Ashley Bryan, 10, stares into space as her father, Calvin Holloman, lies on a mattress in the living room of their apartment. Unlike her brother, Kevin, Ashley is well-behaved, quiet--and depressed. She speaks sadly of lagging far behind others her age in academic skills: "What's 3 times 3? I don't know." She and her brother missed four months of the last school year after their father withdrew them from classes.
Clarence Williams / Los Angeles Times
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