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The Atlanta school board has approved most of the school-building closings proposed by Superintendent Benjamin O. Canada.

The board voted this month to close 12 elementary schools by June 1996 and to merge two high schools in the fall.

Mr. Canada had initially proposed closing 18 of the district's 106 schools. He said that the district had kept too many schools open during decades of shrinking enrollment, and that the facilities slated for closure would be especially costly to renovate or equip with new technology. (See Education Week, 4/5/95.)

In response to parent protests, one high school and four elementary schools were spared.

A Break From the Action: After riding out several stormy years, the Michigan Education Association's top official is taking an extended leave of absence.

Beverly Wolkow, the executive director of the 127,000-member union, was expected to begin her hiatus this week.

The M.E.A.--long considered the most powerful affiliate of the National Education Association--has undergone numerous setbacks during the tenure of Gov. John Engler, a Republican who was first elected in 1990. (See Education Week, 5/17/95.)

The recent announcement came amid speculation that the union was trying to downplay Ms. Wolkow's role in its day-to-day management. Her contract expires in August, but she is reportedly negotiating with the union for an extension.

Another Day in Court: A student at Queens College in New York City is back in court fighting a claim by the Educational Testing Service that he cheated on the Scholastic Aptitude Test four years ago.

The New York State Court of Appeals agreed this month to review a lower-court ruling in favor of the student, Briand Dalton. That ruling found that the e.t.s. failed to investigate sufficiently before questioning the validity of Mr. Dalton's scores. (See Education Week, 8/3/94.)

The testing service, which had appealed the lower court's decision, charges that Mr. Dalton cheated to earn a combined score of 1,030 on the S.A.T., an unusually high rise of 410 points over his previous attempt on the exam. Mr. Dalton attributed the improved score in part to tak~ing a Princeton Review test-preparation course.

Takeover To Continue: Kentucky officials will manage the Letcher County school district for up to two more years as a result of the state school board's conclusion that much more work remains in 4,400-student district.

The board decided that little long-term progress has been made in the months since the state took over the eastern Kentucky district because of local mismanagement. (See Education Week, 5/25/94.)

The board made its ruling despite local opposition. The district reluctantly complied with the initial takeover, but local board members fought the extension. One opponent warned the state board that continued state management would alienate local teachers and parents. The head of the local teachers' union faulted the state for its "closed door" style.

Letcher County board members said they were considering appealing the state's decision in circuit court.

Vol. 14, Issue 35

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