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The Hartford, Conn., school board has agreed to let Education Alternatives Inc. focus its reform efforts on a few schools.

Reacting to intense local opposition, the board voted last month to let the Minneapolis-based company, which it hired to manage the entire district, delay its planned overhaul of all 32 Hartford schools. (See Education Week, 6/21/95.)

Instead, E.A.I. is to begin substantial reforms in just six schools in the coming year. The other 26 are to be brought on board within five years, if the district's budget allows. The company will continue to provide all the schools with management services.

In a separate development, Superintendent Franklin L. Smith of the District of Columbia schools last month proposed hiring E.A.I. to run several public schools. He had shelved a similar plan last fall after fierce resistance from local activists and unions representing district employees.

Steps Toward Integration: Teachers and school officials in Calhoun County, Ga., are working this summer to reverse a long-standing practice of grouping black and white students into separate classes.

Workshops on teaching in racially mixed classes are being held for employees in the 1,200-student district.

The small peanut-farming county received national attention last fall after Superintendent Corkin Cherubini invited federal civil-rights officials to review the schools. (See Education Week, 12/14/94.)

Initially, local reaction to his move varied from support to angry denunciations, a bomb threat, and a short-lived movement to recall the first-year superintendent. But Mr. Cherubini said recently that teachers are enthusiastic about changing the system.

Va. Standards Adopted: The Virginia state school board has unanimously adopted revised standards for mathematics, science, English, and social studies that will gauge student achievement from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The decision last month ended weeks of stormy debate over the proposed academic standards. Many parents and teachers' groups objected to initial drafts of the standards. (See Education Week, 4/19/95.)

The social-studies plan, for example, included a reference to African slaves in America as "settlers." The passage has since been removed.

The new rules also deleted some of the specific questions that critics contended would stifle creative thinking by emphasizing rote learning.

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