Sunday, November 14, 2010

TRANSFORMING EDUCATION. The New York Times ran a column the other day that wasn't about giftedness, or LDs, or even about the nuts and bolts of education. It was about power and politics versus accountability and coherent management -- in education, specifically in the New York City school system. The occasion was the departure of Joel Klein as chief of that system, and the venue was a column by a business writer for the Times. We have generally ignored the New York City schools as we have blogged and published the newsletter over Klein's tenure; little of what we read seemed relevant. The Times column, however, gave a different perspective to how we can look at education, and  at how a leader who believed "in the transformative power of education" (and who took the job with no preset ideas) could try to fix a broken system. Some of the lessons mentioned do apply to the education of that twice-exceptional child you know. You may find the column at the Times site
PARENTS' STRESS -- EFFECT ON KIDS. While parents may think that the stress they undergo has little or no effect on their children, offspring of those parents will indicate that they notice, and that the stress bothers them. About one-third of the chldren surveyed reported stress symptoms themselves as a result of parental difficulties, according to a Wall Street Journal article. Read more, and don't underestimate the effect of your problems on your children.   
UNIVERSITIES RANKED. The website has listed the top 2000 universities. The top three are MIT, Standford, and California Institute of Technology. Some of the ranking factors that might be relevant to 2e applicants include ACT/SAT scores of attendees, student retention, and student/faculty ratio. You may find the ranking and information about how the schools are scored at that website.
GIFTED ATHLETE, GIFTED STUDENT. A pre-med student at Stanford who got straight A's last spring is also the only two-way (offense and defense) starter in Division I college football. His coach, former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh, describes Own Marecic as "the football player I always wanted to be," according to an article in The New York Times. While  his parents worry about the possibility of concussions, Marecic says that he's having "the time of his life." Read the article.
BRAIN CONNECTIONS IN AUTISTICS. Autism Speaks has funded research into brain research on autism, and the results of one of those studies, recently published, indicates that the brains of autistic persons show differences in the way neurons and axons connect different parts of the brain. In autistic brains, some neurons branch more by way of axons, leading to more "local" connections as opposed to "long-distance" connections to other parts of the brain. Read more about the findings and a  hypotheses stemming from the study.

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