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Published in Print: September 18, 1991, as State News Roundup

State News Roundup

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A majority of public school districts in Minnesota offer an unequal number of athletic opportunities to beys and girls, according to a report prepared by the state department of education.

Out of 402 districts with students in the 7th through 12th grades, 169 offered boys one more sport than was available to girls, and 91 offered boys at least two more opportunities for sports participation.

Girls and boys were offered the same number of sports in 142 districts.

The findings were based on data from the 1989-90 school year.

Prepared by the department's equal'educational-opportunities section, the study was undertaken to determine the accuracy of data submitted to the state on the progress of Title IX, the 1972 federal law mandating equal educational opportunities for both sexes, as well as a similar state law passed in 1981.

While the report noted that "much progress ]had been] made toward equalizing interscholastic athletics" in the past 15 years, it urged districts to make every effort to move ahead despite "tight budget times."

Report Calls for Overhaul Of Wis. Education Department

A new report by a Wisconsin think tank advocates overhauling the state department of public instruction and making the job of its chief administrator an appointed, rather than an elected, post.

The new report, by James Cibulka, director of doctoral studies in urban education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, contends the current structure of the agency has led to ineffectiveness in solving the state's educational problems and embracing education-reform ideas.

More progress might be made, Mr. Cibulka wrote, if the state school superintendent could be freed of ties to educational interest groups and held accountable to a state school beard or governor. The report is among a number of studies on education issues in that state issued periodically by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, a nonprofit research group.

The document was strongly criticized by Superintendent of Public Instruction Herbert Grover, who called it a "political statement" by an institute funded by "the Governor's right-wing business buddies." Governor Tommy G. Thompson, a Republican, and Mr. Grover, a Democrat, are frequently at odds.

While conceding that many of the institute's supporters are friends of the Governor, James Miller, the organization's executive director, said the group is nonpartisan.


The continued influx of Hispanic students last fall made minority students the majority in Texas public-school classrooms for the first time, a report for the Texas Education Agency shows.

As of last October, nearly 3.4 million students were enrolled in schools across the Lone Star State--a 2 percent increase over the previous year. While the overall percentage of black students declined, the 4 percent increase in Hispanic students pushed minority enrollment to a total of 50.47 percent.

According to the report, white students accounted for 49.53 percent of Texas' publicschool students, Hispanics made up 33.88 percent of the total, and black students were 14.41 percent of the total. Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans made up the remainder.

The survey found that the minority groups accounted for 80 percent of the students in the state's eight major urban districts. Statewide, minority enrollments were highest in the primary grades, the report found.


New York State's commitment to the use of computers in the classsroom, while one of the strongest in the nation, still is insufficient to prepare students for the world of work, a local business group charges. "If the telephone system had changed as slowly as the school system has, you'd still have to turn the crank and tell an operator the phone number you want before you could make a call," according to "Techno ogy in New York's Classrooms,"a report issued by the New York Business Council's Public Policy Institute.

The report, issued this month, calls on businesses to donate computer equipment to the schools in order to help upgrade the available stock and to increase the ratio of computers to students.

The existing ratio in New York is 1 computer to every 17 students. Nationally, the average is estimated to be 1 computer to every 30 students.

But the relative abundance of computers in state schools masks a failure to teach computer skills adequately or provide adequate access to the machines, according to David Shaffer, the council's executive director. .

Vol. 11, Issue 03, Page 1

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