June 4th, 2012
04:01 PM ET

A dress made from homework

By Carl Azuz, CNN

(CNN) Combining her efforts from the school year with some serious, sartorial creativity, Kara Koskowich wove together a garment that truly made the grade.

The 17-year-old Canadian student graduated in a dress made from her homework.

There was literally no chance of her running into anybody else with the exact same dress.  Most graduates never want to look at homework again; Koskowich found a way to look good in it.

She cut, sewed, glued, and eventually tailored a graduation gown out of the assignments that helped her graduate.  It took about 75 pieces of paper.  She said the math work she did made for the best look.

And though she started the project in March, she cut it pretty close to deadline, finishing the dress the night before she graduated.  “I did most of it the last week because I’m that kind of person.  I procrastinate,” Koskowich said.

She wasn’t the only student to skip store-bought couture.  Her friend Dorothy Graham substituted plastic shopping bags for silk and fashioned her own dress.  According to Graham, “It was actually funny because everyone was wearing these elegant dresses, and we’re in dresses that cost nothing, and we were the most popular people there.”

It shows you don’t need a designer label (or any label at all, really) to win acclaim while accepting a diploma.  And if Koskowich never wears the dress again?  Well, it was only homework, after all.

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Filed under: After High School • Carl Azuz • Character education • Graduation • video
June 4th, 2012
02:00 PM ET

21-year-old graduates medical school

At age 2, he could read.

At 9, he enrolled at Loyola University Chicago.

This year, at 21, Sho Yano becomes the youngest student in University of Chicago’s history to graduate with the medical degree, CNN affiliate WLS reported.

"If the pressure had come from anyone else, like my parents, I wouldn't have been able to keep going," said Sho Yano, who will soon start a pediatric neurology residency. "You have to be driven by something you want to do."

Poll: Should kids younger than 13 be allowed to use Facebook?
Facebook is considering ways to give kids younger than 13 access to the social-networking site, according to a news report.
June 4th, 2012
11:52 AM ET

Poll: Should kids younger than 13 be allowed to use Facebook?

By John D. Sutter, CNN

(CNN) - Should young children be able to use Facebook?

And if so, under what conditions?

Those are the questions bloggers and Twitter users are batting around the Internet on Monday following a news report saying Facebook is looking into ways it could let kids under the age of 13 use the site with parental consent.

Currently, Facebook bans children younger than 13.

Data from Microsoft Research and Consumer Reports, however, show that many kids use the site anyway, often with their parents' knowledge. A 2011 Consumer Reports survey found 7.5 million people younger than 13 use the site; nearly a third of 11-year-olds and more than half of 12-year-olds use Facebook with their parents' knowledge, according to a 1,007-person survey supported by Microsoft Research.

My view: My kids won't be on Facebook any time soon

Proponents of lifting Facebook's under-13 ban say letting young kids on Facebook with the help of adults would allow them to use the social network more safely.

"Whether we like it or not, millions of children are using Facebook, and since there doesn't seem to be a universally effective way to get them off the service, the best and safest strategy would be to provide younger children with a safe, secure and private experience that allows them to interact with verified friends and family members without having to lie about their age," Larry Magid writes at Forbes.com.

Read the full story

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Filed under: Issues • Parents • Technology
June 4th, 2012
10:45 AM ET

Once bankrupt school district now debt-free

by John Martin, CNN

(CNN) - An eight million dollar payment made on Friday means an end to more than decades of debt for a California school district. The lump sum was the last of about $47 million West Contra Costa Unified School District paid to California for a loan taken out more than two decades ago.

School officials admit that financial mismanagement led to bankruptcy 21 years ago. "We did not budget properly. We have more obligations than we could afford and the state cut revenue," school board president Charles Ramsey said.

The district, then known as the Richmond School District, threatened to close six weeks before the end of the 1991 school year. A lawsuit filed by Richmond parents forced the state to loan the district $29 million and kept the schools open.

A relatively high interest rate added about $18 million to the district's debt over the life of the loan.

The state agreed to lower the interest rate in 2004 after teachers marched on Sacramento and held a hunger strike.

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Filed under: Issues • Policy • video
June 4th, 2012
06:10 AM ET

Obama writes excuse for 11-year old

A boy missed school to see the President speak and received an official excused absence note from the President himself.

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Filed under: Extracurricular • video