Commission Calls For School Reform

THE new Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government report on math and science education in the nation's public schools focused more on the need for persistence in reform rather than on sweeping, costly innovations."There is no shortage of motivated Americans with good ideas about how serve our children better," said Lewis Bransomb, chairman of the commission's Task Force on K-12 Mathematics ans Science Education. "But the federal government is not yet organized to bring every classroom in America the best of the ideas - how to restructure the schools and motivate students and teachers, and how to provide teachers with the tools and training they need," Mr. Bransomb added. In particular, the report urged closer federal relationships with all levels of school administration and federal leadership in science and math education reform. While not calling for massive infusions of federal aid, the report noted that in fiscal 1991, the federal budget for math and science at all levels of education was $1.7 billion, with $515 million for science and math education.

Wilder throws hat in ring Gov. L. Douglas Wilder, a grandson of slaves who became the nation's first black elected governor less than two years ago, has joined the Democratic race for president. Wilder said Friday he will not step aside as governor of Virginia - his term runs until January 1994 - to campaign for the White House. Calling himself the "longest of long shots," he criticized President Bush for dividing Americans along racial lines and railed against Washington's fiscal policies. Wilder is the first of what is expected to be a September rush of Democrats announcing their presidential candidacies. So far, the other Democrats seeking the nomination are Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, former Sen. Paul Tsongas of Massachusetts, and dark horse Larry Agran, former mayor of Irvine, Calif.

Women post gains in local politics Women have made sharp strides in local politics, serving in nearly 20 percent of all elected offices in communities with populations over 10,000, said a new analysis by the National League of Cities. Since 1986, when the last analysis was conducted, the ranks of women mayors have grown to 374 chief elected officials, 14.3 percent of the nation's 2,610 mayors. In 1986, they accounted for 10.4 percent of elected mayors. And, for the first time, the presence of women on city councils has climbed over the 20 percent mark. The NLC study found California leading in the number of women holding municipal office with 409, followed by Illinois, with 256, Ohio with 244, Connecticut with 219, and New Jersey with 201. California also led in women mayors, with 66, followed by Texas (26), Massachusetts (25), Connecticut and Florida (22), Michigan (21), and New Jersey (20).

BCCI scandal hurts N.Y. garment industry Garmentmakers lured into doing business with the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI) now find themselves struggling to survive the bank's tangled scandal, a report said yesterday. Scores of textile and apparel firms are financially strapped and some have gone out of business since losing lines of credit, letters of credit, and other assets tied up with BCCI, Crain's New York Business said in its Sept. 16 edition. Operations of the Luxembourg-based bank were seized July 5 by the Bank of England, touching off a flurry of allegations of massive worldwide fraud in some of the 69 countries where it operated. "We lost everything," said Ajay Nayyar, president of International Girl Inc., a Manhattan clothing importer.

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