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From DA

If he were a character in a Perry Mason episode, John Q. Porter would be the protagonist. Pacing methodically across his art-deco office, impeccably dressed in pinstripes-spats, even-his department's assistant Diane Watts would shadow behind, scribing ideas that churn from his brain about his latest dilemma.

Joseph Brown Sr. applied for the superintendent's position at Grand Meadow (Minn.) School District #495 because the one-campus school building boasts a monolithic dome structure.

Strong Management Helps Avoid Construction Woes

As New Jersey has learned, lax oversight of school construction programs can cause costly problems. But it doesn't have to be that way. Strong management by state agencies and local school districts can keep programs out of trouble, according to school and construction authorities.

Tests Reveal American Schools Have Long Way to Go

During seventh grade a friend and I created a publication as an alternative to the school newspaper. It was quite a challenge in the days before access to photocopiers, but entertaining our handful of readers made the effort worthwhile.

Promising New Resources For English - Language Learners

Lots of new ELL literacy products have recently emerged to address the more than five million ELL students in public schools. Here are three that have garnered positive feedback.

When Internet service in a Midwestern school district crashed because of e-mail bombs-huge numbers of duplicate messages blitzed to target addresses to overload systems maliciously-the technology coordinator wanted to alert other districts to the growing potential for such assaults. E-mail bombs, also called "denial-of-service attacks," are easy for anyone to launch, and all schools are vulnerable, he says.

The new town of Ladera Ranch sprouted from the hillsides of south Orange County in the late 1990s. It was billed at the first "wired" community in Southern California, laid out to the smallest detail, with plans for schools, parks and a public library. By the fall of 2003, a 25-acre campus housed an elementary and middle school, a public library and a joint-use community park.

Corwin Press

Balancing Leadership and Personal Growth: The School Administrator's Guide

www.corwinpress.com, $30.95

Lenovo

ThinkPad R52 1860, www.lenovo.com/us/en/, $1,304

Franklin Electronic Publishers

Ingles en su Bolsillo/English in your Pocket

www.franklinespanol.com, Hardware, $249.95

Every few weeks, elementary students in Wilkes County (N.C.) Schools were getting tested on what they read. But the questions weren't all that difficult and students' reading levels weren't as high as administrators hoped they would be.

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