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The program-improvement process Congress established for failing Chapter 1 programs needs alteration, and more funding should be directed specifically to improvement efforts, the Council of Chief State School Officers argues in a new report.

"State-education-agency responsibilities have increased substantially without a commensurate increase in resources,'' the report says, noting that states have the primary responsibility for monitoring improvement efforts in targeted schools.

The report, which presents a state-by-state view of efforts to implement changes Congress made in the Chapter 1 program in 1988, echoes educators' complaints that the process relies too greatly on standardized tests.

The study also reports that:

  • Some states are taking a more aggressive role than others in intervening in targeted schools.
  • State officials say "the amount and extent of curricular, instructional, and organizational changes'' made in schools operating new schoolwide projects--encouraged by the 1988 changes--vary greatly.
  • Many states are making new efforts to coordinate Chapter 1 with early-childhood, special-education, bilingual, and migrant programs.

Copies of "Chapter 1 Program Improvement and Innovation Across the States'' can be obtained for $15 each from Patti Schmid, 1 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite 700, Washington, D.C. 20001; (202) 336-7023.

The number of students who are the children of migrant farmworkers will expand by nearly one-third between 1990 and 2000, a report prepared for the Education Department concludes.

The report, written by researchers at the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina, predicts that enrollment in the Migrant Education Program will rise from 597,000 in 1990 to 790,000 in 2000.

The study also found that 60 percent of currently migrant students--those who have moved within the past year and who are intended to be the focus of services--are served by the program, while 50 percent of formerly migrant students are also served.

The authors say this suggests that rules be altered to "promote services to currently migrant children.''

Copies of the "Descriptive Study of the Chapter 1 Migrant Education Program'' are available for free from the Education Department, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Room 3127, Washington, D.C. 20202; (202) 401-0590.

An advisory panel last week approved a draft report by the Environmental Protection Agency concluding that children exposed to environmental tobacco smoke bear a greatly increased risk of respiratory damage.

The panel also approved classification of such smoke as a carcinogen.

The Science Advisory Board's action represents a recommendation to the E.P.A. administrator, William K. Reilly, who is expected to adopt it as agency policy, said Donald Barnes, the panel's staff director.

The E.P.A. has no authority to issue regulations, but the policy could influence federal rules on employee smoking, and open the door to private lawsuits, Mr. Barnes said.

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