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macon.com MIDDAY UPDATE: Ga. board approves social studies curriculum; Bush signs bill banning lead from children's toys; traffic deaths down in 2007

The Georgia Board of Education has approved changes to Georgia’s social studies curriculum in hopes of preventing a repeat of last spring when droves of students failed state-mandated tests.

State schools Superintendent Kathy Cox attributed the 70-80 percent of sixth- and seventh-graders who failed the social studies portion of the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests this year on the state’s curriculum not matching the exams. She threw the scores out and promised to fix the problem.

A committee of educators and experts combed through the curriculum this summer and suggested changes. The new curriculum narrows what students learn in sixth- and seventh-grade and eliminates redundancy in the material.

– Associated Press

Bush signs bill banning lead from children’s toys

President Bush has signed legislation that bans lead from children’s toys, imposing the toughest standard in the world.

The measure, approved by Congress two weeks ago, strengthens rules for the Consumer Product Safety Commission concerning toy safety and restricting marketplace practices used by the tobacco industry to target children.

The commission estimates there are about 28,000 deaths each year from unsafe products, including toys, in the United States. More than 33 million people were injured last year by consumer products.

– Associated Press

Traffic deaths down in 2007

The government says traffic deaths in the United States declined last year, reaching their lowest level in more than a decade.

Still, more than 41,000 people were killed in highway crashes. That was down by more than 1,000 from 2006.

In a report released today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the fatality rate of 1.37 deaths for every 100 million miles traveled in 2007 was the lowest on record.

– Associated Press

WHAT'S COMING UP ON MACON.COM

– A hearing is scheduled for today to determine where the trial will be held for Damon Jolly, who is accused of killing a Bibb County deputy. We'll let you know what happens.

– The Monroe County Commission will meet today to set a tentative millage rate. Come back to our Web site for details.

VISIT US AGAIN SOON

We invite you to check out our Web site again tomorrow for the Midday Update. Monday through Friday, Online Editor Beth MacFadyen will bring you timely information about what Telegraph staffers are working on, plus news we think you need to know immediately. Send feedback to bmacfadyen@macon.com

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