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Editor's Note


From Bill Gates to politicians, from media pundits to stressed-out parents, and now, from computer network hackers and crackers, it seems like education is taking shots from every which way.

struggled a bit to come up with a headline for this month's cover story because when it comes to discussing gizmos and gadgets, there isn't just a word or two words that accurately describes all the various classroom techie stuff.

Parents of high school students are worried. Very worried. They look at the sticker price of higher education and they want Junior to major in a discipline that will give him a better chance of landing a job--a well-paying job. Basically, they want their investment to pay off.

There are many people in this country--and around the world--who assert that oil is the underlying motivator for the U.S. invasion of Iraq. The argument goes like this: Bush is an oil guy, from an oil state, has oil friends, and Iraq possesses an estimated 112-billion barrels of known oil reserves under its sand--second only to Saudi Arabia in the global reserve rankings.

I for one can't wait to close out this year and move on to '05. War, elections, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods, coupled with far too much Janet, Martha, Kobe, The Donald, and way too much of Dan, Peter and Tom reporting election spin and the latest poll results.

I was just finishing Peter Smith's new book, The Quiet Crisis...How Higher Education Is Failing America, when a press release crossed my desk that grabbed my attention with the headline: "Higher Education Stalled Despite High School Improvements; Students, Families Lose Ground on College Affordability."