The Education Ministry's work plan for 2008 stresses implementation of reforms negotiated in 2007, principally the "New Horizon" (Ofek Hadash) program for elementary and middle schools and the high school reform plan. New Horizon was negotiated with the Israel Teachers Union over the summer. The as yet unnamed high school plan is an evolving program based on the results of the 65-day Secondary School Teachers Organization's strike that ended last month. The action plan was presented at a government conference Tuesday unveiling all of the ministries' work plans for 2008. The Education Ministry plans to increase principals' authority and improve the standing of teachers and their salaries. Four hundred veteran principals and 415 relatively new principals will receive additional training. The action plan makes specific mention of the battle cries of the striking teachers and promises to reduce classroom size, and increase teaching hours and individualized instruction. It also notes that the reform plan will be worked out in cooperation with all interested parties, a reference to the Secondary School Teachers Organization. New Horizon has been implemented in 313 schools and the ministry hopes to expand it to another 450 by the 2008-09 school year. The Education Ministry's plan also addresses the poor matriculation rates and scores and sets a specific goal for improving the number of people who receive matriculation certificates and for their scores on those tests. The ministry also intends to help specific groups such as new immigrants, students who excel, special needs students and at risk youth. The ministry has set up a committee to oversee a plan to reduce violence in the schools. Goals have been set, schools where violence is particularly high have been identified and special counselors have been trained. More classrooms and improving the existing physical plant are also among the priorities for 2008.