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CARROLL SAYS NEW EDUCATION REGULATIONS INCREASE LOCAL CONTROL

 /ADVANCE/ HARRISBURG, Pa., May 8 /PRNewswire/ -- As school districts prepare for the new performance-based education regulations, parents and others at the local level will play an important role in determining courses of study, state Education Secretary Donald M. Carroll said today.
 Substituting for Gov. Robert P. Casey on the weekly call-in radio program "Ask the Governor," Carroll said anyone who favors local control of school curriculums should support the new system.
 "The emphasis here is on strategic plans developed by school boards with the help of extensive advisory committees of business, parents and the school faculties," Carroll said.
 Regulations establishing new public high school graduation requirements were approved this week by the Independent Regulatory Review Commission. After the state attorney general reviews them for legal form, they will take effect. School districts will begin implementing the regulations over the next several years.
 The regulations had been passed by the State Board of Education in April after Gov. Casey and legislative leaders revised them to eliminate some controversial elements of the proposal and to make sure that the graduation requirements, known as student learning outcomes, focus on high academic achievement and accountability.
 In response to a caller who wanted to now why the secretary supported the changes, Carroll cited greater local control and parental involvement.
 "It sets up the opportunity for school districts to make better use of time, and finally it's a flexible enough system that we can make changes over the coming years to have our children ready when they enter the 21st century," Carroll said.
 He noted that the regulations will require students to apply the knowledge they have acquired, and pointed out that the military has used a similar system for many years.
 "They don't sit there and deal with theory and multiple choice tests. They deal with theory and then make people go out and prove they know that theory," he said.
 Carroll said he expects those who have opposed the reforms to continue their fight in the legislature, but he said he hoped they would no longer stall special education funding. In recent months, opponents have attached anti-reform amendments to special education funding bills in the House of Representatives. Similar attempts have failed in the Senate. The impasse has denied school districts available state money for special education services.
 Carroll said he was encouraged that a bipartisan group of more than 30 freshmen legislators called this week for separate votes on special education funding and the education reforms.
 The Secretary noted that Pennsylvania has been recognized as a national leader in establishing youth apprenticeship programs, under which students spend several days per week at a job site learning a skill or craft, and several days per week in the classroom studying a specially designed curriculum related to their prospective career.
 Other nations, notably Germany, have used such a system extensively. Carroll said Pennsylvania's program, which is expanding from six to nine sites next year, will help ensure that our students are prepared to find jobs in the global marketplace.
 "An apprenticeship program is industry driven," Carroll said. "Industry says, `Here are the qualities we need in the graduates that we are going to hire.'"
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 /CONTACT: Gary Tuma, press secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Education, 717-783-9802/


CO: Pennsylvania Department of Education ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU:

JM -- PH030 -- 6149 05/07/93 17:23 EDT
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Date:May 7, 1993
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