News & Views - August, 2002 Issue
SCHIZOPHRENIA MAY BE TIED TO 2 GENES, RESEARCH FINDS
(July 17, 2002) Nicholas Wade, writing for the New York Times reports researchers at Virginia
Commonwealth University in Richmond and two Irish institutes say they have found clues that point to a specific gene
as a possible cause of schizophrenia. Separately, scientists at Decode Genetics, an Icelandic company has found
mutations in a particular gene that are highly correlated with schizophrenia in about 15 percent of Icelandic patients. Both reports
are to be published in The American Journal of Human Genetics, which put the Richmond group's paper online July 16, 2002. Schizophrenia
has a clear genetic component because it runs in families. But if one identical twin has the disease, the other has only a 30 percent
to 50 percent of developing it, indicating environmental factors are involved as well.
ADDITUDE MAGAZINE QUESTIONS RESIDENTIAL PROGRAMS
(July 2002) Additude
magazine, refers to the June 2002 issue of the journal Medical Health Services Research that indicates "sending
difficult children to a boarding school may not be as effective as keeping the family together and providing a family preservation program."
Psychologist, Linda A. Wilmshurst of Texas Woman's University, "compared children enrolled in a residential program
with children who stayed at home." One year later she found "children who stayed at home were less anxious, less depressed
and showed fewer symptoms of AD/HD than those who had been enrolled in the 5 day a week residential program." The article indicated
the stay at home children had more intensive intervention than is typical, but didn't indicate the quality or appropriateness of the
FLORIDA CAN'T FIND 1,000 KIDS IN STATE CUSTODY
(June 14, 2002) CNN, reports that
Florida's child welfare agency admitted "it was unable to account for about 1,000 children in its system."
LAWSUIT AGAINST MT. PARK BOARDING ACADEMY
(July 15, 2002) The
Herald Tribune, reports "A federal lawsuit on an Arkansas teen-ager's behalf asks a judge to mandate reforms at
religious reform schools in Missouri and in Florida at Arcadia, calling their disciplining practices abusive."
MEDICAL PRACTICE AHEAD OF MEDICAL SCIENCE?
(July 16, 2002) Susan M. Love, in the
New York Times, "Preventive Medicine, Properly Practiced," suggests the research questioning the value and safety
of female hormone treatment suggests that much medical practice is not properly backed up by scientific research, with medical practice
adopting treatments before scientific research has demonstrated their effectiveness and safety.
POLITICS SHAPE TODAY'S TEXTBOOKS
(July 17, 2002) Fox News,
suggests that politics between pressure groups have more influence on the content of school textbooks than any other consideration.
FORGET 'EXPERTS,' LISTEN TO PARENTS
(July 17, 2002) An
Arizona Republic article, by Darcy Olsen of the Goldwater Institute, suggests the calls for coping Europe's
state-run education system are wrongheaded, since international comparison scores show skills have been steadily improving for American
early elementary and pre-school children when parents’ influence is the greatest, but comparison scores slow to a crawl in adolescence
after several years of increasing influence from education experts. Her advice is to "Forget 'experts' and listen to parents."
STUDY INDICATES REVERSE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN FAILURE AND CHALLENGE
(Spring 2002) The
Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) followed up a survey of eighth graders done in 2000, to track the students through
ninth grade to “determine which experiences in the 'middle grades' (6-8) are linked to success in higher-level ninth grade English
and math courses." Authors, Gene Bottoms and Sondra Cooney, found among other things, that "ninth graders who
are placed in higher-level courses have a lower failure rate than students with similar characteristics who are placed in lower-level
PRIVATE ROAD TO SUCCESS
(July 2002) The Heritage Foundation's Center for Data Analysis studied the 1979 National Longitudinal
Survey of Youth, which consisted of regular interviews of 12,686 young men and women born between 1957 and 1964. They compared the
accomplishments of public and private school students, finding that 9.4% of the public school students dropped out, compared to 2.6%
of the private school students. 25.6% public students earned a Bachelors degree, as did 52.2% of the private students. In 2000, private
students had earned $43,200 vs. $29,800 for public students. These are people who were in high school in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
MORE WILLING TO PAY FOR INTERNET CONTENT
(August 1, 2002) The
New York Times, reported a survey of cyberspending patterns that demonstrated "more Internet users are showing a willingness
to pay for content online." In the past, there has been a strong demand by Internet users that they were only interested in "free"
LAWYERS IN THE CLASSROOM
(August 2, 2002) Fox News
Channel, reports an apparent trend of parents suing teachers when a child is failing school.
POPULAR ANTI-DRUG PROGRAMS CRITICIZED
(August 5, 2002) A study published in the Journal Health Education Research, by University of North
Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers concluded "the top three programs used by schools to keep students away from drugs are
either ineffective or haven't been sufficiently tested." D.A.R.E. was the most popular program to be studied in this research.
SCHOOLS TERMED 'EXCELLENT' BY FEDS FLUNK STATE EVALUATIONS
(August 5, 2002)
USA Today, reported, "at least 19 schools dubbed the nation's finest by the federal government over the past five years
are also on this year's state lists of failing schools...."
I WAS TOLD TO DOPE MY KID
(August 7, 2002) The New
York Post, reports plans by a boy to sue the school officials who he claims "forced him to take a cocktail of drugs that
turned him into a psychotic who heard voices in his head." The mother said she felt "intimidated" by the school officials
to put her son on Ritalin and then other drugs for anxiety, and when she finally took him off the medications, the school "prohibited"
her son "from entering the school and in February 2000, filing a complaint against her with the state child-abuse hot line."
NEWSPAPER FINDS FLORIDA'S 'LOST' KIDS
(August 11, 2002) The Florida Sun- Sentinel, announced that of more than 500 children under the care
of the state Department of Children & Families who are identified as missing, the newspaper found nine of them within a few
hours through their own research.
INTERNET COURTSHIP ENDS IN DEATH ON FIRST DATE
(August 14, 2002) Andrew Jacobs reports for the New York Times, that a romance between Nonie
Drummond, 14, and Spencer Lee King, 17, beginning on the Internet and nourished through 9 months of countless telephone
conversations, ended in Drummond’s death on her first date. “75 miles of forest, dairy pasture, and the girl's protective grandfather”
had kept them apart until her grandfather went on an overnight camping trip. According to a statement King later gave to police, he
was disappointed by their encounter, saying he discovered that Nonie had lied during their long-distance courtship. Telling her, "I
have a surprise for you," he covered her eyes with a bandanna, sat her on a stool and stabbed her repeatedly in the throat with
a kitchen knife he had stashed in his camouflage cargo pants. His friend described King’s “normal adolescence of pickup basketball games,
fishing and part-time work at a local grocery store. After missing most of the 2000-1 school year, Mr. King simply failed to show up
for class at all last year, the superintendent, Scott Hunter, said.”
2,848 PERCENT INCREASE IN 'EXEMPLARY' TEXAS SCHOOLS
(August 14, 2002) Jay McIntire, writing in the
Houston Chronicle, pointed out that when the Texas Education Agency announced that "the number of Texas schools
earning the 'coveted exemplary accountability rating' increased from 67 to 1,908 in nine years," that it was an increase of 2,848%,
which really means "Minimally Acceptable for Public Funding."