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The Best and the Worst of the Week 

Bashirah Perine,
a freshman drama and communications major at the University of New Orleans, won $3,000 in scholarship money in a national academic essay contest. Perine, a graduate of Warren Easton High School, was one of seven winners of the National Foundation for Women Legislators contest. The awards were presented Saturday at the NFWL's annual conference in San Diego.


Historic Restoration Inc.
was honored this month at the Brownfields 2002 Conference in Charlotte, N.C., with a National Phoenix Award for its American Can Renewal Project. The Phoenix Awards honor groups and individuals in 10 Environmental Protection Agency regions working to develop abandoned urban areas. HRI received the top honor for the region encompassing Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma and 66 American Indian tribes.


Tulane University
recently received a $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to encourage more minority students to pursue advanced studies and careers in science, math and engineering. The grant establishes Tulane as the lead institution of the new Graduate Alliance for Education in Louisiana; other universities are Louisiana State, Xavier, Dillard and Southern. The Alliance's goal is to triple the number of minority doctorates in those areas by 2006.


Louisiana's public schools
have done a substandard job of educating minority students -- especially African Americans -- and low-income children, according to a study released last week by state education officials. The report shows a wide performance gap between children from poor and wealthy families, as well as between black students and other ethnic groups, especially Caucasian. New Orleans students fared worst in the state, according to the study.

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