Back to School on Public TV (PBS, throughout next week - consult local listings): PBS has scheduled a week of what it unabashedly calls ``educational'' shows, although ``entertainment'' is also a goal as the network strives to gain and hold youthful attention.
The lineup begins Sunday, but the first new program airs Tuesday: ``Count on Me,'' a special that uses a range of styles - from real-life drama to animation - to stress the need for math. On the same night, ``High School Stories: One Day in America's Schools,'' visits the plains of Nebraska, a Lummi Indian reservation, an island off North Carolina, and the inner city in Cambridge, Mass., to see first-hand how education works in the real world. ``1% Inspiration '' - first of a three-parter called ``The Next Generation: an `Innovation' miniseries'' - airs later that evening (with parts 2 and 3 on consecutive Tuesdays). The series deals with modern science as seen through the careers and challenges of six scientists.
On Wednesday, ``Something Within Me'' shows how much the arts did for kids in a poor school district in New York's South Bronx. Then ``Sarah Chang: The Young Virtuoso'' focuses on an impressive 13-year-old violinist; ``Good Morning Miss Toliver'' looks at award-winning middle-school math teacher Kay Toliver in New York's East Harlem; and ``GED - Get It!'' underscores the value of earning a high school equivalency diploma.
On Thursday a ``Mathnet'' special called ``Off the Record'' uses a detective format to illustrate math principles.
A Question of Accountability (CNN, 9-10 p.m.): The group CNN calls its Special Assignment unit investigates three instances of corporate and government decisions that allegedly resulted in wasted money - sometimes lots of it - as well as harm to people and the environment. The fourth segment is a welcome antidote to these attitudes: It's about a Harvard-educated man who chooses to live and work in depressed Boston neighborhoods helping kids.
Booknotes (C-Span, 8-9 p.m., E.T.): The guest is Joseph Ellis, author of ``Passionate Stage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams.''
Please check local listings for these programs.