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Column One: Curriculum

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The practical aspects of becoming a citizen are the subject of a guide released by the National Council for the Social Studies and the Educational Extension System. The 92-page "Citizen Handbook'' contains information on everything from how to get a marriage license to how to file tax returns.

Students need that kind of information, according to the publisher, because most high school citizenship classes tend to focus heavily on giving students a more academic understanding of how government works and offer little "real world'' instruction on the duties of citizenship.

Copies of the handbook are available for $9.95 each from Educational Extension Systems, P.O. Box 259, Clarks Summit, Pa. 18411; (800) 447-8561


Exemplary programs designed to spark the interest of minority and female students of middle school age in mathematics and science are outlined in a new document published by the Academy for Educational Development.

"New Equations: The Urban Schools Science and Mathematics Programs,'' describes successful programs in Atlanta, Cleveland, and Detroit that more fully engage African-Americans, Latinos, and girls in college-preparatory math and science courses as well as in the world of technologically based employment.

"We focused on the middle grades because the courses students choose and how well they perform at this stage are crucial'' to future success, said Rafael Valdivieso, the vice president of the New York-based academy.

In addition to describing how each program works, a final chapter of the report discusses the principles and strategies they share that make them successful.

Copies of the report are available for $12.95 each from the academy's publication department, 1255 23rd St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037.


There were 347 attempts to censor textbooks, library books, student newspapers, and other kinds of instructionally related materials over the last school year, according to the latest annual report by People For the American Way.

The liberal watchdog group said that number parallels last year's total of 348, which was the highest in the 11 years the organization has been keeping track. The states reporting the highest number of challenges to these materials were California, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Texas, Washington, and Minnesota. Nationwide, however, only 41 percent of those attempts succeeded.--D.V. & P.W.

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