Military Could Provide Minority Teachers

BYRON NORWOOD is a Marine Corps sergeant who dreams of someday opening a day care center. Meanwhile, he tutors children twice a week at a Washington elementary school and spends Saturdays as a volunteer mentor for inner-city youth.

The United States armed forces are filled with people like Sergeant Norwood, according to a study released yesterday that suggests funneling soldiers into the nation's classrooms once they end their military careers.

The National Center for Education Information drew its recommendations from a July survey of 820 soldiers who contacted an Army hot line about careers in education.

It found the interest in teaching was particularly high among black, Hispanic, and Asian males. According to the study, 23 percent of those who contacted the hot line belonged to a minority group. Minorities comprise only 9 percent of teachers.

Soldiers changing careers as the armed forces are reduced and school systems looking for male or minority teachers are a perfect match, said center president Emily Feistritzer, author of the study. "Here you have, built in, an answer to two of the problems that face the composition of the teaching force," she said.

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