Teachers Column

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Six predominantly black colleges and three leading graduate schools of education have begun a joint effort to increase the supply of minority teachers.

In their attempt to develop strategies that will help black students progress through the educational system--from elementary school through college--the higher-education institutions will focus on six initiatives.

These include the creation of summer programs for minority students in middle school, high school, and college who are interested in becoming teachers; faculty-exchange programs between participating universities; the development of three minority-leadership centers designed to increase the number of blacks who are qualified to become principals; and the creation of a collaborative research-and-evaluation fund.

The multi-year venture, administered by the Southern Education Foundation, is expected to cost more than $3 million in its first three years. The BellSouth Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts have provided $1.75 million in grants.

The traditionally black institutions include Albany State, Bethune-Cookman, Grambling, Johnson C. Smith, Tuskegee, and Xavier universities. The three graduate schools of education are at Harvard, Columbia, and Vanderbilt universities.

Two warring factions within the leadership of the Arkansas Education Association have negotiated a temporary truce, thanks to the mediating efforts of their national office.

The month-long battle within the AEA had resulted in the suspension of the organization's president. On June 18, the union's board of directors narrowly voted to suspend Ed Bullington, the two-term president of the AEA, following an altercation in which he allegedly tore the shirt of one the union's high-ranking staff members.

Mr. Bullington--who argued that he had merely been defending himself and that his suspension resulted from a power struggle within the union--challenged the suspension in court.

A Pulaski County chancery judge ruled in late June that the board did not have the authority to suspend Mr. Bullington and ordered that he be reinstated, pending a full hearing on the matter.

The National Education Association has helped the parties negotiate a settlement, the terms of which have not been made public. Under the agreement, Mr. Bullington will retain his post, said Richard Roachell, a lawyer for the AEA.

He said that a panel of NEA state presidents also has agreed to help the AEA leadership resolve any remaining differences.The lawyer said the court has been informed of the settlement and that no further hearings are slated.
--LO & BR

Vol. 07, Issue 39 Extra Edition

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