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Schools should drop their bias against poor children and focus more on student outcomes, such as performance, attendance, and dropout rates, according to a new opinion survey on school reform conducted by the Network for Effective Schools.

School leadership--on the part of superintendents, principals, and other administrators--must also play a more dominant role in ensuring quality, according to the four-month study, which was released last month.

The study was conducted in two phases. The 300 members of the network, which supports research on effective schools, were sent a form asking them to list the 10 most "vitally needed'' reforms in American education.

The responses were then condensed into 163 suggestions for change, from which the members were asked to select the most-needed reforms.

In addition to the emphasis on student outcomes, the respondents also urged that schools focus more on home-school relations; develop a clearer statement of their missions and goals; improve staff development; emphasize the acquisition of basic reading, writing, and mathematics skills by the end of grade 6; and spend more time on higher-order thinking skills.

Copies of the report, "Expecting the Best: Effective Public Education for All Students,'' are available for $2 each, plus 95 cents for postage and handling, by writing the Network for Effective Schools, Grand Central Station, Box 2058, New York, N.Y. 10163, or by calling (800) 874-9740.

Vol. 06, Issue 25

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