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Are Scools "Drug-Infested"?

A new study from the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University is calling U.S. middle and high schools "drug-infested," while at the same time other major studies point to an overall decline in teen drug use.

Probing Science in Fairfax County

Defensive Action with Bulletproof Backpacks

New clothes? Check. Notebooks and binders? Check. Bulletproof backpack? Check ... ?

Reaping the Benefits of "Intelligent Classrooms"

In June, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the cases Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1 and Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education that race may not be used as a criterion for desegregating schools. Experts fear that the decisions will make long-established busing programs, magnet schools, charter schools and other initiatives aimed at increasing student diversity and educational opportunity unconstitutional.

Dr. Beverly L. Hall's goal when she became the superintendent of Atlanta Public Schools in 1999 was to transform the struggling K12 school system into one of the nation's leading urban districts. Hall targeted the youngest students first, implementing a standards-based curriculum at the elementary school level. In 2003, 75 percent of fourth-graders met or exceeded the state standard for reading, and 67 percent met or exceeded the state standard for math, up from 47 percent and 43 percent respectively in 2000.

DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION LAUNCHED THE FIRST-EVER X-FACTOR Student Achievement Awards last spring, with the exclusive sponsorship of AutoSkill International Inc., a company that creates intervention software solutions to help close the proficiency gap in K12 schools.

Like the business world, schools such as Red Clay (Del.) School District count on e-mail to communicate. "It's instantaneous. It's the best way to go," says Judith Conway, instructional technology coach in the district.

Although many first- and second-year teachers will put on a brave face for their colleagues and administrators, a glimpse of professional woes can be found by browsing beginning teachers' online message boards.

Madison Metropolitan (Wis.) School District

www.madison.k12.wi.us

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