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A New York City principal and American Express have teamed up to publish a book showcasing proven strategies for improving schools.

In It Doesn't Have To Be This Way: A Handbook on How To Create a Positive Environment in Our Schools, Frank N. Mickens, the principal of Boys and Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant, outlines how he transformed one of the nation's worst high schools into one of the city's best in eight years.

The American Express Company and the American Express Foundation published 10,000 copies, which were donated to the school for its senior scholarship fund. All proceeds from the book's sales will go directly to the graduating seniors for their college educations.

To order, send a check for $10 payable to: Boys and Girls High School, 1700 Fulton St., Brooklyn, N.Y. 11213; Attn: Frank N. Mickens.

Two well-known biographers of the Rockefeller and Kennedy families last month launched a bimonthly newspaper to examine national education-reform efforts.

Edited by Peter Collier and David Horowitz, The Report Card investigates prominent issues and players in the field, such as national standards, youth violence, and the National Education Association.

The mission of the publication, according to an editors' statement, will be to "get on the education unions' cases and act as a thorn in the side of defenders of the status quo."

The publication is a project of the Los Angeles-based Center for the Study of Popular Culture.

Subscriptions cost $25. Comments and correspondence can be sent to: The Education Project, P.O. Box 67398, Los Angeles, Calif. 90067.

The first-ever magazine for youngsters who are hard of hearing has been created by two California parents.

Aimed at children ages 8 through 14, HiP Magazine features articles about successful deaf people as well as crossword puzzles and idioms.

The creators, Ellen Dolich and Robin Gladstone, both parents of hard-of-hearing children, hope to decrease the isolation of deaf children and reinforce their language skills.

Subscriptions to the bimonthly publication cost $14.95. To order, write to HiP Magazine, 1563 Solano Ave., Berkeley, Calif. 94707.

Winners of the nation's most prestigious children's-book awards were announced recently by the American Library Association.

Sharon Creech won the 1995 Newbery Medal for Walk Two Moons (HarperCollins). David Diaz earned the 1995 Caldecott Medal for illustrating Smoky Night (Harcourt Brace & Company).

--Megan Drennan

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