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ARIZONA SCHOOLS WIN $1.2 MILLION FOR PIONEERING REFORM EFFORTS

 ARIZONA SCHOOLS WIN $1.2 MILLION FOR PIONEERING REFORM EFFORTS
 WASHINGTON, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The RJR Nabisco Foundation today awarded $1.2 million in grants to Tuba City High School in Tuba City, Ariz., and Moon Valley High School in Phoenix to fund bold education reform efforts aimed at boosting student performance.
 Tuba City and Moon Valley are two of just 14 schools nationwide to receive grants in RJR Nabisco's Next Century Schools competition. Each winning school received up to $750,000 to develop and run dramatically different educational approaches over the next three years. More than 1,100 schools competed for a share of this year's $9 million in grant money.
 "It takes true courage to risk change in tough economic times. Instead of retreating to the relative security of the status quo, these pioneering educators are demonstrating that it is not only desirable but possible to fight for fundamental change in education," said Louis V. Gerstner Jr., chairman and CEO of RJR Nabisco, Inc.
 The Next Century Schools program invests in educators who have devised radically different educational approaches to meet the needs of their students. Last fall, RJR Nabisco challenged front-line educators to devise and submit revolutionary proposals that would improve student performance and demonstrate the potential for adaptation by other communities throughout the nation.
 Members of the Next Century Schools advisory board, which includes Keith Geiger, president of the National Education Association; Albert Shanker, president of the American Federation of Teachers; former New Jersey Gov. Tom Kean; and Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton, selected the winning schools.
 Tuba City's "Next Century Warriors" program will restructure the high school, which is made up primarily of Native Americans from the Navajo Nation, into five "houses" that will focus on the career interest of each student. These houses will include a counselor and a core group of teachers and will concentrate on career exploration, science, math, engineering and business. Counselors and teachers will plan off-reservation job training in conjunction with academic programs to prepare students for post-secondary education or gainful employment. The school's grant totals $745,623.
 Moon Valley will create a year-round school to accommodate students who have fallen behind in completion of graduation requirements. Extended day classes will provide expanded opportunities for freshman and sophomore students who need more time to complete core classes. Traditional grade levels will be eliminated, and students will receive a dual transcript consisting of a grade as well as a report on the level of competency in other achievements. The school's grant totals $551,551.
 Since launching Next Century Schools in 1989, RJR Nabisco has invested $30 million in the pioneering efforts of 43 schools. The 1992 winners will be the last class of schools to participate in the program. As each school reaches the end of its three-year funding cycle, RJR Nabisco will work to help replicate successful initiatives.
 "The goal of the Next Century Schools program is to make both an individual and collective difference in public education. As a result, we must take what we know to work in a single school and help spread that success to other communities searching for answers. In a few years, we anticipate that many of this year's winners will offer effective educational alternatives for countless communities across the nation," said Roger D. Semerad, president of the RJR Nabisco Foundation.
 -0- 4/14/92
 /CONTACT: Tracey Riese of RJR Nabisco, 212-258-5779, or David Sandor of Powell Tate, 202-434-8541, for RJR Nabisco/ CO: RJR Nabisco ST: Arizona IN: SU:


TW -- DC010 -- 8265 04/14/92 12:05 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 14, 1992
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