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 Posted August 28, 2003 


DISENGAGEMENT AND LOATHING IN HIGH SCHOOL
(June 2003) The results of a study asking 70 students to keep journals of their experiences in school was printed in Educational Horizons, produced by Pi Lambda Theta. With 50 out of 52 journals returned using the words “boring” and “stupid,” the authors pointed out even top academic students had this reaction. Reporting that they endured their classes “to attain marks that would qualify them for particular colleges,” they shared the common complaint that “uninterested teachers refused to deviate from the textbook or enliven instruction with example, discussion, or outside materials.”

LAWSUIT TO BAN OREO COOKIES
(June 11, 2003) Columnist Walter Williams writes about a California lawsuit to ban Oreo cookies from children in California, claiming “trans fat is so dangerous that our children should be protected from it.” The author asserts this is part of a trend whose precedent was set by the Los Angeles Unified School District’s banning of soft drinks at the district’s schools to improve the children’s health, the lawsuits against fast food restaurants “responsible for obesity,” and the “successes of the anti-tobacco campaign premised on the idea that individuals are not responsible for their eating choices.” [more...]

LINK BETWEEN TIME IN DAY CARE AND AGGRESSIVENESS
(July 15, 2003) According to the Washington Times, the Early Child Care and Youth Development study by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) concluded there is a slight correlation between the time young children spend in day care and aggressive or disobedient behaviors. Other important factors that influenced the results are the quality of the day care, and most importantly, the mother’s sensitivity to the child. This is a longetudenal study started in 1991 of 1,000 children. [more...]

MEDITATION AT CHARTER SCHOOL SUCCESSFUL
(June 18, 2003) Education Week, June 18, p. 3, reported a study conducted by University of Michigan researchers at Nataki Talibah Schoolhouse, a Detroit charter school. It concluded that students using Transcendental Meditation as a nonreligious technique, show a “significantly higher elevation in positive emotional state”.

DISABLED VALEDICTORIAN SKIPS GRADUATION
(Jun 19, 2003) The Philadelphia Daily News reported that Blair Hornstine, a student who the federal court had ordered the school district to recognize as valedictorian, and was labeled academically as disabled, has decided to skip graduation ceremonies. According to a statement on her behalf, “...The hostile environment at the school has traumatized Blair both physically and emotionally, to the point that she cannot and will not attend the graduation ceremonies.” [more...]

DYSLEXIA RESEARCH
(July 20, 2003) Time Magazine reviews the problem of Dyslexia and modern research about why some students struggle so with reading. It states, “a growing body of scientific evidence suggests there is a glitch in the neurological wiring of dyslexics that makes reading extremely difficult for them....The most successful programs focus on strengthening the brain’s aptitude for linking letters to the sounds they represent.... Some studies suggest that the right kinds of instruction provided early enough may rewire the brain so thoroughly that the neurological glitch disappears entirely.” [more...]

MUNCHAUSEN SYNDROME CHALLENGED
(July 22, 2003) Barbara Bryan, Communications Director of the National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center, Roanoke, Virginia, 540-345-1952, BHBryan@aol.com, issued a press release reporting results of legal challenges to use of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSP) which asserts that an assertive mother is the cause of a child’s problems and mother and child should be separated for the good of the child. [more...]

STUDY FINDS 2.6% INCREASE IN U.S. PRISON POPULATION
(July 27, 2003) The nation’s prison population grew 2.6 percent last year, the largest increase since 1999, according to a study by the Justice Department, despite a small decline in serious crime in 2002. It also came when a growing number of states facing large budget deficits have begun trying to reduce prison costs by easing tough sentencing laws passed in the 1990’s, thereby decreasing the number of inmates. Also, 10.4 percent of black men ages 25 to 29, or 442,300 people, were in prison last year, compared to 2.4 percent of Hispanic men and 1.2 percent of white men in the same age group were in prison. Several states, including Kansas and California, have new laws mandating drug treatment rather than prison for nonviolent drug offenses. Violent crimes are responsible for a 64 percent increase in the number of men in state prisons from 1995 to 2001, and 49 percent of the increase in the number of women in state prisons in those years, unusual because women have generally been convicted of drug and property crimes. In the federal prison system, which is now larger than any state system, 48 percent of the growth in the number of prisoners from 1995 to 2001 was accounted for by drug crimes and only 9 percent by violent crimes. [more...]

STUDY SAYS SOME CIGARETTES HAVE MORE "KICK" THAN OTHERS
(July 28, 2003) A study by Oregon Health & Science University researchers shows some brands of cigarettes delivering a much more powerful nicotine “kick” than others. Smoke from 11 brands of cigarettes was analyzed for free base, a specific form of nicotine that passes quickly into the bloodstream when inhaled, showing free base levels 25 to 35 times higher than the lowest-level cigarettes. The study adds suspicions that manufacturers deliberately blend tobacco to boost the addictive effect, though the tobacco industry has long claimed to adjust tobacco only for taste, not to increase nicotine potency. [more...]

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