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The National Endowment for the Arts has awarded three grants for developing model curricula for high-school art-appreciation courses.

The $30,000 awards--to Boston's Latin School, the Prince George's County (Md.) Public Schools, and the Princeton (Minn.) Independent School District #477--represent "an important step forward in making the arts a basic in the elementary and secondary schools of this country," said the endowment's chairman, John E. Frohnmayer.

The grant program was conceived by Mr. Frohnmayer's predecessor, Frank Hodsoll, to help solve what he considered the most serious deficiency in arts education: the lack of sequential curricula. Under plans unveiled last spring, the endowment proposed to develop model curricula in four areas, including art appreciation.

But after a skeptical review by its advisory board on arts education, the N.E.A. suspended plans to solicit bids for the other three curricula. Panel members had suggested that the funds would be better used to generate policymakers' support for arts education or to evaluate existing programs. (See Education Week, May 31, 1989.)

In an effort to help students bridge the gap between arithmetic and algebra, the College Board and the Educational Testing Service have developed a packet of instructional materials.

Known as "Algebridge," the package contains an assessment to help teachers determine the algebraic concepts students cannot understand, as well as eight modules of materials designed to help teachers introduce the concepts. The modules are expected to take about two weeks of class time to complete.

The materials were tested in 6th- to 9th-grade classrooms in Arizona, Boston, Chicago, Delaware, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee. The tests worked best in pre-algebra classes in middle schools, said Paul Ramsey, the project's director.

The materials, which will be available in the 1990-91 school year, will be published by Janson Publications Inc., a Providence, R.I., firm specializing in supplemental mathematics materials.

Children as young as age 6 recognize that the ability to read is important in getting a job, a survey by the American Library Association has found.

But the survey also found that children who did not enjoy reading assumed that they would not be going to college.

"Children's perceptions of their possibility for success depend largely on their self-image, which is formed early in life," said Ann C. Weeks, executive director of the American Association of School Librarians, a division of the American Library Association. The A.L.A. conducted the survey of 500 children ages 6 to 10 in conjunction with the California Raisins Advisory Board.

The survey also found that most respondents like to read, but that mathematics--particularly for boys--is their favorite subject in school.

In conjunction with this month's dedication of a memorial honoring those who died while working in the civil-rights movement, the Southern Poverty Law Center has prepared a chronicle of the movement for secondary-school students.

The 104-page publication, Free at Last: A History of the Civil Rights Movement and Those Who Died in the Struggle, contains brief biographies of the 40 people whose names are engraved on the memorial. It was distributed this month to every junior and senior high school in the country.

Located in Montgomery, Ala., the civil-rights memorial is part of an effort "to help young people feel something of the impact these lives made on the history of our country," said Morris Dees, the center's executive director.

In addition to the publication, the center's civil-rights-education project is also preparing a film about the movement for classroom use.

For teachers seeking original-source materials on American history, an unusual archive of 19th-century Cleveland newspapers is available on microfiche for school libraries.

The set of 345 fiche, which consists of 33,000 pages, includes international, national, and local news from 1818 to 1876. It was compiled in 1938 by Linda Eastman, a Cleveland librarian, for the New Deal's Works Progress Administration.

The seven-volume set is available for $195 per volume, or $1,195 for the entire set, from Bloch and Company, P.O. Box 18058, Cleveland, Ohio 44118.

Collaboration between schools and "science rich" universities, museums, and businesses to improve science education "seems to have assumed the proportions of a major educational movement," a report to the Carnegie Corporation of New York concludes.

But the report also notes that the estimated 500 alliances remain dependent on the voluntary efforts of the partners, and often result in activities that "are at the margins of the basic program in science."

The report suggests examples from successful collaboratives, which "provide hints that enhance the chances for success and help avoid serious pitfalls."

Copies of "Improving Science Education Through Local Alliances" can be obtained for $10 each by contacting: Network Publications, P.O. Box 1830, Santa Cruz, Calif. 95061-1830, or by calling (800) 321-4407. -R.R.

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