Education: Help For At-Risk Kids

An ambitious report calls for an overhaul of U.S. middle schools

Television calls them the wonder years, but for millions of youths between the ages of ten and 15, the years of early adolescence are anything but wonderful. No longer children, not quite adults, they are bombarded by ! dizzying physical changes, reeling emotions and raging hormones. Today's youngsters, however, face problems far more formidable than acne or gangly limbs. Drinking, drug abuse, sexually transmitted diseases and teenage pregnancy, once the province of high schools, have drifted into the lower grades. Add to this the crippling effects of broken homes and ill-equipped parents, and it is easy to see why nearly 7...

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