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News in brief

July 20, 2011

Arts grants awarded

SULLIVAN COUNTY, NY — Eleven local cultural organizations received $11,375 in Sullivan County Arts & Heritage Grants for cultural programming in 2011. The grants are allocated to nonprofit organizations by the Sullivan County Legislators and administered by the Delaware Valley Arts Alliance (DVAA).

Granted organizations are Catskill Art Society for multi-disciplinary programming; Delaware Valley Chamber Orchestra for a local composers concert; Delaware Valley Opera for the “The Elixer of Love;” Delaware Youth Center for a performance of “The Little Farm Show;” New Hope Community for a music performance; North American Cultural Laboratory for the Deep Space performance series/residency; Shandelee Music Festival for the 2011 Sunset Concert Series; St. Andrew’s Mission for a free music concert hosted by Chamber Music at St. Andrews; Town of Lumberland for a summer jazz concert; Western Sullivan Public Library for an oral histories project; and Weekend of Chamber Music for their summer festival.

Candidates are sought to serve on future grant review panels. Likely panelists are citizens informed about the arts and/or county cultural events. A panelist can serve for up to three years. Call 845/252-7576.

Test scores investigated in Dingman

PHILADELPHIA, PA —Dingman- Delaware Middle school is one of over three dozen that are being investigated on account of suspicious scores on state standardized tests. The investigations were ordered by Pennsylvania Education Secretary Ronald Tomalis following a report that identified possible cheating on the 2009 math and reading tests known as the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment, or PSSA.

According to the report, compiled by Minnesota-based Data Recognition Corp., sixth grade students at the Dingman-Delaware Middle School were among students in several dozen schools with irregularities in their 2009 standardized test scores.

On the basis of statistical analysis of answer patterns, erasure marks and student demographics, the report flagged results deemed “highly improbable.” It also noted that deliberate cheating is not the only possible explanation for the anomalies.

The districts must report back to the state within 30 days. Tomalis has also asked the investigating company to compile a report on 2010 scores.