News & Views - Apr, 2002 Issue (page
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HOMESCHOOLERS MAKE GOOD EMPLOYEES
(November 15, 2001) The Society
for Human Resource Management article, “Home is Where the School Is," makes the point that some companies have found
that an excellent place to find reliable employees is among those young people who have been home-schooled.
NEW ZEALAND CAUTIOUS ON RITALIN
(November 15, 2001) The New Zealand Ministry of Health “is urging caution in prescribing the stimulant Ritalin
to pre-schoolers after a United States finding that the drug could cause long-term changes in the brain.” Dr Tuohy,
chief adviser for child and youth health, said, “various studies have shown how important nervous system connections are made in the
first four years of life. These effectively hard-wire the brain into certain ways of functioning and that's particularly concerning
when you talk about early-childhood stimulation and abuse." He estimated use of methylphenidate (sold as Ritalin and Rubifen)
in New Zealand had increased from several hundred people in 1993 to almost 5,000 at present.
HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT RATE AT RECORD LOW
(November 16, 2001) The Chicago Sun-Times reported data
from the Department of Education that the “high school graduation rate for young Americans rose slightly to a record 86.5 percent
last year." Rod Paige, Secretary of Education, said however, “rates had not risen in proportion to the billions of dollars
spent on schools since the 1970s."
SURVEY-BUREAUCRACY/POLITICS STIFLE SCHOOLS
(January, 2002) A survey by Public Agenda of public school
principals and superintendents found that 81 % of superintendents "cite politics and bureaucracy as the main reasons superintendents
leave the field, far outweighing low pay and problems implementing higher standards." Also, 57% of principals "say even
good administrators in their district are 'so overwhelmed' by day-to-day management that their ability 'to provide vision and leadership
ADHD TREATMENT MAY BE UNDERESTIMATED
(February 1, 2002) Andrew S. Rowland, in a February 1, 2002 article in the American Journal of Public Health,
reported a study that indicates "more than three times as many children as previously estimated may be medicated to treat ADHD.”
Citing previous studies that hadn't included parents medicating at home using slow-release forms, the author found in a study of elementary
school children in North Carolina that, "10 percent of the children had been given an ADHD diagnosis and 7 percent were
receiving ADHD medication treatment…Prior studies viewed treatment rates as abnormally high if they exceeded the 3 percent to 5 percent
of school age kids."
HOW TO UNDERMINE THE HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA (February 2, 2002) An article by New
York University’s research professor, Diane Ravitch, which appears on the Hoover
Institution web site, asserts the US Department of Transportation's notice that airport baggage screeners do not need
a high school diploma undermines the message educators and policymakers for years have been trying to make about the importance of
obtaining a high school diploma.
VIOLENCE INCREASES IN WASH. D.C. SCHOOLS
(February 8, 2002) The Washington
Times story, "Board Pledges to Make Schools Safer" is the school board’s response to a Washington Times story about
the high number of violent incidents, with "assaults with deadly weapons in the District's schools… doubling during the past
PRISON INMATE DRUG OVERDOSE DEATHS
(February 13, 2002) The Washington
Times reports: "despite sophisticated electronic and physical surveillance, armed guards and meticulous designs of modern
penal institutions, at least 188 convicts died of drug overdoses in state prisons nationwide during the past decade."
BUFFALO SOLDIERS HEAD ARRESTED
(February 16, 2002) Charles F. Long II, the head of the America's Buffalo Soldiers Re-enactors Association
near Phoenix, Arizona, where "a 14-year-old boy died from exposure" last July, was arrested and charged with second-
degree murder, eight counts of child abuse, aggravated assault and marijuana possession. The judge set bail at $100,000, and he was
ordered to have no contact with children other than his own. Also, a worker at the camp, Raymond Burr Anderson, age 39, "was
charged with child abuse for his role in what the sheriff's department described as a pattern of abuse at the camp, which is in the
desert west of Phoenix."
ESTIMATES OF MENTALLY ILL TOO HIGH?
(February 17, 2002) Dr. William E. Narrow, director of the psychopathology program at the American Psychiatric
Institute for Research and Education reported a study in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, showing:
"that mental disorders may be less prevalent among adults in the United States than was thought." Using a new method,
he estimated 18.5 % of adults had a disorder, while older surveys had concluded, "almost 30 percent of American adults experienced
mental or addictive disorders." [more...]
MEDICAL ARMS RACE?
(February 20, 2002) USA Today,
reports, “hospitals go on a building boom expanding services to include everything every rival hospital has."
COLLEGE GRADUATES MIRED IN DEBT
(March 8, 2002) The New
York Times, reported a survey by State Public Interest Research Groups that found debt among college students had doubled from
1992 to 2000. "Two out of three students must now borrow money to attend college, and four out of ten face unmanageable debts
as they finish college and enter the job market."
AWARDS KIDS WOULD WANT
(March 19, 2002) An internet site called ZOOM
Sound Out, asked participating kids what award they would most like to receive. With 6,642 votes, 46% want to win an Olympic
Medal, 23% a Grammy, 11% a Nobel Prize, 10% an Oscar, and 7% want a Pulitzer Prize for writing.