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New Report Describes Teachers Characteristics

The percentage of women teachers is rising, a recent report on the demographic, social, and political characteristics of teachers says.

As of this year, 74 percent of teachers were women, compared with 69 percent in 1986, according to the report from the National Center for Education Information, a private research organization in Washington.

The 80-page report notes that the teaching force is overwhelmingly white and aging; politically more moderate than liberal or conservative; opposed to vouchers, prayer in schools, and private management of schools; disappointed in their college training; and inclined to send their own children to public schools.

"Profiles of Teachers in the U.S.," $35 from the National Center for Education Information, 4401A Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 212, Washington, D.C. 20008.

High School Completion

More and more students are completing high school, despite public perceptions to the contrary, a report from the National School Boards Association concludes.

In recent decades, the percentage of Americans older than 25 who have completed four years of high school or more has risen substantially, the report says.

However, the dropout rate among Hispanic students remains alarmingly high, it says, because of language and cultural barriers.

"School Completion Rates," $4.50, from Linda Embrey, National School Boards Association, 1680 Duke St., Alexandria, Va. 22314.

Minorities' Education

Despite increases in the amount of schooling and improvements in test scores, minorities in California face a growing wage gap relative to similarly qualified whites, according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute.

The study from the Washington think tank found that minorities are scoring higher on standardized tests than they have in the past and are lengthening their formal years of schooling. But the state's labor market is failing to match the educational gains, as minorities' wages have deteriorated during the past two decades.

"Hard Lessons in California," $10 each from the Economic Policy Institute, 1660 L St. N.W., Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20036; (800) EPI-4844. The executive summary and introduction can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.epinet.org.

Sin Taxes

The National Health & Education Consortium has released a report that delves into the pros and cons of the practice of states using "sin taxes" from the sale of alcohol, tobacco, or gaming to support education and health programs.

The report looks at the history of sin taxes, how the proceeds are used, and the factors influencing state sin-tax policies.

"A Capital Idea? Earmarking Alcohol, Tobacco, and Gaming Revenue to Support Children's Education and Health Programs," $15 or $7.50 for an audio cassette, plus $2 shipping and handling, from the National Health & Education Consortium, 1001 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 310, Washington, D.C. 20036; (202) 822-8405. More information can be found on the World Wide Web at http://www.nhec.org.

Black Institutions

The president's advisory board on historically black colleges and universities has released its first-ever report on their status.

The study provides an overview of the 104 designated colleges and universities and their role in educating 70 percent of all African-Americans with college degrees.

The study recommends increased governmental research and funding of these higher education institutions.

"A Century of Success: Historically Black Colleges and Universities, America's National Treasure," is free from the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, U.S. Department of Education, 600 Independence Ave. S.W., 605 Portals, Washington, D.C. 20202-5120.

Family Involvement

A report from the Center for Law and Education in Washington describes more than 60 innovative education programs and communitywide campaigns to involve families in improving student achievement.

It is part of a package of materials that can help communities and families wage campaigns to strengthen families, improve schools, and make better neighborhoods, according to the center.

"Learning from Others: Good Programs and Successful Campaigns," $50 plus $5 postage from the Center for Law and Education, 1875 Connecticut Ave. N.W., Suite 5110, Washington, D.C. 20009; (202) 462-7688. Also available for $12 is a "Community Action for Public Schools" poster illustrating dozens of ideas for making communities more friendly to children and families.

Child Rearing Advice

Physicians and the U.S. health-care system often miss opportunities to promote healthy child-rearing practices, a report from the Commonwealth Fund says.

Parents who are struggling to raise children under financial and time pressures often find their needs unmet when they turn to doctors for guidance, concludes the survey of more than 2,000 parents from the New York City-based fund, which conducts research on health and social issues.

Ordering information for "The Commonwealth Fund Survey of Parents With Young Children" is available at (212) 535-0400 and on the World Wide Web at http://www.cmwf.org.

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