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Published in Print: October 6, 1999, as Report Roundup

Report Roundup

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Hispanics' Salary Gap Linked to College Lag

The number of Hispanic workers who have attended some college rose between 1974 and 1997, but their numbers still lag behind those of non-Hispanic white workers, according to a report released last week by the Princeton, N.J-based Educational Testing Service and the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, located in San Antonio.

Because almost six of 10 jobs today require college-level skills, the report notes, lower college- attendance rates among the Hispanic population translate into lower pay rates. According to the report, on average, non-Hispanic white men earn $17,000 more a year than Hispanic men, and non-Hispanic white women earn $6,700 more a year than non-Hispanic white women.

"Education = Success," free, from ETS Corporate Communications, MS 50-B, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08541; (609) 734-5050.

--Michelle Galley

Education Disparities: Even as more Americans than ever before are completing high school, college-enrollment and -graduation figures for African-Americans and Hispanics will continue to lag without aggressive intervention, a recent study by the RAND Corp. concludes.

In its report, the think tank cites demographic trends in California to illustrate continuing disparities in educational attainment.

It projects that by 2015, black and Hispanic residents will make up 40 percent of the state's population, but 75 percent of its high school dropouts. Whites and Asian-Americans, meanwhile, will account for 89 percent of the state's high school graduates.

The study also maps out other expected trends in educational attainment and calculates the costs and benefits of equalizing opportunities across all ethnic groups.

"Closing the Education Gap: Benefits and Costs," $15, from RAND, 1700 Main St., PO Box 2138, Santa Monica, CA 90407-2138; (310) 451-7002; or from the Web at

-- Jessica Sandham

Combating Intolerance: To help prevent violence in schools, administrators, teachers, and counselors need to be prepared to respond appropriately to everyday outbreaks of bias as well as hate crimes, according to guidelines released late last month by Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Helping students identify hate literature, promoting teamwork to reduce elitism, being aware of signs of student alienation, and prohibiting displays of bias from colleagues are some of the suggestions the guide provides for educators to deal with common incidents of intolerance. In a school's action plan for more serious hate crimes, the guide says to take rumors of violence seriously, involve the family of the offender in meting out punishment, and refrain from silence in response to such an act.

The organization also released "Ten Ways To Fight Hate," a 30-page guide aimed at community leaders.

"Responding to Hate at School," free to educators, from Teaching Tolerance, Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, AL 36104; (334) 264-0286; fax: (334) 264-0629.

--Michelle Galley

Teenage Girls: In addition to growing concern over academics, today's teenage girls feel "hyperaccelerated" pressure to be physically perfect, popular, and sexually savvy, says a report from the American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.

The report's conclusions, based on surveys of roughly 2,100 girls, ages 11 to 17, nationwide between November 1997 and December 1998, are characterized as needed calls to schools to move beyond sex education that focuses on abstinence, and to the media to show better, and more racially diverse, role models for teenage girls.

"Voices of a Generation: Teenage Girls on Sex, School, and Self," $14.95, from the AAUW Sales Office, Dept. 511, PO Box 251, Annapolis Junction, MD 20701-0251; (800) 225-9998.

--Kerry A. White

Post-High-School Advice: Middle school students are getting advice on the college-admissions process and job hunting from the American Federation of Teachers.

The union has provided free copies of the report for 100,000 7th, 8th, and 9th graders in aft-affiliate schools in Boston; Chicago; Cincinnati; Corpus Christi, Texas; Gary, Ind.; New Orleans; New York City; Philadelphia; and Rochester, N.Y.

It contains information on college-preparatory courses, entrance exams, vocational and technical programs, and the financial-aid process.

"Hard Work Pays: What You Have To Do in High School To Get the Life You Want," $1, from the AFT; (202) 879-4563.

--Julie Blair

Middle School Standards: Organizing urban middle schools around high academic standards for students isn't easy, but it can be done, a report says.

The report, which includes the results of a teacher survey and case studies of individual teachers and principals, examines school improvement efforts in Chattanooga, Tenn.; Corpus Christi, Texas; Long Beach, Calif.; Louisville, Ky.; Minneapolis; and San Diego. All those undertakings are financed by the New York City-based Edna McConnell Clark Foundation.

"Figuring It Out: Standards-Based Reforms in Urban Middle Grades," free, from Mary Hall, Program for Student Achievement, Clark Foundation, 250 Park Ave., New York, NY 10177-0026; (212) 551-9100.

--Ann Bradley

School Improvement: With poll results showing that teachers, parents, and students are less satisfied with what public schools have to offer, according to a new report, there's no shortage of answers on what can be done to improve them.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Public Agenda, based in New York City, explores four different approaches to public school improvement: giving parents a choice of schools; raising standards and stressing the basics; making education a community effort; and providing adequate funds to all schools.

The report uses scenarios and statistics from various states to demonstrate how those choices were implemented and their success. It also lists the likely trade-offs of each choice.

"Public Schools: Is There a Way to Fix Them?," from Public Agenda at (212) 686-6610 or on the World Wide Web at

--Candice Furlan

School Bus Safety: An average of 11 children were killed each year from 1987 to 1997 while riding a school bus, compared with 600 killed while riding in other vehicles during school hours, according to a report on school bus safety.

The second annual "report card" on bus safety by Cal LaMon, the founder of the Executive Edge, a consulting and corporate-training firm in Springfield, Mo., compiles data on the number of yellow school buses each state has, the number of school-age children who were killed on school buses and in passenger vehicles during school hours, and how much each state spends for school transportation per pupil.

"Report Card on School Bus Safety in the U.S," free, from the Executive Edge, (800) 373-4040; or on the Web at

--Candice Furlan

Vol. 19, Issue 6, Page 12

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The report, "Public Schools: Is There a Way To Fix Them?," costs $5, plus shipping and handling. It is available by calling Public Agenda at (212) 686-6610. Excerpts can be found online at

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