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A large majority of Americans wants to see arts courses included in the regular school curriculum, a national survey concludes.

The survey, conducted by Louis Harris & Associates for the American Council for the Arts, found that 91 percent of respondents said it was important for children to learn about the arts and to develop artistic skills in schools. Sixty-seven percent ranked the arts equal in importance to history or geography, 60 percent to math and science, and 53 percent to reading and writing.

A majority of those polled said they would be willing to see cuts in administrative costs, extracurricular activities, or sports to fund arts classes.

The poll was commissioned in part to garner public support for efforts to include arts in President Bush's America 2000
program, a council spokesman said. In recent months, the Administration has come under fire for failing to include arts in the program.

The firm polled a representative sample of 1,500 adults age 18 or older by telephone in February.

The governing board of the American Association for Counseling and Development has voted to change the organization's name to the American Counseling Association.

The name change, which takes effect July 1, is an effort to clarify the identity of the association's members and define what they do.

"Counseling is the common bond that ties all of our members together, regardless of their work setting,'' said Marianne H. Mitchell, the group's president. The name change, she said, should "promote a strong professional identity and reinforce unity of purpose.''

The association represents some 60,000 members, including school counselors.

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