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In the Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township, a suburb of Indianapolis, Ind., 97 percent of first- and second-graders gained at least one instructional reading level, 82 percent rose two levels or higher, and 34 percent rose three levels or more in the 2005-2006 year.

The 1999 shootings at Columbine High got administrators thinking about it.

The tragedy of 9/11 made many sign up for it.

And the recent spate of school-related shootings last fall has

confirmed for others that an emergency notification system is not an extra, but a necessity.

Flying monkeys and the glowing face of a 21st century wizard enliven the stage at Effingham High School in Illinois during a student production of The Wizard of Oz thanks to laptops, software and DVDs.

People never seem to tire of stories about businesses that have turned themselves from bankruptcy to profitability. But few imagine this type of story could ever happen in public education.

In Brooklyn, where the mystique of the 123-year-old Brooklyn Bridge looms, high school students learn about caring for the bridge and other historic landmarks in their own backyard.

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