A Dismal Report Card

How bad are eighth graders' math skills? So bad that half are scoring just above the proficiency level expected of fifth-grade students. Even the best students did miserably; at the top-scoring schools, the average was well below grade level.

Special Issue: How Kids Grow The Breath Of Life

Four children would be a handful for anyone, but Lonnie and Amy Crawford of Los Angeles have the extra burden of three sons with asthma. Lonnie, 10, Richard, 5, and Mikhail, 4, have all spent time in the local emergency room; fortunately, their sister, Maya, 6, has no respiratory trouble at all.