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FYI: The Bush administration will launch a major drive for schools to focus on teaching basic skills in math and science rather than broad concepts early next year, Education Week reports. As with the old divide between phonics- and concept-focused reading instruction, math educators disagree bitterly about whether students most need to memorize arithmetic tables or ponder the ideas behind the math. According to Ed Week, the administration has made recent high-profile grants that leave most observers ready for a back-to-basics push in its upcoming math and science initiatives. [11/20/02]

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