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The Carnegie Corporation of New York has awarded more than $4 million in grants to help 15 states continue their efforts to reform education in the middle grades.

The grants are the third to be made under the philanthropy's Middle Grade School State Policy Initiative program, a partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers.

The effort seeks to implement the recommendations made in "Turning Points: Preparing American Youth for the 21st Century,'' a 1989 report by the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development.

That report called for a major overhaul of middle school organization and management, curriculum, classroom practices, and teacher education and certification, among other recommendations.

In 1990, the Carnegie Corporation gave 27 states seed money for reform efforts. In 1991, it awarded 15 states grants averaging $180,000 each to continue their efforts.

The new two-year grants, which range from $190,000 to $360,000 each, will support the reform of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, and the integration of health and education for young adolescents.

To date, the corporation has invested nearly $8 million in the effort.

The states receiving grants are Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Vermont.

Junior and senior high school students are using more drugs, specifically marijuana and hallucinogens, than they did last year, according to a survey released last week by PRIDE, a drug-abuse-prevention group.

The survey found, for example, that 11.8 percent of 12th graders in the 1991-92 school year reported using marijuana within the past month; the figure for 1992-93 was 14.6 percent, an increase of nearly 24 percent.

Junior high students' reported use of marijuana in the year before the survey also increased over the period. In 1991-92, the figure was 4.8 percent, compared with 5.8 percent the following year, a 21 percent increase.

The survey also found that use of hallucinogens among 6th- to 8th-graders increased 5.6 percent, from 1.8 percent in 1991-92 to 1.9 percent in 1992-93.

The researchers based their findings on responses from 236,745 students in grades 6 through 12 in 40 states. In the survey questionnaires, students were quizzed about their use of 10 different drugs, including cigarettes, beer, cocaine, inhalants, marijuana, and hallucinogens.

Thomas J. Gleaton, the group's president, said in a statement accompanying the report that these data signal an acceleration in students' dependence on drugs.

Vol. 13, Issue 03

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