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Federal File: Back to School; Back to School, Agaiin; Cooperative Ventures

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"One thing you can learn in school that will make you happy the rest of your life is how to study"--or so said Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell in his most recent publication--a "back-to-school" article published in the funny pages of newspapers across the country on Aug. 28.

Mr. Bell advised young readers of The Mini Pages, a feature that appears in the weekend comics sections of more than 420 newspapers, that ''the study habits you start now (and it's never too late to start) can make you proud of your schoolwork." He added that good study habits "will also help you find out what you need to know when buying a car or deciding who should be president."

The Secretary also offered his readers a six-point plan to help get them off to a good start:

Have a place somewhere in your house or apartment where you like to be alone and make that your study place. ("Be fussy.")

Read directions carefully.

Set aside a specific time of day as your study time. ("An hour is good to start with.")

Ask for help if you can't figure out a difficult question.

Divide up your study hour carefully if you have more than one assignment.

Don't turn on the television or the radio.


Later in the week, Mr. Bell offered another set of back-to-school observations, but this time his message was quite different--teachers' salaries, he said, should be based on their performance.

"We're not getting our fair share of teachers," the Secretary told a gathering of teachers and classroom aides in Arlington, Va., last Wednesday. "We have to turn that around. The questions is what should we do about that."

In repeating the Reagan Administration's call for the concept, Mr. Bell avoided using the term "merit pay." Teachers in Arlington are represented by the National Education Association, which does not look favorably upon the idea.

Instead, Mr. Bell called for an "academic ranking" system similar to that used in colleges.

Members of the National Advisory Council on Women's Educational Programs will meet in the next few weeks with their counterparts on several other advisory panels to investigate the prospect of launching cooperative projects in the future.

According to Sharon Peterson, a professional staff member on the women's panel, the groups became interested in each others' projects "mainly because we're all located in the same building."

"After a while, we realized that we were awarding grants in some of the same areas," Ms. Peterson said.

She said that members of the women's council have invited members of the advisory councils on vocational, adult, and continuing education to an informal meeting on Sept. 14 to discuss the possibility of establishing a joint project on women's career fulfillment and re-entry into the labor force.--tm

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