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At the official unveiling the kids had snacks and apple juice to celebrate. Toasts were proposed. One student suggested a toast to the artist. Another proposed thanking the school volunteers. Then one boy raised his glass, "To Cesar Chavez!"

She was a gentle girl-taller than other fifth-graders at Winston Churchill Elementary School in Schaumburg, Ill., and incredibly shy and withdrawn.

Worst of all, Sandra couldn't read a word.

The foreign language steering committee at Chartiers Valley School District in suburban Pittsburgh has a lot to talk about. In fact, to describe a typical monthly meeting agenda as ambitious would be an understatement.

A universal truth in the life of a teacher or administrator is that there are never enough hours in the day, days in the week and weeks in the year. And professional development is especially hard to squeeze onto a filled calendar.

Groundwork for the recently approved education bill started simply enough. Educators, business people, parents, and community leaders in Hamilton, Ohio, met last March.