The D.C. Board of Education voted last night to require that all 5,500 teachers and all students in the school system be able to demonstrate proficiency in the use of computers and their social applications.
"We are saying that we recognize the future," said board president David Eaton (At-Large) of the requirement that teachers will have to show "computer literacy and software skills" as part of the recertification process each must go through every five years.
In addition, and beginning this fall, all newly hired teachers, except those with computer science training, must demonstrate such skills before they are granted permanent tenure.
The school system defines computer literacy as "an acquired knowledge of computers and an understanding of the social implications of that knowledge."
By the 1987-88 school year, students will be required to master such skills before they complete the ninth grade.
In other action last night, the board approved a motion to consolidate the school system's textbook selection, inventory and reading instruction processes. Dr. James Guines, associate superintendent for instruction, said that the school system had 34 different reading programs in 1975, making system-wide instruction difficult.
The board's action will require reduction in the number of different reading programs from the current 10 down to five to "provide for system-wide use of the same instructional textbooks."