Despite the opposition of some Florida educators, the board of regents of the state's university system has tightened entrance requirements at its nine campuses.
The new standards, which take effect in 1986, require as minimums for admission a 2.5 high-school grade-point average and a score of 900 on the Scholastic Aptitude Test or 19 on the American College Testing examination. Students who maintain a higher grade-point average may gain admission with lower test scores, and vice versa.
The system's current standards require a 2.0 grade-point average and scores of 840 and 17 on the sat and the act, respectively.
In 1982, the regents had approved a policy under which, by 1986, freshman applicants would be required to have completed 17 prescribed high-school credits, including 4 in English; 3 each in mathematics, natural science, and social science; and 4 electives chosen from those same fields, Mr. Mitchell said. Applicants in 1987 would be required to complete 2 additional credits in a foreign language, he said.
The new policy does not affect the state's practice of allowing each campus to admit a limited number of applicants under alternative admissions procedures, Mr. Mitchell said.
The regents also broadened the range of courses from which students can satisfy the electives requirement, and mandated special learning programs for students admitted under alternative admissions procedures, Mr. Mitchell said.
To Link American,
Gov. Rudy Perpich of Minnesota has announced plans for an interactive television program that will enable the state's schoolchildren to communicate with their counterparts in the Soviet Union.
The program, called the "Minnesota-Moscow Children's Space Bridge," will be broadcast across the United States and in the Soviet Union on Dec. 2, according to a spokesman for the Governor's office. The program is dedicated, the spokesman said, to Samantha Smith, the Manchester, Me., schoolgirl who met with Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov in the summer of 1983 and died last August in a plane crash.
The broadcast will originate simultaneously from the Children's Theater in Minneapolis and the Gosteleradio's Ostankino Concert Hall in Moscow.
Children from both countries will perform "Peace Child," a play about Soviet and American children becoming friends and assisting in the peace process. The show also will include a performance by the Soviet Union's leading rock band, Stas Namin.
Minnesota's $50,000 share of the program's production costs will be raised from private sources, according to a representative from the Governor's office.
Of Home Schooling
Rally at Capitol
Home-schooling advocates in Michigan gathered at the state Capitol late last month to press for "clear laws" allowing them to instruct their children at home, without the assistance of state-certified teachers.
Roxanne Smith, who with her husband, Dennis Smith, heads a group called the Information Network for Christian Homes--which sponsored the rally--estimated that 2,000 people attended.
State Representative Timothy L. Walberg said at the rally that he planned to introduce a home-schooling bill in the state legislature. A member of the House education committee, Mr. Walberg has children who are educated at home.
Because Michigan has no home-schooling law, regulation of home schools varies throughout the state, according to Mr. Walberg. Some school districts, he said, regulate home schools according to state laws governing private schools--including a requirement that home schools use state-certified teachers.
The rally also included representatives from Christian schools who join the home schoolers in opposing the state-certified-teacher requirement, according to Ms. Smith. A challenge to the certification requirement by two Baptist church schools is scheduled to be heard this month in the Michigan Supreme Court, Ms. Smith said.
College Classes for
Alabama high-school students will be allowed to take college courses for high-school credit next fall in a program adopted last month by the state board of education.
Under an existing program, some 150 honors students each year enroll, with the approval of their high-school principals, in college courses for college credit, according to Linda Wilson, assistant to the chancellor of the state postsecondary-education department.
The newly adopted program will expand that policy, she said, enabling school districts to contract with colleges to offer their students courses for high-school credit. According to Ms. Wilson, the districts will cover tuition costs.
The expanded program was recommended by a task force formed to improve communication and cooperation among the state's two-year colleges and secondary schools.
Prompt Rhode Island
Rhode Island has moved to improve safety measures for school buses after a 7-year-old girl became the third student killed this year in a bus accident.
Each of the state's 40 districts has adopted a recommendation by Gov. Edward D. DiPrete to hire adult monitors for buses carrying elementary students, according to a state official.
In addition, all school buses will have an additional mirror installed to cover a blind spot on the driver's side that was implicated in the recent fatal accident.
Governor DiPrete has also asked the state department of transportation to coordinate additional training for school-bus drivers and to study the feasibility of installing sensors that can tell the driver when something has fallen beneath the bus.
Districts are also being urged to develop bus routes that reduce the number of students required to cross the street to board their bus.
A film on school-bus safety is being developed for teachers to show in their classrooms next year.