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News & Views - July, 2001 Issue (page 1) 

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(March 1, 2001) The Chicago Tribune reported the “Character Counts” values-education program has caught the attention of the Bush White House. In the Chicago area alone, 126 schools have signed on to use the program, 60 in the last year. If Congress signs on to President Bush’s pledge to triple federal funding for values education, it could mean $25 million in grants for character education next year.

(March 2, 2001) Dr. Leonard Sax, a Maryland family physician and psychologist published a report in the March issue of Psychology of Men and Masculinity that claims the kindergarten curriculum “has had the effect of emphasizing boys’ weaknesses and girls’ strengths.” Sax says “the average 5-year-old boy is performing at a level of verbal skill that is, on average, at least one year behind the average 5-year-old girl.” He considers the “high rates of Ritalin prescriptions for young boys and the fact nearly twice as many boys as girls are kept behind a year at some point in their education are evidence the system is not working for boys.”

STUDY CONCLUDES PETS INCREASE ASTHMA CASES (March 6, 2001) The Arizona Republic, at reported a study showing that “asthma cases could drop nearly 40% among Americans younger than age 6 if susceptible children didn’t have pets or other allergy triggers in their homes. The study, conducted by Dr. Bruce Lanphear, associate professor of pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Cincinnati, appears in the March issue of Pediatrics. Based on an analysis of data on 8,257 children younger than 6, it found “children with pet allergies were 24 times more likely to have asthma than those without.”

March 6, 2001) The Ottaway News reported the Massachusetts Board of Education new regulations now prohibit schools from using restraints on students for disciplinary reasons. Allowing restraints to be used only when students pose “imminent physical harm” to themselves or others, the new state regulations are still faulted by many for not banning prone, floor restraints.

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