Sabbaticals for Public School Teachers

By Gene I. Maeroff

Unlike higher education -- where scholarship, research, and publication are taken for granted -- elementary and secondary education seldom has such expectations for its faculty members. School districts across the country emphasize instructional skills, and in that respect they differ from institutions of higher education, which give far less attention to the quality of teaching.

So it was notable when the Edison, N.J, school board offered, and the union accepted, a provision to allow for a limited number of sabbatical leaves to promote scholarship, research and, potentially, publication. The district of almost 15,000 pupils, the fifth-largest in the state, completed the agreement with its teachers in May after a year of negotiations.

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