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Community colleges try alternatives to placement tests

Edward Yacuta did well in an AP English class at Long Beach's Millikan High School. Long Beach City College is using those grades — rather than his poor score on a placement test — to determine which English course he should take this fall.

Nearby stars may aid in studies of Sun, search for Earth-like planets

A loose group of stars that has been known for more than 180 years but never before studied in detail has been revealed to be an important new tool in the quest to understand the evolution of stars like the Sun, and in the search for planets like Earth.