The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on April 20, 2001 · Page 6
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 6

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Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Friday, April 20, 2001
Page:
Page 6
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AB FRIDAY, APRIL 20, 2001 EDUCATION THE SALINA JOURNAL BRIEFLY Teens suspended for sex acts at school Six Penii Hills, Pa., seventh- graders have been removed from school after they allegedly engaged in sexual activity a couple of months ago in a classroom at their middle school "It was handled very promptly and I think decisively and correctly," said Penn [ Hills School Board President Barry Patterson. "It's just behavior that has no place in the schools and will not be tolerat- •ed." Patterson said the Linton Middle School students were . immediately suspended after the incident. Neither he nor other officials would describe the sexual activity, except to • say it involved three boys and ; tliree girls and was consensual. , The incident was reported . by tlie teacher who was teach, ing the class at the time the ac. tivity occurred, Patterson said. (The teacher, whom school offi- , • cials declined to identify, was suspended for 10 days without pay Bargaining fails to avert Hawaii strike HONOLULU — A marathon bargaining session that continued until nearly 2 a.m. Thurs- dciy made progress but failed to end a statewide strike that , has kept 180,000 children out of school for two weeks. State and the teachers' union negotiators met with a federal , mediator for 11 hours, ending the talks with plans to return . to the bargaining table Thursday afternoon. Meanwhile, elementary and high schools were closed for a 10th day Both sides said the negotiations were progressing, especially because a separate strike by University of Hawaii faculty ended late Tuesday allowing state negotiators to focus on the remaining dispute. "There's only one issue left, which is salary so that's what we're talking about," said Joan Husted, executive director of the 13,000-member Hawaii State Teachers Association. Grades from kindergarten to graduate school had been shut down since the strikes began April 5, unprecedented in any state. From Wire Service Reports • TEACHING SHORTAGE Foreign idea draws fire Many U.S. school districts look overseas to fill teaching slots By JONATHAN POET Tlie Associated Press PHILADELPHIA — Give us your teachers, your educators, your brightest minds yearning for a job — Philadelphia's got loads of openings. With more than 100 vacancies, the Philadelphia School District is following the lead of public school systems around the country and recruiting foreign teachers to fill its classrooms. The district has gone to Spain to hire Spanish teachers and nov/ is turning to India to fill 30 jobs, mostly in math and science. Already, New York City schools have looked in Austria and Eastern Europe for teachers. Dallas has sought bilingual math and science teachers in Mexico. Houston found educators in the Philippines, and Los Angeles has well-established recruiting efforts throughout the Pacific Rim. "It's kind of a fact of life; we have to turn over every rock we can," said Marj Adler, personnel director for Philadelphia schools. Alberto Garcia, a teacher from Spain now instructing Philadelphia teen-agers in his native language, said there were many reasons not to come to the United States. The houi's are longer in America, the students are rowdier and the pay isn't much better than back home. What lured him was the challenge. "I thought it could be a great experience and opportunity for me," Garcia said. "If I can teach here, knowing it was tough in city schools, 1 could teach anywhere." Poorer districts generally have the most difficult time attracting American teachers, experts say. #iiPD0l School U ¥A May 8th, 6:30 p.m. Pools Plus of Sdlina 823 -POOL (823-7665) "Now you're seeing reactive and emergency measures to rectify this problem." Mildred Hudson CEO of Recruiting New Teacliers Pennsylvania, for example, has a surplus of certified teachers on paper But some urban and rural districts have trouble competing with jobs outside teaching and with wealthier, suburban districts, which offer higher salaries and better facilities. As a result, Philadelphia anticipates starting the 2001-02 school year with as many as 850 vacancies, up from 150 last fall. Schools nationwide will have to fill an estimated 2.2 million teacher vacancies over the next decade as teachers retire or quit and enrollment increases. "Someone who wants a job in math and science can make a lot more money in a lot easier role elsewhere," Adler said. Starting teachers in Philadelphia make about $31,000 a year. Districts have turned to a variety of sources to find teachers overseas, including foreign governments and recruiting agencies. Foreign teachers must usually have classroom experience, speak English fluently and undergo background checks before working in a U.S. school. The teachers are sometimes employed by the recruiting agency that brought them stateside. In the case of Philadelphia, the New York- based consulting firm Teacher Placement Group has been contracted to provide 30 teachers from India who will be employ­ ees of the firm. Teachers unions have expressed concern about filling classrooms with foreign educators who aren't part of their collective bargaining unit. Some also see foreign recruitment as a way to avoid paying U.S. teachers a decent wage. "It's a little troubling," said Kathleen Lyons, a spokeswoman for the National Education Association. "It seems to be a way to get at the teacher shortage that is misguided." Mildred Hudson, chief executive officer of Recruiting New Teachers, a Belmont, Mass.- based nonprofit group advocating improved teacher recruitment and retention, said school districts have known for 10 or 15 years that a teacher shortage was looming — they just didn't do enough to stop it. "Now you're seeing reactive and emergency measures to rectify this problem," Hudson said, adding there isn't enough data to judge foreign teachers' classroom performance. The teachers say working in an American school is a culture shock. "Being a teacher here, you have to be an entertainer In Europe it's more academic," Garcia said. "People in Spain, they don't really know what it's like here, even when you try to tell them. We don't have metal detectors or police officers" in Spanish schools. Ynot Come On Overf We'll Buy Out Any Competitors Contract! CELLUl/l ^liBil- Dealer Tony Roets (X )Y]VOT WIRELESS STORE HOURS: Mon.-Fri. 9 - 6, Sat. 9 -1 128 N. 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