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  1. Voucher Systems (Awesome Library)
      Provides sources of arguments for and against vouchers regarding the Supreme Court case of Zelman v. Simmons-Harris. Justice O'Connor is believed to hold the deciding vote. This case may be the most important finding of the Supreme Court regarding education in decades.

Multimedia
  1. How Animals Learn Language (Time.com)
      "TIME science writer Jeffrey Kluger visits the Great Ape Trust to meet a remarkable Bonobo ape named Kanzi."

  2. Youngest Child Ever Competes in National Spelling Bee (CBS News)
      Lori Anne competes in the semi-finals. Lori Anne Madison is 6 years old. 05-12

News
  1. -02-01-12 A Good Way to Start Your Day (Time.com)
      "So what would our mornings look like if we re-engineered them in the interest of maximizing our creative problem-solving capacities? We’d set the alarm a few minutes early and lie awake in bed, following our thoughts where they lead (with a pen and paper nearby to jot down any evanescent inspirations.) We’d stand a little longer under the warm water of the shower, dismissing task-oriented thoughts (“What will I say at that 9 a.m. meeting?”) in favor of a few more minutes of mental dilation. We’d take some deep breaths during our commute, instead of succumbing to road rage. And once in the office — after we get that cup of coffee — we’d direct our computer browser not to the news of the day but to the funniest videos the web has to offer."

      "For decades, psychologists have manipulated the emotions of subjects in the lab by showing them short film clips. But now there’s YouTube — and, in fact, the clip that made the participants in Ruby Nadler’s study happiest of all was a YouTube video of a laughing baby. Laughing babies and a double latte: now that’s a way to start the day." 02-12

  2. -02-01-12 Don't Call Introverted Children "Shy" (Time.com)
      "According to the psychologist Elaine Aron, author of the book Psychotherapy and the Highly Sensitive Person, 70% of children with a careful temperament grow up to be introverts, meaning they prefer minimally stimulating environments — a glass of wine with a close friend over a raucous party full of strangers. Some will grow up shy as well. Shyness and introversion are not the same thing. Shy people fear negative judgment, while introverts simply prefer less stimulation; shyness is inherently painful, and introversion is not. But in a society that prizes the bold and the outspoken, both are perceived as disadvantages." 02-12

  3. -02-01-12 The Myth of "Practice Makes Perfect" (Time.com)
      "But what we don’t do is intentionally look for ways that we’re failing and hammer away at those flaws until they’re gone, then search for more ways we’re messing up. But almost two decades of research shows that’s exactly what distinguishes the merely good from the great." 02-12

  4. -02-04-11 How Testing Helps Learning (Time.com)
      "It's long been known that the brain needs sleep to learn. Sleep has been shown to help the brain consolidate memories after cramming, and even to prime the brain to learn better beforehand. Now a new study looks at how sleep affects learning when the brain knows it will be tested." 02-11

  5. -02-04-13 What Ancient Societies Have to Teach Us About Child Rearing (Time.com)
      "Jared Diamond’s new book, The World Until Yesterday, describes some of the lessons we can learn from today’s hunter-gatherer societies that most closely approximate the way people lived in our ancestral past. While they vary in important ways, most of these societies share a leisurely childhood where infants are constantly held by their mothers or other caretakers and where young children have enormous freedom to play." 07-11

  6. -02-25-11 Lumosity Brain Exercises (Techland.com)
      "It doesn't take a genius to realize why web-based brain training website Lumosity grew 400 percent to 11 million users in 190 countries last year. That's because the mentally stimulating website not only helps scientists understand how the brain works, but provides puzzles that help you use your memory and thought processes."

      " 'We can dig through the database to get a better understanding of how people can improve their cognitive performance,' co-founder and Chief Science Officer Mike Scanlan told Mashable."

      "The website was started in 2007 in collaboration with Stanford, Harvard, Carnegie Mellon and Columbia University. Scientists use player's data to understand how the brain functions, and the company creates games to fit the findings." 02-11

  7. -03-14-11 Editorial: Zero Tolerance, Zero Sense (Time.com)
      "Making distinctions is part of learning. So is making mistakes. When authorities confuse intent and accident, when rules are seen as more sacred than sense, when a contrite first-time offender is treated no differently from a serial classroom menace, we teach children that authority is deaf and dumb, that there is no judgment in justice. It undermines respect for discipline at a stage when we want kids to internalize it." 03-11

  8. -03-15-12 Editorial: Why We Should Care the Encyclopedia Britannica Is No Longer in Print (CNN News)
      "The disappearance of our printed sources of information poses two serious concerns. First, our antiquated, overtaxed, patchwork power grid is perennially on the verge of collapse..... No power, no Internet."

      "Second, just two-thirds of all Americans have access to the Internet at work or home.”

      "Looking forward to the world our children and their children will live in doesn't mean simply abandoning technology that seems anachronistic. It means preserving the best of what we know and making it accessible to everyone." 03-12

  9. -05-09-11 Study: One in 38 Children May Have Autism Spectrum Disorder (Time.com)
      "In the first large-scale study of its kind, U.S. and South Korean researchers report that the rate of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) may be significantly higher than previously thought, affecting as many as 1 in 38 children. The findings suggest that many youngsters may be going undiagnosed and untreated for the developmental disorder."

      "In a study that involved students in both special needs and regular elementary schools in the Ilsan district of Goyang, South Korea, scientists led by Dr. Young Shin Kim at Yale University School of Medicine found that among 55,266 children aged 7 to 12, the rate of ASDs was 2.64% (or one case of ASD for every 38 youngsters). That percentage outstrips the current U.S estimate of 1 in 110 eight-year-olds — around 1% — a rate that has itself risen in recent years." 05-11

  10. -05-16-11 Selling Coal to Kids (Time.com)
      "Part of what critics assail the [Scholastic] poster for is that it mentions none of the health and environmental downsides of coal. But in fairness, there's no mention of Fukushima in the write-up about nuclear or the BP spill in the explanation of oil either. Still, the map is unmistakably weighted toward coal, and its reverse side — where the teacher's guide is provided — is just as bad, recommending an entire 40-min. class be set aside to 'walk students through the basic steps of coal production and how it is used to generate electricity.' " 05-11

  11. -05-16-15 Study: "Big Push" Approach Works to Reduce Poverty (Christian Science Monitor)
      "Further study could also make rigorous comparisons between such labor-intensive help and help that is limited to direct cash payments. Some studies have hinted that merely providing cash payments to the poorest of the poor for a period of time may be sufficient to set them on a path to sustained self-employment. That could be an attractive alternative to groups or governments with more money than staff."

      "But a cash-payment approach would lack one element that appeared to play a key role in the big push success: the impact of persistent coaching on participants' ways of thinking about their situation, says BRAC's Ms. Samaranayake."

  12. -05-28-12 Youngest Child Ever Competes in National Spelling Bee (ABC News)
      "When Lori Anne spelled 'vaquero' to win the regional bee in Prince William County in March, she set a new standard for youth in the national bee's 87-year history." Lori Anne Madison is 6 years old. 05-12

  13. -06-01-12 Snigdha Nandipati Wins the National Spelling Bee (CBS News)
      "Snigdha Nandipati clinched the 2012 Scripps National Spelling Bee title with the French word guetapens." 05-12

  14. -06-04-12 Editorial: How About Restricting French Fries? (CNN News)
      "Obesity is the result of an extremely complex interplay of factors, including dietary habits, environment, genes, etc. One of the best studies available, appearing last year in The New England Journal of Medicine, tells a more complicated picture."

      "The study shows that if you increase drinking sugary beverages by one serving per day, it will lead you to gain an additional pound of body weight over four years. A similar amount of weight would be gained from eating an additional serving of red or processed meat daily for four years. But when it comes to potato chips, there seems to be a stronger relationship with weight gain (1.65 pounds). And French fries blew away the numbers (3.65 pounds)."

      Editor's Note: Also try: Fast Foods. 06-12

  15. -06-07-12 Dawn Loggins, Homeless High School Student Makes It to Harvard (CNN News)
      "She was homeless at the start of the school year, abandoned by her drug-abusing parents. The teachers and others in town pitched in -- donating clothes and providing medical and dental care. She got the janitorial job through a school workforce assistance program." 06-12

  16. -06-20-12 The Argument for Children Fighting Back to Avoid Abduction (Time.com)
      "Because even the most well-intentioned laws and the most protective parents have limits, Smart and other advocates are placing more focus on what kids can do themselves. But unlike the fear-mongering, 'stranger danger' campaigns of the 1980s — which told kids not to talk to strangers but did little else to help them learn how to escape potentially harmful situations — the focus now is on teaching kids to fight back. 'Twenty years ago we would have told kids to do what the [abductor] says and wait for someone to come help you,' says Ernie Allen, president and CEO of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). 'We now say fight, scream, kick, bite, use whatever tools you have to attract attention to yourself.' " 06-12

  17. -07-20-10 States to Adopt National Standards for Education (New York Times)
      "Less than two months after the nation’s governors and state school chiefs released their final recommendations for national education standards, 27 states have adopted them and about a dozen more are expected to do so in the next two weeks." 07-10

  18. -08-15-14 Fidgeting in the Classroom (Washington Post)
      "We quickly learned after further testing, that most of the children in the classroom had poor core strength and balance. In fact, we tested a few other classrooms and found that when compared to children from the early 1980s, only one out of twelve children had normal strength and balance. Only one! Oh my goodness, I thought to myself. These children need to move!" 08-14

  19. -08-25-14 Teen Sleep and Health (CBS News)
      "Only 13 percent of high school students get the optimal amount of sleep, that's eight-and-a-half to nine-and-a-half hours. The American Academy of Pediatrics believes this contributes to obesity, high blood pressure, and depression." 08-14

  20. -09-01-14 A 50-State Look at the Common Core Standards (ABC News)
      "A state-by-state look at the Common Core standards...." 09-14

  21. -09-01-14 Common Core Standards Politicized (ABC News)
      "But states led the Common Core movement that really took off in 2009 and that effort was voluntary."

      "The administration offered incentives to states to adopt college and career-ready standards, and Common Core fit the bill. The incentives included cash grants and permission to ignore parts of the much-maligned No Child Left Behind law."

      "The standards emphasize critical thinking and spell out what reading and math skills students should grasp at each grade level, while leaving how those skills are mastered up to districts and states. The hope was that higher standards shared across state lines would allow for shared resources, comparable student performance measures and smoother school-to-school transitions for children who move, such as military kids." 09-14

  22. -09-08-12 Autism and Bullying (CNN News)
      "A new study finds that children with autism spectrum disorders are bullied far more often than their typically developing peers — nearly five times as often — but parents of autistic kids think the rate is even higher than that." 09-10

  23. -09-23-10 "Value-Added" Teacher Evaluation (Time.com)
      "The last decade has yielded an explosion of data about student performance. In many places, these data can be used to create a year-over-year analysis of how much a teacher advanced the learning of an individual student. Because value-added models can control for other factors impacting student test scores, the most important being whether a student arrived in a teacher's classroom several grade levels behind, this method of analysis can offer a more accurate estimate of how well a particular teacher is teaching than simply looking at the latest set of student test scores. High-flying teachers can be recognized, and low performers can be identified before they spend years doing a disservice to kids. Science and technology to the rescue again!" 09-10

  24. -09-24-10 Texas Board of Education Votes to Limit Mention of Islam (CBS News)
      "The Texas State Board of Education adopted a resolution Friday that seeks to curtail references to Islam in Texas textbooks, as social conservative board members warned of what they describe as a creeping Middle Eastern influence in the nation's publishing industry." 09-10

  25. -10-01-10 Study: Atheists Know More About Religion (Time.com)
      "According to a survey conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, atheists and agnostics tend to know more about religion than members of most faiths, the Los Angeles Times reports. For example, most Protestants could not identify Martin Luther as the founder of the Protestant movement. Atheists took the top spot in the survey, followed by a tie between Mormons and Jews." 09-10

  26. -10-09-10 Teachers Buying School Supplies...and More (Time.com)
      "Welcome back to school in budget-strapped California, where pencils, paper and textbooks are indeed prized goods — and their availability in classrooms is increasingly dependent upon the resourcefulness of teachers. As a matter of financial survival, teachers share tips for donation websites, clip coupons together in staff rooms and learn how to spruce up garage-sale items (bought with their own pennies, of course)."

      "It's a dire time for public education in California. Nearly $17 billion has been cut from schools over the past two years, and a possible $2.4 billion more in cuts are expected in the next year. Teachers have been forced to take pay cuts and endure furlough weeks. And thanks to the 18,000 education-department layoffs last year, classrooms have grown in size. To keep their classrooms afloat, and to avoid even further out-of-pocket expenses (which, since two years ago, have increased from approximately a few hundred dollars to about $1,500 annually), many California teachers are scrambling to find fresh ways to thriftily educate their students and maintain their physically crumbling classrooms." 10-10

  27. -10-18-12 Editorial: The Future of Higher Education (Time.com)
      "Exactly 150 years ago, in the midst of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act, which launched the great and enduring public university system in America. Even during the most wrenching conflict in our history, Lincoln was thinking of the future. This week, in the midst of a taut presidential election, we look to the future of higher education in America. Both candidates weigh in: we have essays from President Obama and Governor Romney. In our special report, we examine the challenges facing higher education. Only 3% of the students at the top 146 colleges come from families in the bottom fourth of household income. Fewer than 6 in 10 undergraduates are finishing four-year degrees within six years. Student-loan debt has topped $900 billion. And states are disinvesting in public colleges and universities at a time when employers need workers with a college education more than ever.” 10-12

  28. -11-02-10 Early Treatment for Autism (New York Times)
      "The treatment is based on a daily therapy, the Early Start Denver Model, that is based on games and pretend play. It has been shown in randomized trials to significantly improve I.Q., language and social skills in toddlers with autism, and researchers say it has even greater potential if it can be started earlier."

  29. -11-09-12 Football Star Is a Girl (Today.com)
      "In a week that women voters were game changers in a presidential election where some women’s rights -- such as equal pay -- were at stake, it was neat to see a spunky 9-year-old girl get recognition on a very different playing field." 11-12

  30. -11-10-11 Spanking as Discipline (CNN News)
      "Numerous studies have pointed to negative consequences for all children who are spanked, regardless of parents' race, ethnicity, income-level or education level. Kids who are physically punished face higher risk of anxiety and depression, higher rates of aggression toward others and a more distant relationship with their parent, Gershoff said. Those risks are in addition to the risk of injury from parents who cross the line from a hard smack on a behind - still damaging, researchers said – to abuse that leaves children bruised or bleeding." 11-11

  31. -12-13-13 "Flipped Classrooms" (PBS.org)
      "In class, students now do what was once considered homework, assignments designed to test learning comprehension. Clintondale teachers say this allows more time for one-on-one help and often encourages students to collaborate in problem-solving." 12-13

  32. -12-16-12 Are Single-Parent Homes More Prone to Violence? (Time.com)
      "Philip Cohen, a sociologist at the University of Maryland, College Park, is not convinced that getting people married is the answer [to violence]. On his blog, he provides a helpful chart in which he compares the number of violent crimes (which has been going down since 1990) with the number of single moms (which has been going up in the same period)."

      "Experts vary on how proactive parents should be: some recommend against bringing up the subject unless curious or frightened children ask, although most advise parents to initiate a conversation. Either way, the key is to reassure kids and answer their questions without providing information overload. Be honest, keeping in mind your child’s age, adjusting your explanations to your children’s ability to understand. And continue with your family’s regular routine, advises Maidenberg."

      "It’s also a good idea to empower kids who feel helpless by brainstorming ways to be useful. Have your kids write letters to the students at Sandy Hook (912 Dickinson Dr., Sandy Hook, CT 06482), suggests Dodge. Make signs of support. It will help up shore up morale in Newtown, Conn., and make your kids feel useful, which in turn relieves some of the stress and fear they are feeling." 12-12

  33. -12-16-12 Kids Ask: "Am I safe?" (Time.com)
      "It’s hard to distill the Connecticut tragedy for little kids when it doesn’t even make sense to adults. But at dinnertime, bedtime, during carpool and everywhere in between, children will be turning to mom and dad for reassurance that they are safe."

      "Experts vary on how proactive parents should be: some recommend against bringing up the subject unless curious or frightened children ask, although most advise parents to initiate a conversation. Either way, the key is to reassure kids and answer their questions without providing information overload. Be honest, keeping in mind your child’s age, adjusting your explanations to your children’s ability to understand. And continue with your family’s regular routine, advises Maidenberg."

      "It’s also a good idea to empower kids who feel helpless by brainstorming ways to be useful. Have your kids write letters to the students at Sandy Hook (912 Dickinson Dr., Sandy Hook, CT 06482), suggests Dodge. Make signs of support. It will help up shore up morale in Newtown, Conn., and make your kids feel useful, which in turn relieves some of the stress and fear they are feeling." 12-12

  34. -12-17-12 Asperger's Syndrome Does Not Create Violence (CBS News)
      " 'There's no research to show that people with Asperger's are more prone to act violently,' Laugeson said. 'We do know that people with Asperger's have a lower threshold for handling frustrations, but there's no research connecting premeditated acts or plans of violence.' "

      "It's important to emphasize that their anger makes them more frustrated, but not more likely to commit crimes, Bell added."

      " 'There is essentially no research that has linked autism or Asperger's to violence,' he emphasized. 'People with autism or Asperger's are no more inclined to commit crimes of violence like what took place in Connecticut last week.' " Visitors sometimes misspell as Asberger, Asburger, Aspurger, Ashpurger, Aspurgher, Haspurger, Ashburger, Asburgher, or Hasburger. 9-01

  35. -12-18-12 Teacher's Fund Reviewing Firearm Holdings (ABC News)
      "The nation's largest teachers' pension fund announced Tuesday that it was reviewing its firearms holdings after determining that its investment in a gun maker was linked to one of the weapons used in last week's Connecticut school massacre."

      "The California State Teachers' Retirement System, which manages $155 billion in assets, was reviewing whether those investments comply with the fund's own social and ethical standards." 12-12

  36. -12-20-12 Editorial: The Gun Business Is Doing Well (Truth-Out.com)
      "The gun business in America is booming, despite the decline in households that own guns. As the Washington Post glibly noted this week, "The U.S. gun industry has been one of the brightest spots in the U.S. economy in recent years, even through the recent downturn. This year, it racked up $11.7 billion in sales and $992 million in profits, according to the research firm IBISWorld." Almost 17 million people applied for a background check to purchase a gun in 2012. More than 156 million people have applied since 1998." 12-12

  37. -12-21-12 CNN Young Heroes (CNN News)
      At the age of 10 Cassandra Lin "decided she wanted to do something for the environment and help the less fortunate in her Rhode Island community. She gathered her friends and created Project TGIF -- Turning Grease Into Fuel. The organization collects used cooking oil from restaurants and homes, refines it and then distributes a percentage of it to families who can't afford to heat their homes." 12-12

  38. -12-21-12 NRA Demands an Armed Security Officer in Every School (NBC News)
      "National Rifle Association executive vice president Wayne LaPierre blamed Hollywood, video games music, the courts and more on Friday for creating a culture of violence in the United States."

      " 'The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun,' he said at a Washington press event, adding, 'With all the money in the federal budget can’t we afford to put a police officer in every single school?' " 12-12

  39. -12-25-11 Study: Arguing with Mom Helps Fend Off Peer Pressure (Time.com)
      "New research shows that adolescents who quickly backed down during an argument with their mother had a harder time resisting peer pressure to use drugs and alcohol than teens who were able to calmly, persuasively, and persistently argue their point with Mom."

      " 'The key quality that appears to link household arguing and resisting peer pressure is a child’s 'ability to persuade and be assertive through calm reasoning,' rather than resorting to whining or yelling, Chango says. 'We found over and over again that the right kinds of arguments are linked to better outcomes for teens.' " 12-11

  40. -12-25-12 Marketing Links Found Between Violent Video Games and Gun Manufacturers (New York Times)
      "As Electronic Arts prepared to market Medal of Honor Warfighter, the latest version of its top-selling video game released in October, it created a Web site that promoted the manufacturers of the guns, knives and combat-style gear depicted in the game." 12-12

  41. 08-22-11 Constitutional Rights of Students in Free Speech (Time.com)
      "Taken together, the back-to-back Indiana and Pennsylvania rulings suggest two things. First, with the rise of the Internet, students are posting a lot of 'crass foolishness,' as the Indiana court tartly put it. And second, that courts are correctly determining that, except in the most extraordinary cases, students have a constitutional right to do so." 08-11

  42. Current Events for Educators (Education Week)
      Provides news for teachers and school administrators.

  43. Current Society and Community Issues in Depth (NOW with Bill Moyers)
      "When PBS and Bill Moyers launched NOW, it was to illuminate stories that weren't being covered on any other public affairs broadcast, and under Moyers' leadership, NOW has pursued the truth behind the headlines. 'We are continuing to take a thoughtful look at the events shaping our world,' says Moyers, who has received every major broadcast journalisim award including more than 30 Emmy Awards."

  44. Wuitschick, Jeremy: Stops a Bus (CNN News)
      "The bus was taking a number of students to Surprise Lake Middle School in Milton, Washington, when the driver became incapacitated Monday morning, falling back into his seat and letting go of the wheel, surveillance video released by the school district shows."

      "The bus kept going, guided by no one for seconds, the video shows. Then seventh-grader Jeremy Wuitschick, two seats to the back and right of the driver, jumped into action." 04-12

Papers
  1. -Editorial: How to End the War Over Sex Education (Time.com)
      "Advocates will debate at top volume the merits of abstinence-only efforts vs. more comprehensive programs that also teach about birth control and sexually transmitted infections (STIs)."

      "These arguments miss the point. We now have a pretty good sense of which sex-education approaches work. Substantial research--including a 2007 Bush Administration report--has concluded that comprehensive programs are most effective at changing teen sexual behaviors. They are also largely uncontroversial outside Washington. Vast majorities of parents favor teaching comprehensive sex education." 03-09

  2. -Editorial: Pass the Bread (CommonDreams.org - Bill Moyers)
      "Bread is life. But if you're like me you have a thousand and more times repeated the ordinary experience of eating bread without a thought for the process that brings it to your table. The reality is physical: I need this bread to live. But the reality is also social: I need others to provide the bread. I depend for bread on hundreds of people I don't know and will never meet. If they fail me, I go hungry. If I offer them nothing of value in exchange for their loaf, I betray them. The people who grow the wheat, process and store the grain, and transport it from farm to city; who bake it, package it, and market it--these people and I are bound together in an intricate reciprocal bargain. We exchange value."

      "This reciprocity sustains us."

  3. -Editorial: Restricting the Size of Sugary Drinks Is a Worthy Experiment (CNN News)
      "Some object that the [New York] mayor's proposal to restrict serving sizes will restrict liberty. But the liberty restricted is not the liberty of the soda-drinker. If they wish, soda drinkers can buy a 2-liter bottle of soda at the grocery for about $1.70 and pour as much of it down their throats as they wish. The liberty that is being restricted is the liberty of the soda seller to manipulate known human weaknesses to the seller's advantage and the buyer's detriment."

      "There is little doubt about the serious health effects of sugary soda. Just one soda a day doubles a woman's risk of diabetes, according to the Harvard Journals of Public Health. Two sodas raises her risk of heart disease by 40%."

      Editor's Note: Also try: Fast Foods. 06-12

  4. -Editorial: Texas Public Schools Are Teaching Creationism (Slate.com)
      "In a previous Slate column on the Texas textbook wars, I explained that Texas’ current science standards were designed to compromise the teaching of evolution. The standards require teachers to 'analyze, evaluate, and critique' evolution and teach 'all sides' of evolution to encourage 'critical thinking.' These requirements are a back-door way to enable teachers to attack evolution and inject creationism into the classroom. If teachers are questioned on their materials, they can shift the responsibility for what they’re teaching onto the state." 01-14

  5. -Editorial: The Assault on Public Education (Truth-Out.org)
      " 'In most states,' The New York Times reports, 'it is now tuition payments, not state appropriations, that cover most of the budget,' so that 'the era of affordable four-year public universities, heavily subsidized by the state, may be over.' " 04-12

  6. -Editorial: The Need for High National Standards (Time.com)
      "The No Child Left Behind Act pushed by President George W. Bush unintentionally exacerbated the problem. It required each state to ensure that its students achieve "universal proficiency" in reading and math — but allowed each to define what that meant. The result was that many states made their job easier by setting their bar lower. This race to the bottom resulted in a Lake Wobegon world where every state declared that its kids were better than average. Take the amazing case of Mississippi. According to the standards it set for itself, 89% of its fourth-graders were proficient or better in reading, making them the best in the nation. Yet according to the random sampling done every few years by the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) test, a mere 18% of the state's fourth-graders were proficient, making them the worst in the nation. Even in Lake Wobegon that doesn't happen." 04-09

  7. -Growing Up Digital, Wired for Distraction (New York Times)
      "Students have always faced distractions and time-wasters. But computers and cellphones, and the constant stream of stimuli they offer, pose a profound new challenge to focusing and learning." 11-10

  8. -Myths About School Shootings (MSNBC News)
      "Here are 10 myths about school shootings, compiled by MSNBC.com from a 2002 study by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education. The researchers studied case files and other primary sources for 37 attacks by current or former students, and also interviewed 10 of the perpetrators."

  9. -New MRI May Test for Autism (AOLHealth.com)
      "A new test that is not available to the public appears to allow doctors to spot autism more easily with the help of of an MRI scan. Researchers at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass., have determined that they can use MRI to detect high-functioning autism with 94 percent accuracy." 12-10

  10. -Study: How Stereotypes Defeat the Stereotyped (Time.com)
      "The power of stereotype is so strong that it can overwhelm many of our other traits, which means that what you learned in kindergarten is true: you're only as good as you expect to be."

      "But the good news is that you can flip this particular psychological coin on its opposite side: recent research has found that positive stereotype reinforcement may be just as powerful as any negative threat." 05-09

  11. -Study: School Breakfast Makes a Difference (PBS.org)
      "Students who ate school breakfast attended an average of 1.5 more days of school than their meal-skipping peers, and their math scores averaged 17.5% higher. The report, which was funded in part by Kellogg's, went on to share that these students with increased attendance and scores were 20% more likely to continue on and graduate high school. High school graduates earn on average $10,090 more annually that their non-diploma-holding counterparts and are significantly less likely to experience hunger in adulthood." 08-13

  12. -Study: School Lunches Inadequate (MSNBC News)
      "School lunches need more fruits, veggies and whole grains and a limit on calories, says a report urging an update of the nation's 14-year-old standards for cafeteria fare." 10-09

  13. Air Quality for Schools, a National Problem (USA Today)
      "Using the government's most up-to-date model for tracking toxic chemicals, USA TODAY spent eight months examining the impact of industrial pollution on the air outside schools across the nation. The model is a computer simulation that predicts the path of toxic chemicals released by thousands of companies."

      "USA TODAY used it to identify schools in toxic hot spots — a task the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had never undertaken."

      "The result: a ranking of 127,800 public, private and parochial schools based on the concentrations and health hazards of chemicals likely to be in the air outside. The model's most recent version used emissions reports filed by 20,000 industrial sites in 2005, the year Hitchens closed."

      "The potential problems that emerged were widespread, insidious and largely unaddressed:" 12-08

  14. Are We Failing Our Geniuses? (Time.com)
      "Earlier this year, Patrick Gonzales of the U.S. Department of Education presented a paper showing that the highest-achieving students in six other countries, including Japan, Hungary and Singapore, scored significantly higher in math than their bright U.S. counterparts, who scored about the same as the Estonians. Which all suggests we may be squandering a national resource: our best young minds."

      "Squandered potential is always unfortunate, but presumably it is these powerful young minds that, if nourished, could one day cure leukemia or stop global warming or become the next James Joyce--or at least J.K. Rowling."

      "In a no-child-left-behind conception of public education, lifting everyone up to a minimum level is more important than allowing students to excel to their limit. It has become more important for schools to identify deficiencies than to cultivate gifts." 08-07

  15. Babies Learn Sign Language First (ABC News)
      "At 18 months old, Aiden now knows how to sign more than 150 words, allowing him to manually communicate what he can't say, Briant said."

      " 'Really, a baby's brain is capable. They're capable of communicating by signing long before they can talk,' said Briant." 02-06

  16. Baby Einsteins Not So Smart (Time.com)
      "Led by Frederick Zimmerman and Dr. Dimitri Christakis, both at the University of Washington, the research team found that with every hour per day spent watching baby DVDs and videos, infants learned six to eight fewer new vocabulary words than babies who never watched the videos. These products had the strongest detrimental effect on babies 8 to 16 months old, the age at which language skills are starting to form. 'The more videos they watched, the fewer words they knew,' says Christakis. 'These babies scored about 10% lower on language skills than infants who had not watched these videos.' " 09-09

  17. Best Education Toys--According to Children (MSNBC News)
      "The test was open to all toy makers who had products that fit our two categories —educational and bargains (toys for $25 or less). But I chose which ones to accept for testing based on 25 years of experience rating toys." 08-10

  18. Bullying Behavior Pervasive (CNN News)
      "A new study commissioned by CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360°" found that the stereotype of the schoolyard bully preying on the weak doesn't reflect reality in schools."

  19. Can Kids Recover from Autism? (MSNBC News)
      "Scientists study the small group of kids who seem to improve."

  20. Cities Where Largest Percentage Have Degrees (CNN News)
      "If you equate education with intelligence, then the smartest city in the United States is Seattle - 52.7 percent of its residents age 25 or older have completed a bachelor's degree or higher."

      Editor's Note: Awesome Library staff do not equate education with intelligence. 09-07

  21. Communicating Science to Kids (CenterforCommunicatingScience.org)
      "Alan Alda, the Center for Communicating Science — and 11-year-olds around the country – are seeking answers from scientists to a timeless question: What is time?"

      "That is the question for this year’s edition of the Flame Challenge, an international contest that asks scientists to communicate complex science in ways that interest and inform an 11-year-old. After screening for scientific accuracy, the entries will be judged by thousands of 11-year-olds in schools around the world. The winning scientists will be brought to New York to be honored in June at the World Science Festival." 12-12

  22. Compelling Evidence Against the Use of Spanking (Time.com)
      "The preponderance of evidence points away from corporal punishment, which the European Union and the United Nations have recommended against, but the data suggest that most parents, especially those in the U.S., still spank their kids." 09-09

  23. Consequences of Insufficient Sleep (Time.com)
      "According to Dinges' analysis of data from the 2003 American Time Use Survey, the most common reason we shortchange ourselves on sleep is work. (The second biggest reason, surprisingly, is that we spend too much time driving around in our cars.) But consider that in giving up two hours of bedtime to do more work, you're losing a quarter of your recommended nightly dose and gaining just 12% more time during the day. What if you could be 12% more productive instead?" 06-08

  24. Creationists Try New Strategy (Christian Science Monitor)
      "In June of last year, Louisiana became the first state to pass what has become known as an 'academic freedom' law. In the past, fights over evolution took place at the local school board level, but academic freedom proponents specifically target state legislatures." 02-09

  25. Education to Gain Big Increase in Funds (U.S. News)
      "The nation's students, schools, and universities stand to receive about one sixth of the $800 billion economic stimulus package passed by the House of Representatives Wednesday evening, a proportion that amounts to the largest increase in federal money for education in nearly half a century." 01-09

  26. Educators Invite Wii Music into the Classroom (MSNBC News)
      "You might play games with your kids at home. But would you send your kids to school to play video games?" 02-09

  27. Exercise and Brain Power (New York Times)
      "Scientists have suspected for decades that exercise, particularly regular aerobic exercise, can affect the brain. But they could only speculate as to how. Now an expanding body of research shows that exercise can improve the performance of the brain by boosting memory and cognitive processing speed. Exercise can, in fact, create a stronger, faster brain."

  28. Experts: Schools Need to Rethink Security (MSNBC News)
      "Schools should focus more on listening to kids to deter school attacks, experts say, instead of relying only on physical security." 10-06

  29. Female Athletes Have More Concussions (ABC News)
      "In sports played by both women and men, women sustain more concussions. The girls' concussion rate in high school soccer is 68 percent higher than for boys. And it's nearly triple the boys' rate in high school basketball, according to research by scientists at Ohio State, Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and the NCAA. Other studies reveal similar differences between softball and baseball, in college sports as well as high school. Yet researchers, including Brooks, find that female athletes get less information than males about concussions from all sources, including coaches, trainers and the media. Generally, women athletes don't consider concussions a serious phenomenon." 03-09

  30. Five Types of Alcoholics (CBS News)
      "New alcoholism research identifies five types of alcoholics and shows that young adults account for more than half of U.S. alcoholics." 07-07

  31. For Many Teens, Hello Is Hugging (New York Times)
      "A measure of how rapidly the ritual [of hugging] is spreading is that some students complain of peer pressure to hug to fit in. And schools from Hillsdale, N.J., to Bend, Ore., wary in a litigious era about sexual harassment or improper touching — or citing hallway clogging and late arrivals to class — have banned hugging or imposed a three-second rule." 05-09

  32. Great Toys on a Budget in 2006 (MSNBC News)
      "As any parent knows, toys can cost a small fortune. But you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to get fun toys your kids will like. In fact, some of the bargain toys in this year's MSNBC.com Toy Test rated the highest." 11-06

  33. How Older People Continue to Learn (New York Times)
      "Over the past several years, scientists have looked deeper into how brains age and confirmed that they continue to develop through and beyond middle age."

      "Many longheld views, including the one that 40 percent of brain cells are lost, have been overturned. What is stuffed into your head may not have vanished but has simply been squirreled away in the folds of your neurons."

      "Recently, researchers have found even more positive news. The brain, as it traverses middle age, gets better at recognizing the central idea, the big picture. If kept in good shape, the brain can continue to build pathways that help its owner recognize patterns and, as a consequence, see significance and even solutions much faster than a young person can."

      "The trick is finding ways to keep brain connections in good condition and to grow more of them." 01-10

  34. How We Can Improve Our Brain (HowLifeWorks.com)
      "Neuroscientists are increasingly showing that there's actually a lot that can be done. It turns that the brain needs exercise in much the same way our muscles do, and the right mental workouts can significantly improve our basic cognitive functions. Thinking is essentially a process of making neural connections in the brain. To a certain extent, our ability to excel in making the neural connections that drive intelligence is inherited. However, because these connections are made through effort and practice, scientists believe that intelligence can expand and fluctuate according to mental effort." 02-13

  35. Longevity: For Longevity, Other Factors Pale in Comparison to "Education" (New York Times)
      "The one social factor that researchers agree is consistently linked to longer lives in every country where it has been studied is education. It is more important than race; it obliterates any effects of income."

      "And, health economists say, those factors that are popularly believed to be crucial — money and health insurance, for example, pale in comparison." 01-07

  36. New Way of Treating Concussions in Youth (USA Today)
      "Athletes at the 25 public high schools in Fairfax County, an affluent suburb of Washington, take baseline tests like the ones used by NFL players. The ImPACT tests are one tool doctors and athletic trainers can use to tell when it is safe to return to the field. That's crucial because a second concussion when not fully healed from a first one is dangerous." 05-11

  37. O'Neill Family's Act of Kindness Goes Viral (CNN News)
      "Two days after Alyssa's funeral, the O'Neills went to a Starbucks in Erie, Pennsylvania, where they live, and purchased lattes for 40 strangers. O'Neill asked the manager to write the hashtag #AJO with a purple marker on each cup."

      "According to O'Neill, the manager and employees, overwhelmed with the gesture, donated 50 drinks on top of the 40."

      " 'It just kind of exploded at that point. We had somewhat of a following, but nothing like this,' he said."

      " 'It was just random acts of kindness. People have been paying others' Christmas layaways and buying meals,' O'Neill said. The Facebook memorial page AJO Forever in our Hearts has more than 28,000 likes."

  38. Obama Replaces Abstinence-Only Education (ABC News)
      "Two $100 million programs from his predecessor's budget pushing abstinence only are casualties in President Obama's $3.55 trillion budget proposal."

      "The President is replacing them with $110 million 'for teenage pregnancy prevention programs that have been proven effective through rigorous evaluation....'

      "A recent study in the journal Pediatrics indicated that teenagers who make "virginity pledges" to remain chaste until marriage are no less likely to engage in premarital sex but significantly less likely to use birth control."

      " 'Taking a pledge doesn't seem to make any difference at all in any sexual behavior,' Janet E. Rosenbaum of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health told the Washington Post. 'But it does seem to make a difference in condom use and other forms of birth control that is quite striking.' " 05-09

  39. One Laptop Per Child (PBS.org)
      "It offers word processing and Web browsing, along with a video camera and microphone. And while hopes were sky high at the beginning, getting governments to sign on has turned out to be a slow process." 11-07

  40. One School's Fight Against Obesity (CBS News)
      "While most of the country is failing the grade on obesity, Nurse Scully says Long Pond students are getting the message." 01-07

  41. Online Gym Classes (Fox News)
      "Web-based physical education classes are cropping up across the country — and they're getting rave reviews from educators, parents and students."

      "Minneapolis' school system is one of the first school districts in the country to offer online gym classes. The program requires students to pick physical activities they enjoy and do each one for 30 minutes, three times a week."

      "Arizona's Primavera Online High School has a different approach to accountability: At the end of each day, it requires students to upload readings from a heart monitor to instructors."

  42. Online Tutors Gain Popularity (ABC News)
      "Students from elementary to graduate school can get help any time of the day or night, from the comfort of their homes. Subjects range from math to English."

      "It's the outsourcing of education. Just like manufacturing or service jobs, the task of teaching America's youth is no longer limited by borders."

  43. Personality of High Achievers (Time.com)
      "Is it possible to cultivate genius? Could we somehow structure our educational and social life to produce more Einsteins and Mozarts — or, more urgently these days, another Adam Smith or John Maynard Keynes?" 02-09

  44. Phonics Help With Reading (Washington Times)
      "A study has confirmed the premise of the Bush administration's 'Reading First' initiative that systematic phonics instruction is essential in teaching young children of all backgrounds to read successfully." 08-10

  45. Poll: Fewer Than Four in Ten Believe in Evolution (U.S. News)
      "Charles Darwin would have been 200 tomorrow, an event that Gallup is marking with a new poll showing that 39 percent of Americans believe in the theory of evolution. A quarter say they don't believe in evolution, and 36 percent say they have no opinion."

      "The strongest predictor of respondents' views on evolution? Church attendance."

      "In fact, Gallup's analysis says religiosity outweighs educational level in shaping views on evolution, even though those with the most education are far more likely to support evolution than those with the least. Just 21 percent of respondents who had up to a high school level of education believe in evolution, compared with 74 percent of those with postgraduate degrees." 10-07

  46. Really Smart Blocks (Time.com)
      "Think of Cubelets as robotic building blocks that behave differently depending on how you assemble them, like a simple form of programming where you just snap functions together to get results." 01-12

  47. Report: Use of Restraints in Public Schools (ABC News)
      " 'Recent news reports document appalling stories of teachers tying children to chairs, taping their mouths shut, using handcuffs, denying them food, fracturing bones, locking them in small dark spaces, and sitting on them until they turn blue,' [Congressman] Miller said."

      " 'This behavior that does, in some instances, look like torture of young children certainly is so inconsistent with our beliefs about our public institution that it's hard for people to come to grasps with,' said Miller."

      "Today's hearing was spurred by a report published in January by the National Disability Rights Network, which canvassed 56 states and territories in the United States and found many examples of hard-to-manage students who've been injured or killed at school." 05-09

  48. Research: Boys and Girls React Differently (ABC News)
      "Do boys and girls really deal with people in very different ways? Yes, say researchers like Campbell Leaper of the University of California."

  49. Selective Mutism (ABC News)
      "Imagine a world where anyone and anyplace outside the comforts of home elicit fear and anxiety so paralyzing that you shut down and cannot speak."

      "What causes this disorder is not exactly known. What is known is that it has a genetic factor and usually appears when a child is first introduced into the social situation of preschool or school. It is, however, very different than everyday shyness."

  50. Sherrie Gahn: Helping the Hungry in School (ABC News)
      "Principal Sherrie Gahn said she was shocked when she first came to Whitney Elementary School seven years ago."

      " 'The kids were eating ketchup packets,' Gahn said. 'I said to one of my teachers, "What on Earth are they doing?" and she said, "That's their dinner." ' "

      "Whitney is not alone. A recent survey of elementary school teachers found that two-thirds of teachers reported spending money out of their pockets to help feed hungry students."

      "The same survey, conducted by anti-hunger organization Share Our Strength, found that 17 million children in the United States are at risk of going hungry this year." 11-09

  51. Staying Safe During an Attack at School (ABC News)
      "With the help of ABC News safety consultant Bob Stuber and dozens of student volunteers, 'Primetime' set out to see just how effective the lockdown method is."

      "The school staff and students were asked to behave just as they would if there were an armed intruder in the school. The students filed calmly to their designated classrooms where the teachers locked the doors, turned off the lights and waited for the all-clear signal."

      "To get an idea of how well the lockdown would work in a real-life situation, Stuber and his assistant Daniel Bauman acted as simulated gunmen the second time around — without telling the students beforehand."

      "Many of the students made it to their designated classrooms — where again, the teachers locked the doors and turned out the lights."

      "Stuber says that could be a big mistake during a real crisis."

      " 'In real life, normal life, the rule is you don't break things,' he said. 'But what they have to be taught is that in a situation like this, where it's life or death, there are no rules.' "

      "According to Stuber, the key to survival is always to be alert, creative and aware of your environment." 08-10

  52. Study: Cognitive Behavior Therapy Can Prevent Depression in Teens (U.S. News)
      "After six months, the teens who had been in the therapy groups were less likely to have become depressed (21.4 percent vs. 32.7 percent). The therapy was most effective in preventing depression in children whose parent wasn’t depressed at the time (11.7 percent vs. 40.5 percent); its benefit disappeared if a parent of the child was depressed. Proof, if any is needed, that parents’ behavior has a huge influence on their children’s health and behavior, even when they’re teenagers."

      "In cognitive therapy, a person learns to:

      Distinguish between thoughts and feelings.
      Become aware of how thoughts can influence feelings in ways that sometimes are not helpful.
      Learn about thoughts that seem to occur automatically and how they can affect emotions.
      Evaluate critically whether these 'automatic' thoughts and assumptions are accurate or perhaps biased.
      Develop the skills to notice, interrupt, and correct these biased thoughts." 06-09

  53. Study: Exercise Helps the Brain (CBS News)
      "According to Bell, researchers are finding that exercise can do more than keep you fit; it can also make you smarter. One school in Illinois has developed a program that gets kids moving and learning."

      "Although it may appear that these kids are working out, they are actually trying to adjust their brains chemistry to maximize their ability to learn."

      " 'Kids who took P.E. before they took the math class had double the improvement of kids who had P.E. afterward,' Zientarski, explained." 'Ratey cites studies showing that exercise promotes the growth of new cells in the hippocampus, an area in the brain associated with memory and learning."

      " 'Exercise promotes more than anything else we know the growth of new brain cells,' Ratey said."

  54. Summer School Trend (Time.com)
      "The landmark 1983 federal report A Nation at Risk, which highlighted the growing achievement gap between the U.S. and other countries, recommended that school districts 'strongly consider' a seven-hour day and a 200- to 220-day academic year, which would hew more closely to the schedules in higher-performing Europe and Asia. Although the practice has yet to go mainstream, there's a big push to add school hours in underperforming urban districts." 07-09

  55. Surprising Causes of Tuition Hikes (U.S. News)
      "Why has college tuition been rising so high and fast? Will college costs ever drop back to more affordable levels?"

      "Those questions have been frustrating parents and students for years. A new report provides some surprising answers that will, unfortunately, probably only frustrate and anger them even more. At public colleges, tuition has generally been driven up by rising spending on administrators, student support services, and the need to make up for reductions in government subsidies, according to a report issued by the Delta Cost Project, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C." 01-09

  56. Teachers Want to Ban Cellphone Videos From the Classroom (U.S. News)
      "Union leaders say imposing limits on the use of cameras and other recording devices in school might be necessary to prevent damaging videos and pictures from ending up on Facebook and YouTube."

      "Legal experts argue that teachers have a limited expectation of privacy in the classroom. They say that attempts to regulate what students can film or record can provoke free speech challenges. In some cases, students have used recording devices to capture teachers behaving inappropriately. A Connecticut high school math teacher was suspended in 2006 after a cellphone video that appeared on the Internet showed him hurling a homophobic slur at a student." 03-09

  57. Teens Create "Free Department Store" (Time.com)
      "With the help of an army of volunteers, Zoe Bairs and Samantha Zabell set up the Fairhill Center in Cleveland with all the donated clothes they've collected, then let the children shop like they are in a department store." 08-09

  58. Top Ten Spelling Bee Words (Time.com)
      Provides pictures and short descriptions of spelling bee finals. 05-09

  59. What Is a Book? (PBS.org)
      "First, there's the "How low can you go?" story. In the latest chapter, superstore Wal-Mart recently announced it will sell popular hardbacks online for just $8.98, after offering the titles at low prices which Target, another big-box store, quickly matched. Those are well below the typical retail price, which can reach $25 or more." 11-09

  60. Who Has a Better Brain: Liberals or Conservatives? (CBS News)
      "The brains of people who call themselves liberals tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes than the brains of people on the opposite side of the political spectrum, the study showed. The anterior cingulate cortex is a collar-shaped region around the corpus collosum, a structure that relays signals between the right and left hemispheres of the brain."

      "What about conservatives? Their brains brains tend to have larger amygdalas. The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure located deep within the brain."

      "Based upon what brain scientists know about the function of the two brain regions, researchers believe the structural differences support the notion that liberals are better equipped to make sense of conflicting information while conservatives are better able to recognize a threat." 04-11

Projects
  1. Connect a Million Minds (ConnectaMillionMinds.com)
      "Search The Connectory for activities and resources in your community that inspire young people to develop the important science, technology, engineering and math skills they need to become the problem solvers of tomorrow." 12-12

  2. Current Events and News (BBC Schools Online)
      Provides articles to help students get involved with current events.

   
   


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