Thursday, July 14, 2016

Education, Schools, Screen Time, More

A 2e-FRIENDLY SCHOOL in Reston, Virginia, is apparently in financial trouble a year after opening. According to a news report, financial mismanagement has put School for Tomorrow in jeopardy of failing. The school's community is looking for a way to raise money and/or attract enough additional students for the 2016-17 year to make up a financial shortfall. Find out more.

NJ FUNDING SQUABBLE. In Rockaway, New Jersey, the school district is apparently caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to requirements to provide gifted programs and to identify students with dyslexia. On the one hand, the programs are government mandated, and expenses for them keep rising. On the other hand, the state provides a decreasing amount of funding. One wrinkle is that the dyslexic identification program is federally mandated, and the state is not required to pay for it. Read more.

ESSA. If you have opinions about how the replacement to NCLB should be implemented, the U.S. Department of Education is accepting input from the public until August 1, according to Understood. Find out more.

SCREEN TIME FOR TODDLERS is the topic of a new article at the site of the Child Mind Institute. It's not a black-and-white issue because of the diversity of media available and the parent's role in how the child is involved with the media. If screen time is an issue in your house, find the article.

WRIGHTSLAW. Special Ed Advocate answers questions from parents in the current issue. Among them:
  • Should we threaten to sue the school over the placement decision?
  • Should I hire an advocate?
If your relationship with your school is contentious, perhaps check out Special Ed Advocate.

TiLT PARENTING has posted another podcast, this one titled "Understanding and Navigating the Parent-Teacher Relationship." It features an accomplished second-grade teacher and author. Find out more.

RESEARCH AND STUDIES. The results of several potentially 2e-relevant studies have been published recently.
  • Scientists have shown how manipulating a novel target in the brain using gene therapy could lead to new treatments for depression. Decreasing a set of proteins in the hippocampus reduced depression-like behavior in mice. If replicated in humans, the findings could inform fresh therapies for millions of patients who do not respond to existing treatments for depression. Find the study write-up
  • The immune system affects -- and even controls -- social behavior, a new study has found. Researchers discovered that blocking a single type of immune molecule made mouse brains go hyperactive and caused abnormal behavior; restoring it fixed both. The discovery could have implications for neurological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia. Find the study write-up
  • Eating cinnamon might improve learning ability. A study by neurological scientists at Rush University Medical Center found that feeding cinnamon to laboratory mice determined to have poor learning ability made the mice better learners -- at least, when it came to find their way around a maze. (But then again, what else is school?) Find the study write-up.

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