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The California State Board of Education has adopted elementary reading and language-arts textbooks that stress "real literature," rather than step-by-step skill development and drills.

In doing so, the board followed the recommendations of the state curriculum commission.

However, the board also voted to approve two other programs--a remedial program used primarily by inner-city youths and the Open Court Reading and Writing series--that the commission had rejected. The two series are "consistent with the philosophy" of the commission, according to Bill Honig, the state superintendent.

The commission in July had recommended 23 K-8 reading and language-arts series that members said matched the state's curricular framework. In addition, it urged the board not to adopt any spelling textbooks or supplementary materials and proposed requiring publishers to add a "consumer warning label" indicating whether literary works had been abridged or adapted. (See Education Week, Sept. 14, 1988.)

Jeffrey May, the New Jersey teacher who successfully challenged a state law requiring a moment of silence in public schools, has been awarded $180,000 in legal costs.

Mr. May, a physics teacher at John P. Stevens High School in Edison Township, had joined several parents and students in challenging the constitutionality of the 1982 law, which mandated a "contemplative" moment of silence at the beginning of the day in public schools.

U.S. District Judge Dickinson R. Debevoise ruled this month that Mr. May and his co-plaintiffs were entitled to recover at6torney's fees from the legislature because they were the prevailing parties in the suit. (See Education Week, Jan. 8, 1986.)

The suit, which became a lightning rod for the debate in a number of states over the constitutionality of such laws, was decided in favor of the plaintiffs at the district and appellate levels. The U.S. Supreme Court last year declined to hear a final appeal filed by two former New Jersey lawmakers.

Police in suburban Cleveland have seized 2,500 doses of steroids apparently meant to be sold to adolescent athletes.

Police officials in Mayfield Heights said the seizure of a dozen types of steroids and nearly 100 syringes was the first operation of its kind in the area. A man from whose house the drugs were seized was questioned and then released, they said.

In the wake of the incident, three local high schools are planning information sessions for students on the health risks of the muscle-enhancing drugs.

Although many educators acknowledge that the use of steroids is widespread at the high-school level, few such informational programs are currently in place. (See Education Week, Oct. 12, 1988.)

Vol. 08, Issue 08

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