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Floretta Dukes McKenzie, superintendent of the District of Columbia Public Schools, says she intends to resign at the end of the first semester of this school year.

Ms. McKenzie, who demanded that her current contract include a provision allowing her to leave on 90 days' notice, says she plans to form an educational consulting firm. Hogan and Hartson, a Washington law firm that represents numerous education clients and has been a key player in several major desegregation lawsuits, will be a limited partner in her new venture.

Marva Collins, who has operated the private Westside Preparatory School in Chicago for more than 10 years, is planning to open a second school in Compton, Calif. Ms. Collins's school has been recognized na6tionally for its efforts with inner-city youths.

Working with a local fund-raising committee, Ms. Collins hopes to open the Compton school in September 1988. Anne Skellenger, the committee's director, said it has raised $300,000 of the $800,000 needed to build the school. Of Compton's 100,000 residents, 75 percent are black, Ms. Skellenger said.


Promoting values that date from biblical times, 100 ultra-orthodox rabbinical students traveled in two-member teams this summer to more than 30 states, seeking to persuade mayors and school officials to put morality back into the classroom.

The lobbyists, all students at Chabad-Lubavitch Rabbinical College in Brooklyn, N.Y., showed the politicians and educators a videotape aimed at teen-agers that presents ethical dilemmas and their solutions.

Rabbi Menachem Sharfstein, who traveled through Texas and was one of the program's coordinators, said the venture was sponsored by a nationwide network of centers run by Lubavitchers, members of an international Hasidic movement. He said center directors had developed the program after the Lubavitch leader, Rabbi Menachem Schneerson, called on followers to promote ethics education.


The National Endowment for the Humanities has selected Robert Nisbet, the historian and sociologist, to be the Jefferson Lecturer in the Humanities for 1988.

Mr. Nisbet, the Albert Schweitzer Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, will deliver two lectures next spring on "progress and community," themes he has addressed extensively in his writings.

Mr. Nisbet is the 17th scholar to be chosen as a Jefferson Lecturer, the highest honor conferred by the federal government for outstanding achievement in the humanities. The award carries a $10,000 stipend.


In an effort to instill "cultural literacy" in school curricula, E.D. Hirsch Jr., author of Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, has set up a foundation to create standardized tests to measure students' general knowledge.

Underwritten by a $50,000 grant from the Exxon Educational Foundation, Mr. Hirsch's foundation will initially publish a one-hour test for 12th graders. With additional income--from Mr. Hirsch's lecture fees as well as from sales of his initial test--the foundation will also produce tests for 3rd, 6th, and 9th graders.

"These tests, I think, are going to be popular," said Mr. Hirsch, William R. Kenan Professor of English at the University of Virginia.

"They will generate income. We think the income should go not to private hands, but back to education."

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