Published: Feb. 26, 1998

A former public schoolteacher now involved in the training of teachers in math and science will speak at the University of Colorado at Boulder Thursday, March 12, as part of the Sewall Symposium Series.

Joseph M. Frattaroli, chief operating officer for the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science, will discuss the national problems of unqualified teachers and school districts that aren't supporting teachers' professional development.

The address, "Students Deserve Good Teachers," comes on the heels of an international study showing America’s high school seniors are among the world’s worst at math and science.

The talk, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Old Main Chapel.

A recent report of the National Commission on Teaching and America's Future stated that, "Roughly one quarter of newly hired American teachers lack the qualifications for their jobs. More than 12 percent enter the classroom without any formal training at all, and another 14 percent arrive without fully meeting state standards."

"There's a crisis in the classroom where we're having teachers that are underprepared," Frattaroli said. "This is particularly true in many of our large urban centers and low-income communities. Unless we begin to upgrade the workforce, we're shortchanging the students."

Frattaroli has worked in urban education in the Midwest for more than 25 years. He began his career as a junior high school history teacher in East Cleveland, Ohio. Later, he developed curriculum for the Ann Arbor Public Schools in Michigan, and taught at various Chicago area universities including DePaul, the University of Illinois at Chicago and Governors State University.

While serving as manager of the Urban Education Department for the Illinois State Board of Education, he initiated the Urban Education Partnership Program, the first state program to award grants to schools rather than districts.

Since 1993, he has been chief operating officer for the Teachers Academy for Mathematics and Science, a nationally recognized program that provides intensive professional development for Chicago elementary school teachers.

The Sewall Symposium Series, which is part of the "Conversations on America" course taught at Sewall Hall, is organized around the theme of "Rights and Responsibilities." The series began in the fall semester with talks on affirmative action and the environment.

The series is sponsored by the Sewall Academic Program, the President's Fund for the Humanities, the Office of the Chancellor and the Office of the Dean of Arts and Sciences.

For more information call the Sewall Academic Program at 492-6004.