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The National Council for the Social Studies has asked to join the organization that accredits teacher-education programs in the nation's colleges and universities.

The academic group's 20-member board of directors had voted in June to seek membership on the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education.

"Previously, we did not feel that ncate was representing the interests of the social studies in general," said John H. Bragaw, president of the ncss "But we feel that ncate has re-analyzed itself and reorganized itself along lines that we feel are better."

Last spring, ncate approved a set of tough new accreditation standards and is currently overhauling its governance structure. The 21,000-member ncss recently developed its own set of guidelines for teacher-education programs and has asked, as a condition of its membership, to have them incorporated into ncate's standards, Mr. Bragaw said.

Eight of the 14 subject-area groups that are currently members of the accrediting group have their standards recognized, said Richard C. Kunkel, ncate's executive director. The membership request will be considered by ncate's coordinating board at its next meeting in October, he said.

A federal judge has barred a firm that prepares students for the Scholastic Aptitude Test from using on its practice examinations copyrighted questions currently in use by the Educational Testing Service.

The temporary injunction prevents a New York test-coaching firm, Princeton Review, from using questions obtained from copyrighted tests or from sending representa-tives to take the tests to obtain more questions.

"This is not an issue of whether or not coaching is effective--the issue is fairness," said Robert J. Solomon, executive vice-president of ets

He said that if some students have unauthorized access to "secure," or currently used, questions they have an unfair advantage over other students taking the test.

But John S. Katzman, president of Princeton Review, said the test questions were "neither illegally obtained nor copied." He said Princeton Review would file a countersuit against the testing service within the next few weeks.

The judge also signed a consent decree in which Pre-Test Review, a Philadelphia coaching firm named in the ets suit, agreed that it would not infringe on any ets copyrights.

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