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The director of the national-standards project in history has called for an independent panel of experts to review the three volumes in an attempt to end some of the criticism that has plagued them.

Gary B. Nash, the director of the embattled project and a historian at the University of California at Los Angeles, said he wants the panel to recommend changes in the documents, released last fall, that set out what students should know and be able to do in K-4, U.S., and world history.

He hopes such changes will satisfy many of the standards' critics, who contend that the documents bash the United States and the West and downplay the importance of traditional historic figures.

Project leaders are trying to find a benefactor to pay for revisions, and for a shorter version that omits suggested teaching activities and includes only the standards. Mr. Nash suggested that such a benefactor might appoint the experts.

Students at about 400 elementary and secondary schools in the United States will begin reporting scientific data they have collected to scientists and other students at home and abroad on April 22--the 25th anniversary of Earth Day.

The schools that participate in globe, the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment program, will transmit--via the Internet computer network--measurements of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.

Training for teachers will begin next month. They will be supplied with curriculum materials and suggested projects.

More than 1,500 schools nationwide have signed on to the program, which is sponsored by six federal agencies.

Though more than 100 nations have inquired about the project, officials believe only a few countries, including Russia, will be on-line by the end of April.

For parents who wonder what their children do in school, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development has produced a video series, "What's New in School--A Parent's Guide."

Through interviews with parents, students, and educators, the four-part series describes new educational practices and explains the need for them. The tapes cover such topics as cooperative learning, curriculum integration, and performance assessment.

Purchase or rental information is available from the A.C.S.D.'s order- processing department at (703) 549-9110; or by fax at (703) 549-3891.

--Karen Diegmueller

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