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When it comes to curriculum, textbook, and course decisions, who's really in charge? It depends on which state you're looking at, according to a U.S. Department of Education survey of public school teachers' perceptions of their control over such classroom matters.

Nationwide, the state averages of teachers reporting they had considerable influence over curriculum varied from 17 percent to 66 percent. And 41 percent to 80 percent said they carried considerable clout in selecting topics, content, and skills to be taught.

The report concludes that administrators should examine policies and teacher-satisfaction levels in states at both ends of the spectrum of control when implementing or evaluating school-based management.

The National Institute on the Education of At-Risk Students released the report this fall. It was based on data from the 1990-91 Schools and Staffing Survey by the National Center for Education Statistics.

The report can be obtained from Research Reports, Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 555 New Jersey Ave. N.W., Room 611b, Washington, D.C. 20208; or on the Internet at gopher.ed.gov or http://www.ed.gov.

North Carolina State University's college of education and psychology is set to be the first school to apply the Accelerated Schools program in teacher preparation for the middle school years.

The North Carolina Partnership for Accelerated Schools received a $200,000 grant from the Philip Morris Companies Inc. to launch the teacher preparation program with the university.

The Accelerated Schools program, a comprehensive approach to improving learning for at-risk students, was developed by Henry M. Levin, a professor of education at Stanford University.

Hands Across the Water, an international teacher-exchange program, has announced its 1996-97 destinations: Australia, England, Japan, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Russia, and Sweden.

Participants will spend two to three weeks living and working with a host teacher or school administrator in the foreign country. Later in the year, the foreign host teachers will come to the United States. All public and private school educators are eligible to participate.

For applications, call or write Erik Mollenhauer, Educational Information and Research Center, 606 Delsea Drive, Sewell, N.J. 08080; (609) 582-7000.

--Jeanne Ponessa

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