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Give the state Education Department an "A," not for effort, but rather to use in press release headlines.

A long-awaited plan to strengthen teaching requirements was approved last week by the state Board of Regents. No longer will the state accept sloppiness in the classroom or under-prepared teachers.

To announce it all, an advisory went out with the headline: "News Conference Will Focus on Tougher Standards for Techers."

A little bit of scrambling, and 20 minutes later a new release went out, this time with the teacher getting its much-deserved "A."

Off Main Street is written by Phil Fairbanks with contributions from Tom Precious and Charity Vogel.

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