The Compass Wednesday, Decembers. 1992 7
by NEA's President
By Melanie Harrington
A nation should not be judged soley by
its gross national product, out by "its
capacity for compassion," Keith deiger.
President of theNatiorwl Educational As
sociation, G^A), told a group of ECSU
studentsand faculty Nov. 19intheKermit
E. White Center.
"No one has expressed this better than
Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr.," added Gei
ger, keyiK)te speaker for ^e American
Education Week Assembly. "Dr. King
insisted that 'education which stops with
efficiency may prove to be the ^eatest
menace to society'. Education plus char
acter—that is the true goal of education."
The educational community will go
^tray if education continues to be d^
finea as a "service to the economic com
munity," said Geiger.
"1 do not believe that educators should
accept the claim that the ultimate pur
pose of education is to ensure that Fords
and Chryslers outsell Toyotas and
If American educators are to accept this
claim, it would lead to a system that
would shortchange America's young
people, said Geiger.
'If the ultimate purpose of education
is to produce a skillea workforce, then
what becomes of such disciplines as art.
music, and philosophy?" he asked.
The educational system should em
phasize the arts and ethics as much as it
does technology and economics, in order
to better prepare future teachers, said
Geiger. The educational leader also called
for a comprehensive strategy for
professionalizingteachingso teachers will
not be manipulated by politicians.
"If we want professional results, we
must grant teachers professional recog
nition," Geiger said. "If we want a self-
improving profession, we must create a
Geiger wants rigorous professional
standards for licensing teachers, some
thing the NEA has supported over 130
lege," Geiger said, "a privilege basM on
the ability to meet imposing responsibili
Establishing licensingtandards in ev
ery state will prevent the incompetent
from becoming licensed, he said.
"We must devise a system to ensure
that the unprepared, the unqualifi^, and
the unmotivated are denied the privilege
of serving in the classroom."
Geiger commended ECSU for seeldng
an evaluation by the National Council for
the Accreditation of Teacher Education
Programs (NCATE) and encouraged
Keith Geiger, President of the two-million member National Educational Association,
was ECSU’s keynote speaker for the American Education Week Assembly, held
Nov. 19 in the Kermit E. White Center.
other schools to do the same.
Geiger praised ECSU for demonstrat
ing "tmt you have a teacher education
program that ranks up there with the best
in the nation."
Voluntary certification by the national
board will not only improve teaching but
also bolster pubuc support for school
systems, Geiger said, adding that he ex
pects N.C. Governor-elect Jim Hunt to
serve as chairman of the bcwd.
"Heisthatcritical to thenationalboard,"
said Geiger, who said Hunt had set the
standards for the last four years during
an earlier stint as chair of the board.
Geiger closed by urging those present
to devote themselves to "a new educa
tional order that will truly serve the
America of tomorrow."
Gieger, a high school math and science
teacher, is an active leader in campaigns
NEA, for which he serves as president, is
a two-million member professional orga
nization and labor union.
Geiger serves on the Education Policy
Advisory Committee and co-chairs the
Martin Luther Kin^ Jr. National Educa
tion Committee. He also serves on the
Advisory Board for Professional Teach
ing Standards, and NCATE.
The theme of Gei^r's address was,
"America's Schools: Take a New Look."
His speech was sponsored by ECSU's
Division of Education.
After leaving Elizabeth City, Geiger
flew to Washington, D.C. to have dinner
with President-elect Bill Clinton.
Campus forum held on Malcom X's influence
By Lavenia Dameion
Is the interest in Malcolm X just a fad
sparked by rap groups, Malcolm X fash
ions and Spike Lee's new film?
Members of the university family ad
dressed this question in a forum, "Evalu-
ii' the Jimmy R. Jenkins Science Complex.
The forum, sponsored by The Student
Government Association and the Con
cerned Black Awareness Coxmdl (CBAC),
was organized around answering a se
ries of questions about Malcolm X's life,
•ncludingtherole he played in thestruggle
for civil rights, the merchandising of his
>^me, and Spike Lee's film.
^ph Nixon, moderator for the forum,
he thought the interest in Malcolm
X s philosophy can\e about because of
^ yearning for cultural awareness.
"Malcolm X signifies self-respect and
self-^powerment," said Nixon, vice-
president of SG A and a member of CBAC
^e want to learn our own history, build
our own businesses, educate our own
people and break them from their slave
•^^talities. People are fed up with the
old way of doing things."
. other panelists were Dr. Leon
Vice ChaiKellor for Student Af
fairs, Dr. Flora Bryant, who teaches in
ECSU's Department of Sodal Sciences,
Tarik Scott, a sophomore, and Eric X
Walton, a junior.
Panel members concluded that
Malcolm X was passed over during the
push for civil rights. Because Malcolm X
advocated assumingequal rights "by any
means necessary," whites preferred to
deal with more moderate d vil rights lead
ers like Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Although Malcolm X played no role
in the dvil rights stinig^e, he was impor
tant becausehe was radical and extreme,"
said Bryant. "He didn't care what whites
independent p)eople, Bryant said.
Panel members agreed that the current
interest in Malcolm X may be just a fad if
the reasons are superfidal.
"If the youth are not using Malcolrn X
to identify with themselves, then it is a
"It's a fad because he's dead," said
Tarik Scott, "tinless you want to find out
what made Malcolm X."
Dr.Leon White feltthatMalcolmXis"a
positive role model" for today's young
people because he emphasized clean liv
ing, self-discovery, and the importance of
hnen being fathers to their children.
A member of the panel suggested that
Malcolm X was against capitalism and
wouldn't want to see his name used by
whitecorporations to sell clothes, watches,
cologne, air freshener, but particulary
Malcolm X potato chips since he stressed
healthy eating. Dr. Flora Bryant said that
the m^ia has received too much credit
for the global exploitation of Malcolm X's
"Youth had already shovm interest,"
she said. "The media got a hold of it after
"Blacks are trendsetters," said a panel
member who felt Spike Lee should share
the blame for marketing his own line of
Malcolm X merchandise.
Panel members were asked if they felt
Spike Lee had an accurate portrayal of
Malcolm X Some students felt Spike Lee's
movie about the controversial leader's
life was irresponsible in presenting fac
tual information. One student said that
people should not view the movie as a
Another student argued that Spike Lee
captured the essence of Malcolm X and
that his reasons for making certain
changes were more artistic.
At the end of the forum, a member of
the panel suggested that students read
the autobiography by Alex Haley before
viewing the movie.
"You could tell from the audience's
responses early in the movie that most of
them had never read the book," said
Malcolm X, bom Malcolm Little in
Omaha Nebraska, added the letter X to
denounce the "white slave name" he had
been given. The Nation of Islam taught
of their culture, their religion, their his
tory, and their names. Introduced to Is
lam while in prison, he later became the
national spokesperson for the Nation of
Islam under the teachings of Elijah
The X represents his unknown ances
tors and it was used to signify his past as
a non-Islamic person. As long as condi
tions in America remained tl« same, he
would use the X.
The campus forum was just one event
17, a documentary on the life of Malcolm
X was shown in the Commuter Center.
The SGA and CBAC sponsored a bus
trip to the Gateway Theater in Elizabeth
City on Nov. 18, for the premier of Spike
Lee's film, Malcolm X.