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House Speaker Newt Gingrich has won the annual Doublespeak Award from the National Council of Teachers of English.

The NCTE bestowed the dubious distinction on the Georgia Republican at its annual convention in San Diego last month. The award is an ironic tribute to public figures who use language that the council says is grossly deceptive, evasive, euphemistic, confusing, or self-contradictory.

Keith Gilyard, the chairman of the organization's Committee on Public Doublespeak, said Mr. Gingrich was cited for his book To Renew America, in which he revealed his vision of the nation's future. His nomination was based on a July 1995 article in Time magazine that outlined contradictions in Mr. Gingrich's work.

In the book, Mr. Gingrich stated, "When confronted with a problem, a true American doesn't ask 'Who can I blame this on?'" The Time article said that Mr. Gingrich then went on "to survey America's problems and blame them on various people."

For example, the article said, Mr. Gingrich wrote that "bureaucrats have helped destroy the family, undermine the work ethic, and dumb down education."

K-III Communications Corp., the New York City-based producer of supplementary education materials, including the Channel One classroom news program and the Weekly Reader, has appointed Pedro F. Mata, as a corporate vice president and the president of its Education Group. Before joining K-III, Mr. Mata was a senior vice president of W.R. Grace & Co. in New York.

Peter H. Gerber, the director of the education program at the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, is stepping down to become an adviser to several Florida school districts. He will help officials in Broward, Dade, and Palm Beach counties write a proposal for funding from the "Annenberg Challenge," a multimillion-dollar grant program of the Annenberg Foundation. Paul Lingenfelter, the MacArthur Foundation's associate vice president, has been named interim director. ... The North Carolina board of education has hired Richard Thompson, the associate vice president for academic affairs of the University of North Carolina, as deputy state superintendent.

--Adrienne D. Coles

Vol. 15, Issue 14

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