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The Idaho Association of School Administrators has voted to urge the state legislature to raise the state's minimum driving age from 14 to 17. Citing statistics indicating that drivers under the age of 20 are involved in far more auto accidents than the rest of the population and that cars and adolescent misbehavior are linked, the group says a change in the current law would improve the situation in both areas.

The average minimum age for driving in the 50 states is 16, according to an official of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. A number of states, the official says, are moving either to tighten the restrictions on new drivers--such as requiring them to have passed a driver-education course, making their licenses "provisional," and requiring a parent to be in the car--or to raise the minimum age at which a young person may qualify for a license.

The former superintendent of public schools in Princeton, N.J., has been named director of development services and loan-program services for the National Association of Independent Schools. In that capacity, Philip Elby McPherson will oversee the development of the organization's new foundation-funded program to help independent schools set up effective financial-aid programs, including both loans and scholarships. He will also work with member schools on fundraising matters, according to nais

Mr. McPherson has also served as director of development and assistant to the superintendent in the Pittsburgh public-school system. For the past five years, he has been head of the American School in Paris.

The Council for Basic Education has announced plans to work with researchers and organizations to help "spread the word" of findings on what makes inner-city schools work.

Despite the fact that researchers have found urban schools that function well and have analyzed the reasons why, the "effective-schools" research has not yet become widely known, the council says. Policymakers, the press, and the public still think of such schools as "blackboard jungles," according to the council, "where few can have the benefit of sound basic education."

The organization's publicity initiative will include conferences, pamphlets, posters, and work with the media to increase public awareness. The program is supported by the Aetna Life & Casualty Foundation, the Atlantic Richfield Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Pew Memorial Trust.

The National Education Association has been chided by the journalist Nat Hentoff, a strong proponent of First Amendment rights, for launching a libel suit against a former Bible-school teacher in Bristol, Tenn., who wrote a letter to the editor of the local newspaper charging the nea with supporting the drugging of schoolchildren and favoring the abolition of Christianity.

Initiated last spring against Suzanne Clark, the suit is still in the pretrial stages, according to Michael D. Simpson, a staff council for the union. Mr. Simpson said the nea is seeking $100,000 in damages and a court judgment that the charges are untrue. Mr. Simpson declined to discuss the organization's reasons for suing, but said that as far as he knew it is the only libel action the nea is currently involved in.

Mr. Hentoff suggested in a syndicated column that nea's motive in pressing the suit may be to make "anyone who hears of it ... think three or four times before writing a letter to his local paper that is less than a heartfelt appreciation of the nea"

The Education Commission of the States has come up with what appears to be a cost-effective and innovative new package for important information on key issues in education across the country.

It has revised the concept and format of its "Issuegram" publication, the periodic newsletter focusing on a single subject that has been distributed in recent years to several thousand people in government, education, and the press. Now, Issuegrams are being developed on a specific list of 50 topics of greatest concern to educators. They are being produced on word-processing equipment that will enable ecs researchers to update the facts and figures each contains to reflect the latest information. The commission will no longer send the documents out, but will provide members with a current list of all the Issuegrams available for ordering.

In a memorandum accompanying a sample copy of the revised publication--"How Well Can Students Read and Write?"--Executive Director Robert Andringa said the list of the "top 50" issues would be modified according to the wishes of state leaders. Single copies of Issuegrams will be free for the seven ecs commissioners in each state. For others, the cost will be $2, or $1.50 for orders of 10 or more.

The National School Boards Association has signed a contract to purchase property and construct a new national headquarters in Alexandria, Va. The total cost of the project to relocate from its current offices in Washington's Georgetown will be $3,350,000, according to School Board News.

The move appears to come at a good time for the nsba Its annual report boasts that 1981-82 was its "biggest year ever" for the organization, with revenues from all sources totalling $7,136,184. About 27 percent of the income came from conventions and exhibits, according to the report; another 24.5 percent came from The American School Board Journal, its monthly magazine; about 27 percent came from dues, affiliate fees, meetings, and conferences, and the rest from miscellaneous services.

The Children's Defense Fund has moved. The organization's new address and phone number are: 122 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20001, (202) 628-8787.--

Vol. 02, Issue 18

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