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With talk among educators and politicians revealing little likelihood for comprehensive federal reform of the nation's high schools, state governors are vowing to undertake the job themselves to improve student achievement and graduation rates and prepare graduates for college and the workplace.

The heart-breaking stories are on www.sesame.org, Web site of SESAME, Stop Educator Sexual Abuse, Misconduct & Exploitation. Often, the victim is the trusting, innocent teacher's pet and the teacher is well-liked by peers and students alike.

Like a fine-tuned piece of machinery, districts across the nation are taking advantage of high-tech tools and software programs to collect reams of data on students, make sense of it all, and in the end, transfer that knowledge into successful classroom lessons.

The idea of giving laptops to a large number of public students is officially entering its second phase. It has been almost four years since the big breakthrough, when Virginia's Henrico County Public Schools bought 23,000 iBooks for teachers and students.

Frank Wang knew he was green to the world of textbook publishing. "A few days after I defended my MIT thesis I literally got in my Honda and started driving to Oklahoma," he says. A top seat at Saxon Publishers, where Wang had helped out since high school, awaited him during that spring of 1991.

Lyle Rowland knows the name of each of the 238 students enrolled at Taneyville R-II School District, a K-8 district just east of Branson, Mo. What's more, he knows their parents, where they live and how some families earn their living.

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