News & Views - Jan, 2002 Issue (page
MATH GENDER GAP DOESN’T EXIST?
(January 11, 2002) University of North Carolina researchers say the answer
to the long standing question of why boys do better in math than girls is, they don’t! Claiming previous studies that had found a
consistent gap in math performance based their studies on the top students, researchers found when examining a full range of the student
population, “girls had higher average math scores than boys until about age 11 and higher reasoning scores at ages 11 to 13.”
By the end of high school, boys had only a 1.5 percent advantage over girls. [more...]
ACNE DRUG LINKED WITH DEPRESSION
(January 11, 2002) The Washington Post reported: “Accutane, the acne medicine that
was prescribed to a Florida teenager who crashed a plane into a skyscraper on Saturday, has long been controversial, with critics
and proponents debating whether the drug can cause depression and suicidal behavior.” Steven Galson, acting director of the FDA’s
Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said one small study showed “evidence that could be a causal link”. A prospective trial is
being “designed with the company to study the matter.”
NEWSPAPER ADS: “TALK WITH YOUR KIDS”
(January 13, 2002) The American Psychological Association, the National Mental
Health Association and the Ad Council sponsored a full page newspaper ad in Sunday papers today, exhorting: “Talk with your kids”.
Included in the ad copy was the web site www.helpingkids.apa.org, “to
learn more about how you can help children of all ages cope with their emotions.”
NONPROFITS TO HELP BUILD SCHOOLS
(January 14, 2002) The Denver
Post, reports a novel approach in Colorado to meet public school construction needs. Nonprofits are being organized where
developers pledge a certain amount to for each building constructed in the town. The money collected goes to the Nonprofit organized
for that purpose, which can then provide the money to the school for school construction.
DRUG EDUCATION FOR PRINCE HENRY?
(January 15, 2002) ArcaMax’s
electronic magazine for parents reported Prince Charles’s response to son Harry’s use of pot and alcohol was to have him visit a drug
clinic and meet recovering addicts. The report quotes Gilbert J. Botvin, Ph.D., drug abuse prevention expert and Professor of Public
Health and Psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and Director of Cornell’s Institute for Prevention Research:
“exposure to addicts is not a deterrent to drug and alcohol abuse among teenagers…the only really effective way... is to teach them
the solid social skills, drug refusal skills, and self-management skills that equip them to make good decisions on their own,” A recent
study by Dr. Botvin at Cornell University shows these prevention tools cut binge drinking in half among adolescents. Dr. Botvin is
the founder of Life Skills Training, “widely regarded as the most effective and rigorously tested school-based prevention program.”
SCHOOL FUNDRAISER: WEBSITE SPONSORSHIPS
(January 16, 2002) New York-based PackJam.com,
a web site allows students, parents, teachers, club members and coaches to sell local sponsorships on a site developed exclusively
for their school. Schools keep a minimum of 50 percent of the ad revenue, with individuals selling ads earning an additional 6 percent
commission. Free home pages are offered to individuals within the school and homework, news, events, opinions, school closings and
lunch menus can be posted. Schools can also take polls or participate in the school’s own chat rooms. PackJam.com provides the free
service to schools and youth organizations nationwide with over 110,000 schools in its growing database.