In the cover story, a team of RAND researchers who have analyzed the effects of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 at nearly every level of the education system issue a set of mixed grades, early warnings, and general guidelines that can help the law fulfill its promise. A feature story on prescription drug benefit plans for the elderly warns of the potential long-term costs of benefit caps and proposes adjustments to help spare Medicare of future encumbrances. A third feature story distinguishes among three types of ungoverned territories around the world and assigns separate policy packages for each. Other stories discuss 40 years of RAND research on social policy from New York to New Orleans (focusing on affordable housing, wind insurance, and community mental health), the quality of health care for U.S. children, ambiguous policies barring U.S. Army women from combat, the transformation of the Liberian national security sector, the global promise of perennial polycultures, and the absence of a repeat terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.

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