What's At Stake

CORRECTION APPENDED In 1978, the Supreme Court opened the doors of America's elite campuses to a generation of minority students when it ruled that universities' admissions policies could take applicants' race into account.

Fear: The Sniper Hits Home

In early October, two snipers went on a killing spree in suburban Montgomery County, Md., leaving four dead within hours. The gas station where they killed one victim was only a mile from the school that my youngest children attend.

Some Basic Truths About Teen Sex

When it comes to teens and sex, abstinence forces say the message is simple--don't do it. The other side says give them all the facts--including how to use a condom.

Spielberg Nation

The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion wasn't available that night, so the premiere was held in the first-floor party room of a Bethesda, Md., condo building. Not coincidentally, the film's auteur, 34-year-old Jeff Breslow, was himself a resident.

Young And Depressed

Ten Years Ago This Disease Was For Adults Only. But As Teen Depression Comes Out Of The Closet, It's Getting Easier To Spot--And Sufferers Can Hope For A Brighter Future.

Family: Too Old To Scold?

Your kid is turning 17, so your parenting gig is just about up, right? Way wrong, say the authors of "The Launching Years," due out next month from Three Rivers Press.

Education: Edison's Troubles

This hasn't been an easy summer for Edison Schools, the nation's largest for-profit school chain. A few months ago Edison was in line to run 45 schools in Philadelphia.

Summer Reading List

Think summer means no more teachers, no more books? It's actually the perfect time to read something (gasp) fun. Encourage young readers with one of these page-turners.AGES 2-6Young kids will love the rhythmic rhyming of DO LIKE A DUCK DOES by Judy Hindley, and the vivid illustrations and overall silliness of DUCK ON A BIKE, by David Shannon.AGES 7-10The magical misadventures in LULU'S HAT by Susan Meddaugh make it a rare find--an easy-to-read book that still manages to be funny and...

Education: The Report Card On Charter Schools

In 1988, when maverick American Federation of Teachers president Albert Shanker came up with the idea of charter schools, he envisioned publicly funded but independent lab schools that would strike a bargain with the system: less red tape in exchange for more achievement, accountability and innovation.But this week, on the 10th anniversary of the experiment's launch, the AFT will release a highly critical assessment of the movement that now claims 2,119 schools and more than a half million...

Family: Keep Campers Happy

Parents just got Junior on the bus, but it's not too early to think about next summer. Now's the time to tour prospective camps. Start your search by asking friends for recommendations.

Tourism: The Little Red Ed Dept.

The U.S. Department of Education's headquarters in the southwest corner of downtown Washington, D.C., has never exactly been a tourist magnet. It's the same kind of anonymous seven-floor concrete box that houses most bureaucrats in the capital city.

The Group

Princeton University's meticulously cultivated campus oozes tradition--from the annual P-rade (in which generations of alumni march around in the sacred orange and black) to the school's unofficial motto, "Princeton in the Nation's Service," coined by a former Princeton president named Woodrow Wilson, class of 1879.

'F' In Global Competence

The United States has a "dangerous" shortage of experts in non-European cultures and languages, hampering the country's response to 9-11, says the American Council on Education, the largest organization representing the nation's colleges and universities. "On the whole, the quantity, level of expertise and availability of U.S. personnel with required skills do not now match the national strategic needs at home or abroad, as recently evidenced by the shortage of language experts in the war...

The Right Way To Read

When you walk through the brightly colored door of the Roseville Cooperative Preschool in northern California, you're entering a magical, pint-size world where 3- and 4-year-olds are masters of the universe.

Education: Urban Schools Play An Anxious Numbers

During the boom years of the 1990s, teachers and administrators at inner-city schools had reason to hope that better days were ahead. Prosperity meant that states and cities had more money to spend on the classroom.

Help In The E.R.

Should families have easier access to patients during emergencies? A growing number of researchers say it's good medicine. "Family members can comfort patients in a way no health-care provider can, and when the patient is less scared, procedures run more smoothly," says Dezra Eichhorn, who studied the issue for the American Journal of Nursing.

Parents Today Make More Time For Quality Time

Just when parents were beginning to feel they were doing everything wrong, a new study says that modern moms and dads are doing something right--spending four to six more hours a week with their kids than the previous generation.

Putting Poor Kids First

Not long ago, Republicans wanted to shut the Department of Education, arguing that schools were a local responsibility and Washington shouldn't be throwing money at failing classrooms.

Curing Senioritis

The first symptoms surface right about now, between Thanksgiving and Christmas: unfinished homework, a lack of interest in studying for a big test. It gets a little worse when the first early-decision college acceptances are sent out next week.

No More 'Afternoon Nasties'

For most of his life, 14-year-old Kyle Gilson has struggled with attention problems and hyperactivity. "All kids have energy, but it's different when they're going Mach 2 with their hair on fire," says his mother, Jeanua, of Gilbert, Ariz.

Doctor's Orders

If you sat in on Sharon McGreevey's class at Menlo Park Terrace Elementary School in Woodbridge, N.J., you'd recognize a familiar set of characters from your own third-grade days.

Parents Behaving Badly

It wasn't even a hockey game, on a summer afternoon at a rink in the Boston suburb of Reading, Mass.--just a "shoot around," an informal practice with sticks and pads for 9- and 10-year-olds.

The Next Abortion Battle

Dr. Leroy Carhart won a victory in the Supreme Court last week. Carhart, a retired Air Force surgeon who does abortions in Bellevue, Neb., sued to overturn the state's law banning so-called partial-birth abortions, and the justices agreed with him.

Young And Overweight

Call them the supersize generation. Kids (6 to 11) are three times as likely to be overweight today as they were 30 years ago. And the news on adolescents (12 to 17) isn't much better --the proportion of fat teens has nearly doubled since the early '70s.

Plight Of The Preschoolers

Competition for admission to the country's top private schools has always been tough, but this year Elisabeth Krents realized it had reached a new level. Her wake-up call came when a man called the Dalton School in Manhattan, where Krents is admissions director, and inquired about the age cutoff for their kindergarten program.

Gay Today: The Family

Jacob Williams was playing in the sandbox at his preschool when he got the first hint that there was something unusual about his family. One little girl kept asking him the same question every day: "Where is your dad?" And every day, Jacob gave her the same answer: "I don't have a dad.

Social Fabric

JUSTICETheodore J. Kaczynski believes there is a fate worse than death: having the whole world think you're crazy. In a handwritten brief recently filed by Kaczynski, better known as the infamous Unabomber, he objects to his lawyers' "portrayal of him as a grotesque lunatic," a portrayal that was "broadcast nationwide." Kaczynski refers to himself in the third person, and counted every word (10,892) in the 69-page document (as the filing process requires).

Jefferson's Other Family

For nearly 200 years, historians had refused to credit the calumny that Thomas Jefferson had had a child with one of his slaves--and for just as long, the tale had circulated as gossip and family lore, secrets whispered into the ears of brides or by grandparents on their deathbeds.

Do Mom And Dad Always Know Best?

To Elian Gonzalez's father, it's an open-and-shut case. He's the parent, and he says Elian should come home to Cuba. The U.S. courts ordinarily would agree with him; they have ruled that parents are free to raise their children as they see fit, without governmental interference.

The Age Of Obsession

Whether it's Pokemon or Harry Potter or Quake III, tweens seem inextricably drawn to mastering complicated worlds with byzantine rules or becoming experts on obscure topics.

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