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New Pennsylvania Education Chief Asks Delay in Curriculum Revisions

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The nominee for secretary of education in Pennsylvania, Robert C. Wilburn, has asked the Pennsylvania Board of Education to postpone action on sweeping proposals for revising curriculum requirements.

Mr. Wilburn said he would review the proposals--which have been harshly criticized by the Pennsylvania State Education Association and the Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers--and then make his own recommendation. Work on the new standards began several years ago.

The proposals would stiffen graduation requirements in math-ematics and science while giving districts greater discretion in areas such as physical education, the arts, and elementary-school reading. They would also reduce requirements for the purchase of library books.

Under the proposals, districts would be required to ensure that students meet 12 goals in education instead of the strict state course requirements now in effect.

The teachers' unions claim that the changes would give local districts greater leeway in cutting programs and laying off teachers.

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