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 ALEXANDRIA, Va., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- The five events of 1991

that promise to have the greatest impact on curriculum in the schools were announced this week by Gordon Cawelti, executive director of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
 "The past year has seen landmark events in education reform," stated Cawelti. "The rise in national policy-making in education increases the need for educators to evaluate current trends and events and anticipate their impact at the state and local level."
 The following excerpts summarize Cawelti's statement:
 -- Plan for National Curriculum Standards Gains Support. This year, the National Council on Education Standards and Testing recommended the development of national standards in the core subject areas of English, mathematics, science, history and geography. The building consensus behind national standards represents a watershed development in a nation that, until very recently, solidly opposed "intrusion" into local and state curricular decision-making.
 -- Work Begins on Developing a National System of Student Performance Assessments. The New Standards Project, a joint venture of the National Center on Education and the Economy and the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research and Development Center, this year laid the groundwork for a new national system of student examinations. The system, which the project hopes will be operational within a few years, would include the use of such assessments as performance exams, portfolios and projects. It appears doubtful that the federal government will fund test development and administration costs, leaving the New Standards Project as the only proposal for a national examination system that has borne tangible fruit.
 -- SCANS Report Urges Schools to Prepare Students for the Workplace. Acting on continuing concerns about U.S. economic prowess, the Labor Department this year urged schools to do a better job of preparing students with the skills and knowledge they will need in the workplace. The Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS) report calls on schools to implement a curriculum that teaches students the basic skills, thinking skills and personal qualities needed to contribute productively when they enter the working world. This report places continuing pressure on schools to better prepare those students not going on to college and develop new strategies to prepare students in the "general track."
 -- Civic Education Curriculum Framework Marks Resurgence in Interest in Preparing Students for Citizenship. The release last fall of "Civitas: A Curriculum Framework for Civic Education" provides school leaders with a remarkably good resource for integrating important learning experiences on citizenship into the curriculum. Lessons in citizenship impart knowledge and skills essential to producing informed citizens. We must consider civic education at every grade from kindergarten through high school if students are to learn essential civic knowledge, skills and behaviors. This notion is especially important given the limited conception of social studies conveyed by the national education goals and "America 2000."
 -- Major Study Shows Various Bilingual Education Approaches Are Equally Effective for Students with Limited English Skills. A $4.5 million Education Department study released this year concluded that three common approaches to bilingual education prove equally effective in helping Spanish-speaking students with limited English skills acquire competency both in English and other subjects. The study will impact policies for funding bilingual education and will help schools decide which approach is best in communities that are often divided on the issue. The three approaches studied were: (1) immersion entirely in English with the aim of mainstreaming students by the 1st or 2nd grade; (2) early exit programs that teach reading in the student's primary language (Spanish) and seek to mainstream by the 1st or 2nd grade; and (3) late exit programs that continue to provide bilingual education until as late as 6th grade.
 The Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development is dedicated to its mission of developing leadership for quality in education for all students. ASCD's 160,000 members include principals, district superintendents, teachers, central office staff, professors and school board members. The association has affiliates in every state, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Singapore.
 -0- 12/17/91
 /NOTE: For a complete copy of Cawelti's statement and further information, call the contact below./
 /CONTACT: Mary O. Harrison of the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, 703-549-9110, ext. 502/ CO: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development ST: Virginia IN: SU:

DC -- DC013 -- 3067 12/17/91 15:25 EST
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Date:Dec 17, 1991

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