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 Posted October 10, 2003 

[Items relating to the situation of contemporary young people]

TOO MUCH PARENT INVOLVEMENT?
(September, 2003) Dorothy Rich, founder and president of the nonprofit Home and School Institute, MegaSkills Education Center in Washington DC, www.MegaSkillsHSI.org, writes that when parents coach and support their kids, the balance is right, but when they become a player themselves and do it for their children, parent involvement lines are being crossed. This article can be found at:
www.educationnews.org/too-much-parent-involvement.htm

TRUST AND SCHOOL SIZE
(September 2003) The American School Board Journal 's article, “The Road to Trust,” www.asbj.com/current/coverstory.html, describes a disconnect between the public and their schools, stemming from school consolidation that has created huge school districts and huge schools. They assert that the large size of schools has led to a “shrinkage of public participation in school governance,” which is bad for student learning and bad for the relationship between the general citizens and public schools.” They stated "it has been a long time since education felt like a public enterprise.”

COUCH KIDS
(September 7, 2003) The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky, printed an article about teens who might sleep in alleys, but are not homeless, asking if these young people, of which there seem to be many, are a new Lost Generation.
www.courier-journal.com/features/2003/09/20030907.html
.

FLORIDA FOSTER KIDS RECEIVE MIND DRUGS
(September 12, 2003) The Palm Beach Florida Post, summarized a report by a Florida Statewide Advocacy Council who reviewed the files of 1,180 children, most in therapeutic foster homes. They found a majority had been given psychotropic medication, with 44 percent of those having no record of a medical examination in the file. These included more than a dozen younger than 6, and a baby, “given drugs for depression, schizophrenia and other mental disorders.”

HIGH SCHOOL DROPOUT RATES UNDERSTATED
(September 16, 2003) The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/2003/09/17/education/17GRAD.html, reports a study by Jay P. Greene of the Manhattan Institute, stating that education officials often fudge the numbers of dropout rates; the actual dropout rate is much higher than official statistics indicate.

SURVEY SHOWS GIRLS PASS BOYS IN EDUCATION
(September 16, 2003) The New York Times, www.nytimes.com/2003/09/17/education/17REPO.html, reports a survey released by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (O.E.C.D.) in Paris France that shows “most O.E.C.D. countries young women are now more likely than young men to obtain first degrees from university-level institutions.” In addition, “at 15, girls were better readers than boys in every one of the 43 countries that took part in a 2000 study.” The Washington Times covered the same report in their Sept. 22-28 edition, also pointing out: “American high school students are trailing teens from 14 leading European and Asian countries in reading, math and science.” They also stated that the United States paid “$20,358 annually for each student in public schools and colleges,” or “5 percent of [the United States'] gross domestic product, compared with $8,065 in Japan and $6,118 in Korea, or 3.6 percent and 4.3 percent of their GDPs, respectively.”

PREPARED FOR COLLEGE
(September 17, 2003) EducationNews.org, reports a Manhattan Institute for Policy Research at www.educationnews.org/study-finds-only-32.htm that concludes only 32% of U.S. High School graduates are qualified to attend a four-year college.

PARENTS DEMAND SCHOOLS THAT WORK
(September 19, 2003) Insight Magazine, www.insightmag.com/news/466895.html, reports an increasing number of parents look to private schools to give them the education they want for children. They point out that private schools are no longer “elite,” and that “every socioeconomic sector has parents clamoring to get their kids out of government schools and into alternatives,” which is driving the Bush administration’s attempt to pass a voucher demonstration program.

ILLINOIS TO REMOVE 130 CHILDREN
(September 20, 2003) The Charleston South Carolina Post and Courier carried an Associated Press story that the state of Illinois will remove about 130 children from the Maryville Academy’s City of Youth Residential Center in suburban Des Plaines. The Academy “has been under scrutiny for its handling of a suicide and two alleged sexual assaults.” www.charleston.net/stories/092003/wor_20troubled.shtml.

SYMPOSIUM OF ADOLESCENT BRAIN
(September 22, 2003) The Jewish Social Service Agency of Metropolitan Washington (JSSA) is sponsoring The Developing Adolescent Brain: Effects on Behavior, Cognitive Development, and Learning, featuring Jay Giedd, M.D., Kurt W. Fischer, Ph.D. and Anu Lukk, LCSW-C at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on October 27, 2003. For more information 301-816-2682, www.jssa.org, orsymposium@jssa.org.

C.O.R.E. GROWS
(September 22, 2003) Heidi Goldsmith, Founder and Executive Director of the Coalition for Residential Education (CORE), 202-496-9189, www.residentialeducation.org, heidi@residentialeducation.org, reports the organization is actively in the process of creating quality standards for residential education programs. She also reports that “88% of all seniors graduating from CORE member programs” have been accepted into college, compared with only 62% of the general population. She also reports that England is “drawing up plans that will put thousands of their ‘children in care’ into boarding schools, as an alternative to foster care.”

SINGLE SEX PUBLIC SCHOOLS GROWING
(September 22, 2003) The Houston Chronicle, www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/metropolitan/2114008 in a story titled “Where the Boys Are: After rocky start, educators encouraged single-sex school will succeed,” referring to a new public charter middle school in Houston, Texas. “Hailed as the area’s first single-sex public school for children outside an alternative education program,” it is part of a nationwide growth of single sex schools, according to Leonard Sax, president of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education.

PRIVACY CONCERNS
September 25, 2003) The Google Search Engine has instituted a feature that by typing the phone number and area code of any person or business, it will not only bring up the name and address of the person with that phone number, but provide links to a map to that address. To test this, go to www.google.com and type in your phone number, with the dashes. The privacy implications can be of great concern. If you click on the telephone by your name in the search, we are informed you can delete that map function.

AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION ON FOSTER CHILDREN
(October 1, 2003) According to a Press Release from the American Bar Association (ABA) www.abanet.org, at their Fall conference in Pittsburgh, the Young Lawyers Division (YLD) www.abanet.org/yld, will provide “lawyers with public service opportunities focusing on the unmet legal needs of children.” The YLD’s public service project, “One Child One Lawyer,” will feature sessions at their conference “designed to train lawyers to represent the interests of children in court proceedings by serving as guardians ad litem, will provide the benefits of a permanent home by facilitating pro bono adoptions and guardianships, and will create school-based legal clinics to ensure that pressing legal issues do not prevent teenagers from completing their education.”

STUDY REVEALS U.S. HOMEWORK IS EASY LOAD
(October 1, 2003) A study released by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution and the RAND Corporation, titled, “A New Report Reveals That Homework in the United States is an Easy Load,” www.brookings.edu/comm/news/20031001brown.htm concludes, “the great majority of students at all grade levels now spend less than one hour studying on a typical day—an amount that has not changed substantially in at least twenty years.” Even in high school, they found that only a third of 17-year-olds spend an hour or more a day on homework.

TOO FEW GO TO COLLEGE
(October 2, 2003) The Atlanta Journal in an article, “Too few go to college, reports say,” www.ajc.com/news/content/news/1003/02college.html, refers to a report released yesterday by the federal Department of Education and the state-sponsored Education Commission of the States, stating that “the United States, once first in the world, now ranks 11th in college participation leading to a bachelor’s degree.” Sandra Ruppert, who directed the study, said “It may be that it no longer holds true that each succeeding generation [of Americans] will be better educated than the one that preceded it.”

AUTISM CONFERENCE
(October 2, 2003) the Autism Society of America will have their 2004 National Conference & Exposition, “Soaring to New Heights,” in Seattle, Washington on July 7-10. Proposals for presentations are due Friday, November 7, 2003. More information can be found at www.autism-society.org.

CATHOLIC PARENTS BALK AT SEX-ED PROGRAM
(October 6, 2003) The World Net Daily reported many parents are outraged at the “personal safety training” sex-education programs adopted by several Catholic Church dioceses, claiming it was “designed by prostitution advocates.” For more information, go to www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=34939.

VIRGINIA SPECIAL NEEDS RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS IN DOUBT
(October 6, 2003) The Washington Post, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49050-2003Oct5.html, reports, “Budget Shortfall Threatens to Consolidate Sister Schools for Deaf and Blind.” The two state-funded speciality residential schools cost about $63,000 per child each year, and legislators are debating whether to merge them as a cost saving measure.

DIVORCE CULTURE ‘HARMING PUPILS’
(October 6, 2003) Reported in the BBC News, news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/3169444.stm, “Graham Able, chairman of the private schools’ Headmasters' and Headmistresses’ Conference (HMC), praised the traditional family unit.” Able's article, “Divorce Culture ‘ Harming Pupils’,” asserts, “pupil care must be improved in an effort to overcome modern society’s ‘selfish and self-indulgent attitudes'.” He also said, “adolescent boys in particular suffered if both mother and father were not in the household.”

TEACHERS FLEEING THEIR JOBS FASTER
(October 7, 2003) The Christian Science Monitor, www.csmonitor.com/2003/1007/p13s01-lecl.html, warns that teachers are leaving teaching earlier in their careers than ever before.

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