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Lynne V. Cheney, who has been chairwoman of the National Endowment of the Humanities for the past two Presidential administrations, last week announced she will resign her post on Jan. 20.

American Memory, Ms. Cheney's first report as chairwoman, decried American students' declining knowledge of the humanities. Its findings prompted the agency to establish the National Center for History in the Schools at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Other reports by Ms. Cheney have criticized institutional barriers to school reform and have called for national curriculum standards and a testing system based upon them. The endowment is now funding efforts to set national standards for students in history and in the arts.

Ms. Cheney also gained much attention during her term in office for her campaign against liberal "political correctness'' that she says pervades colleges and universities.

Disadvantaged students need not wait until they are "ready'' before tackling more challenging work in mathematics and literacy, a new Education Department study suggests.

The study, released last month, is based on research in 140 classrooms in 15 schools across the country.

According to the report, traditional teaching approaches used with disadvantaged children have emphasized intensive drilling in basic academic skills. Once students have mastered those skills, according to such practices, they can go on to more advanced work.

The new study suggests that newer approaches emphasizing deeper understanding over basic skills can be just as effective--if not more so--for poor children.

Copies of the study, "Academic Challenge for the Children of Poverty,'' are available by calling the department's office of policy and planning at (202) 401-0590.

Final rules for amendments to the Job Training Partnership Act have been delayed until January, the Labor Department announced last month.

The department had planned to issue the proposed regulations by Oct. 23, and the final rules by Dec. 18. Officials attributed the delay to the huge volume of comments they received in response to an advance notice of proposed rulemaking in September.

Vol. 12, Issue 14

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