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New York and Michigan top the list of eight states that will split $43 million in federal grants to prepare high school students for work.

Announced last month, the five-year grants are the first awarded under the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, a Clinton Administration initiative enacted in May.

New York's $10 million grant is the largest. Among other things, it will fund a state education research-and-development center to explore curriculum development, work-based learning, skills assessment, career majors, and portfolio assessment.

The second-biggest grant, for $8 million, went to Michigan. The state is requiring every school to design school-to-work initiatives, and the funds will go to various school/employer partnerships working to place youths in jobs.

Other states receiving grants were New Jersey ($6 million), Massachusetts ($5.5 million), Wisconsin ($4.5 million), Kentucky ($4 million), Oregon ($3 million), and Maine ($2 million).

Reorganizing Research: As part of an effort to make education research more responsive to the needs of educators, the Education Department has asked for advice on how it should go about reorganizing its research office.

Under a reauthorization plan passed earlier this year, the office of educational research and improvement would be reorganized into five thematic institutes. (See Education Week, March 23, 1994.)

In the July 7 Federal Register, the agency set a Sept. 6 deadline for comments.

An aide to Sharon P. Robinson, the assistant secretary for educational research and improvement, said that the notice is the first in a series of efforts that the office will undertake to reach people whose voices traditionally do not get heard by the federal bureaucracy.

The agency will use the comments to help inform the decisions of a new governing board with the authority to help set a long-term research agenda, the aide said. Appointments to that board may be made as soon as this fall.

The O.E.R.I. is asking for suggestions on everything from setting research priorities to creating a peer-review process.

G.O.P. Report: Education reform should focus on core academic subjects and high standards, and foster such choices as charter schools, private schools, and apprenticeships for parents and students, a Republican Party report says.

The National Policy Forum, a nonprofit organization that bills itself as "a Republican center for the exchange of ideas,'' released the report, "Listening to America,'' last month.

Forum officials, including many prominent members of the G.O.P., spent the past several months holding hearings around the country on such topics as foreign affairs, the economy, health care, and education. They heard from more than 177,000 people. (See Education Week, April 27, 1994.)

In addition to standards and choice, the report said participants in the education hearings also called for more parental involvement in schools, an emphasis on local control, and opposition to "outcomes-based education.''

Goals Panel: Gov. Evan Bayh of Indiana, a Democrat, and Gov. Christine Todd Whitman of New Jersey, a Republican, will join the National Education Goals Panel, the National Governors' Association announced last week.

They will join Gov. James B. Hunt Jr. of North Carolina and Gov. Jim Edgar of Illinois as the N.G.A. representatives on the panel.

AIDS Czar Resigns: Less than a year after her appointment, Kristine M. Gebbie has resigned as President Clinton's "AIDS czar.''

Ms. Gebbie said she had reached an "agreement'' with President Clinton to leave her post by Aug. 2. In a statement, the President said Ms. Gebbie had exercised "real leadership'' in combatting the disease.

Advocates originally applauded Mr. Clinton for establishing the new position of national AIDS policy coordinator. But critics have recently charged that the office is unable to coordinate the various interagency AIDS programs, and Ms. Gebbie had been criticized as ineffective in steering policy.

The Administration is interviewing candidates for the position.

N.S.F. Appointment: The Senate has confirmed Anne C. Peterson as the deputy director of the National Science Foundation.

Ms. Peterson, who was confirmed last month, is a professor of adolescent development and pediatrics and a leading researcher in adolescent development.

Goals 2000 Grants: Michigan has become the second state to receive a planning grant under the Goals 2000: Educate America Act, and more grant announcements are expected as soon as this week.

Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley announced last month that Michigan will receive $3.5 million this year, joining Hawaii as the first states to receive grants.

Study Available: The final report of the National Assessment of Vocational Education, which recommends eliminating the "general track'' in high school, is now available to the public. (See Education Week, July 13, 1994.)

Free copies can be ordered from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, 555 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Sixth Floor, Washington, D.C. 20208.

Vol. 13, Issue 40

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