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Muncie Evening Press from Muncie, Indiana • Page 1

Muncie, Indiana
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INSIDE THE PRESS: FRIDAY, JULY 7, 1995 MUNCIE, INDIANA BATTER UP: GM Joe Hicks will lead independent pro baseball team in Yorktown. PAGE 13 DEBUTING TODAY: New editorial series looks at problems, offers answers. 1 RnifiHT SIIMQHIMYnAY- Clear tonight with a low down into upper 50s. Saturday: Another day of sunshine, high in low 80s. PAGE 16 I An occasional series page 4 i Jv In i i 41 spores: sense ot mnsmp State's test wil I have a new look next year SEP rings success in IS' Delaware county's rankings.

A list of Delaware county schools administering the ISTEP exam to ninth-grade students. Rank is their ranking based on failure rates. Sum is total tests recorded. Percent-Fail is the percentage of students who took the test and failed both the language arts and math components. Three schools in the state reported no one failed, and tied for first place.

SCHOOL FANK SUM -FAlL Burris 1 49 (Ofail) Cowan 29 53 5.1724 Dalevillo 298 54 20.370 Delta 56 195 7.1794 Central 242 318 15.094 Southside 323 219 25.114 Wapahanl 73 77 7.7922 Wes-Del 162 80 11.25 Yorktown 158 7.5949 Starting next year, only grades 3, 6 and 10 will be required to take the test, 'j DiLaura said. Part of the reason for the change in grades tested is preparation for the "Gateway Exam." Beginning with the graduating class of 2000, students will be required to pass an exit exam given during 10th grade in order to graduate, said DiLaura. Next year's altered ISTEP will still include the multiple choice questions that made up the test in the past, but will also involve some short-answer and essay questions like those proposed for IPASS, according to DiLaura. Despite the General Assembly's1 defeat of IPASS, legislators did mandate the addition of teaching experts say. Proof can be found at Burris and at Eminence Iligh School in Morgan County.

Every ninth grade student at both schools measured through ISTEP Indiana Statewide Testing for Educational Progress met state standards for achievement in both language arts and mathematics. Two other schools West Lafayette Senior Iligh School and Clay Junior Iligh School in Hamilton County had failure rates of less than 1 percent, just behind Burris and Eminence. The state Department of Education does not rank schools according to test results. The standings were produced by The Associated Press using a computer spreadsheet to sort test results from highest to lowest. By ROBIN GIBSON Evening Press reporter i i First there was ISTEP.

Then there was going to be IPASS, a new test proposed last fall by the Indiana Department of Education to replace ISTEP beginning in the 1995-06 school year. But amid much controversy over the suggested switch, the Indiana General Assembly decided this past winter to pass on IPASS. So just what test will Indiana students be taking next year? It will once again be ISTEP, but wit a few changes, according to Education Department spokesman Joe DiLaura. One major change will be the grades tested. In the past, grades 2, 3, 6, 8 and 9 have been the ones given the ISTEP test.

By THOMAS P. WYMAN Associated Press writer -j INDIANAPOLIS A powerful sense of community, a sense of kinship that approaches the strength of family ties, distinguishes Indiana's top performing schools in a statewide standardized test. "The children say we're a family," says Vicki Vaughn, principal of Burris Laboratory School in Muncie. "Everybody knows you. If children are having difficulties, intervention is taken at an early stage.

"The students actually refer to themselves as the Burris family because many of them have been here since kindergarten." That kind of communal bond, expressed in a shared responsibility for children's success in school, shows up in academic performance, See ISTEP Page 8 See NEXT YEAR Page 8 7. ll File photo Bob Ross. it epis By MARC1A DUNN AP aerospace writer CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. Aflcr nearly four months in orbit, American astronaut Norman Thagard joyfully returned to Earth today with seven others who took part in the first U.S.-Russian space linkup in 20 years. It was the end of a long, tiring journey for Thagard, who rocketed away from central Asia last March.

His new spaceship, NASA's shuttle Atlantis, landed at Kennedy Space Center at 10:54 a.m. President Clinton called the astronauts and cosmonauts before they left Atlantis to congratulate them on their docking mission with Russia's space station. He offered special praise for Thagard, saying "we're all very proud." "The Russians took good care of me," Thagard told the president. "We're great friends so I think if what we did on a personal level is any indication, there won't be any problem with this on an inter-governmental level as well." Replied Clinton: "The next time we have any problem between American and Russian officials I'm going to send them into space. I think I now know how to solve all international problems." For the first time, a U.S.

spaceship brought back more people than it carried at launch. Atlantis blasted off June 27 with seven crew members, including two Russians Kurt Hostetler FRIENDLY HANDS: Young visitors to ME's Zoo In Parker City get a chance to pet Strom (at left), a black prevost squirrel, and Spencer, a young marmoset. More photos and information about the family-owned zoo appear on today's Just For Kids page on 12. See SPACE Page 8 Bob Ross, host of the locally produced public television series, Joy of Painting," died Tuesday at his home in Orlando, Fla, following a brief battle with cancer. Ross, 52, gained international recognition from his popular television series, which has been taped at the studios of WIPB Channel 49 since 1983.

The show is seen by millions of viewers on virtually all of the public television stations in the nation, plus stations in Japan, Mexico, Turkey, Iran, Hong Kong, the Philippines and South Korea Ross lived in Muncie during the mid-1980s before returning to his native Florida around 1988. He was back in Muncie every three months to tape 13 episodes of his show. Patricia Walker, coordinator for viewer services at WIPB, said the television station receives as many as 200 letters a day and numerous phone calls from fans of "The Joy of Painting." The soft-spoken, bushy-haired artist developed a quick and simple painting technique that motivated thousands of novice painters. His subjects were mostly landscapes. "I've never claimed that this is investment art," Ross said in a 1990 interview with The Muncie Star.

"When we first started out, all the art colleges and universities across the country would sort of bad-mouth what we were doing. It's funny that a lot of them now are sending us letters saying, 'We may not totally agree with the way you See ROSS Page 8 Figures help ease recession fears -V can make dollar-denominated investments less attractive to foreign investors. The intervention had modestly positive effect, lifting the dollar to 86.88 yen in late morn-ing trading. "There wasn't a compelling need to intervene because the dollar wasn't under downward pressure," said Robert Hormats of Goldman Sachs in New York. "They probably wanted to remind the markets that the United States and Japan are working together to support the dollar if the need arises." The Fed's reduction to 5.75 percent in the federal funds rate, the interest that banks charge each other, prompted more banks to announce today cuts in their prime lending rate, the interest rates because of continued job loss in the key manufacturing sector.

"This report shows the economy isn't collapsing, but it is still struggling," said Robert Dederick, an economist at Northern Trust Co. in Chicago. "The real question is whether the weakness in manufacturing will spread to the rest of the economy." The Clinton aclrrtinistration breathed a sigh of relief at the better job figures. Labor Secretary Robert Reich said with the latest gains, the economy has now created 7 million jobs since President Clinton took office in January 1993. Meanwhile, the United States and Japan staged a surprise joint intervention in currency markets today in an effort to make sure that the Fed's rate cut does not put downward pressure on the dollar.

Lower rates in the United States By MARTIN CRUTSINCER AP economics writer WASHINGTON The nation's unemployment rate edged down to 5.6 percent in June as a rebound in hiring for temporary summer jobs and construction helped lessen fears that the economy was sliding into a recession. The Labor Department report, which showed unexpected strength in June and a less bleak performance in the two previous months, came just a day after the Federal Reserve cut a key interest rate by 0.25 percentage point in an effort to give the economy a boost. The central bank might have delayed its interest rate cut had it had the benefit of the new jobless statistics, analysts said. But they insisted that the Fed would have still have moved, probably in August, to begin cutting Associated Press See FIGURES Page 8 Alan Greenspan. SOMETHING EXTRA: Boys dominate top, bottom in academic tests INDEX Classified Comics ......24 Lifestyle .................................9 Lotteries ...............................3 Obituaries ..............................6 Opinion 4 Sports 13-15 Theaters .11 TV 10 Princeton University, said the study was "a powerful analysis," but the results "are not totally different from earlier findings of lesser studies." However, Timpane said he believes it is too early to draw any conclusions about the effects of efforts to close the gender gap in "It doesn't surprise me that we haven't made more progress because until recent years we really haven't tried very hard," he said.

Timpane and Hedges agreed Hedges said that by combining results of the six major studies -involving thousands of children -the researcher can draw statistically powerful conclusions about gender differences in mental test scores. Among the results: 1 For reading comprehension, perceptual speed and word association memory, boys outnumbered girls at the bottom of the scale by a 2-1 ratio, and fewer boys than girls scored in the top 5 percent to 10 percent In math and science, boys out education at the University of Chicago and a co-author of the study, said the research combined results of six national studies of education performance among American school children dating back to the 1900s. Hedges said that although boys tended to crowd the ends of the scale, the average scores for the genders were about the same. He said the findings suggest that little progress has been made to equalize the educational achievements of boys and girls. "We haven't seen the gender differences going away," he said.

By PAUL RECER AP science writer WASHINGTON Boys dominate both the best and the worst scores in academic testing, while girls tend to score in the middle, according to an analysis of 30 years of testing published today. A study in the journal Science says that boys dominate girls by a 7-1 ratio at the highest levels of math and science testing but are a 2-1 majority in the bottom ranks in reading and writing. Larry Hedges, a professor of numbered girls by about 3-to-l in the top 10 percent and by 7-to-l in the top 1 percent. In some science and vocational aptitude tests, no girls scored in the top 1 percent to 3 percent Large differences between the sexes, favoring girls, were found for writing. "The data imply that males are, on average, at a rather profound disadvantage in the performance of this basic skill," the study found.

Michael Timpane, vice president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching at Muncie, Indiana Volume 91, Number 089 0 1995 The Muncie Evening Press Newsstand price 50e See TESTS Page 8 1.

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