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Task Force at Ed School To Study Urban Education

By Jeff Magalif

A community meeting at the School of Education voted Monday night to set up a task force on urban education and to include alumni on a special committee studying the ED School's governance.

The task force, scheduled to meet for the first time at noon tomorrow, will include students, faculty members, and (eventually) representatives of the Cambridge-Boston community. The group will study such matters as curriculum reform and the recruitment of students and faculty.

There is a crisis in urban education," said Alan H. Haas, Ed. M. candidate, who introduced the task force idea at the meeting. "The Ed School must shift its emphasis from the suburban schools and face this crisis," Haas said.

The task force will work in conjunction with the school's Black Student Union, with Wilton Anderson, Ed.D. candidate, serving as liason. The Ed School faculty approved on April 9 the BSU's proposals for an Urban Studies program.

The inclusion of alumni on the governance committee followed a similar action by the Ed School faculty last Friday. In suggesting the committee the day before, the school community had provided only for student, faculty, and staff representation.

Susan Furry, MAT candidate, urged Monday's meeting to act independently of the faculty. "We're the people, and we make the decisions," she said to the group of about 150 students and faculty.

David J. Swanger, Ed.D. candidate, arguing for the inclusion of alumni, attacked the "xenophobia" of the community meeting. "The faculty wanted alumni on the committee to make it more conservative," Swanger admitted, "but our definition of community should not be exclusive."

Monday's meeting also voted to "affirm a new and substantial commitment" to teacher training. "We should stress teacher training instead of research and training 'educational leaders,'" said Mary E. Early, MAT candidate.

Community meetings, which were instituted after the University Hall incidents, have become a regular feature at the Ed School. Meetings are planned for May 1, May 6, May 13, and May 20.

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