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Basing her analysis on a variety of statistics from government and private sources, an education researcher concludes in a new monograph that "there have been radical changes--very often unrecognized--in the American school population today, measured against the data of 15 years ago."

"Today we deal with a new kind of child," writes Emily Feistritzer, director of the National Center for Education Information, a private publishing organization, "from a different background, with a different set of values, hopes, and dreams." To be effective, she argues in "Cheating Our Children: Why We Need School Reform," changes proposed for the schools must take these changes into account.

Among her findings:

The population under 5 grew at three times the national rate be1980 and 1983.

One in five children live below the poverty level.

One in five children live with one parent, and half of these are poor.

The number of female heads of household has doubled since 1970 and tripled since 1960; one-third of such women live below the poverty level.

Income is directly related to educational level; among students, achievement levels and family-income levels are directly correlated.

Copies of the report, which includes tabular material, are available for $14.95 from the ncei, Suite 707, 1901 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20006.

Schools will move "beyond risk to obsolescence" if the education profession fails to receive adequate support for research, according to a recent report by the National Academy of Education in Pittsburgh.

"We are urged toward excellence but observe that, despite inspiring instances of professional excellence, the education profession is seriously undernourished by modern advances in knowledge," said Robert Glaser, president of the academy and director of the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center, in releasing the report.

The report, "Improving Education: Perspectives on Educational Research," contains essays from several prominent educators, including James S. Coleman, the University of Chicago sociologist, Harold Howe 2nd, former U.S. commissioner of education, and Lee Shulman, a professor at Stanford University.

The essays focus on the place of research in policymaking and outline areas in which research on learning and schooling are making significant advances that could be critical to the long-term prospects for educational reform.

The academy's report is in response to recent national reports on education, such as the National Commission on Excellence in Education's ''A Nation at Risk," Mr. Glaser said.

Copies of the report are available from the National Academy of Education, lrdc Building, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15260.

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