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unwed mothers can join honors society

COVINGTON, KY. - A federal judge has ruled that two unwed mothers were probably discriminated against when they were denied membership in a high school honors society. US District Judge William Bertelsman issued a preliminary injunction last week ordering Grant County High School in Williamstown, Ky., to admit Somer Hurston and Chasity Glass by the end of January. The two students said the honors society discriminated against them because they became pregnant out of wedlock. The judge, citing similar cases in Illinois and Arizona, held that there was a high probability that the two students could prove discrimination in a trial of their civil suit. The Grant County Board of Education said the young women were denied membership for legitimate reasons, and added that it planned to appeal the ruling.

English gets new status in Taiwan

TAIPEI, TAIWAN - Taiwan will train 3,000 teachers to teach English in Grades 5 and 6 of primary school starting in 2001, education officials said last week. "We hope to broaden the pupils' world vision and prepare them for the future, which will be more competitive, and English will be more necessary," said Education Ministry official Wang Ai-ping. Foreigners cannot teach English in Taiwan's primary schools, but the launch of the new courses will lead to setting up more language cram schools, which can hire foreign teachers, she said.

California's class-size reduction program boasts modest results

LOS ANGELES - Students participating in California's class-size reduction program fared modestly better on last spring's state reading and mathematics tests than those who did not, state education officials said. The data showed that:

In second grade, the earliest grade in which students were tested last spring, 41 percent of students who were in smaller classes scored at or above the national average in reading, compared with 35 percent who were not in such classes.

In math, 44 percent of second-graders who were in smaller classes scored at or above the national average, compared with 38 percent who were not. For third-graders, the math difference was 43 percent to 36 percent, again favoring those in smaller classes.

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