• U.S.

In Brief: Aug. 27, 2001

2 minute read
Desa Philadelphia

IMPROVING GPAS The company that produces the American College Testing (ACT) exam says the grade-point averages of high schoolers who take the test have increased in each of the last five years, reaching an average of 3.22 in 2001 (out of a possible 4.0), compared to 3.16 in 1997. Yet the average ACT score has remained stable, at 21 out of a possible 36. Deduction? ACT officials say the discrepancy suggests high school grade inflation.

RELIGION VIRTUES Attending religious services helps low-income kids do better in school, suggests a study by sociologists Mark Regnerus of Calvin College and Glen Elder Jr. of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In a nationwide survey, the professors found that students from poor neighborhoods who attended services found role models in the congregation who inspired them to do well. Religious communities did not have as much influence over more affluent kids.

TARGETING KIDS A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine concludes that tobacco companies have broken a promise, made in their 1998 settlement with state governments, to cut back on advertising aimed at minors. Camel, Marlboro and Newport–brands favored by teens–have actually increased budgets for advertising in magazines like PEOPLE, Rolling Stone and SPORTS ILLUSTRATED that have significant young audiences.

–By Desa Philadelphia

More Must-Reads from TIME

Contact us at letters@time.com