Teachers Column

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Teachers in Alabama appear to be of two minds when it comes to tenure laws, competency testing, and other professional issues, a statewide poll shows.

The survey, released this month by the University of South Alabama and the Mobile Register newspaper found that 44 percent of teachers favor amending tenure laws to limit appeals for educators dismissed for incompetence; an equal number are against such a move. Moreover, about 50 percent of the 138 teachers surveyed said that educators should be given periodic competency tests, and about 45 percent said the checkups should not be required.

Teachers, however, were less divided over the controversial merit-pay concept. Almost two-thirds of the respondents said teachers should be given raises based on their performance.

Impact II, a grassroots professional network for teachers, has published a book documenting its members' efforts to transform schools.

The book, written primarily by 27 teachers from across the country, features developments in teacher-designed curricula, school governance, school and community relations, schools-within-schools, and teacher-led schools.

It also includes comments from experts in teacher education, as well as case studies on the network's projects by Columbia University's National Center for Restructuring Education, Schools, and Teaching.

The book, How Teachers Are Changing Schools, is the first in a planned series on teachers and school restructuring. To order, send $16.90 to Impact II--The Teachers Network, P.O. Box 577, Canal Street Station, New York, N.Y. 10013-2272; or call (800) 200-8284.

The Metropolitan State College of Denver has joined forces with the city's public schools and the Jefferson County school district to recruit minority teachers.

Each year, about 120 students from four high schools will be admitted to the recruiting program, which is designed to spark students' interest in education.

Students must complete an introductory high school course on teacher education and enroll in a summer program to observe the college courses with high school teachers who serve as mentors throughout their training.

Graduates of the four-year teacher education program will be guaranteed interviews in both the Jefferson County and Denver school systems.

Vol. 13, Issue 39

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