Students Demand M.A.T. Revisions

Students at the School of Education are demanding extensive reforms in the Master of Arts in Teaching Program.

The list of 11 demands--formulated by MAT students over the last two weeks--aims at promoting a drastic increase in Ed School involvement with urban problems, and at providing broad student controls over the MAT program's administration.

Wary of a confrontation with the faculty, student leaders have been quietly circulating the proposal among faculty members for the past week, asking individual support. Members of a diffuse student Steering Committee met yesterday with David Purple, Assistant Dean of the School of Education and head of the Administrative Board of the MAT program.

The MAT demands concern almost every area of the present course of study and include:

* revising admissions and scholarship programs to insure a "significantly increased proportions of working class students in the MAT population."

* compulsory participation of MAT students in community activity, accompanied by small-group discussions with community resource persons.

* accepting half the MAT student body from among applicants committed to work in urban areas, and hiring faculty and staff from the community.

* giving elected student representatives half the voting slots on the Administrative Board of the MAT program, which sets academic policy for MAT's.

* abolition of all grades and the substitution of a "personal assessment of progress" combined with pass-fail in all courses.

Purple said last night that he felt "the whole procedure and the whole tone of the movement has been very constructive." He added, "All the issues they raised are issues we feel need to be looked at." He said, however, that there was some disagreement on specific demands.

According to Nelson Armour, one of the students organizers of the MAT drive, the proposals brought together "what people have been talking about for a whole year." Student work groups began shaping the eleven demands on April 10, the day the Ed School faculty established a fund to support recruited minority group students, and voted an extensive re-evaluation of the Ed School's urban-related curriculum.