Louisiana Cites Schooling Goals

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The Louisiana Board of Regents last month sent parents of 72,000 8th-grade students throughout the state copies of a booklet outlining what students should know to be successful in college.

The booklet, entitled "Preparing the High School Student for College," also made recommendations to parents, school districts, and textbook-selection committees. It was prepared by the regents' committee on the academic preparation of college-bound students.

'Information Explosion'

A student should be able to "think clearly, reason, use language forcefully, use the scientific method, apply his or her knowledge of the past to present" in order "to become the master of the information explosion rather than its victim," according to the booklet.

Specifically, college-bound students should complete 24 units of study in a college-preparatory curriculum that includes: 4 units of English; 3 units each of mathematics, science, social studies, and one foreign language; 2 units of physical education; 1 unit of fine-arts.

The 24-page booklet urged parents to review students' schedules and ''encourage daily reading by their children in place of extensive television viewing."

It also urged that school districts lower the maximum amount of absences allowed students from 20 days per year to 15 and that enrollments in reading and study-skills courses be limited to 20 to 25 students.

The booklet also urged that science courses be designed so that a minimum of 20 percent of school work provides laboratory experience; that the curriculum encourage reading and writing in all courses; and that a statewide proficiency test be used for foreign languages and a national test be used to assess achievement in reading.

The regents last month approved unanimously a dual diploma plan--one for graduates of a general course of study and another for those who complete the college-preparatory curriculum.

The booklet cited the "striking irony" of a society that is "nearing the crest of the information explosion" while its "high schools are producing graduates whose achievements in the basics do not compare favorably to those of their counterparts of two decades ago."--sr

Vol. 02, Issue 35

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