Lost In The Middle

While America's schools focus on the needs of high achievers and the learning disabled, average students are falling through the cracks

Like most 13-year-olds, Brian Wennerstrum loves video games and his mom--and isn't all that crazy about school. An eighth-grader at Callanan Middle School in Des Moines, Iowa, he is quiet and well-mannered, a little unfocused at times, and popular with classmates and teachers. He diligently attempts all the work assigned to him in class, doesn't raise his hand much and almost never speaks up unless he's called upon. Brian's favorite subject? Without hesitation: it's "P.E."

Brian's mother Mary describes her son as "just your average, basic kid." And these days, that means he's just the kind of student who can be...

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