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The National Science Foundation has awarded a $2.9 million grant to a nonprofit educational-consulting firm to provide technical assistance to participants in the foundation's State Systemic Initiative Program.

The three-year grant was awarded this month to the Boston-based Education Development Center.

In a shift from its previous pattern of grant making, the N.S.F. will award some $10 million each to as many as 30 local coalitions of educators, scientists, and others to craft localized reform efforts in science and mathematics education. (See Education Week, May 13, 1992.)

Under the terms of the new grant, the E.D.C. will work with participating states to help revise curricula, implement new instructional materials and assessment tools, and develop a clearinghouse of exemplary materials generated by the current 21 systemic-initiative grantees.

The grant also requires the firm to develop a special electronic-mail system tied to the N.S.F. INTERNET computer network that will allow participants in the initiative to communicate with each other.

The former superintendent of the Clarke County, Ga., schools has been found guilty of diverting more than $330,000 in school funds for his own use and has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

Carole Purvis, who resigned last December before the indictment was handed down, was convicted by a jury last month of violating the state's racketeering, influence, and corrupt-organization law. (See Education Week, April 1, 1992.) An earlier trial this summer resulted in a hung jury.

Three other district officials--Bernie Stills, Jack Benton, and Chester Strader--were also found guilty of diverting school funds. Mr. Benton and Mr. Stills were fined a total of $136,000 and ordered to serve a total of nine years in prison. Mr. Strader has not yet been sentenced.

Last week, Mr. Purvis was awaiting a bond hearing and had filed an appeal.

Vol. 12, Issue 03

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