October 21, 2014

3:16 PM | Louisiana, Do Your Homework: Student Absenteeism, Not Ebola, is the Real Epidemic
As a preventative measure to protect against the spread of Ebola, the Louisiana State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education made new emergency changes to the state’s governing handbook. However, there is no emergency — just an Ebola scare, which the board simply contributed to by making changes to sound policy. There is currently no epidemic of the Ebola virus in the U.S., where three cases have been reported, with one fatality. The best preventative measure schools can take […]
5:27 AM | Paradoxical Service And A Self-Contradictory Therapy
Billing Service Rep: Yes, We can provide Collection Services. Who owes the Debt to you? Chato Stewart: “YOU Do…” Signs: Acme Billing Services Caption: Paradoxical ( 1 2 3 4 5 6  ) My Top 6 Gorski on Charting cartoons On: Billing Service Paradoxical Paradoxical: “seemingly absurd or self-contradictory”…What is more self-contradictory then being owed […]

October 20, 2014

2:13 PM | How can we use patient experience surveys to improve care?
One new answer, for cancer patients, comes from our analysis of the National Cancer Patient Experience Survey, published this week in the European Journal of Cancer Care We found strong inequalities in experience between patients with different cancer diagnoses, and these were pretty consistent across the whole patient journey, from pre-diagnosis care to post hospital more
2:11 PM | Twenty Five Percent of Low-Income Urban High Schools Beat the Odds
It won’t surprise anyone to learn that wealthier high schools send more students to college than low-income high schools. But a October 2014 report from the research arm of the National Student Clearinghouse, which tracks college students, reveals that a quarter of low-income urban high schools are doing better than a quarter of their high-income counterparts. On average, low-income urban high schools with high concentrations of minority students sent about half, or 51 percent, of […]
1:08 AM | Private Loans: Still the Most Dangerous Form of Student Loan Debt
At a time of low interest rates, our guard may be down when it comes to the dangers of taking out private student loans. After all, families with excellent credit may be able to obtain loans with interest rates lower than those available in the federal loan program. Perhaps that helps explain why more than 40 percent of college admissions directors who responded to a recent Inside Higher Ed survey said that it was “a good idea for students to take out private loans to pay for […]

October 19, 2014

7:10 PM | An opportunity to cooperate
This is not simply a cheap call-back to Episode 6: “Iron Dad,” although if you go to teen inventor Chase Lewis’s YouTube channel, he is indeed a fan of Tony Stark, though his helmet is the movie version, not the animated Armored Adventures version.  Below is a message forwarded to the Greensboro Science Cafe Facebook page from … his mom? *** & [...]
2:51 AM | Read “The Forest Unseen”
The book, “The Forest Unseen,” is seductive and delightful. Every one of the short chapters takes you on a journey from an overview down to a microscopic and then sometimes genetic level of an organism. [More...]

October 18, 2014

3:53 AM | Here's One Way to Cut Student Debt
Just stop offering the loans. President Barack Obama has a plan to rate colleges based on things like tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of poor students in the colleges. Eventually he intends that the federal government will distribute federal money at least partially based on this information. One of the concerns some in higher education have raised about this is that there are different ways colleges can react to a system that gives them higher […]

October 17, 2014

2:34 PM | Comments on the CollegeNET-PayScale Social Mobility Index
The last two years have seen a great deal of attention being placed on the social mobility function that many people expect colleges to perform. Are colleges giving students from lower-income families the tools and skills they need in order to do well (and good) in society? The Washington Monthly college rankings (which I calculate) were the first entrant in this field nearly a decade ago, and we also put out lists of the Best Bang for the Buck and Affordable Elite colleges in this year’s […]
2:26 PM | Tracing School Funding Inequities All the Way Down to the School
Almost every education policy debate serves as a partial proxy for something else. Debates about expanding pre-K access are often really about disagreements regarding the scope of the federal government and/or money. Debates about school choice are often about protecting the real estate-based privileges of neighborhood school boundaries or efforts to blur church-state boundaries. Debates about the Common Core State Standards are often secretly about the Muslim Brotherhood, the United Nations, […]

October 16, 2014

6:00 PM | The Public School Execution Strategy
What’s the future of American public elementary and secondary schools going to look like? For most of America’s history the story has been one of increasing access to free public school. It’s now offered to everyone, and everyone has to go. Concern about equity, particularly in the last century, now means that the country at least aspires to providing reasonably high quality instruction to children, regardless of their class, race, or geographic location. But maybe this is […]
5:36 PM | And now for the fun part: choosing your outreach activities!
The wonderful thing about science communication and outreach is that there are an almost infinite number of ways to share your science. We’ve made a quick list of some of the kinds of activities you can be involved in to share your science.
2:26 PM | Should teenagers sleep in and start school later in the day?
Would teenagers do better in their exams if they could sleep in and start school later in the day? Can physical fitness improve academic achievement? Will teaching the same lesson multiple times over with breaks between sessions improve learning? Can computer games teach children to read? These questions above are part of a multi-million-pound research project, […] The post Should teenagers sleep in and start school later in the day? appeared first on Your Brain Health.
2:23 PM | Top 10 ADHD Blogs of 2014
Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity. It’s also sometimes known as just attention deficit disorder. What happens when people with ADHD enter the blogosphere? Often they navigate their behavior with quirky, fun and informative blogging, and tell the story of ADHD as it really is, transcending the stereotype of a […]

October 15, 2014

8:30 PM | Harvard Professors Object to New Sexual Assault Policy
Professors at Harvard Law School are urging the university to revoke new procedures addressing on-campus sexual misconduct, saying the rule goes too far. In July, Harvard announced a new university-wide policy to prevent sexual violence, lowering the burden of proof necessary to find someone guilty. It also created a central office to investigate sexual assaults. Since then, the federal government has been pushing all universities receiving public funds to embrace similar policies, and this […]
7:13 PM | The Video Game Scholarship
Well, finally this happened. There's now an academic scholarship in that thing you spent your afternoons doing instead of homework. According to an Associated Press article, we now have scholarships for video games: Once regarded as anti-social slackers or nerds in a basement, gamers have become megastars in what are now called esports. In professional leagues, they compete for millions of dollars in prizes and pull in six-figure incomes for vanquishing their enemies in what have become huge […]
4:44 PM | Do Student Loans Result in Tuition Increases? Why It’s So Hard to Tell
One of the longstanding questions in higher education finance is whether access to federal financial aid dollars is one of the factors behind tuition increases. This was famously stated by Education Secretary William Bennett in a 1987 New York Times editorial: “If anything, increases in financial aid in recent years have enabled colleges and universities blithely to raise their tuitions, confident that Federal loan subsidies would help cushion the increase. In 1978, subsidies became […]
4:10 PM | John Deasy and Keeping Students Front and Center in the Political Battles of LA
Los Angeles Unified School District recently announced a 15-point increase in its graduation rate. This is cause for immense celebration as more students are on their pathways out of poverty. George David Kieffer Yet the headlines in Los Angeles are consumed not with recent successes but with reports of board and superintendent conflict. RELATED: When it comes to school leaders, stop waiting for Superman What gets lost in all of the political maneuvering is the very real progress that Los […]

October 14, 2014

5:00 PM | Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor
I participated in the National Black Child Development Institute’s State of the Black Child report forum and release on Oct. 11. The report, “Being Black is Not a Risk Factor: Statistics and Strengths-Based Solutions from the State of Michigan,” responds to disquieting numbers in ways the title suggests. Black people aren’t broken; systems and policies are the risky propositions. We still hear the insidious misnomers “endangered species,” “at-risk […]
4:00 PM | M people and the ‘B’ word…
No, this is not an item about M People, an ‘English house music band which formed in 1990 and achieved success throughout most of the 1990s’, nor about using profane language… Anyway, how would any of that be relevant to a straitlaced, sober, serious botanical news round-up that is the hallmark of a P. Cuttings item? […]
1:30 PM | The cutest DNA
I came across these plushies recently: they’re DNA plushies, by Biochemies, and they’re the cutest DNA ever! The Biochemies site is run by Jun Axup, a biochemist in San Francisco.  Ten percent of the profits of the sales go to educational programmes or crowdfunding projects. The plushies themselves were also funded via crowdfunding.     […]

October 13, 2014

7:10 PM | New Research Suggests Repeating Elementary School Grades - Even Kindergarten - is Harmful
The already muddy research on whether it’s better to hold back struggling students or promote them to the next grade just got muddier. A new study ,“The Scarring Effects of Primary-Grade Retention? A Study of Cumulative Advantage in the Educational Career,” by Notre Dame sociologist Megan Andrew, published Sept. 26, 2014, in the journal Social Forces is an empirically solid analysis that adds more weight to those who say retention — what education wonks call […]

October 12, 2014

12:34 PM | Science Online and me
On Friday I woke up to an email from Science Online, announcing that the organisation would be dissolved and the next conference cancelled. Having seen Science Online grow from the start, this made me a bit nostalgic, but I wasn’t surprised. As a community, the online science environment has changed a lot since the first […]

October 11, 2014

7:35 PM | Not all scientific studies are created equal [video]
Daily we’re bombarded by attention grabbing headlines that promise miracle cures to all of our ailments — often backed up by a ‘scientific study’ or calling into doubt ‘previous research’. But what are these studies, and how do we know if they are reliable? In this groovy little video, David H. Schwartz dissects two types […] The post Not all scientific studies are created equal [video] appeared first on Your Brain Health.
2:02 PM | Science music playlist
For your entertainment, I have created a short YouTube playlist of some science-y songs. It includes some songs about science, and some science-themed parody covers.  Perfect for playing in the lab! I included this video of Uri Alon singing about peer review, which I recorded at the Horizons conference career fair a few weeks ago. […]

October 09, 2014

6:00 PM | That Homework Kids Have Is Pointless
New research indicates that homework may not really be that important. This is not exactly groundbreaking—no one’s ever really been able to show that time spent doing homework mattered much for standardized test scores—but this study may perhaps be more rigorous because it looked at grades. One might expect to find a correlation between time on homework and grades, even if more time on homework doesn’t actually cause higher grades, because one might think that harder […]
6:30 AM | New Standards Seek to Measure What Students Actually Know
As students, employers, and policymakers continue to question whether earning a college degree really proves that graduates are ready for work, a new set of voluntary standards proposes to set out what they should be learning—and measure whether or not they have. The Degree Qualifications Profile specifies what students should know and be able to do at every level of their higher educations—what a bachelor’s or master’s degree actually represents, in other […]

October 08, 2014

7:36 PM | New Jersey's Plan to Shut Down For-Profit Colleges
President Barack Obama has a plan to rate colleges based on things like tuition, graduation rates, debt and earnings of graduates, and the percentage of poor students in the colleges. Eventually he intends to distribute federal money at least partially based on this information. It’s somewhat controversial (intrusion of federal power and all that) but one state, New Jersey, appears to have a plan to be even more punitive, at least to for-profit colleges. According to an Associated Press […]
3:17 PM | Send us your science-themed Halloween costumes
Whether they’re from the department party last year or your childhood obsession with Marie Curie, we want to see your science on display.
1:51 PM | President Obama Announces Pre-K Goal - But Is it Attainable?
Last week, President Obama took the stage at Northwestern University and announced a mission to improve the workforce with universal pre-K, saying, “By the end of this decade, let’s enroll 6 million children in high-quality preschool.” The line was buried in a speech rich with rhetoric on a whole range of policy areas, but the president was light on details. (For more reporting on the speech, check out Education Week’s Lillian Mongeau.) The details, though, are actually […]
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