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It'll be Greek for them


France will launch an effort to promote the study of Latin and Greek, "to show that these cultures are not dead, but are at the heart of our modern-day cultures," the country's education minister Jack Lang announced last week. The plan includes the attribution of extra "points" in a pupil's end-of-year certificate, and more flexibility to allow older students and undergraduates to take beginner courses. Latin is already relatively widespread in French schools - 20 percent of 12 to 15 year-olds study it - but Greek is less popular. "For men and women of my generation," Lang said, "Greek and Latin - Greece and Italy - were a second homeland.... What comes naturally to us must [now] also enter the minds and hearts of our young people."

College online service companies merge

New York

It's been described as the online matchmaking service of the college admissions world. Now the range of its matchmaking potential has broadened. The New York-based Princeton Review recently acquired San Francisco-based Embark, in the merger of the country's largest online college application providers. The result will be a pool of 1.5 million students using the service to get information about college admissions. For the more than 1,000 institutions that subscribe to the service, it will mean an enhanced ability to locate students who interest them. "Everybody gains by consolidation," says John Katzman, CEO of the Princeton Review. "Kids will have access to more info about more colleges, and colleges will have access to more info about more kids."

Dressing up a grieving school


Many American kids are dressing up as firefighters, police officers, doctors, and nurses this Halloween. But when students at Ketcham Elementary School in Washington did so last week for an assembly, they were celebrating both those professions and teacher James Debeuneure and fifth-grader Rodney Dickens, who died Sept. 11 in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. Rodney's mother sat in the front row watching the students, including her sons Anthoni and Dalontai, dressed as a firefighter and a soldier. "The kids ask why this incident happened, why him, why that day," LaShawn Dickens said of her surviving children. "I don't think I quite understand."

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