News & Views
NEWS & VIEWS DECEMBER 2004
Dec 6, 2004, 16:34
BAERGEN ADMISSIONS AT SAN MARCOS BAPTIST ACADEMY
(October 4, 2004) San Marcos Baptist Academy, San Marcos, TX, 800-428-5120, www.smba.org, announced Jeffrey D. Baergen, email@example.com, is the school's new Director of Admissions.
HOME FOR PREGNANT TEENS
(October 20, 2004) Spencer and Jana Moody, New Beginnings Maternity Home, Kanab, UT, 435-644-8648, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.nbmaternityhome.com, announced the formation of their residential support facility that is specifically setup to assist programs who accept a new intake and then learn she is pregnant. Their goal is to help the girls get through their pregnancy with the possibility of returning to the original treatment program. The advantages listed indicate the referring program will receive a $500 referral fee for each placement, provides a service for parents, and parents may decide to continue with the original program after the birth. (This depends on whether the girl is adopting out or keeping the baby, etc.).
SCHOOL DOWN UNDER
(November 1, 2004) Kent Ferguson, Headmaster of School Down Under, Palmerston North, New Zealand (with offices in Santa Barbara, CA, 805-896-5131), 64-6-324-7000, Kent@SchoolDownUnder.com, www.schooldownunder.com, is preparing for their second year beginning on January 30, 2005. The school considers itself a "semester abroad" school with special strengths in teaching to different learning styles. Kent also announced another book by a member of the faculty, Teachers of Myth by Maren Hansen, which, among other things, talks about using "myth as a device for learning and exploring."
CONNECTICUT TEEN ARRESTED FOR THREATS
(October 29, 2004) The New Haven Register in Connecticut reported that police arrested a 17-year-old Foran High School student after he allegedly threatened to shoot students on his school bus. Police said they found two boxes containing guns during a 3:30 a.m. search at the teen's residence. Arraigned in the Superior Court, the boy is charged with disorderly conduct and threatening fellow students. According to one student on the bus, students riding in the back teased the teen. Police and witnesses reported that he allegedly said, "I'm tired of this (expletive). I'm going to get a gun and shoot you all." www.nhregister.com
SEX ON TV AIMED AT TEENS
(November 2004) Aimtoday.com reported television shows aimed at teenagers now show fewer sex scenes with physical repercussions. However, they do emphasize the emotional and social consequences of engaging in sex, such as humiliation, rejection, guilt and anxiety. In her study, Jennifer Aubrey of the University of Missouri viewed 84 hours of prime-time television that revealed five percent of the programming dealt with the physical consequences of sex. Aubrey's study showed that 32 percent focused on the emotional ramifications of sex with four percent containing positive consequences. When females initiated the sexual activity, the negative repercussions ensued 60 percent of the time. www.channels.aimtoday.com.
ARE OVERPROTECTIVE PARENTS CREATING A NATION OF WIMPS?
(November 2004) Psychology Today reported today's children are growing up in a sanitized childhood, without skinned knees or the occasional 'C' in history. David Elkind, a child psychologist and professor at Tufts University in Massachusetts, said "kids need to feel badly sometimes." Elkind added that we learn through every experience, good or bad, but through failure, we learn to cope. The article asserts that although error and experimentation are the true mothers of success, parents are taking pains to remove failure from the equation. It continues to say kids are unable to creatively adapt to the normal experiences of life with only a few challenges to call their own. This not only makes them risk-averse, but makes them psychologically fragile and riddled with anxiety. The article concludes that overprotected kids are robbed of identity, meaning, sense of accomplishment and true happiness. www.channels.aimtoday.com
NEW TRACKING SYSTEM FOR WILDERNESS PROGRAMS
(November 2004) Worldtrac, LLC, is a worldwide company that now offers a global tracking system and locating service as a solution to keep track of kids in wilderness camps. The Y-TAG system automatically alerts the supervisor if a student gets lost or runs away. The Y-TAG system comes complete with an adjustable range for perimeter limits that allows up to 40 miles of tracking and audible alerts with visual identification of the student. www.usatrac.com.
ADDICTED TO EVIL DRUGS
(November 2004) The Indian Express, North American Edition, reported that substance abuse by teenagers is worrying doctors, educators and parents so much that it is now being identified as a critical public health problem. ''Over the past five years, there has been a 50 percent increase in substance abuse by teenagers worldwide,'' said Dr. Samir Parikh, adolescent psychiatrist with Max Healthcare, Delhi. ''In any city school, five kids out of 10 will admit to experimenting with substances, and at least one out of five will admit to doing it regularly.'' www.iexpressusa.com
ONE-IN-FOUR AMERICAN ADULTS RECEIVE THERAPY IN LAST TWO YEARS
(November 2004) Psychology Today reported that Therapy in America 2004, a new Harris InteractiveŽ poll, conducted a survey of 501 adults. An online follow-up survey of 1,731 people who needed or received treatment for mental health issues showed that 27 percent of adults, or more than one-in-four, received treatment in the past two years. Of those who received treatment 80 percent found it effective, while 85 percent reported they are satisfied with treatment. The leading barriers for people who do not receive mental health care included the cost, lack of confidence that treatment helps, and lack of health insurance. www.cms.psychologytoday.com
SPANKING BAN FAILS IN BRITAIN
(November 3, 2004) An Associated Press story in the Chicago Sun-Times reported that London lawmakers voted 424-75 against banning parents from spanking their children. Prime Minister Tony Blair's government shied away from the outright ban, fearing accusations of intruding into family affairs. ''There is a world of difference between a light smack and violent abuse,'' said Minister for Children Margaret Hodge. Arguing against the ban, she said it would ''leave parents wondering if a trivial smack would land them in prison.''
PARENTS FILE FEDERAL SUIT AGAINST BETHEL BOYS ACADEMY
(November 3, 2004) A story on the ClarionLedger.com website reported that parents of eight former Bethel Boys Academy cadets in Lucedale, MS, filed a federal lawsuit seeking $75,000 in damages individually based on the allegations that their sons were beaten and forced to work at the academy. In a separate story on November 4, John Fountain, director of the Bethel Boys Academy said he will file a counter suit against the parents. www.strugglingteens.com
DRUG NEWS CAUSES DILEMMA IN PARENTS
(November 7, 2004) The Chicago Tribune reported last month that the Food and Drug Administration placed the strict "black box" warnings on antidepressants, cautioning that the medications increase the risk of suicidal thoughts and behavior in children and teens. The dilemma for parents is either put their kids on drugs and accept the risk of side effects, or forgo the medication and risk the potentially severe consequences of untreated mental illness. Evaluating drugs is difficult because there is little independent research on the long-term consequences for children. According to the story, one out of every 10 children under the age of 18 is struggling with a severe, impairing psychiatric disorder. www.chicagotribune.com
ONLINE ED PUTS SCHOOLS IN A BIND
(November 9, 2004) The Denver Post reported the number of students switching from traditional classrooms to full-time virtual schools in Colorado has soared over the past five years. According to the Colorado Department of Education, the state spent $1.08 million to educate 166 full-time cyber school students in 2000/01. This year, the state is spending $23.9 million to educate 4,237 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Students who leave public schools for online schools take their share of state funding with them. "If I lose two kids, that's $20,000 walking out the door," said Dave Grosche, superintendent of the Edison 54JT School District. www.denverpost.com
HOME SCHOOLING SUCCESS DISPUTED
(November 15, 2004) The Akron Beacon Journal reported that while home-schooling parents argue that their children are not only succeeding academically, they are also doing far better than those in the public schools. Many critics believe that studies showing home-schooled children are doing better than those in public schools are flawed and misinterpreted. While it is being claimed that "home schoolers demonstrate a significant academic achievement level,'' Michael Smith, president of the politically powerful HSLDA, wrote in a recent article, "there is concern among school officials and some researchers that the number of home-school failures is growing at a rate and at a social cost that are unknown and no one is paying attention. He added, "the Home School Legal Defense Association is unaware of any serious critics who still argue that home schoolers struggle academically." www.ohio.com
NOSTALGIA FOR CHILDHOOD FREE TIME?
(November 15, 2004) The Christian Science Monitor reported that older adults raised with the freedom to wander the neighborhood and play on their own, or playing in a playground while their parents sat on the sidelines to keep an eye on them, will wonder about the modern habits that no longer allow children to experience that freedom. Instead, modern methods of raising children usually consist of concepts like "structured time," play dates, before and after school programs, and the like. They will realize that the old days of running loose and making one's own fun is the exception rather then the rule. Part of the reason is that no one is at home to keep an eye on the kids in the neighborhood any longer. This is due to the increasing number of single parent families and trends reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which shows that of the two-parent households with children under the age of 18, more than 61 percent reported both parents work. The article expressed concern over whether modern children will ever grow up to be self-sufficient or entertain themselves, when their childhood consists of constant stimulation by adults. It recommends that keeping children moderately busy, but not over scheduled, is the best way to teach them to manage their time while learning to socialize. www.csmonitor.com
SOME VIRTUAL UNIVERSITIES ARE FINANCIAL DISASTERS
(November 15, 2004) A story on The Age, an Australian publication, reported that global virtual universities are a catastrophic failure despite early predictions of high success. New research by Professor Simon Marginson of Monash University in Australia, argues that e-learning does not attract a critical mass of students because online degrees do not command the same status as traditional qualifications. Marginson wrote that "Hyper-optimism" caused online ventures to predict an "economic bonanza" through e-learning. When compared with face-to-face college teaching programs, the cost to run a successful online teaching program is 40 to 50 percent more expensive per student. With a plan to spend $21.5 million in three years, the New York University Online program collapsed when just 166 students registered. www.theage.com
SATISFACTION WITH ONLINE CLASSES IS INCREASING
(November 18, 2004) eSchool News reported the Sloan Report on Online learning entitled, Entering the Mainstream: The Quality and Extent of Online Education in the United States, 2003 and 2004, is based on a survey of 1,100 colleges and universities. It's findings suggest that enrollments in university-sponsored online courses are spiking at an average rate of 25 percent year after year. The survey looks at the factors contributing to the rapid expansion of online learning in post-secondary education, and the study's authors project the trend will continue through 2005. www.eschoolnews.com
DETROIT PUBLIC SCHOOLS BROKEN: SMALLER SCHOOLS A SOLUTION?
(November 18, 2004) An opinion article in the Lansing State Journal, a Michigan publication, reported that Detroit Public Schools are nearly $200 million in debt, facing bankruptcy, school closures and staff layoffs and the realization that the Detroit school district, in its current size and configuration, will never succeed. The suggestion is that Michigan and Detroit need to create smaller schools in smaller districts. Drawing new district lines, creating new school boards, administrations and ensuring the new districts have the buildings, staff and materials to handle the students, will not be easy. www.lsj.com
PARENTS CHOOSE NOT TO USE 86 PERCENT OF NYC SCHOOLS
(November 19, 2004) New York Daily News reported that New York City School Chancellor, Joel Klein, told City Council members that nine of 10 city high schools are 'hell-holes' that parents do not want their children to attend. Information charts show parents refuse to send kids to 86 percent of the city's 318 high schools. Parents complained that the new school selection process was confusing and forced their children to attend poor schools. Klein insisted the problem was not the selection process, but the huge number of bad schools. www.nydailynews.com
STUDENT ALLEGES ABUSE AT WHITMORE ACADEMY
(November 30, 2004) KSLTV.com in Utah reported that a teenage boy enrolled at Whitmore Academy, a facility for troubled teens, is making "strong allegations" of verbal and physical abuse at the facility. Carol Sisco, Utah Child and Family Services, said her office had notified the owners of Whitmore, Mark and Cheryl Sudweeks, of the State's decision to revoke their license. A counselor at Whitmore, Victoria Degarmo told KSL TV "there is no verbal abuse. What goes on here is nothing that doesn't go on in a family home." www.strugglingteens.com