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James Meredith, the civil-rights activist, was defeated this month in his bid for a seat on the Cincinnati Board of Education. Mr. Meredith, who in 1962 became the first black to be admitted to the University of Mississippi, placed last in a field of seven candidates for four positions on the school board.

Mr. Meredith, a visiting professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Cincinnati, opposed the city's voluntary desegregation plan and said during his campaign that the three blacks serving on the board, all of whom were re-elected, "don't represent black interests in Cincinnati whatsoever."

In the first year of a 40-year agreement, the General Motors Corporation will pay Maury County, Tenn., $7.5 million in lieu of property taxes on its new Saturn automobile plant, officials have confirmed.

gm had announced plans to build the Saturn plant in Tennessee earlier this year, citing the state's commitment to education reform as a factor in choosing to locate there. The final decision was subject to the agreement on tax payments, access roads, and other services. (See Education Week, Nov. 6, 1985.)

After the first year, gm will pay the county $3.5 million in fiscal 1987, $3 million annually through 1995, and then at least $2 million a year until 2025, said A.C. Howell, the county budget director. "We feel like we've taxed them the same as any other industry," Mr. Howell said.

The agreement guarantees the nearby town of Spring Hill $1.7 million plus $250,000 for each of the next 40 years, Mr. Howell said. Prior to the agreement, Spring Hill had threatened to annex the Saturn site. gm in turn threatened to pull the plant out of the area.

The Los Angeles district attorney has asked three state prosecutors for an evaluation of the evidence in their child-abuse case against staff members of the Virginia McMartin Preschool in Manhattan Beach, Calif.

District Attorney Ira Reiner's request follows allegations in the press and in the courtroom that the case, in which the owner of the preschool and six teachers were charged with 300 counts of abuse involving 42 children, has been poorly handled. (See Education Week, April 11, 1984.)

By the time prosecutors rested their case last month after 19 months of hearings, Municipal Judge Aviva K. Bobb had dismissed two-thirds of the original charges against the defendants for lack of evidence. Only 14 of the original 42 children have taken the stand. Parents of the other children did not allow them to testify.

The defense presentation began late last month and is expected to continue into 1986, according to a spokesman for the district attorney's office.

Meanwhile, The Los Angeles8Times reported recently that the sheriff's task force established last year to investigate the McMartin case, as well as cases involving alleged abuse at four other preschools, has been quietly dismantled. Despite interviewing 100 adults and several hundred children, identifying 56 suspects, and spending $1- million in one year, the newspaper reported, the investigation failed to result in a single arrest.

Despite the protests of vocational educators, the Illinois Board of Higher Education has approved college-entrance standards that require high-school students to pursue a more rigorous curriculum. (See Education Week, Oct. 9, 1985.)

Last year, the state board of education raised high-school-graduation requirements. According to John Huther, deputy director for policy studies for the higher-education board, the new entrance standards require students to complete one more course in each core subject area than they need for graduation.

Vocational educators had argued that the requirements would lead to declining enrollments in vocational programs and an increase in dropouts. But Mr. Huther said the new requirements were needed to "improve the preparation of students for baccalaureate degree programs" and to "clarify the primacy of academic subjects."

The new requirements include: four years of English; three years of mathematics, laboratory science, and social studies; and two years of foreign language, art, or music.

Vol. 05, Issue 12

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