School officials are always talking about percentiles, since we live in a mandated-testing world.
USA Today has come up with percentile listings no school wants to be a part of: they tracked 12,800 schools to see how many toxic chemicals were in the air outside the buildings.
You no doubt will be shocked to learn that Houston-area schools are in the percentiles no one wants to think about.
Deer Park Elementary, High School and Middle School: All in the 1st percentage.
You can look up the specific chemicals affecting students, and the plants that produce them, by clicking on a specific school name.
Some of it's odd: Lamar HS, in the heart of exclusive River Oaks, is in the 11th percentile (with the USA Today report, the lower the percentile the worse the air).
Anyway, go and check out your kids' school, or your neighborhood by using the local school.
But don't panic, the paper says in its Q&A:
Question: Until I know for sure, should I pull my kids from school and put my house up for sale?
Answer: No, say environmental experts. Don't panic, but push for answers. Most of the chemicals that might be outside your school are in small enough quantities that they likely pose no immediate threats.
And you probably couldn't sell your house now anyway.
-- Richard Connelly