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Race relations, multiculturalism, and political correctness at Berkeley (Calif.) High School are the focus of the season premiere of the public-affairs show "Frontline" on the Public Broadcasting Service.

"School Colors" is the title of the 2-hour, year-in-the-life documentary about Berkeley High produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting and Telesis Productions. The show airs Oct. 18 at 9 P.M., Eastern daylight time. (Check local listings.)

During the 1993-94 school year, when the documentary was filmed, Berkeley High's enrollment of 2,400 students was 38 percent white, 35 percent African-American, 11 percent Asian or Pacific Islander, 9 percent Hispanic, and 7 percent mixed race.

One of the first things Jim Henderson did when he took over as principal three years ago was to hire more faculty members from minority groups.

He also has instituted a "racial harmony" program that includes seminars on racial prejudice. Nonetheless, students on the program debate the relevance of the school's African-American-studies department and whether Latino-history courses include revisionist attacks on the traditional curriculum.

A live video conference about "Technology, Telecommunications, and Systemic Reform" airs from the Infomart in Dallas on Oct. 27 from 3 P.M. to 4:30 P.M., Eastern time.

The video conference is being produced by PBS's K-12 Learning Services division and the National School Boards Association's Institute for the Transfer of Technology to Education.

The program will focus on three school districts that are developing innovative uses for technology: Volusia County, Fla.; Vancouver, Wash.; and the Chittenden South district in Vermont.

Those interested in participating should call Tom Flavell of PBS K-12 Learning Services at (703) 739-5402.

After several years of broadcasting either from Los Angeles or from Walt Disney World in Florida, the Disney Channel's fifth annual "American Teacher Awards" is moving to the nation's capital. The Oscar-style show, to be held this year at the Warner Theater in Washington, honors 36 finalists, with 12 teachers selected as top in their curriculum areas and one chosen outstanding teacher of the year. It airs Nov. 16 at 7 P.M. Eastern/Pacific time.

--Mark Walsh

Vol. 14, Issue 06

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