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The Philadelphia School District's decision about whether to appeal Common Pleas Judge William M. Marutani's Sept. 21 ruling that all qualified girls must be admitted to the previously all-male Central High School was scheduled to be made at the board of education's meeting this week.

Judge Marutani ordered on Sept. 8 that six girls be admitted to Central High School, which had been a single-sex school for 147 years. The judge found that the district's boys-only policy violated the state and federal constitutions. (See Education Week, Sept. 7 and Sept. 14, 1983.)

Following Judge Marutani's ruling, the district refused to voluntarily admit additional girls. Approximately 60 girls from the district's Girls High School, a similar academic school for girls, have expressed interest in attending Central, according to a lawyer working on the case.

Although the board decided not to contest Judge Marutani's ruling while subsequent legal disputes and a possible appeal are pending, board members must now also decide whether the district will voluntarily accept additional girls pending final resolution of the case.

The nine-member board of education is said to be divided evenly on whether to appeal.

Meanwhile, 100 male students at Central last month walked out of classes to protest the presence of girls in their school. The walk-out ended when Central's acting presi-dent convinced the boys to meet in the school's auditorium to discuss how to take their complaint to the board of education.

The U.S. Agriculture Department has completed analyses of 46 of the about 300 samples of hamburger from two packing plants accused of sending diseased or contaminated meat to the federal school-lunch program.

Of those samples, five show evidence of contamination--four contain ''one partial insect fragment each," and a fifth contains 10 insect fragments. The department notes that in the latter sample all the fragments may have come from the same insect.

A usda spokesman said the findings were cause for "mild concern." ''These fragments represent absolutely no health threat," said John McClung in a recorded message.

However, he said, the department will hold all the beef until officials have completed the analyses. Only then, he said, will they be able to determine whether the insect fragments were "anomalies" or part of a broader pattern.

The allegations that sparked the investigation were made by the Better Government Association, a Chicago-based citizen's action group, and NBC-tv's "First Camera" program. (See Education Week, Sept. 21, 1983.)

The department expects to complete the sampling and analysis of the estimated 6.4 million pounds of hamburger by about Oct. 18.

The House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy and Poultry has announced that it will hold hearings on the suppliers on Oct. 20 and 21.

This week--which includes the 10th day of the 10th month--is National Metric Week. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, which started metric week in 1976 to publicize the U.S. transition to the metric system, has moved observance of the week from May to October to "emphasize the tens connection, the importance of ten to the metric system of measurement," the organization says.

More than 3,000 teachers in Oakland, Calif., went out on strike on Tuesday of last week, shutting down about half the schools in the 49,000-student district.

The main issues in the dispute were class size, salary, fringe benefits, and time allocated for preparation, according to Jose Colmenares, a spokesman for the Oakland Education Association. The union also opposes the district's demand for a mandatory teacher-transfer policy, he added. The two groups have been negotiating for nine months.

A day earlier, on Oct. 3, a strike of the 28,000-member Chicago Teachers Union closed down schools in Chicago. The main issues in that dispute are salary and seniority. Union officials said the school board is offering raises of less than 1 percent.

In Los Angeles, however, where a strike was narrowly averted last month, a spokesman for the United Teachers-Los Angeles said the union has won "some significant gains" in a tentative agreement reached two weeks ago. Ratification is not expected until next month, he said.

School officials who tried out an economic theory on their students at Beverly Hills High School may have misjudged their "market."

In an effort to reduce the number of students who drive to school each day, the school board raised student parking fees from $197.50 to $270 per semester.

Apparently, the board's resort to a pricing theory didn't work. So far, almost 300 of the 380 parking spaces available for students have been taken.

"The increase in price is not to flaunt the wealth or affluence of our students," said Assistant Superintendent Walter Puffer, "but to discourage students from driving to school and to encourage car-pooling, bicycling, and walking." Because the high school is in a residential area and the parking lot is small, traffic and safety concerns motivated the board's decision to increase the fee, Mr. Puffer said.

Students who drive Rolls Royces and Ferraris do not get preferential treatment, as reported in one Los Angeles newspaper, said Mr. Puffer, but upperclassmen do. After that, the spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

"We have all kinds of cars in our parking lot," the assistant superintendent added. "Beverly Hills is not all millionaires." In fact, he said, the school has a scholarship fund that pays the parking fee for students who must drive to school, such as those participating in work-study programs, but can't afford to pay the $270.

Vol. 03, Issue 06

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