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  • Getting Israelis, Palestinians on the Same Page

    Sami Adwan is the very model of a soft-spoken professor. He measures his words, and listens carefully to what others have to say. Yet while pursuing an education Ph.D. at the University of San Francisco in the 1980s, Adwan not only refused to listen to Jewish students, he says he dropped out of classes if he knew they included Jews. A Palestinian born in the village of Surif, near Hebron, Adwan had grown up under the shadow of the Israeli occupation, hearing tales from his father and grandfather of how Jews had seized the family's orange groves and wheat fields in 1948. Returning to his homeland with his degree, Adwan joined the then outlawed Fatah Party and was thrown into an Israeli jail in 1993.That was his real education. While awaiting charges, Adwan overheard two Israeli soldiers arguing over whether he should be made to sign a document in Hebrew that he couldn't read. Shocked to hear one of his enemies defending his rights, Adwan decided that he had some things to learn about...
  • Is Oxford Still the 'Best University'?

    As the chairman of the admissions committee at Oxford University, Sir Tim Lankester knows just how hard students fight to win spots at the world’s best colleges. But, over the last few years, he has also been on the cutting edge of the increasingly tough battle between universities to woo the world’s best students as more top institutions spring up everywhere from Australia to China. Lankester, who is also the president of Oxford’s Corpus Christi College, spoke to NEWSWEEK’s Emily Flynn Vencat. Excerpts: ...
  • Math Makeover: It Adds Up for Girls

    When you think about what young Hollywood actresses get up to in their spare time these days, you're likely to envision wild parties, rehab or jail. When Danica McKellar, Winnie on the '90s hit television show "The Wonder Years," isn't on set, though, she's writing. No tell-all bio here. She's penned a book aimed at helping young girls survive—and even thrive—in math class. "When girls see the antics of Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, they think that being fun and glamorous also means being dumb and irresponsible," says McKellar. "But I want to show them that being smart is cool. Being good at math is cool. And not only that, it can help them get what they want out of life."To that end, her book, titled "Math Doesn't Suck," uses cutesy graphics and teen-magazine staples like personality quizzes, horoscopes and straight-from-the-mall examples to spell out often confusing concepts like reciprocal fractions and prime factorization. It also contains syrupy dollops of just-between-us...
  • College: Why Internships and Study Abroad Don't Mix

    By this point in the summer, interns at many companies are busy learning the ropes and filling in for regular employees out on vacation. But there's a growing group of collegians who can find it difficult to gain these important career toeholds: students who spend a semester or full year studying abroad. The number of students studying overseas grew by 144 percent from 1995 to 2005, and at schools like Wake Forest, Georgetown and Duke, more than half of undergrads now do a stint studying in a foreign country. The trouble is, being overseas can make it difficult for students to do the in-person interviews required for top internships—and for students who study in increasingly popular places like Australia or South Africa, the school calendar can keep them from returning to the United States until late June, well past the date when most formal internships have already begun. "Recruiters are somewhat frustrated," says Notre Dame career-services chief Lee Svete. "The competition is such...
  • Ward Churchill Reacts to His Firing

    He will go down in history as the guy who called the victims of September 11 “little Eichmanns”—a reference to the notorious Nazi bureaucrat who helped ship hundreds of thousands of Jews to concentration camps. Ward Churchill’s comment, included in a long-forgotten essay dug up by an enterprising journalism student, stirred a national debate about the power of unpopular words—and the proper consequences for those who use them.But the saga of the tenured University of Colorado ethnic studies professor grew more complicated in 2006, after allegations surfaced that Churchill had plagiarized, falsified or misrepresented some of his other scholarly work (Churchill denies any wrongdoing). An investigation was launched, and a panel of peers pored over his work. By May 2006, the panel had reached some damning conclusions, saying some of Churchill’s questionable writings fell into the category of academic misconduct. But the five-person panel was split on whether Churchill should be fired....
  • Talk Transcript: Islam in America

    NEWSWEEK's Lisa Miller joined us for a Live Talk on Wednesday, July 25, about the American-Muslim experience in a post-9/11 world.
  • Who's the Smart Sibling?

    Ten weeks ago, Bo Cleveland and his wife embarked on a highly unscientific experiment—they gave birth to their first child. For now, Cleveland is too exhausted to even consider having another baby, but eventually, he will. In fact, he's already planned an egalitarian strategy for raising the rest of his family. Little Arthur won't get any extra attention just because he's the firstborn, and, says his father, he probably won't be much smarter than his future siblings, either. It's the sort of thing many parents would say, but it's a bit surprising coming from Cleveland, who studies birth order and IQ at Pennsylvania State University. As he knows too well, a study published recently in the journal Science suggests that firstborns do turn out sharper than their brothers and sisters, no matter how parents try to compensate. Is Cleveland wrong? Is Arthur destined to be the smart sibling just because he had the good luck to be born first?For decades, scientists have been squabbling over...
  • A Life in Books: Elmore Leonard

    You can't write 41 books and not learn a few things. Check out "Ten Rules of Writing" by Elmore Leonard, to be published this fall. Our fave? "If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it." A Certified Important Book you haven't read: "Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky. I've never gotten beyond page 50. A book you wanted to share with your kids: My five kids liked me to tell them stories instead of reading to them. And now they're all good storytellers, and my son Peter will have his first book published next year.
  • Obama’s Hawaii Alma Mater: A Green Leader

    The 166-year-old Punahou School in Honolulu is justly proud that Sen. Barack Obama is a graduate—along with golfer Michelle Wie and AOL cofounder Steve Case. But the institution, one of the nation’s largest independent schools, is just as pleased to be ranked one of the top 10 green schools in America.Each year The Green Guide, a bimonthly newsletter that the National Geographic Society purchased earlier this year, surveys schools to pick those friendliest to the environment. Using 10 categories including green building and construction, recycling programs, food choices and environmental curriculum, the Guide awards up to 10 points per category, for a maximum of 100 points. Punahou garnered 77.7 points, and much of the credit is likely due to the innovations on display at the Case Middle School, a nine-building complex that opened in 2004.According to Steve Piper, director of physical plant at Punahou, the administration didn’t intentionally set out to build what turned out to...
  • Obama's Hawaii Alma Mater: A Green Leader

    The 166-year-old Punahou School in Honolulu is justly proud that Sen. Barack Obama is a graduate—along with golfer Michelle Wie and AOL cofounder Steve Case. But the institution, one of the nation's largest independent schools, is just as pleased to be ranked one of the top 10 green schools in America.Each year The Green Guide, a bimonthly newsletter that the National Geographic Society purchased earlier this year, surveys schools to pick those friendliest to the environment. Using 10 categories including green building and construction, recycling programs, food choices and environmental curriculum, the Guide awards up to 10 points per category, for a maximum of 100 points. Punahou garnered 77.7 points, and much of the credit is likely due to the innovations on display at the Case Middle School, a nine-building complex that opened in 2004.According to Steve Piper, director of physical plant at Punahou, the administration didn't intentionally set out to build what turned out to...
  • Stuart Taylor on Race and the Court

    Measured by the passion of the dissenters, today’s 5-4 vote to strike down two school districts’ use of race-based student assignments to promote integration could be the biggest Supreme Court decision of any kind in years. Justice Stephen Breyer’s 77-page dissent—which he summarized from the bench in a tone of mounting indignation, for a near-record 27 minutes—thundered that “to invalidate the plans under review is to threaten the promise” of “true racial equality” that Brown v. Board of Education established. Breyer added that the position of the four most-conservative justices “would break that promise.”Breyer’s apocalyptic language notwithstanding, the decision may not be the watershed that he and the other three liberal dissenters feared. The majority opinion of Chief Justice John G. Roberts—especially the portion that the man in the middle, Justice Anthony Kennedy, declined to join—exuded skepticism of all government programs that consider the race or ethnicity of individuals...
  • Teen Drivers: Don't Be Like Paris

    Now that school's out, teenagers can study another subject: driving. But instead of ruining your child's summer with tedious classes, look into more-creative options for teaching the importance of road safety.Up the cool factor by registering your new driver for a course given by real-life racecar drivers. Driver's Edge travels the country to give daylong, hands-on training sessions. Teens discover firsthand what it feels like when antilock brakes kick in and then practice maneuvering out of a skid going 20mph. A bonus: the sessions are free, thanks to donations, grants and corporate sponsors like Bridgestone (driversedge.com).Teens with busy schedules may need a flexible curriculum. For $189, Driver Ed in a Box (driveredinabox.com) sends videos, CD-ROMs and workbooks for home-study driver's education. Parents administer the tests, so they know whether their teens are actually learning.If your teen has authority issues, consider a driving school taught by police officers, like...
  • College Students: Failing the Health Test

    College students now have more to stress about than finals: they are as much at risk for serious diseases, like diabetes, as their parents or grandparents.A new study of 800 undergrads at the University of New Hampshire found many students had risk factors ranging from high cholesterol to low bone density. Sixty percent of male students had high blood pressure, and two thirds of females were not meeting their needs for calcium, iron or folate. More than one third were overweight or obese, the same as in the general population. "Many of the students were astounded that they could be at risk for what they would view as elderly-related diseases," says Joanne Burke, a researcher who led the study.Previous research has confirmed these health concerns on campus. A 2005 study of undergrads at Washington University in St. Louis found that 70 percent had significant weight gain between freshman and sophomore years. "It's scary to see these things, because people are dying from the effects of...
  • Q&A: Do We Still Need Title IX

    On June 23, 1972 Congress enacted Title IX, a sweeping educational reform that ordered equal educational opportunity for men and women and fundamentally altered the landscape of America’s schools. Now formally known, after its principal author, as the Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act, Title IX, promised equal opportunities to men and women in all areas of the public education system: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance." While the law was a breakthrough for women's rights, a new debate today asks whether, 35 years later, we still need Title IX. NEWSWEEK's Alexandra Gekas spoke with Marcia D. Greenberger, co-president of the National Women's Law Center about why she thinks Title IX is still necessary. Excerpts: ...
  • New Study Suggests Firstborns are Smarter

    For decades, scientists have been squabbling over the importance of  birth order like siblings fighting over a toy. Some of them say being a first-, middle- or lastborn has significant effects on intelligence. Others say that’s nonsense. The spat goes back at least as far as Alfred Adler, a Freud-era psychologist who argued that firstborns had an edge. Other psychologists found his theory easy to believe—middle and youngest kids already had a bad rap, thanks to everything from primogeniture laws to the prodigal son. When they set out to confirm the birth-order effects Adler had predicted, they found some evidence. Dozens of studies over the next several decades showed small differences in IQ, scholastic aptitude tests and other measures of achievement. So did “anecdata” suggesting that firstborns were more likely to win Nobel Prizes. Now a new study, published today in the journal Science suggests that firstborns do indeed turn out sharper than their brothers and sisters, no matter...
  • China’s Failure to Beat Illiteracy

    China has pledged time and again to wipe out illiteracy, which makes the story of Zhou Jihan quite awkward. Not because she has yet to master her Chinese characters, but because there are still many millions of Chinese struggling like her to learn to read and write as adults. That's a shame Beijing would prefer you did not read about.Zhou, now 36, grew up in a poor family in a remote village in western China. Because even the local primary school charged high fees, Zhou's parents made what the whole family considered an easy choice: Zhou's brothers went to school, and she and her sisters stayed home to work on the farm. "I never went to school once in my childhood," said Zhou. "We followed the tradition of paying more attention to the boys of the family than to the girls." She's proud to have memorized more than 1, 000 Chinese characters, but must learn 500 more to be considered literate. But Chinese authorities had promised more than painstaking progress.In 2000, the Chinese...
  • Mail Call: Is Bill an Asset or Liability for Hillary?

    Readers had decidedly mixed reactions to the prospect of an ex-president's spouse running for the White House, the subject of our May 28 cover story. One Clintons fan, who looked forward to a Hillary presidency, wrote, "I believe our Bill will be a smart and wise helpmate." Most agreed that Bill Clinton casts a large shadow over his wife. "One thing I know is that Hillary is a very smart woman. She knows Bill is the biggest asset to her campaign. She also knows once elected, he could become her greatest liability," one said. For another reader, a possible win resonates this way: "A vote for Hillary is a vote for up to 16 years of Bill Clinton. Some may think that's a good thing, but it treads heavily on the concept of term limits." And one pondered the implications for her running mate. "Can you imagine what it would be like to be the vice president in a Hillary and Bill administration?"Looking at how former president Bill Clinton would affect a Hillary Clinton presidency is...
  • Things Not Seen: Science for the Blind

    If nanoscience is the field of stuff so tiny it can never be seen, does it matter if the scientist can see at all? At the University of Wisconsin's nanoscience center, Andrew Greenberg is in charge of education and outreach—and it occurred to him that blindness, often thought of as a handicap in the sciences, becomes irrelevant when the subject matter is invisible anyway. To encourage vision-impaired students to enter the field, Greenberg and other researchers at the school are building three-dimensional models, inches long, that faithfully re-create nanoscale structures and surfaces—similar to the molecular models made of colored balls and rods from your high-school chemistry class, only more accurate.Technically, the models are just another way of representing the same data that sighted students use when they look at "pictures" of nanoscale objects. "There's a lot in science that's perceived as being visual, but vision is nothing essential to the concepts or even the raw data,"...
  • Mitchell Gold on the Bible and Gay Rights

    For years, Mitchell Gold, a founder of the popular furniture company Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, has been irritated by what he sees as fundamentalist Christians’ use of the Bible to justify withholding civil rights from gays. Scripture, Gold argues, was used in the past to defend slavery, prohibit interracial marriage and prevent women from voting. Frustrated that few politicians dare to confront anyone brandishing a Bible, in 2005 Gold formed the group Faith In America (FIA), which says its goals are to educate people about the past “misuse” of religion and scripture. FIA's latest campaign is centered on next week’s 40th anniversary of Loving v. Virginia, the Supreme Court decision that overturned Virginia’s ban on interracial marriage, which had been supported by a Virginia judge who ruled the intention of “Almighty God” was to keep the races separate. This week, FIA ran a series of full-page ads in Roll Call, the Capitol Hill newspaper, featuring a photo of former Florida...
  • Jonathan Falwell on What's Next for Dad's Church

    When the Rev. Jerry Falwell died May 15, he left behind a powerful conservative movement, Liberty University and an influential church. Now Falwell’s vast enterprises are selecting new leadership. Jerry Falwell Jr. has been named chancellor of the school, while brother Jonathan is expected to head Thomas Road Baptist Church, which draws 12,000 worshipers in Lynchburg, Va. NEWSWEEK's Alexandra Gekas spoke with Jonathan Falwell about his father’s death and what’s next for the Falwell family. Excerpts: ...
  • Jerry Falwell, 1933-2007

    Jerry Falwell loved his jet. in 1980, it was no small thing for a preacher to have one, even if he was a preacher with a TV show, "The Old Time Gospel Hour." The plane was a Lear, he told me as we climbed aboard on a September day in that crucial year, "specially reconfigured by an Israeli company." He saw this as providential—as if the jet had been anointed by the engine oil of the Holy Land. And it was dart-quick. His congregation, Thomas Road Baptist, was locked away in the Blue Ridge town of Lynchburg, Va. With the plane, he could roam the Bible belt, from Okeechobee to Oklahoma. This trip, the destination was Alabama.We lifted off with a prayer in the name of Jesus, but the flight wasn't aimed at saving souls. It was about electing Ronald Reagan. With the advice and financial backing of national conservative and GOP activists, Falwell had launched a group he had the chutzpah to call the Moral Majority. The goal was to use the then-new tactics of "independent" grass-roots...
  • Steroid Abuse: The Dangers Facing Teens

    NEWSWEEK's list of America's best high schools, this year with a record 1,258 names, began as a tale of just two schools. They were Garfield High School, full of children of Hispanic immigrants in East Los Angeles, and Mamaroneck High School, a much smaller campus serving very affluent families in Westchester County, N.Y. I had written a book about Garfield, and the success of its teachers like Jaime Escalante in giving low-income students the encouragement and extra time they needed to master college-level Advanced Placement courses and tests. I was finishing a book about Mamaroneck, and was stunned to find it was barring from AP many middle-class students who were much better prepared for those classes than the impoverished students who were welcomed into AP at Garfield. That turns out to be the rule in most U.S. schools—average students are considered not ready for, or not deserving of, AP, even though many studies show that they need the challenge and that success in AP can lead...
  • The Public Elites

    NEWSWEEK excluded these high performers from the list of America's  Best High Schools because so many of their students score well above the average on the SAT and ACT. ...
  • Steroid Abuse: The Dangers Facing Teens

    When people conjure up an image of Hyannis, Mass., they think: wealthy seaside resort town, home of the Kennedy compound, and they assume the local public schools are filled with rich kids. But the people who reside in the fancy houses come only in the summer. The families who live here all year long tend to be ordinary, middle-class people, many of them in service industries. The test scores coming out of area schools tend to be pretty ordinary, too.But when the townspeople started looking for a way to pull those scores up, they took their inspiration from some of the most elite private schools in the country, and then gave it a populist twist. They opened a public charter school offering the International Baccalaureate program to any student interested in pursuing it, an approach that's called IB for All.Generally considered one of the most rigorous high-school curricula in the world, IB was designed after World War II for the children of diplomats who sought an internationally...
  • The Principal Principle

    Many things go into making a high school great, but a strong, effective principal is always at the top of the list. As part of our survey of America's Best High Schools, we take a look at the many roles a head must play.
  • Steroid Abuse: The Dangers Facing Teens

    For many, high school is the heart of teenage social life as well as academics, with boyfriends and girlfriends, jocks, drama queens and nerds. But bullying, drug abuse and incidents like Columbine remind us there’s a darker side to the high-school scene. Now, for better or for worse, many teens are choosing to skip the traditional high-school experience for something completely different—high school at home. The National Center for Education Statistics reported that in 2003, some 1,096,000 students (including K-12) in the United States were being homeschooled, an increase of about 29 percent since 1999. NEWSWEEK’s Ruth Olson spoke to Laura Derrick, president of the National Home Educator’s Network and mother of two homeschooled teens, to find out what life is like for teens who choose the kitchen table over the school desk. Excerpts: ...
  • Is Title IX Sidelining the Boys?

    In 1972, Title IX of the Education Amendments was made law. It requires that "no person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance,” giving equal opportunity to women in school activities for the first time. But while Title IX opened doors for women in all arenas of the educational system, it was taken most literally when applied to athletics programs. Requiring that schools have an equal number of male and female players, whatever the proportion of interest, forced some schools to cut back on male athletics programs, like at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., which is being added to a suit against the U.S. Department of Education by Equity in Athletics Inc., after the university announced it will permanently cut 10 men's teams to comply with anti-sex-discrimination laws. NEWSWEEK’s Alexandra...
  • What's Next for 'The D.C. Madam'?

    So, now what? The woman nicknamed the “D.C. Madam,” who faces racketeering charges for running what federal authorities believe was an illegal prostitution ring, has given the phone records of her escort business to several news agencies. Deborah Jeane Palfrey, who maintains that she ran a legal adult fantasy sex service, had hoped that concern over the names of her clients appearing in the press would help shore up her case; Montgomery Blair Sibley, a lawyer working with her on civil suits, has said she hoped to have clients called as defense witnesses. But the press has, by and large, not gone that route—at least not yet. So where does that leave Palfrey, 51, who faces a fresh court hearing May 21? The diminutive and dark-haired Palfrey, dressed all in black save for a gold heart-shaped pendant, chandelier earrings and pink nail polish, met with NEWSWEEK's Eve Conant last week in New York to discuss her next legal steps, ABC News' decision not to go public with her clients' names,...
  • My Turn: No Such Thing as An 'Average' Family

    We were an average suburban Philadelphia family—with one big difference. My father died when I was 3 1/2. There were always reminders of his absence: the class assignment to make Father's Day cards, the father-daughter dances. One time a deer ran in front of my mother's car and broke the windshield, making her late picking me up from school. I thought, things like this don't happen when dads are driving. Another time, a friend's father leaned in a bit too close to my single and very attractive mother at a dinner party, and his wife got angry. I could hear them in the kitchen—voices tense and hushed. I knew that didn't happen to families that were whole.This sense that we were a lesser form of family helped shape my life of education and research. If my town, my school and my own insecurities were telling me that being raised by a mother and two sisters isn't normal, then what is?Over time, I found people who showed me the answer. I got to know them through my doctoral research in...
  • A Life in Books: Tom Wolfe

    If you've ever wondered how "Bonfire of the Vanities" author Tom Wolfe crafts his witty prose, consider this a crib sheet; he admits to modeling his writing style after these authors.My five most important books An Important Book you haven't read: There are lots of those. Many books are easier to praise than they are to read. James Joyce's "Finnegans Wake" is one of those. The book I'd most want my kids to read: "The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism" by Max Weber. He wrote about status groups. I don't really expect my kids to read it, but I wish they would.
  • Mormonism: 'Do Ask, Do Tell' at BYU

    Brigham Young freshman Brian Condron hadn't told his straight friends that he's gay—a statement that would've violated BYU rules. But after a surprising change in the Mormon-owned school's honor code last week, he decided not to transfer out this fall."Behaviors that indicate homosexual conduct" are still forbidden, but now, "one's stated sexual orientation is not an honor-code issue." To gay students it marks a new era. But being gay is still a burden at BYU. All unmarried students must remain chaste, but gays can be punished for showing same-sex affection, for forming a gay student group or, says the code, "promoting homosexual relations as being morally acceptable." Activist Will Carlson sums up the new policy—which comes after a winter meeting between administrators and gay students, as well as a March protest by the activist group Soulforce—as "Do ask, do tell, don't do."
  • Learning: Classes to Diss Ms.?

    In an effort to combat narrow vocabularies, Justin Heimberg has recruited an unlikely ally: yo momma! Hey, calm down, hothead, let us explain. Heimberg is using "yo momma" jokes, those evergreen playground taunts responsible for countless after-school detentions, to broaden kids' command of language.The trick, used to hilarious effect in his newly released book "The Yo Momma Vocabulary Builder," is dropping SAT-level synonyms into the familiar "yo momma" joke template (as in, "Yo momma's so corpulent, when her beeper goes off, people think she's backing up." Oh snap!)Heimberg, a screenwriter, wrote the book with two coauthors after his jokes caught on when he was teaching at a Los Angeles juvenile-detention center. He envisions the book's being used as a coffee-table novelty and a classroom tool.But if teachers employ it, will vocabulary soar at the expense of civility? Heimberg says he doesn't imagine that the book will be included in anyone's standard curriculum, but it could be a...
  • Family: Camp Finance

    Arts, crafts and archery may be fun, but how useful are they? A growing number of summer camps aim to give kids something they can really take to the bank: financial knowledge.Most of these camps use games, skits, fake paychecks and "moolah jars" to teach 10- to 18-year-olds how to buy low, sell high, appreciate deferred gratification and tell their assets from their debits. (Hint: "Assets feed you, liabilities eat you," according to Fiscally Fit Kids Money Camp in New City, N.Y., fiscallyfitkids.com.) Typical activities include micro-economies, where kids spend their paychecks on items they need and "win" when there's cash left over for wants, and field trips to businesses.Some camps to consider are moneysenseacademy.com in New England and Tennessee, the Funancial Summer Camps in Wray, Colo., run by the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, and themoneycamp.com, which runs camps in various California and North Carolina locales. There's one sleep-away contender: Wall...
  • Profile: A Surgeon Who Treated 17 Victims

    A 58-year old general surgeon at Montgomery Regional Hospital in Blacksburg, Va., Dr. Randall Lester has been fixing broken bodies since his medical residency at the University of Pittsburgh in the 1970's, when the hospital's pioneering liver transplant program was just starting up and marathon 18-hour surgeries weren't uncommon. So he wasn't overly alarmed when two shooting victims from nearby Virginia Tech were wheeled into Montgomery Regional’s emergency department early last Monday morning. One of the victims, a male, was dead on arrival, and the other, a female, had sustained a gunshot wound to the head but was still alive. Montgomery Regional has no neurosurgeon on staff, so Lester helped stabilize the young woman (who would later die) for transport to the level-one trauma center at Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital, about 35 miles from campus. Lester then went about his day, performing two of the five routine surgeries he had on his schedule. "Monday was just Monday," he...
  • Va. Tech Shooting: Portrait of a Killer

    Students and faculty say Cho Seung-Hui seldom spoke, and gave feedback to his fellow English students only in writing. His own work so worried professors that authorities were notified. Portrait of a killer.
  • Student-Loan Secrets

    As millions of high-school seniors ripped open college-acceptance letters last week, a brewing student-loan scandal was dragging in a growing number of schools, for-profit loan companies and government officials.In recent years, while college tuitions have soared and federal funding of student grants and loans have languished, the nation's for-profit student-loan industry has exploded into an $85 billion enterprise. Competition for students' business has become so frenzied that "it's become like the Wild West," says Barmak Nassirian of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.Now a growing number of complaints has prompted investigations by Congress, the U.S. Department of Education and, most aggressively, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, who has sent letters to 400 schools and is probing 100 institutions.Last month Cuomo announced plans to sue Education Finance Partners, a California firm, which he alleges has made illegal kickbacks to...