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Colorado school districts that have adopted rigorous content standards have seen big gains in student achievement in recent years, according to a report by an independent research organization.

Under a 1993 state law, Colorado districts must establish their own content standards for what students should know and be able to do in six subject areas by 1997. Model state standards are expected to be made final this year, but several districts have already set their own.

The report by Agenda 21, a nonprofit organization based in Denver, concludes that in the seven districts that had adopted their own standards, those standards "are supporting significant and sometimes dramatic increases in student achievement."

Reverse Discrimination Charged: A student at San Bernardino Community College in California has charged in a lawsuit that two enrichment programs for minority students unfairly excluded her because she is white.

The student, Janice Camarena, a widowed mother of three children, filed the suit against the college and the state community-college system on March 16 after she was not allowed to participate in either the Bridge Program or the Puente Projects. The programs offer writing courses, counseling, and mentoring for black and Hispanic students respectively. The programs are intended to help ease the transition from high school to college.

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