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TV Smarts

February 15, 2001

Some broadcast and cable programs contain material included in the public school curriculum and on standardized examinations. Here are home-viewing tips:

* Today--"Your Police Commission" (CITY Channel 35, 7:30-8 p.m.) Initial episode in a new series on community service focuses on the Los Angeles Police Commission and its oversight of community policing. Also, "The Write Stuff" (KLCS 9-9:30 p.m.) Language arts program features tips for curing student writers' block when faced with writing an essay.

* Friday--"Sergeant Rutledge" (AMC 5-7 p.m.) Portrayal of race relations on the frontier starring Oscar-winner Woody Strode as an African American U.S. cavalryman. Also, "Hopes on the Horizon" (KCET 9-11 p.m.) Surveys political, social and economic reform in six African countries. Also, "Test Pilots: Flying the Wing" (TLC 10-11 p.m.) Follows the creation of the first B-2 stealth bomber, explaining how it avoids radar detection.

* Saturday--"Wrapped in Pride: The Story of Kente in America" (KLCS 10-10:30 p.m.) Traces an ancient African art form that survived suppression by colonial powers only to emerge worldwide as a symbol of African independence and ethnic pride. Also, "Great Books: Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle' " (TLC 10-11 p.m.) Documentary on the novel that exposed conditions in the meat industry, which led to the creation of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Also, "Salt of the Earth" (TCM 10:30 p.m.-midnight) Classic movie written by Oscar-winner Michael Wilson employed Latino American mine workers' wives as actors to dramatize the 1950 New Mexico strike in which they were involved.

* Sunday--"The Reagan Years: Inside the White House" (CNN 7-8 p.m. repeats 10-11 p.m.) Includes interviews with former Reagan Cabinet members and White House staff and includes a tour of the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. Also, "Public Lives--Elizabeth: The Struggle for the Throne" (C-SPAN2 8-9 p.m.) Historian David Starkey discusses the youth of England's Queen Elizabeth I. Also, "National Geographic Explorer" (CNBC 8-9 p.m.) Follows the 300-mile migration of zebras and the cooperative social structure of the meerkats of the Kalahari Desert.

* Monday--"Abraham and Mary Lincoln" (KCET 9-11 p.m.) Covers the childhood years and eventual marriage of this famous first couple. Part 2 airs Tuesday covering their first term in the White House up to the Emancipation Proclamation. Part 3 airs Wednesday on the end of the Civil War and events after the president's assassination. Also, "The Unfinished Civil War" (HIST9-10 p.m.) Explores the passions and eccentricities that take thousands to Civil War battlefields to reenact events from America's greatest internal conflict.

* Tuesday--"School's In" (DISN 7-8 p.m.) Profiles six of the teachers honored at Disney's American Teacher Awards ceremony last December.

* Wednesday--"Lost City of the Pyramids" (KCET 8-9 p.m.) Covers the latest archeological discoveries about the people who built the pyramids, including the living conditions near their work, their food, even the medical treatment available. "Fats: Health Effects" (KLCS 9-9:30 p.m.) Explains the various kinds of fats in our diet.


Compiled by Richard Kahlenberg in consultation with Crystal J. Gips, dean of the School of Education, College of St. Rose, Albany, N.Y. Columns available at

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