Sharon Lerner covers education, work/life, and other issues affecting children and families and conceived of the Prospect's special report on early education. She is a Senior Fellow at Demos, a progressive think tank.
Tyliesha Tucker attends a well-regarded high school in Nebraska's Bellevue school district. Last year, Tyliesha, who is 15 and "pretty hilarious" by her own description, went to her local school in the Omaha Public School District. So did her 13-year-old brother, Kevin. But then there was the incident in the bathroom with a group of girls who had been tormenting her.
It's easy to see how mothers wind up out of the workplace. Sometimes, a lack of maternity leave turns the birth of a child into an all-or-nothing proposition: Leave the tiny baby before you're ready to, or quit your job. Or the child-care options are so dismal, nothing feels right. And, of course, many women simply prefer to be with their children.
If Maple Grove Senior High chose a prom queen, Ashley
Gort would have had a good shot at the crown. Ashley, a petite and popular junior
with delicate features, wore deep-sea blue to the event, accessorizing her fully
beaded gown with a blue necklace like the one Kate Winslet wore in Titanic
and matching blue rhinestones scattered over her pale blond hair. Her boyfriend,
Mike Conlin, borrowed his uncle's Lexus to ferry Ashley to dinner at Landmark
Center in St. Paul, Minnesota. Driving away from the restaurant on an
unseasonably warm night a few months ago, the couple looked as if they might be
headed off for a romantic evening. But while many of their classmates spent the