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Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews writes a weekly column for, Class Struggle, which runs on Tuesdays.

Marguerite Kelly offers parents advice in her weekly column, Family Almanac, which runs on Fridays.

Challenge Index
Challenge Index:
Education reporter Jay Mathews evaluates high schools by weighing their efforts to challenge students. Charts included.
Columbia Comes of Age
Recently, I wrote a story about a teacher at Wilde Lake Middle School who was robbed at gunpoint in her classroom early one morning. As a crime reporter for the Post, I'm not naive. Still, somehow a holdup seemed almost incomprehensible at the middle school where I learned algebra from a very patient Mr. Longo and cried my eyes out while reading "The Yearling" by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

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Get this week's Howard school lunch menus here.

Homeroom Column
No Real Balm to Ease the Pain of Redrawing School Boundaries
Redrawing boundary lines is among the more painful tasks a school board can undertake. It's so painful that in neighboring Montgomery County, the school board does almost anything it can to avoid the process. For example, when it opened a new high school in 1999, rather than draw new boundaries as Howard County is now doing with Reservoir High opening this fall, Montgomery formed a consortium of four high schools and allowed students to choose one. The county is planning to do something similar when it opens another high school in 2004.

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