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News & Views
Jun 23, 2005
SOCIAL SERVICE WORKSHOPS
(May 2005) The Jewish Social Service Agency of Metropolitan Washington (JSSA) announced the Northern Virginia workshops and support groups are scheduled to take place this summer. The topics will include child and teen stress management, social skills therapy, social skills summer mini-camp, adult social skills and support groups for parents of children with special needs. For more information, location, time, registration and cost, call 703-204-9100 or visit their website.
TEEN KILLERS: WIRING DEFICITS
(May 2005) Crime Times reported a study of juveniles condemned to death showed compelling evidence that they exhibited serious neurological impairment at the time they committed their crimes. Dorothy Otnow Lewis and colleagues, evaluated 18 males on death row and found 33 percent began life with potentially compromised central nervous system function. The researchers cited current evidence showing the prefrontal cortex and temporal lobes, both critical to reasoning and self-control, do not mature until late adolescence. Teens with brain dysfunction would be more vulnerable to impairments in judgment and impulse control.
SIXTH ANNUAL DISABILITY EXPO
(May 2005) The World Congress & Exposition on Disabilities (WCD), the world's leading disability event, announced the 6th annual expo is to take place December 1-3, 2005 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA. This educational program provides invaluable special events and activities; the WCD is offers a unique forum for the exchange of ideas and products for persons with disabilities and special health care needs, as well as for those involved with their care and development. For more information and registration call 201-226-1446 or visit their website.
PUBLIC OUTPERFORMS PRIVATE
(May 15, 2005) The American Federation of Teachers reported a new authoritative study by Sarah and Christopher Lubienski, both with the University of Illinois, found that public school students do better on NAEP math tests than private school students. Mean scores of public school 4th graders are 6-7 points higher than those of private school 4th graders. In grade 8, public school students outscore Catholic school students by an average of 6.5 points and other private school students by 3.7 points when race, SES and disability are considered. More...
INTERNET CONVENIENCE VS. PRIVACY
(May 18, 2005) The New York Times reported 41 graduate students at Johns Hopkins University spent a semester collecting as much personal data as they could on the Internet. Students used only legal, public sources of information, which represented hundreds of thousands of individuals in each database. Professor Aviel D. Rubin, who conceived the project, was pleasantly surprised that his students turned up fewer Social Security numbers than expected. (This is an archived story readers interested must pay for the full article).
ONLINE FIELD TRIPS BOOST SCORES
(May 19, 2005) eSchool News online reported a research study by Maryland Public Television (MPT), showed that the 400 seventh and eighth graders who used three online field trips, developed by MPT for social studies and language arts, scored higher on a national standardized reading comprehension test than those who used only traditional learning methods. These findings may have national implications for educators who embrace the internet as a learning tool. The resources are free and available on MPT's educational website. More...
DEPRESSION, et al, INCREASED
(May 21, 2005) The Washington Post reported, “the number one medication in college is antidepressants," said Richard Kadison of Harvard University, author on growing mental health crisis at colleges. Kadison said, the likelihood of suffering depression on campus has doubled, serious thoughts about committing suicide have tripled and sexual assaults have quadrupled. One in 10 college students seriously considers suicide. Nearly half are so depressed they can't function, according to the American College Health Association, and every year, about 1,400 college students die from injuries related to drinking alcohol. More...
BAD BEHAVIOR, YOUNGER
(May 21, 2005) The Austin American Statesman reported many educators throughout the nation are working to find the best way to discipline and rehabilitate the youngest problem students. Researchers at the Yale Child Study Center released a report stating that pre-kindergartners around the country are expelled three times more than K-12 students. However, local administrators and national experts are calling for schools to make more behavioral specialists, who are experts in early childhood development, available to teachers handling children in crisis. According to the Yale study, teachers reported a 42.6 percent drop in student removals when teachers had access to on-call behavioral specialists. More...
CHARACTER ED KEY TO SCHOOLS
(May 21, 2005) The St. Louis Post Dispatch reported Professor Thomas Lickona presented his report, "Smart and Good High Schools - Integrating Excellence and Ethics for Success in School, Work and Beyond", on high schools and character development to 60 superintendents, principals and other educators. One of the first steps in improving character in a school is to create a climate where teachers, staff and parents challenge people to do their best work and to be their best selves. The report serves as a blueprint to help high schools deal with character development, Lickona said. More...
NCLB UNDERMINES PROGRESS
(May 22, 2005) The Washington Post reported an opinion article by George Allen, who feels that though funding levels have increased, the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)is hampering the efforts of some states that have fought for high standards and accountability in their schools. Allen introduced legislation in Congress with Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) that would amend the NCLB Act and establish guidelines under which a state can receive freedom from the "adequate yearly progress" formula in NCLB. Allen stated that the one-size-fits-all federal measuring stick is forcing Virginia students to meet lower federal standards! More...
BRITIAN CRACKS DOWN ON AUTISM
(May 22, 2005) Guardian Unlimited reported according to mental health charities and professionals, the British government's controversial anti-social behavior order (Asbos) targets children with autism and other serious psychological conditions. Parents have terrible tales of mistreatment by the education and criminal justice systems. Campaigners believe the definition of anti-social behavior in the relevant legislation, the 2003 Anti-Social Behavior Act, is too vague, arguing that 'behavior that causes harassment, alarm or distress' could describe the behavior of many autistic people. More...
TECHNOLOGY PROVIDES CHANGE
(MAY 24, 2005) ESchool News online reported Intel Corp's fourth annual Education Visionary Conference focused on the need to overhaul today’s education system with technology. Only 68 percent of American students graduate from high school and just 26 percent of those who go on to college make it to their sophomore year. "The paper-based system does not make any sense," said Susan Patrick, director of educational technology for the U.S. Department of Education. “Do we want an 18th-century model or a 21st-century model for our schools? The 18th-century model is the one we have now." More...
ENROLLMENT DROPS AT EAGLE POINT
(May 31, 2005) A story in the Mississippi Clarion-Ledger reported that enrollment at the troubled Eagle Point Christian Academy in Lucedale, MS, has dropped from about 100 to 78 cadets this year since the school quelled a riot and kicked out a group of offending students. Other students at the former Bethel Boys Academy were yanked out by parents concerned about safety at the school, which has been defending itself against allegations of mistreatment. More...
PARENTS WANT CHARACTER ED
(May 31, 2005) Scoop Independent News reported a Colmar-Brunton poll, based on a survey of 1001 parents by the Maxim Institute, showed that 84 percent of parents want local schools to teach local values in line with the United Future’s character education policy, said Bernie Ogilvy the party’s education spokesman. “Parents want their kids brought up with decent values and they want schools to complement the work they do at home by instilling strong values in their children. Now it’s time for the rest of Parliament to take notice of what parents want,” Ogilvy said. More...
ARMY-STYLE SCHOOL CLOSES
(June 1, 2005) A story in the Miami Herald reported that as Florida state officials investigated reports of physical abuse, the discipline-oriented Sister Soldier School in Fort Lauderdale said the head of the unlicensed boarding school for girl’s, abruptly closed the private program. More...
DEATH RULED HOMICIDE
(June 2, 2005) A story on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website reported that the traumatic death of a 13-year-old boy who was physically restrained for about an hour and a half by camp counselors is being ruled a homicide. According to White County District Attorney Stan Gunter, the autopsy of showed that the boy who was held face-down on the ground by counselors at a state-operated wilderness camp for troubled boys, indicates he died because of the restraint. Free registration required. More...
COMPUTER LOWERS GRADES
(June 6, 2005) Macleans.CA, a Canadian publication, reported evidence is mounting that obsessive use of information technology is dumbing down adults as well as kids. While they can be engaging and resourceful tools for learning, if used in moderation, computers and the Internet can also distract kids from homework, encourage superficial and uncritical thinking, replace face-to-face interaction between students and teachers, and lead to compulsive behavior. More...
(June 7, 2005) eSchool news online reported one out of every four children in preschool is learning to use the internet. Some 23 percent of children in nursery school, kids ages 3-5, have gone online, according to an Education Department (ED) report. By kindergarten, 32 percent have used the internet. The numbers underscore a trend that shows the largest group of kids now using the internet are ages 2-5. Experts say these figures indicate that schools will have to adjust their method of instruction to accommodate an increasingly tech-savvy generation of new students. More...
EX-STUDENT CONSPIRES TO KILL
(June 7, 2005) The Miami Herald reported authorities arrested Christopher Sutton, 26, in April on charges that he conspired with a friend, Garrett Kopp, to kill his parents. Investigators believe Kopp, 21, was the triggerman who killed Sutton’s mother Susan Sutton, and wounded his dad John Sutton, on August 22, 2004. Court records suggest that Sutton planned his parents' shooting in an effort to collect their estate and satisfy a long-simmering resentment toward them for placing him in the controversial youth-treatment center, Paradise Cove, in American Samoa. More...
BETTER MANNERS CAMP IN EUROPE
(June 8, 2005) EMedia Wire reported Minding Manners will offer the first condensed etiquette and dining skills program as a one-week summer camp for children, ages 8-17. The interactive programs are a balance between traditional etiquette values, and the contemporary social skills needed for children and teens to be successful in the global economy of the 21st century. The programs will take place July 4–8 and are the first of their kind in Europe. More...
NEW WEBSITE: PLAYTIME
(June 13, 2005) In a press release from Greg Walsh, President, Walsh Public Relations, Fairfax, VA, child psychologist Dr. Lawrence E. Shapiro claims that 10 minutes of play a day with Dad can ward off emotional and behavioral problems. In collaboration with CTC Publishing, Shapiro has set up a website for fathers to sign a “Pledge to Play” with their kids for at least one hour a week. Shapiro, author of An Ounce of Prevention, How To Stop Emotional and Behavioral Problems Before They Start, as well as The Secret Language of Children, explains, “Play is not just about having fun. Research has taught us that play is an integral part of a child’s development, an antidote to stress for children as well as adults, and a way for parents to impart their values.”
(June 13, 2005) The Salt Lake Tribune reported Richard Louv, a child advocate and author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder. Nature-Deficit Disorder, a buzzword, not a real diagnosis, is a term Louv uses to describe what he considers real costs for children, adults, families and communities, of being alienated from nature such as diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties and higher rates of physical and emotional illness. More...
STATE CUTS FUNDING PROJECT
(June 13, 2005) The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported the Children's Administration, a branch of the Department of Social and Health Services that oversees the well-being of about 10,000 children in foster care, found itself with a $12 million budget shortfall, and regional chiefs had to cut budgets. The Seattle area trimmed more than $328,000 in services directly affecting 173 children, said Bill Grimm, senior attorney at the California-based National Center for Youth Law. He added that statewide, the recent cuts total $2.2 million in direct services affecting as many as 374 foster children. More...
WEIGHT DRUG AIDS KIDS
(June 15, 2005) The Sacramento Bee reported according to a new study, Orlistat, sold under the brand name Xenical, has proved effective in obese adolescents when combined with a healthier diet and more exercise. The 54-week, double-blind study of 539 obese adolescents, ages 12-16, found that more than one-quarter of the Xenical patients, compared with 15 percent of the group getting a dummy pill, had a five percent or higher decrease in their body mass index, or BMI. The research also raises concerns that doctors may be tempted to prescribe the drug without a program to teach and monitor behavior changes. More...
COURTS REPLACE DISCIPLINE
(June 16, 2005) The Orlando Sentinel reported that lawyers and child-development experts say parents are looking for institutions, such as a school district, to correct problems that families once resolved. Today "there is less of a sense of community and connection as a way to work out problems," said Cheryl Dellasega, a professor at the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine and author of Girl Wars: 12 Strategies That Will End Female Bullying. Parents are turning to the courts to discipline children. More...
BUFFALO SOLDIERS COUNSELORS SENTENCED
(June 21, 2005) The Arizona Republic in Phoenix, AZ, reported that a counselor at the American Buffalo Soldiers Re-Enactors Association, a boot camp style facility for struggling teens near Buckeye, AZ, was sentenced to four months for the death of a student in 2001. Three other counselors were also sentenced on child abuse charges. More...
PENTAGON CREATING STUDENT DATABASE
TEENS CONVICTED IN DEATH
(June 23, 2005) An associated press story on Oregonlive.com reported that two Washington State teens, Perry Marshall Rothermel, 19, of Puyallup, and Austin Lee Mays, 16, of Bonney Lake, were convicted of first-degree murder in the beating and shooting death of a Snohomish electrician. The teens accepted plea agreements to avoid life prison terms, and will probably be released from prison when they are in their 50’s or 60’s. More...