States News Roundup
Duke University's Talent Identification Program has undertaken its second search to identify highly gifted seventh-grade students from 16 southern and midwestern states.
Eligibility is restricted to seventh-graders in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas who were born after Dec. 31, 1968, and who scored in the 97th percentile or higher on any nationally normed standardized test--the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, for example--will be given the Scholastic Aptitude Test, normally reserved for college-bound high-school students. Students who score above 500--out of 800 possible points--on either math or verbal sat tests are singled out.
Last year, tip brought 153 students to the Duke campus to study math, expository writing, American history, and German. Robert N. Sawyer, program director, estimates that there are 300 to 350 U.S. students under the age of 13 who can score 700 on either the math or the verbal test.
For more information on tip, write to Robert N. Sawyer, Talent Identification Program, Duke University, Durham, N.C. 27708.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has expanded the state's ethics law to include appointed members of school boards.
In a 4-2 decision, the court ruled unconstitutional a provision of the law exempting appointed board members. Previously only elected school-board representatives were required to comply with the state Ethics Act.
The law requires financial-disclosure statements of board members, bars them from voting on personnel matters involving their relatives, and prohibits them from doing private business with the school agencies they worked with for one year after they leave their board position.
Writing for the majority in the case, Chief Justice Henry O'Brien said the Pennsylvania legislature made it clear in the Ethics Act that it wanted citizens to have confidence that officials were not violating the public trust.
Chief Justice O'Brien also said that members of the Philadelphia school board should be included under the new ruling, even though they do not have the power to levy taxes as do most other boards in the state.
"It should be clear that the legislature did not intend that the act bo limited to officials empowered to levy taxes," the justice said.
The opening of Arkansas's "scientific creationism" trial has been changed from Oct. 26 to Dec. 7, by agreement of both plaintiffs and the state.
Both sides needed more time to prepare their cases, according to a spokesman for the Arkansas Civil Liberties Union, one of the groups challenging a state law requiring "balanced treatment" of the theories of creationism and evolution in public schools.
U.S. District Judge William R. Overton also dismissed the Pulaski County Special School District as a defendant in the case. That district's school board had voted independently to require balanced treatment of creation and evolution theories.
Judge Overton set Oct. 15 as the final dates for filing of witnesses by both sides.
High school seniors in Maine may find graduation requirements tougher in the future.
The state Department of Education is considering a plan to add two years of mathematics and two of science to the course of study required for a diploma. State law currently requires only four years of English, one year of American history and one semester of state history. Most local districts do require at least one credit each in math and science, said Arnold Johnson, curriculum consultant for the schools.
Mr. Johnson said state officials decided to review the requirements after learning that Maine students performed slightly below average on the Scholastic Aptitude Test. Fifty-one percent of the state's seniors took the sat, earning an average score of 465 in mathematics. Nationally, 31 percent of seniors took the sat; their average score in math was 466.
The state Department of Education is considering a plan to add two years of mathematics and two of science to the course of study required for a diploma. State law currently requires only four years of English, one year of American history and one semester of state history. Most of the state's school districts, however, do require at least one credit each in math and science, said Arnold Johnson, curriculum consultant for the schools.