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Thursday, April 21, 2005; Page SM90

_____About This Feature_____
Figuring out what is going on in your schools is not always easy. The accounts children bring home, though colorful, may not be entirely accurate. Notes sent home get lost. Neighborhood chatter is unreliable.

To help, Post staff writer Jay Mathews, who has been covering schools for 22 years, will answer a reader question each week -- or maybe two or three if they are easy ones.

Please send your questions -- along with your name, e-mail or postal address and telephone number -- to Extra Credit, The Washingtom Post, 51 Monroe St., Suite 500, Rockville, Md. 20850. Or send e-mail to extracredit@washpost.com.

_____Extra Credit_____
A 'Magnet' Is Not the Only Route to Excellence (The Washington Post, Apr 14, 2005)
Even Top Schools Can Fall Short Under 'No Child Left Behind' (The Washington Post, Apr 14, 2005)
Deadline Nears for Some to Drop Grades From Middle School (The Washington Post, Apr 7, 2005)
Is Week Before Easter the Most Logical Break? (The Washington Post, Apr 7, 2005)
More Stories

The Guide is a collaborative effort involving many departments of The Washington Post and was headed by Miranda S. Spivack. Others contributing include:

Cheney Baltz, Karlyn Barker, Keith Barnes, Jeff Baron, Susan Barton, Sue Beving, Desmond Bieler, Kathy Bold, Matt Bonesteel, Patrick Butters, Scott Butterworth, Mary Kate Cannistra, Michael Cavna, Michele Clock, Sarah Crim, Alicia Cypress, Jon DeNunzio, Lila de Tantillo, Carrie Donovan, Sharon Fanning, Julie Feldmeier, Anne Ferguson-Rohrer, Sean P. Flynn, Larry Fogel, Dick Furno, Gene Fynes, Joseph Garaventa, Chris Garsson, JoAnn Goslin, Maryann Haggerty, Charles Hall, David Hall, Peter Hayes, Shauné Hayes, Maria L. Henriques, Amy Hitt, Ed Holzinger, Matt Hood, Ruthell Howard, Cory Howell, Leonard Hughes, Jim Humes, Carol Hutchinson, C. Woodrow Irvin, Aruna Jain, Linda James, Mark Jones, Yonette Joseph, Dwuan June, Laris Karklis, Tom Kavanagh, Nathaniel Vaughn Kelso, Phil Kushin, Michael Larabee, Jean Mack, Ria Manglapus, Sarah Mark, Gerri Marmer, Lisa Martin, Roland Matifas, Diane Mattingly, Sandy Mauck, Lisa McAllister, Terence McArdle, Melissa McCullough, Liz McGehee, Nancy McKeon, Scott Moore, Pat Myers, Tom Oliver, Andy Parsons, Karl Payne, Donna Peremes, J.C. Reed, Cristina Rivero, Eileen Rivers, Camille Ross, Peggy Roth, Craig Runyon, Linda Searing, Daniele Seiss, Bonnie Smith, Mark Stewart, Jim Stimson, Christian Swezey, Gene Thorp, Pam Tobey, Tina Toll, Jane Touzalin, Michael Tunison, Chanda Washington, Bill Webster, Kathryn Wenner, Mari-Jane Williams, Nathan Willis, Timothy Wilson, Miya Wiseman, Bruce Wright and Angie Wu.

© 2005 The Washington Post Company