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Chicago school officials have announced plans to place 21 schools on remediation because of declining test scores.

The 14 elementary and seven high schools in the 416,000-student district will each be assigned a support team that will help them craft a school-improvement plan, a district spokesman said. All of the schools had been on the state's academic watch list. (See Education Week, Jan. 31, 1996.)

Paul Vallas, the district's chief executive officer, has also recommended that two local school councils be declared nonfunctional and that new elections to those councils be held.

Referendum Qualifies

A charter school proposal devised by two Seattle parents will likely appear on Washington state's November ballot.

State officials last month confirmed that the parents, Jim and Fawn Spady, had collected the 181,000 signatures required to qualify their charter school initiative as a legislative referendum. (See Education Week, Dec. 13, 1995.)

The initiative would allow residents to vote to allow charter schools in their school districts. The Spadys believe their proposal would give parents a greater role in their children's education.

Legislative leaders have said they will not take up the measure this session. Washington law, however, requires the statewide ballot to carry legislative referendums that are not approved by the legislature.

RAND, Aid Council Merge

The boards of directors of the RAND Corp. and the Council for Aid to Education have voted to merge the two organizations.

The New York City-based council, in the wake of a leadership shakeup and lackluster fund raising, last fall was considering a merger or shutting its doors altogether. (See Education Week, Nov. 8, 1995.)

The 44-year-old council tracks private contributions to education and advises corporations on philanthropy.

Roger Benjamin, the director of the Institute on Education and Training at RAND, a think tank based in Santa Monica, Calif., will become the new president of the council. He will divide his time between Santa Monica and New York.

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