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NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND MATH WINS $670,650 FOR PIONEERING REFORM EFFORT

 NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF SCIENCE AND MATH WINS $670,650
 FOR PIONEERING REFORM EFFORT
 WASHINGTON, April 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The RJR Nabisco Foundation today awarded a $670,650 grant to North Carolina School of Science and Math (NCSSM) in Durham, N.C., for a bold new experiment in "distance learning." The money will allow hundreds of students at area schools to take specialized courses at NCSSM via cable television.
 NCSSM is one of just 14 schools nationwide to receive a grant 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.
 Founded in 1979, NCSSM is a highly regarded public school, producing more than 50 merit scholars each year. The school's winning idea, called "Down-to-Earth Distance Learning," will enable 240 students from regular Durham County public high schools to enroll electronically via cable television in courses offered by NCSSM. The program recognizes the limits of advanced high school education in North Carolina (there are only 11 teachers certified to teach advanced physics in the entire state) and seeks to make the school's expertise available to other students wishing to take these special classes.
 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: North Carolina IN: SU:


TW -- DC009 -- 8106 04/14/92 09:21 EDT
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Date:Apr 14, 1992
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