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When continuing assaults from viruses, spam, pop-up ads and adware made Internet use almost intolerable in my teacher-son Karl's K-12 school in Massachusetts, the staff changed Web browsers from Internet Explorer to Firefox and the problems decreased significantly. The changeover was quick and easy, thanks to a setup wizard that walked people through the process, and the new browser imported previous settings including passwords and favorite sites.
After running a 13-year marathon, 52 percent of all U.S. public school students in 2004 faced a final hurdle as they neared the finish line: mandatory exit exams. The merits and drawbacks of these exams are being debated, and the buzz among onlookers and researchers goes something like this: