News & Views - Jan, 2001 Issue (page
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ERRORS IN SCIENCE TEXTBOOKS
(January 14, 2001) CNN.com reported a study conducted by John Hubisz,
a North Carolina State University physics instructor, of 12 common science textbooks, concluding they are riddled with errors. He
estimates that about 85 percent of the children in the US use the textbooks examined, and says, “These are terrible books, and they’re
probably a strong component of why we do so poorly in science.”
ONLINE ASPERGER SYNDROME INFORMATION
(January 17, 2001) An Information and Support web site for parents of children diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome can
be found at http://www.udel.edu/bkirby/asperger/.
ANOREXIA A DISABILITY?
(January 18, 2001) According to The Washington Times, Keri
Krissik, a 20-year old, is suing Stonehill College “for refusing to let her register on the grounds of her anorexia,” claiming she
is protected by the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The school is defending itself by pointing out they do not have
the facilities for treating eating disorders like anorexia.
SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING ON YOUTH VIOLENCE
(January 18, 2001) A report by Surgeon General David Satcher warns that despite the decreasing incidence of violence
by young people, arrests for violent crime surged between 1983 and 1993. It was “driven largely by rapid proliferation of firearms
use by adolescents,” and according to confidential surveys, “30 percent to 40 percent of boys and 15 percent to 30 percent of girls
admit to committing a serious violent offense – defined as one causing bodily harm – by age 17.” The report can be found at the Surgeon
General's web site.
AUTISM LINKED TO VACCINE?
(January 21, 2001) An article entitled “MMR doctor links 170 cases of autism to vaccine,” in the Electronic
Telegraph, United Kingdom, states: “Andrew Wakefield, a consultant gastroenterologist at the Royal Free Hospital in London reports
evidence in 170 children that they developed autism and/or bowel disease after being given the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine.
In a reaction to this controversial report, the government continues to claim the MMR vaccine is safe.
LOS ANGELES STUDENTS ARMING THEMSELVES
(January 22, 2001) The San Francisco Chronicle, in an article titled “Crimes
Surge Around L.A. School Sites – Fearful students start carrying knives,” reported “The Los Angeles Unified School District has
been hit with a surge in crime in six of the 10 categories it tracks, including violent, property and sex crimes.” School Police Chief
Wesley Mitchell said “Students reported to us they were arming themselves for fear of their own safety.”
SURVIVORS OF SPECIAL EDUCATION
(January 22, 2001) The Providence Journal Company article, “A map
for learning when learning doesn’t come easy,” discusses Jonathan Mooney and David Cole’s new book, Learning Outside the Lines. “Mooney,
who is dyslexic and still tests at a fourth-grade reading level, and Cole, who has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, graduated
from Brown University last May, each of them with a 4.0 average.” They consider themselves “survivors” of special education, which
they say puts down the very children it is supposed to help. Much of the book is set up as a study guide.
YOUTH SPORTS BROKEN?
(January 22, 2001) The Christian Science
Monitor, contained an essay claiming “Youth sports are broken and need to be fixed. The problem is that too often the kids just
aren’t having fun. The children themselves are voting with their feet: by the age of 12, more than 75 percent of all kids who have
played organized sports have dropped out.” The major cause of this, according to the article, is the behaviors and attitudes of coaches
STRIP SEARCH PROTESTED
(January 27, 2001) The Dallas Morning News, reported
several parents of third-graders in Westwego, Louisiana’s Joshua Butler Elementary School complained about the strip search of eight
students by a school administrator after another student reported $20 missing.
THE PARENT TRAP
(January 29, 2001) An article in Newsweek,
compares modern parenting as “competing in a triathion with no finish line in sight. We only want what’s best for them, but our kids
may not be better off.”
(February 4, 2001) The Electronic Telegraph reported recent
research by Essex University in the United Kingdom concluding “Children under five whose mothers work go on to achieve exam results
inferior to those whose mothers stay at home.