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Posted: Dec 13, 2005 12:40

DECEMBER 2005

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EFFECTS OF SCHOOL SIZE
(2002) This report by Gregory J. Palardy of the University of Georgia and Russell W. Rumberger, University of California, Santa Barbara, summarizes the literature and the authors' current research indicating the Effects of School Size on Student Learning, Dropout and Transfer Rates. More...

WHERE THE BOYS ARE
(March 2004) Australian Bob Birrell in a study titled "Men + women apart: Partnering in Australia" suggests that the decline in female fertility and lower rates of partnering in recent decades largely comes from the deterioration in the economic circumstances of men without post-school qualifications." More...

MERCURY-AUTISM CONNECTION DEBATE
(June 2005) The Columbia Journalism Review published an article by Daniel Schulman reviewing the emotions and conflicting data regarding whether there is or is not an autism epidemic and if so, whether there is any relationship to the mercury containing preservative thimerosal, which is added to many vaccines. More...

INTERVIEW: NATURE-DEFICIT DISORDER
(September 30, 2005) Education News.org reported that author Richard Louv, "Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder," said in an interview that children need to be exposed to nature because it is an integral part of growing up. Louv uses the term nature-deficit disorder to describe the human costs of alienation from nature. More...

ORPHANS FACE DEVELOPMENT 'RISK'
(October 10, 2005) USA Today reported that researchers say infants ignored for long periods in foreign orphanages may miss the social interplay needed to "prime" their brains for normal development. However, adoptive parents say most kids who spend less than two years in an orphanage are mentally healthy. Pediatric neurologist Harry Chugani, Children's Hospital, Detroit, MI, said, "It looks like the brain is wired for emotional bonding at birth and if that doesn't happen, the system goes awry." More...

TESTING DUMBS DOWN EDUCATION
(October 25, 2005) The Charlotte Observer posted an opinion article by Ann Dunlap who said that no one wants to admit that standardized testing has forced us to dumb down education and eliminated the initiative for young people to excel beyond receiving a test score. Unfortunately, according to her, teachers teach to the test, not the subject. More...

AMERICAN INTEREST DECLINES
(October 25, 2005) The Atlanta Journal-Constitutions column New Attitudes reported that Americans lack enthusiasm for learning math and science, which is leading many businesses to find bright minds overseas in India, Singapore, China and elsewhere. More...

ENGLAND SCHOOL ORGANIZATION
(October 26, 2005) The Independent Online reported Prime Minister Tony Blair's White Paper - Higher Standards, Better Schools for All - envisions giving more power to pupils and parents in secondary schools. More...

SCHOOL FOR EXTREMELY GIFTED
(October 26, 2005) The New York Times reported the University of Nevada has formed a new public school, the Davidson Academy of Nevada, for profoundly gifted children. Davidson accepts students whose test scores and evaluations place them within the 99.9 percentile. With federal and state governments concentrating resources on slower learners, the children whose I.Q.'s are 160 or above are often overlooked. More...

PARENT INVOLVEMENT LESS IMPORTANT
(October 26, 2005) The Los Angeles Times reported that a new study indicates that involved parents and well-behaved youngsters do not appear to have a major effect on how well elementary students perform on standardized tests. EdSource, an independent group that studies state education issues, said the study of lower-income schools found the strongest elements in high-performing schools included linking lessons closely to state standards, carefully/ regularly analyzing student performance, making student achievement a high priority and having enough textbooks and other teaching materials. More...

SCHOOL SIZE: IS SMALLER BETTER?
(October 26, 2005) A Seattle Times article said the Gates Foundation announced it is moving away from its emphasis on converting large high schools into smaller ones and instead giving grants to specially selected school districts with a track record of academic improvement and effective leadership. The story also said that education leaders at the Foundation concluded that improving classroom instruction and mobilizing the resources of an entire district were more important first steps to improving high schools than breaking down the size. More...

MD SENDS OFFENDERS OUT
(October 27, 2005) The Baltimore Sun reported the Maryland State Department of Juvenile Services sent a Baltimore youth to Iowa to spend months in a program for delinquents. The state has sent youths to out-of-state programs due to the lack of appropriate placements in Maryland. More...

ONLINE PHYS ED CATCHING ON
(October 31, 2005) ESchool News reported the Minneapolis school system's online physical education allows kids to choose a physical activity they enjoy and do it on their own time for 30 minutes three times a week, while keeping an online journal. The course is popular in Minneapolis, and the teachers and administrators who developed it believe they've found a way to help kids maintain a lifelong healthy fitness habit. More...

IMPLICATIONS OF SEX DIFFERENCES
(November 2005) The Times of India published this review of how differences in the brains of boys and girls imply different teaching methods. More...

GENE TEST FOR DYSLEXIA
(November 1, 2005) Wrights Law reported the American Society of Human Genetics released research information showing that several genes have been independently identified as causative for dyslexia. A genetic test for dyslexia should be available within a year or less. The test involves a simple cheek swab allowing children to be diagnosed at birth. Appropriate early intervention can eliminate or lessen the severity of dyslexia before formal reading instruction takes place. More...

WIKIBOOKS OFFERS FREE E-TEXTBOOKS
(November 2, 2005) ESchool News reported The Wikimedia Foundation-the group known best for the open-source, freely licensed encyclopedia project Wikipedia, which invites users to write, edit and expand upon encyclopedia entries to create a collaborative, free-to-use online information resource-has begun a similar initiative for textbooks. The project uses Wiki web-publishing software, which permits users to read, edit and write the eTextbooks themselves. More...

LIMITING PARENT RIGHTS
(November 3, 2005) The World Net Daily reported the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against parents who sued their local school district after their elementary-age children were given a sexually charged survey. The Court said "there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children." They further ruled that parents "have no due process or privacy rights to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students." More...

COSMIKIDS
(November 4, 2005) Gerry Harrington, New Spirituality Communications, 888-543-7738, announced that CosmiKids, Brea, CA, is a character development program that utilizes a distinctive curriculum that integrates intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical development.

SCHOOLS MUST ADAPT TO DIFFERENCES
(November 6, 2005) The Enquirer reported that best-selling author and educator Michael Gurian said boys and girls learn differently, but they don't have to be separated in the classroom to succeed. Instead, teachers can be trained to recognize learning differences in the classroom. More...

20/20 INVESTIGATES KIWI-STYLE BRAT CAMP
(November 8, 2005) A story on OneNews in New Zealand reported that 20/20's Lisa Glass joined a kiwi-style brat camp called Xtreme Youth on a two-week mission to turn a bunch of horrors into heroes. The camp is run by Vietnam Veteran, Richard Cairns who designed it to push the young men to their physical and mental limits. More...

EDUCATORS LOOK AT VIDEO GAMES
(November 8, 2005) ESchool News reported the Federation of American Scientists Summit on "Video Gaming" and McKinley High School's "Be the Game" video-gaming summit in Washington DC were meant to demonstrate the academic value of gaming technology. The Federation event focused on the theory behind using video games in the school curriculum, and the McKinley High School summit looked at how to use gaming curricula to engage students and improve their performance. More...

STONINGTON BEGINS NEW PROGRAM
(November 14, 2005) Timothy C. Crimmins, MBA, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Stonington Institute, New London, CT, 860-439-6000, announced that on November 18, 2005 the program started the Stonewall Program. Stonewall is a partial hospitalization/intensive outpatient program with housing and transportation that caters to gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (GLBT) community members who need mental health and substance abuse services.

TEEN SLEEPING PILL USAGE INCREASES
(November 15, 2005) The New York Times reported that information released by Medco Health Solutions, a large managed-care company, said that more than 180,000 people in the United States under age 20 (most age 10 and older) took sleep medications in 2004. This is an 85 percent increase since 2000. More...

IN EVERY BOY…
(November 15, 2005) The British Guardian Unlimited reported there is an argument that within each boy there is a bit of the "idiot savant." As an English teacher you are aware that nouns (idiot) are solid, while labels and adjectives (savant) are fluid. The recommendation is that with boys, our focus should be on celebrating and developing the adjective, rather than punishing the noun. More...

WEDGWOOD TO DOUBLES BEDS
(November 16, 2005) The Grand Rapids Press reported that according to a long-range plan, Wedgwood Christian Services hopes to more than double the number of residential beds at its Kentwood campus. If all the buildings are built, the number of residential beds could increase from 58 to 196. More...

SWAN VALLEY YOUTH ACADEMY ACCREDITATION
(November 17, 2005) The Bigfork Eagle in Montana reported that after a yearlong evaluation, the Swan Valley Youth Academy earned accreditation earlier this year from the American Correctional Association. Swan Valley is a juvenile residential facility for young men ages 13-15. More...

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