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School-Safety Research Inadequate, Study Says

Although schools can pose significant hazards to children, the leading causes of injury and death for young people are most often found outside school walls, a new federal study shows.

The report, issued last month by Congress's now-defunct Office of Technology Assessment, says the leading causes of mortality for children ages 5 to 18 are motor vehicles and accidental shootings.

However, while in school, children are at greater risk for other injuries and illnesses, such as infectious diseases, drowning, sports accidents, and environmental hazards, the 216-page report says.

The authors add, however, that much of the underlying scientific data on school safety are incomplete and that more research needs to be done if school officials want a more complete picture.

"Risks to Students in School," $14, from the OTA, Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, Pa. 15250-7974; (202) 228-6000.

Threats to Future

The Center for the Future of Children, in the latest edition of its journal, focuses on the threats to the health, development, and education of young people.

The Future of Children, from the Los Altos, Calif.-based center, includes articles on such issues as children's health and the environment, school readiness, and welfare reform.

"The Future of Children: Critical Issues for Children and Youths," free from the Center for the Future of Children, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, 300 Second St., Suite 102, Los Altos, Calif. 94022.

Violence and Learning

Living in environments where violence is a frequent presence has hidden, far-reaching effects on children's education, according to a recent report from two Washington-based advocacy groups.

The report from the National Health and Education Consortium and the National Consortium for African American Children Inc. contains several guidelines for educators seeking to break the cycle of violence.

"Schools can be powerful forces for change, for preserving the hopes and opportunities of the children they educate, and for supporting the families in their communities," the report concludes.

"The Relationship Between Violence and Learning," $10 each from either the National Health and Education Consortium, c/o Institute for Educational Leadership, 1001 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 310, Washington, D.C. 20036; or the National Consortium for African American Children, c/o National Black Media Coalition, 38 New York Ave. N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002.

Statistics on Children

The data-collection efforts of many federal agencies are highly fragmented, and budget constraints have hindered efforts to improve the statistics system, several authors warn in a recent report.

The report combines papers given at a recent workshop on the adequacy of federal statistics on children and families that was convened by the Committee on National Statistics and the Board on Children and Families of the National Research Council.

"Integrating Federal Statistics on Children," $25 plus shipping and handling, from the National Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave. N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418; or by calling (800) 624-6242 or (202) 334-3313.

Substance Abuse

The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance System has upgraded its resource guide listing organizations that help improve services for families and children affected by alcohol and drug abuse.

The guide from the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance System emphasizes the importance of collaboration between agencies to create comprehensive programs for helping families. It is designed to help state and local officials obtain information about programs that can help them provide better service.

It lists: sources for training and information, state programs and agencies, federal funding sources, and sources of grant money.

Single copies of "Resources Related to Children and Their Families Affected by Alcohol and Other Drugs, Second Edition," $5, from nectas, Coordinating Office, 500 NationsBank Plaza, 137 E. Franklin St., Chapel Hill, N.C. 27514; (919) 962-2001; fax (919) 966-7463; e-mail: nectasta.nectas@mhs.unc.edu.

School Change

The Center for School Change at the University of Minnesota has published a series of essays by educators, policymakers, and others that takes stock of the center's accomplishments over the past five years and charts a course for its future.

The report also features a summary of an evaluation of the center by Alan T. Zdon, an independent consultant.

"The center received both high marks for being the lighthouse of dynamic and powerful education reform in Minnesota, and low marks for emphasizing shallow changes that lie at the fringe of what makes kids learn," Mr. Zdon concluded.

"Looking Back. Moving Forward," $6, from the Center for School Change, Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, 234 Humphrey Center, 301 19th Ave. S., Minneapolis, Minn. 55455; (612) 626-1834.

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