The Best of Our Knowledge
1:16 am
Mon June 4, 2007

The Best or Our Knowledge # 872

Albany, NY – NATIONAL SUMMIT ON AMERICA'S SILENT EPIDEMIC - DROPOUTS
More than one-million high school students drop out each year in the U.S.
This severe dropout rate is being labeled a national crisis. Organizers of
the Summit on America's Silent Epidemic say dropouts are more likely
than high school graduates to: be unemployed...in poor health...living in poverty...in prison...on public assistance...and single parents with children
who also drop out of high school. The dropout summit was spearheaded
by, among others, the National Governor's Association, Time magazine,
MTV, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. MTV provided a platform
for teens to share their views and ideas for changing high schools. More
than 500 superintendents, teachers, parents, students, state and federal
policy-makers, and other education and community leaders attended the
Summit on America's Silent Epidemic. First Lady, Laura Bush, delivered
the keynote address. Three days later, Senator Ted Kennedy, Chairman
of the Education Committee, and Secretary of Education, Margaret
Spellings, published a joint op-ed piece called National Epidemic,
Economic Necessity. Ironically, it was Senator Kennedy's brother,
President John F. Kennedy, who first brought attention to the dropout
crisis in 1963.
Glenn Busby reports. (10:58)

ORIGINS OF LIFE - SCIENCE RESEARCH IN EDUCATION SERIES
EARLY HISTORY OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM AS SEEN BY PRIMITIVE METEORITES -
First, some news. NASA has awarded five-year grants to four research
teams at universities across the U.S. One of those is the California
Institute of Technology Team, led by Dr. Vicky Meadows. We featured
Dr. Meadows on our show recently talking about her Virtual Planetary
Lab which is looking for life on other Earth-like planets. Also, NASA's
Phoenix Mars Lander spacecraft has reached its launch location in
Florida. Phoenix is scheduled to take off in August and land on a Martian
arctic plain next Spring. It hopes to dig thru soil that holds frozen water,
to find favorable conditions for microbial life. Meanwhile, back here on
terra firma, our next guest is researching the early history of our solar
system by closely examining meteorites he says were formed prior to
Earth. Dr. Frank Richter is the Sewell L. Avery Distinguished Service
Professor in the Department of Geophysical Sciences at the University
of Chicago.
Glenn Busby reports. (7:32)

The preceding material is supported by the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration.

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