Things are looking up for kids, according to the Federal Government's fifth annual report on child well-being. The percentage of kids living in poverty is 16%, a 20-year low. Teenage mortality and the incidence of teens' having babies is lower now than at any other time since these statistics were first kept. Kids are also less likely to smoke and are only half as likely to be victims of violent crime as they were in 1994. They are more likely to have health insurance (86%) and at least one parent fully employed (79%).
SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL
The hard-fought gains of school integration are eroding, according to a study by Harvard's Civil Rights Project. More than 70% of black students attend schools that have more than 50% minority enrollment, compared with 63% in 1980; 36.5% of these students attend schools with a minority enrollment of 90% to 100%, compared with 32.5% in 1986. The same trends apply to Latinos. Among the most segregated states are New York, Michigan, Illinois, California and Texas.
NO RAVES FOR ECSTASY
Worried about the possible long-term damage the club drug Ecstasy may do to your child's brain? So is the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which gathered scientists from around the globe last week to analyze and discuss growing evidence that the drug triggers semipermanent memory loss and persistent behavioral changes even after casual use.
--By David Bjerklie