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The California Department of Education has decided to appeal a state judge's ruling that allowed the Channel One classroom news program to remain at a San Jose high school.

Acting State Superintendent of Public Instruction William D. Dawson said the state will ask an appeals court to re-examine the issue of whether the two minutes of advertising during each day's Channel One program should count as instructional time for students in the East Side Union School District in San Jose.

Last November, Judge Jeremy Fogel of Santa Clara County Superior Court gave the state a partial victory, ruling that the district had to make Channel One optional viewing. He declined to ban the show outright, however. (See Education Week, Dec. 2, 1992.)

State education officials have argued that the daily two minutes of commercials add up to a full instructional day over the course of an academic year.

"Do we really think the people of California have chosen to pay for schools to stay open a full day per year in order to force the kids to watch commercials for chewing gum and high-priced sneakers?'' Mr. Dawson said.

A group of religious and regional private school associations decided last week to create a panel of experts to approve their programs' accrediting of elementary and secondary schools.

The group, which has been studying a way of obtaining national recognition for their accrediting programs, also said the panel would set minimum standards by which accreditors would be judged.

Two educators have already agreed to serve on the still-forming review panel--former U.S. Secretary of Education Terrel H. Bell and Maria Della Bella, the commissioner's liaison for private schools in the Connecticut Department of Education.

The working group of associations also decided to incorporate as a nonprofit entity, said Charles J. O'Malley, a former U.S. Education Department official, who is a consultant to the working group. The group has not decided on a name yet, he said.

Members of the group aim to enhance the clout and credibility of their respective accreditation procedures through a "seal of approval'' from a national entity. With such a seal, they hope the accreditation they bestow might equal that conferred by the six major regional associations that certify schools and colleges. (See Education Week, Nov. 4, 1992.)

The working group now is made up of nine organizations: the Association of Christian Schools International; Christian Schools International; the Independent Schools Association of the Central States; the International Christian Accrediting Association; the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; the Florida Association of Christian Schools; the Florida Catholic Conference; the Mississippi Private Schools Association; and the Seventh-day Adventist Board of Education, K-12.

Vol. 12, Issue 28

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