Hot Buttons: Talk show topics

By ALEX CUKAN, United Press International


Online education is proving to be extremely popular. The Apollo Group, which owns the offline and most of the online assets of the University of Phoenix, is the most aggressive user of the Internet, The New York Times reports.


Apollo now has more than 50,000 students getting bachelor's and master's degrees -- 100 percent online and its enrollment base is growing at 70 percent a year.

These are degree-granting programs where the schools have targeted their programs to where they see the most growth going forward, according to Greg Capelli, a senior research analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston.

"They have done very well in programs in areas of business, finance, visual communications but they are not cheap: tuition can average $10,000 a year," he says.

"But they give a lot of service, and can say they place 80 percent to 90 percent of their graduates in jobs within three months after graduation."


-- Would you consider an online college?

-- Do you think videotaped lectures, e-mail and instant messaging will replace the ivy-covered walls of higher education?


The brother of convicted Unabomber Ted Kaczynski says the death penalty is always wrong, even for the serial sniper terrorizing the Washington, D.C., area, The Buffalo News reports.

"I don't think it makes anything better. If Ted had been executed, my mother would have suffered a thousand times more than my brother. It's wrong to forget about the people that love them," says David Kaczynski, of Schenectady, N.Y.

Kaczynski, 53, a career youth and family counselor who now is executive director of New Yorkers Against the Death Penalty, criticized U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's recent statement he would seek the death penalty for the serial killer.

"He won't be deterred by it," Kaczynski said in a talk in Buffalo, "and his family will be discouraged from turning him in."

In 1996, Kaczynski turned in his older brother, who serving is a life sentence for killing three people and injuring 23 others by sending mail bombs.

-- Do you think families are discouraged from turning family members in because of the death penalty?


-- If the criminal doesn't have consideration for what their actions do to their family, should society?


The American Academy of Pediatrics welcomed Laura Welch Bush as a speaker at its National Conference and Exhibition in Boston.

The first lady addressed 1,800 attendees about the important role pediatricians play in encouraging parents to read to their children.

"We know that reading to children can be one of the most important activities a parent can undertake to stimulate their child's brain," says AAP President Dr. Louis Z. Cooper.

The academy has encouraged pediatricians to prescribe reading activities along with other instructions given to parents at the time of well-child visits.

The AAP endorses a number of language and literacy programs, including Reach Out and Read, which suggests giving children a book to take home at each well-child visit from 6 months to 5 years of age.

The AAP also encourages pediatricians to tell parents and other caregivers to read and talk to their children, to visit their local library and how to get a library card.

-- Reading is important, but should it be a pediatrician's job to tell parents how to get a library card?


-- Are language and literacy skills a part of a well-child visit? Should they be?

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