The D.C. Board of Education approved a plan last night to have outstanding teachers train newly hired instructors in a program that is scheduled to start by the end of next year.
The board also adopted a resolution denouncing South Africa's practice of apartheid, and approved creation of an educational foundation to fund various school activities.
Under the plan for training teachers, older instructors will act as mentors for younger, "intern" teachers. The plan is designed to become part of a broader program that would employ several techniques to improve the morale and performance of students, teachers and administrators. This wide-ranging program would include cash awards for teachers and schools, and sabbatical leaves and special recognition for outstanding teachers and administrators.
The "incentive program" was proposed by Superintendent Floretta McKenzie to "enhance quality teaching and learning" in the system.
The resolution denouncing South African policies of racial segregation stated that apartheid is an "injustice and . . . an ugly blight on the flowering of a free world."
The board also announced that all members would participate in a demonstration today near the Embassy of South Africa.
Board members noted that by adopting the resolution and demonstrating, they as educators are sending a message to students to be more "conscious" and to set "high values."
McKenzie said that "I'm going to demonstrate because I feel very strongly that the South African government is just so wrong. There is no way for any thinking individual not to register a strong protest."
The educational foundation will use money donated to the Board of Education by corporations and individuals to build an independent funding source that administrators say is necessary to pay for certain items that McKenzie said " . . . we just cannot pay for out of the budget." Among them, she said, are "transportation for students to take out-of-state trips, band uniforms, foreign exchange programs and other creative projects that students like to be involved in."