachers' Association--a professional organization that is not affiliated with either national teachers' union--wants to put an initiative on next November's ballot that would raise the state sales tax by three-quarters of 1 percent and the corporate tax from 5 percent to 6.5 percent. The tax increases, of approximately $400 million, would be earmarked for education.
But the Missouri National Education Association is opposing the increases. Martha Karlovetz, president of the mnea, said the petition drive is the "wrong tax, the wrong proposal, and the wrong time."
"The only way long-term solutions for educational funding will occur is through comprehensive, broad-based tax reform," she said.
Low salaries and tradition have kept most men out of elementary-school teaching, according to experts.
But now the North Carolina Association of Educators plans to do something about it. The 47,000-member union has formed a task force to investigate problems related to men and teaching--including the shortage of male elementary teachers and the pressure on men to become athletic coaches.
The news commentator Edwin Newman has agreed to host 10 television talk shows for the American Federation of Teachers. Public stations and the "The Learning Channel" plan to carry the shows, which will involve interviews with education leaders.--lo & br
Vol. 07, Issue 08