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'Teacher of Teachers'

February 09, 1986

Re "An Apple for This Teacher of Teachers" (by Marshall Berges, Jan. 26):

A true measure of the quality of public school education is the SAT scores of college-bound high school seniors. The precipitous drop in SAT scores since 1963 requires that we address the problem of how to select the best method to reverse the trend of declining academic achievement in our country.

Ongoing studies have shown that students show a significant decline in academic excellence in each grade level as they progress through the public school system as compared to students 25 years ago. This progressive decline in aptitude and achievement means that we have a serious problem in educating youngsters at the elementary school level.

Madeline Hunter has provided us with a viable solution to bring about a change for the better in education. Each school district must allocate 20% of its elementary schools as teacher training schools. College graduates with newly acquired credentials would receive on-the-job-training under the guidance of mentor teachers who are qualified in the best teaching techniques.

Success of this teacher training program requires that school administrators, teachers, parents and taxpayers must believe in it. This requires that the following guidelines be mandated:

--Elementary schools must be selected for teacher training based upon the enthusiasm of their principals for the program.

--Mentor teachers are selected based upon their qualifications and enthusiasm for the program.

--A minimum two-year apprenticeship will be required of the teachers during training.

--Teachers completing this training program must not be abandoned at other elementary schools within the district. The newly qualified teachers must be assigned only to schools that have a principal who is a proponent of the Madeline Hunter program.

--Teachers must be assigned in groups of two or more to receptive schools.

A teacher training program that meets these criteria exists in the Norwalk/La Mirada Unified School District at the Garden Hills Elementary School.

Is there hope for this nation at risk? Yes! But only if we will listen to Madeline Hunter.

ROBERT A. DAHLQUIST

Orange

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