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Feature

04/2004

Forget for a moment several parts of No Child Left Behind. Forget whether you think the federal government has the right to hold states accountable for how they educate students. Forget whether you think a series of tests is the best way to make sure the nation's children are learning what they need to know.

Most schools are safe places. But pockets of violence continue to cast a dark shadow over some buildings. So far this school year, as of mid-March, 40 people died in school-associated deaths, exceeding the number of school deaths for the past two years combined.

A Model Classroom

It was a sweet outdoor field trip moment turned sour. While relaxing on the edge of a hay wagon, taking in the scene at the farm, science lab teacher Darleen Horton remarked to a fourth grader, "Isn't this nice?" His reply: "It's scary."

If school officials are lucky enough to be able to preview presentation equipment before they purchase it, the evaluations are usually made during a trade show or a brief vendor visit. But with districts investing more money in this equipment, the dynamics of how to choose the best equipment is also changing.

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