July 24, 2014

6:00 PM | Why Grandparents Should Pay for College
The cost of college is looking a little too high? Maybe you aren’t sure how you can ever afford four years of a rigorous collegiate education for your kids. Even public schools are looking pretty pricey these days. What to do? Well, your parents sure look to be living pretty luxuriously in their retirement. Maybe they could pay for your children’s college. That might be a fairly good idea, argues Robyn Post in a Reuters piece: Generosity can also be channeled toward significant […]

July 23, 2014

10:48 PM | Science-based medicine writer sued by threatened doctor
It is not rare for purveyors of woo to resort to legal threats against skeptical advocates. They don’t have the facts in their favor so they use baseless threats. Well, not so baseless. Several cases have resulted in financial worries for those who are attempting to inform the public about dubious products, people or nonsense.… Source: Doubtful News
9:08 PM | A Path Forward on Early-Ed Reform
If the recession was difficult for adults, it was just as hard on young children. Between 2009 and 2013, enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs barely budged, up from 40 to 42 percent. Meanwhile, per-child spending on those pre-K programs fell, and Head Start programs felt the effects of sequestration more acutely than most, with 57,000 kids forced out virtually overnight and their parents stranded to scramble for child care. Policymakers continued to ignore the needs of […]
5:44 PM | Researcher as Teenager: Parsing Danah Boyd’s It’s Complicated
I have a distinct tendency to see everything through the lens of what it means for research communities. I have just finally read Danah Boyd’s It’s Complicated a book that focuses on how and why U.S. teenagers interact with and through social media. The book is well worth reading for the study itself, but I would argue it is more worth reading for the way it challenges many of the assumptions we make about how social interactions online and how they are mediated by […]
12:07 AM | Unaccompanied Children Crisis Has Implications for Education Budget
By now, readers have undoubtedly heard about the tens of thousands of children streaming over the border, largely from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. The ranks of unaccompanied children, as they are known, has grown dramatically in recent months as children flee some of the most dangerous countries in the world outside of active war zones in hope of finding safety and refuge away from the gang violence and murder in their hometowns. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson predicted a […]

July 22, 2014

8:49 PM | Imitating White Privilege: Why Our Public Schools Don't Look Like the Public
“Why can’t New Orleans have a charter school for middle class blacks?” A black physician and parent of a teenage daughter unashamedly asked me this question as we deboarded a first class cabin from our flight to the Crescent City. If I weren’t bourgie (African American slang for Bourgeoisie - pronounced boo-zhee), I would have cringed. Our affectations won’t allow us to admit, but black middle class families really do need quality public schools. Many middle-income […]
2:20 PM | Hello Wonderful World of SciLogs!
Hello science readers of the internet! (and to any others who are reading this--alien life forms, octopuses, small children--you are probably lost and have no idea what I'm talking about, but I hope you'll stick around to find out). My name is Maren. It's pronounced just like Karen, but with an 'M' instead of a 'K'. I am currently a student studying biology and environmental science, and I'm working toward a career in science writing and communications. Communicating scientific discoveries... […]
2:19 PM | Colleges and Universities Aren't Ready for New Common Core Standards
America’s primary and secondary schools may be busy preparing for the onset of the Common Core standards, meant to better prepare students for college, but one key partner isn’t even close to ready: colleges and universities themselves. States with and without plans to assess student learning and the Common Core That’s the conclusion of a new report from the New America Foundation, which finds that “there is little evidence to suggest colleges are meaningfully aligning […]
2:00 PM | Coal Ash Conundrum
What happens when 39,000 tons of coal ash spill into a river?
1:15 PM | Mass disasters – Disaster Victim Identification
  In mass disasters, such as the MH17 ‘crash’, there are many bodies of victims often over a wide area to be recovered and identified.  This is a small look into the...

July 21, 2014

6:18 PM | Health, demons and superstition
If you were to believe some people, the devil lurks in every corner. When a common cold is spreading in this cold season – there are people ‘binding the devil’ and praying that it will not reach them. Even among those who sat in biology classes and will put ‘virus’ as the cause of common […]
4:18 PM | Right and Wrong Methods for Teaching First Graders Who Struggle With Math
To help young kids who struggle with math, well-intentioned teachers often turn to non-traditional teaching methods. They use music and movement to involve the whole body.  They use hands-on materials such as popsicle sticks to help the students understand tens and hundreds. Or they encourage students to come up with different strategies for solving 7 + 8. One complicated way could be starting with 10 + 10 and then taking 3 away (because 7 is 3 less than 10) and then taking 2 away […]
11:30 AM | Optogenetics: An understanding and mastery of brain function
Written by William Godfrey and Christopher Weir.   Before we get into the article, I would first like to welcome the newest addition to our writing team here at Mostly Science, William Godfrey. Will and I are both alumni of the University of Queensland, which is where he went to the T.C. Berne School of […] The post Optogenetics: An understanding and mastery of brain function appeared first on MostlyScience.
9:47 AM | European Conference on Health Economics – Dublin, July 2014
Last week saw the European Conference on Health Economics (ECHE) hosted by Trinity College Dublin.  CCHSR’s Ed Wilson was there. International conferences are always a great opportunity to find out what your colleagues are up to in different corners of the world.  ECHE was no exception.  The venue was Trinity College Dublin, home to the beautifully more

July 18, 2014

3:16 PM | When Teachers Cheat
What do we need all of these damn standardized tests for, anyway? Shouldn’t we just trust the teachers? So wonders Greg Jouriles in an interesting piece at Education Week. And he’s got a good point: Standardized tests are unnecessary because they rarely show what we don't already know. Ask any teacher and she can tell you which students can read and write. That telling usually comes in the form of letter grades or evaluations that break down progress on skills. So trust the […]

July 17, 2014

8:30 PM | Are music lessons the key to smarter kids?
My 4 year-old son Jamie started piano lessons last year. This might seem a little young, but the classes are designed to make learning music fun. Jamie’s teachers use an unique multi-sensory approach that engages the different senses: auditory, visual and kinaesthetic (movement). The kids learn the notes as: do, re, mi, fa, so, etc, and each note has […]The post Are music lessons the key to smarter kids? appeared first on Your Brain Health.
4:53 AM | Does Khan Academy Work?
Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organization that offers instruction via video tutorials on YouTube, is one of the newest exciting developments in education. So many of us today learn how to do things--cook food, do home repair, change the oil in our cars--using videos we found by Googling stuff on the internet. It makes sense to extend this to education. Why shouldn't we let people learn at their own pace? This is what spurred former hedge fund analyst Salman Khan to create the academy […]
3:49 AM | Why San Francisco's Dysfunctional Community College Gets to Suvive
Last fall former Monthly editor Haley Sweetland Edwards wrote a piece for this magazine about California’s low-performing community colleges. She concentrated on the City College of San Francisco, a community college that had recently endured one of the worst fates to befall an institution of higher learning. As she wrote: Earlier on the… afternoon of my visit, the regional accrediting commission announced its decision to strip the seventy-eight-year-old institution of its […]

July 16, 2014

8:57 PM | Federal Education Data Show Male-Female Wage Gap Among Young College Graduates Remains High
Conventional wisdom has it that young men and women tend to earn similar wages as young adults, but that the male-female gap widens a lot with age, especially as women “lean out” during their child-bearing years. The Pew Research Center, for example, calculated that young adult women (ages 25-34) earned 93 cents for each dollar that her male counterpart earned in 2012. Near parity. But the latest data from the U.S. Department of Education, which surveyed a nationally […]
3:35 PM | Beyond Subprime Learning: Our Ideas for Accelerating Progress in Early Education
In January, the Early Education Initiative released the report Subprime Learning: Early Education in America Since the Great Recession. We found that during the last five years the federal government and states focused on building infrastructure and improving coordination across early childhood programs. This attention was sorely needed, but now it’s time to turn the focus to teaching and learning in the early years and up through third grade. Our new report, Beyond Subprime Learning: […]

July 15, 2014

4:36 PM | Willing to Die for Justice? Comparing Post-Katrina Student Activism to Freedom Summer
­Two of the most significant student movements in the United States occurred in Jackson, Mississippi and New Orleans - separated by less than a three hours’ drive and fifty years. En masse, high school students and coeds migrated to these cities leading up to Freedom Summer of 1964, and they came in the years immediately following Hurricane Katrina. Those cities served as classrooms that taught students sociology lessons like no other, but what parallels and distinctions can we draw […]
4:33 PM | Free College Idea Picks Up Momentum
Adele Williams hears from a lot of her friends from high school about their struggles to afford the cost of college. “I have a best friend who goes to a public university, and she’s in quite a lot of debt,” said Williams. Higher and higher tuition, she said, “is just a scary thought for people to face.” Except for her. Williams doesn’t pay any tuition at all. She goes to Alice Lloyd College in Kentucky, where students attend for free in exchange for […]
4:29 PM | The Case Against Exit Exams
Students today cannot afford to be high school dropouts any more than they can afford to enter college and the workforce unprepared. Luckily, the transition to college- and career-ready standards across the country offers states the opportunity to fully reimagine how they can best ensure students not only graduate from high school, but do so ready to succeed in higher education and on the job. The new standards open possibilities for richer instruction, better curricula, and more deliberate […]
2:00 PM | Antarctic Glacier's Retreat "Unstoppable"
The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting, and new research points to its collapse in as little as two hundred years. The likely result: global sea level rise of 10-13 feet.
9:24 AM | Is it Time for Fake Tan?
On one of our recent blogs, we looked at the chemistry of the sun. However, we all know how too much of it can be dangerous, which means a natural tan without the aid of any products is totally out of the question. If you’re looking for “the look” (more importantly without risking your health), [...]
Editor's Pick
8:36 AM | Keeping Cochrane reviews up-to-date
The Cochrane Collaboration is an organisation that conducts systematic reviews of healthcare interventions.  The idea is that they are updated periodically (every 2 years) so that they provide the best evidence on what works and what doesn’t. After 21 years of existence, the Cochrane Library now holds over 6000 reviews by some 20,000 volunteer authors. more

July 14, 2014

6:03 PM | In Mississippi Schools, Access to Technology Lacking, Uneven
CLINTON, Miss.—When Kelsi Collins was first given a laptop last year at Clinton High School, she hesitated to change from years of reading textbooks and writing assignments by hand to researching topics and typing papers online. It didn’t help that, after she’d ignored teachers’ warnings to back up her work, her computer crashed and she lost ‘everything’ just nine weeks into the school year. Still, within a few months, Collins was hooked. “I use it for […]
1:00 PM | How the Washington Monthly Helped Kill Corinthian Colleges and Tame the For-Profit College Industry
Last month I wrote about how Corinthian Colleges, one of the largest for-profit education companies in the United States, was in trouble. A lot of trouble. After months of wrangling about the outcomes of Corinthian students, the federal government finally put a 21-day hold on the company’s access to federal grants and loans. And that turns out to have been a serious blow. On July 4, Goldie Blumenstyk wrote at the Chronicle of Higher Education that Corinthian will die: Corinthian […]

July 13, 2014

8:28 PM | Conference report – SAPC 2014
For those who were unable to make it to Edinburgh for the 43rd annual conference of the Society of Academic Primary Care (9th – 11th July), here is my round-up of highs, lows, and (most importantly) the best and worst céilidh dancers at the conference dinner… As ever with national conferences, SAPC 2014 offered a more

July 12, 2014

1:57 PM | Should Colleges Be Able to Determine Costs of Living?
I was reading through the newest National Center for Education Statistics report with just-released federal data on the cost of college and found some interesting numbers. (The underlying data are available under the “preliminary release” tab of the IPEDS Data Center.) Table 2 of the report shows the change in inflation-adjusted costs for tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, and other expenses included in the cost of attendance figure between 2011-12 and […]
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