YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

TV Smarts

March 08, 2001

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

* Today--"Statistics" (KLCS 9-10 p.m.) This fast-paced program explains basic statistics and graphs as part of the "Standard Deviants TV" series, whose title refers to a statistical feature, not a character abnormality. More math skills information available at Also, "Border Patrol: America's Gatekeepers" (A&E 10-11 p.m.) Follows U.S. Border Patrol agents using planes, snowmobiles, horses, motorbikes and trucks to interdict drugs and illegal immigrant trafficking.

* Friday--"A Few Good Women" (HIST 3-4 p.m.) This documentary in the "20th Century With Mike Wallace" series celebrates Women's History Month with a report on women's changing roles in the U.S. armed services from World War I to the Gulf War. Also, "Secrets of the Stone Age" (TLC 9-11 p.m.) This pair of documentaries titled "Wisdom of the Stones" and "Frozen in Time" describe the invention of writing and architecture.

* Saturday--"Treasure Island" (ODSY 7-10 p.m.) Movie based on Robert Louis Stevenson's classic adventure novel stars Charlton Heston, Christian Bale and Julian Glover. Also, "Stress Hurts! A Wake-Up Call for Women, With Dr. Nancy Snyderman" (KABC 8-9 p.m.) This ABC News special examines the best and worst methods for women to deal with everyday stress. More information available at Also, "Hooked: Illegal Drugs and How They Got That Way" (HIST 10-11 p.m.) describes marijuana and synthetic amphetamine usage historically, including their production for industrial and military purposes during World War II, when troops were provided 200 million amphetamine tablets and hemp from marijuana plants was used for fiber.

* Sunday--"Great Books: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (TLC 4-5 p.m.) Documentary on Ken Kesey's novel about American values during the 1950s includes interviews with the author and clips from the Oscar-winning movie based on the book. Also, "The German Americans" (KOCE 6:30-7:30 p.m.) This documentary examines the history of the largest ethnic group in the U.S.--one in five Americans is of German ancestry--using archive film and interviews with members of the Eisenhower, Steinway and other families. Also, "Land of the Mammoth" (DISC 8-10 p.m.) In this documentary about an area of Siberia where a mammoth was recently found preserved in a frozen state, computer technology is used to re-create views of the mammoth's ecosystem 20,000 years ago. Also, "The Korean War: Fire & Ice" (HIST 8 p.m.-midnight) Three-part documentary on the conflict.

* Monday--"Destination Future: High Tech Transport" (TLC 9-10 p.m.) Documentary reveals blueprints for planes, autos and trains of the future and related plans, such as rent-by-the-hour programs and door-to-door public transportation.

* Tuesday--"Philippines Tonight" (INTL 5-5:30 p.m.) This daily broadcast series, in English, about the Philippines provides valuable information for cultural diversity class. On Fridays the program is called "Stateside" and features California's largest Asian American community--Filipinos.

* Wednesday--"American Justice: Erin Brockovich" (A&E 9-10 p.m.) The true story behind the current Oscar-nominated movie about a 1987 class-action lawsuit against a California utility includes interviews with experts from both sides, including Brockovich and attorney Ed Masry. Also, "Learning for Life: Kids and Learning Differences" (DISN 10:20-10:50 p.m.) Documentary about learning disabilities and disorders, particularly ADD (attention deficit disorder) and ADHD (attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder) was co-produced by Oscar-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple.


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

Los Angeles Times Articles