April 25, 1984 4 min read

In Tulsa, Okla., outstanding student athletes aren’t the only ones who receive school letters. A local newspaper has established a program to award similar letters to high-school students with good grades.

Approximately 1,500 students from the city’s nine high schools have been or will be awarded academic-achievement letters. The goal is to give students with top grades the same visible public recognition that athletic letters confer on their holders.

Funding for the program was provided by The Tulsa World; the newspaper is seeking another business to assume the project on an annual basis, according to Frances Powell, assistant to the superintendent. Eligibility for the letters is determined by the students’ cumulative grade-point average: On a 4.0 scale, seniors must have a 3.25; juniors a 3.5; sophomores a 3.75; and freshmen a 4.0 to be eligible. The letters are similar in size and color to athletic letters, and feature an embroidered lamp of knowledge.

Montgomery County, Md., residents were given the opportunity to see their public schools in action last month during an education fair in Bethesda. More than 100 exhibits and student performances illustrated the range of K-12 educational programs offered by the district.

“The fair is an opportunity to give Montgomery County [residents] a picture of public education as it exists here,” said Sally Keller, community-relations coordinator for the school district. “For those who feel discouraged by the many critical reports about public education, this is a chance to see what is really happening in their schools.”

The fair featured presentations by two high-school honors students in physics and chemistry, as well as exhibits of the 1st-grade mathematics program, 2nd-grade word-processing classes, and elementary-school science courses. The district’s adult-education and food-services programs were also highlighted.

Twenty-three 9th-grade students at the Murry Bergtraum High School for Business Careers in New York City have published The Global Studies Gazette--a compilation of articles on the likely consequences of nuclear war. After watching the television docudrama, “The Day After,” the students decided to write about the destruction of the world.

“We realize that the ‘ultimate’ news story on the self-extermination of mankind in a nuclear holocaust is one that can never be written,” the students stated in an editorial. “This publication is our attempt to write what can never be written should the explosive power of the world’s nuclear arsenals be released.”

Organized by David Sucher, who teaches the students English and social studies, the class covered such topics as how people awaited the war, how various New York City boroughs prepared for the bomb, and how the blast affected specific children and their families.

As a follow-up exercise, the students also wrote letters to President Reagan outlining their concerns about nuclear war, Mr. Sucher said.

About 300 New Jersey educators learned “what really works” in classrooms when they participated in the New Jersey Education Association’s “Good Ideas” conference last month in Trenton.

Maintaining that teachers themselves know more about education than ''outside experts [who] try to impose grand schemes in the classroom,” Edithe Fulton, president of the association, planned the conference so that the practitioners could share their ideas.

“We take pride in the number of New Jersey teachers who present their ‘good ideas’ at our conference,” Ms. Fulton said. “They’re demonstrating not only their creativity and dedication, but their willingness to share with others.”

Conference participants heard presentations on the characteristics of good computer software, how to improve students’ research and writing skills by tracing family histories, and how to operate full-day kindergarten programs.

In Boise, Idaho, high-school students are being offered a glimpse into the complexities of real estate in a project to prepare them for renting apartments and purchasing homes after they graduate.

The Idaho Real Estate Commission and the Idaho Association of Realtors have published a 40-page booklet called “It’s Your Move” that provides housing information for the novice. The booklet is adapted from a similar publication originally produced in California, according to Jerry Pyeatt, director of education, examination, and licensing for the Idaho Real Estate Commission.

The publication, in its third printing and provided free of charge to the students, covers information on landlord-tenant rights, services provided by real-estate agents, loan applications, and purchase and sales agreements. A bibliography provides suggestions for further reading and a glossary lists relevant real-estate terms.

In an attempt to share its educational expertise more directly with public elementary and secondary schools and community colleges, the College of Education at Washington State University has created an office to work on ideas for projects in which the education faculty can be of assistance to school people.

The new “Office of Field and Applied Studies and Training” will have as a principal objective, according to Dale G. Andersen, acting dean of education, to “seek out opportunities by which the expertise of faculty can be utilized by organizations, institutions, and agencies for the improvement of educational programs and services” in the state.

For more information, contact Raymond J. Young, professor of education and coordinator of the office, or Kay Wilke, associate in education and associate director of the office, at ofast, Room 353-354 Cleveland Hall, wsu, Pullman, Wash. 99164; (509) 335-3415.--ab

A version of this article appeared in the April 25, 1984 edition of Education Week as Models