Archive | May, 2014

Study: Successful schools have strong leadership

28 May

A strong principal is a strong leader for his or her particular school. A strong principal is particularly important in schools which face challenges. Now, we get into the manner in which strong principals interact with their staff – is it an art or is it a science? What makes a good principal can be discussed and probably depends upon the perspective of those giving an opinion, but Gary Hopkins of Education World summarizes the thoughts of some educators:

Top Ten Traits of School Leaders
Last month, 43 of the Education World Principal Files principals participated in a survey. The result of that survey is this list of the top ten traits of school leaders, presented in order of importance.
1. Has a stated vision for the school and a plan to achieve that vision.
2. Clearly states goals and expectations for students, staff, and parents.
3. Is visible — gets out of the office; is seen all over the school.
4. Is trustworthy and straight with students and staff.
5. Helps develop leadership skills in others.
6. Develops strong teachers; cultivates good teaching practice.
7. Shows that he or she is not in charge alone; involves others.
8. Has a sense of humor.
9. Is a role model for students and staff.
10. Offers meaningful kindnesses and kudos to staff and students.
http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin190.shtml

These traits can be summarized that a strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/
Also see, Are rules which limit choice hampering principal effectiveness? https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/04/08/are-rules-which-limit-choice-hampering-principal-effectiveness/

Nick Morrison reported in the Forbes article, It’s Not Teacher Quality Or Class Size, It’s Leadership That Makes Schools Successful:

Unlocking the secrets of high-performing schools is understandably the focus of much education-oriented research, and now academics think they have found the key. Their findings conclude that it is not teacher quality or class size, it is leadership that makes schools successful.
Researchers at the Centre for Economic Performance at the London School of Economics used techniques developed over the last decade to analyze management practices in schools in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Germany, Sweden, Italy, Brazil and India.
Based on interviews with headteachers at more than 1,800 schools, the study collected data on four key areas: operations management, performance monitoring, target setting and talent management. This was used to create an index, measuring schools from 1 to 5 according to how far these practices had been adopted….
Quality of leadership has long been regarded as one of the most important factors in school improvement. Previous studies have also attempted to pinpoint what it is that makes an effective school leader, as I reported last year.
What makes this particular report so significant is that it elevates leadership to the most influential factor by some distance. It is not conclusive, however. The study’s authors acknowledge that there may be other – as yet unidentified – factors at play, but it does present a convincing case.
It is possible that a study based on interviews with school leaders will overestimate the role that school leaders play. Staff in these schools may well have very different views of how the schools are managed.
There are also question marks over the desirability of applying one set of standards across the board when so much of the effectiveness of one approach or another is context specific. What works in one school may not work in another.
In addition we should be wary of taking a purely prescriptive and data-driven approach to leadership. While a rigorous focus on achievement may be necessary to success, it is by no means sufficient. School leaders also need to have a sense of moral purpose as a reason for the journey and the emotional intelligence to take their staff with them.
Some of what makes a leader successful, and of what makes a school effective, is intangible, and it is important not to fall into the trap of valuing it just because we can measure it.
Nevertheless, this study surely reinforces the importance of providing schools with robust and purposeful leadership, and puts a priority on recruiting and developing the individuals who can deliver sustainable improvement…. http://www.forbes.com/sites/nickmorrison/2014/05/22/its-not-teacher-quality-or-class-size-its-leadership-that-makes-schools-successful/

Citation:

In brief: Does management matter in schools?
Renata Lemos, May 2014
Paper No’ CEPCP424: | Full paper (pdf) Save Reference as: BibTeX BibTeX File | Endote EndNote Import File Keywords: Education; management; school management index; pupil outcomes; school performance
JEL Classification:
Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES – Paper Copy Still In Print. This Paper is published under the following series: CentrePiece Magazine Share: Google Bookmarks Google Bookmarks | Facebook Facebook | Twitter Twitter
Abstract:
Better school management is associated with better pupil achievement, according to CEP analysis of the quality of management practices in schools in a range of developed and developing countries. Renata Lemos notes that the quality of school management is related to leadership traits of the head teachers – and that management practices have a greater effect on pupil outcomes than the effects of class size, competition or teaching quality.
Centre Piece 19 (1) Spring2014 pages: 24-25 http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/abstract.asp?index=4434

See, Principals Matter: School Leaders Can Drive Student Learning http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Karin%20Chenoweth/principals-matter-school-_b_1252598.html?ref=email_share
A strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision.

Resources:

The Performance Indicators for Effective Principal Leadership in Improving Student Achievement http://mdk12.org/process/leading/p_indicators.html

Effective Schools: Managing the Recruitment, Development, and Retention of High-quality Teachers http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/Effective-Schools_CALDER-Working-Paper-37-3.pdf

What makes a great principal? http://www.greatschools.org/improvement/quality-teaching/189-what-makes-a-great-principal-an-audio-slide-show.gs

Related:

Wallace Foundation study: Leadership matters in student achievement
https://drwilda.com/2012/07/29/wallace-foundation-study-leadership-matters-in-student-achievement/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Challenges faced by homeless kids

27 May

Moi wrote in 3rd world America: Money changes everything: The increased rate of poverty has profound implications if this society believes that ALL children have the right to a good basic education. Moi blogs about education issues so the reader could be perplexed sometimes because moi often writes about other things like nutrition, families, and personal responsibility issues. Why? The reader might ask? Because children will have the most success in school if they are ready to learn. Ready to learn includes proper nutrition for a healthy body and the optimum situation for children is a healthy family. Many of societies’ problems would be lessened if the goal was a healthy child in a healthy family. There is a lot of economic stress in the country now because of unemployment and underemployment. Children feel the stress of their parents and they worry about how stable their family and living situation is.

Richard D. Kahlenberg, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation wrote the informative Washington Post article, How to attack the growing educational gap between rich and poor:

In fact, research published by The Century Foundation and other organizations going back more than a decade shows that there are an array of strategies that can be highly effective in addressing the socioeconomic gaps in education:
* Pre-K programs. As Century’s Greg Anrig has noted, there is a wide body of research suggesting that well-designed pre-K programs in places like Oklahoma have yielded significant achievement gains for students. Likewise, forthcoming Century Foundation research by Jeanne Reid of Teachers College, Columbia University, suggests that allowing children to attend socioeconomically integrated (as opposed to high poverty) pre-K settings can have an important positive effect on learning.
* Socioeconomic Housing Integration. Inclusionary zoning laws that allow low-income and working-class parents and their children to live in low-poverty neighborhoods and attend low-poverty schools can have very positive effects on student achievement, as researcher David Rusk has long noted. A natural experiment in Montgomery County, Maryland, showed that low-income students randomly assigned to public housing units and allowed to attend schools in low-poverty neighborhoods scored at 0.4 of a standard deviation higher than those randomly assigned to higher-poverty neighborhoods and schools. According to the researcher, Heather Schwartz of the RAND Corporation, the initial sizable achievement gap between low-income and middle-class students in low-poverty neighborhoods and schools was cut in half in math and by one-third in reading over time.
* Socioeconomic School Integration. School districts that reduce concentrations of poverty in schools through public school choice have been able to significantly reduce the achievement and attainment gaps. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, for example, where a longstanding socioeconomic integration plan has allowed students to choose to attend mixed-income magnet schools, the graduation rate for African American, Latino, and low-income students is close to 90 percent, far exceeding the state average for these groups.
* College Affirmative Action for Low-Income Students. Research finds attending a selective college confers substantial benefits, and that many more low-income and working-class students could attend and succeed in selective colleges than currently do. Research by Anthony Carnevale and Stephen J. Rose of Georgetown University for the Century volume, America’s Untapped Resource: Low-Income Students in Higher Education , found that selective universities could increase their representation from the bottom socioeconomic half of the population from 10 percent to 38 percent, and overall graduation rates for all students would remain the same.
In addition to these ideas, Century Foundation research by Gordon MacInnes has highlighted promising programs to promote the performance of low-income students in New Jersey. Forthcoming research will suggest ways to revitalize organized labor, a development that could raise wages of workers and thereby have a positive impact on the educational outcomes of their children. We will also be exploring ways to strengthen community colleges as a vital institutions for social mobility. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/how-to-attack-the-growing-educational-gap-between-rich-and-poor/2012/02/10/gIQArDOg4Q_blog.html

This government, both parties, has failed to promote the kind of economic development AND policy which creates livable wage jobs. That is why Mc Donalds is popular for more than its dollar menu. They are hiring people.

This economy must focus on job creation and job retention and yes, hope. Both for those racing through college and those who have paid their education and training dues. “You deserve a break today at Mc Donalds,” the only employer who seems to be hiring. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/22/3rd-world-america-the-economy-affects-the-society-of-the-future/

Ann Brenoff wrote in the Huffington Post article, 7 Things About Homeless Kids You Probably Didn’t Know:

Here are seven things about being a homeless kid that you probably didn’t know:
1. Making friends is harder when you’re homeless.
Carey Fuller, who lives in her car with her 11-year-old daughter Maggie Warner in the Pacific Northwest, said she “cringed” when she recently took Maggie out to play in a park. Things were going fine until “someone asked her where she lived,” Fuller explained. It’s the death knell question, the one that throws the wet blanket on the playdate and it’s usually just a matter of seconds before the other kid takes off in the direction of someone else….
Fuller became homeless after losing her job in the financial services sector in Seattle. Initially, the family downsized to a smaller apartment, but when that still proved too costly, Fuller bought an RV and moved into it with her two daughters. Maggie was a toddler at the time. The family has since downsized to a minivan. Fuller, who takes whatever part-time work she can find, is well-known as an advocate for homeless kids and writes about her life as a homeless mother living in a van.
2. Birthdays can be disappointing for a homeless kid.
Forget having a big party with lots of friends coming over. Sure you can have a party in the park if it’s a nice day. But who is going to pay for the pizza and cake and if people give you presents, where will you put them anyway?
3. Canned food drives don’t actually make much sense.
“Where are homeless people supposed to cook all those cans of food you collect?” asks Maggie Warner. Homeless people have no kitchens, she points out.
Gift cards or a credit to the grocery store where they can buy fresh fruit and pre-made meals makes more sense. But some donors are reluctant to do this because they think homeless people will use the money for beer or alcohol.
4. Homeless kids aren’t as healthy as kids with homes.
The National Center on Family Homelessness says that homeless kids have four times as many respiratory infections, twice as many ear infections and five times more gastrointestinal problems. They are three times more likely to have emotional and behavioral problems than non-homeless children.
Being homeless is stressful and practicing good hygiene is harder when you don’t have ready access to bathrooms, sinks and showers. Homeless kids are also exposed to the weather and elements. Homelessness is connected to poverty and when you are poor, you often must rely on free clinics for health care; seeing doctors is not a regular thing.
5. Homeless kids may try hard but are more likely to struggle in school.
Of homeless elementary students, only 21.5 percent are proficient in math and 24.4 percent in reading. It is even worse among high school students, where just 11.4 percent are proficient in math and 14.6 percent in reading….
Agnes Stevens, a retired teacher, began tutoring homeless kids in a park in Santa Monica, Calif., encouraging them to stay in school and participate in school activities. In 1993, she founded School on Wheels, a program that tutors homeless kids in six Southern California counties. The organization also provides backpacks, school supplies and school uniforms for homeless kids and helps their parents navigate school resources. The group runs two learning centers too.
6. Homeless kids put up with a lot of daily indignities, small things that you probably don’t realize.
They appreciate getting your used clothing donations, but once in a while they’d like to wear something without some other kid’s name written in it. They also don’t feel great sneaking in the school bathroom before class to brush their teeth, but it’s often the only place available. Maybe there’s a way to issue them a free lunch card that looks like the lunch card everyone else uses? If their family doesn’t have a post office box, it’s hard to mail home their report card. They don’t want everyone to know if the PTA paid for them to go on the class field trip. School projects that involve a trip to the crafts store for supplies pose a special burden on their families who can’t afford it. Participating in sports sounds great, but soccer cleats and baseball uniforms aren’t exactly in the budget. A lost textbook is a problem for a regular kid; a lost textbook is a catastrophe for a homeless kid.
7. Homeless kids are a pretty resilient lot.
When The Huffington Post asked Maggie what she wanted to say to our readers, this is what she said: “Never give up and never stop hoping things will get better even when you feel like you’re at the bottom.” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/25/homeless-kids_n_5359430.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education

There is no magic bullet or “Holy Grail” in education. There is only what works to produce academic achievement in each population of children. That is why school choice is so important.

Related:

Hard times are disrupting families
https://drwilda.com/2011/12/11/hard-times-are-disrupting-families/

3rd world America: The link between poverty and education
https://drwilda.com/2011/11/20/3rd-world-america-the-link-between-poverty-and-education/

3rd world America: Money changes everything
https://drwilda.com/2012/02/11/3rd-world-america-money-changes-everything/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

More states adopting laws which mandate principal evaluation

25 May

In New research: School principal effectiveness, moi said:
The number one reason why teachers leave the profession has to do with working conditions. A key influencer of the environment of a school and the working conditions is the school principal.
Gregory Branch, Eric Hanushek, and Steven Rivkin reported in the National Center for Analysis of Longitudinal Data in Educational Research report, Estimating Principal Effectiveness:

VI. Conclusion
An important facet of many school policy discussions is the role of strong leadership, particularly of principals. Leadership is viewed as especially important in revitalizing failing schools. This discussion is, however, largely uninformed by systematic analysis of principals and their impact on student outcomes….
The initial results suggest that principal movements parallel teacher movements. Specifically, principals are affected by the racial and achievement distribution of students in schools, and this enters into mobility patterns. Yet the common view that the best leave the most needy schools is not supported.
An important element of the role of principals is how they interact with teachers. Our on-going analysis links principals to measures of teacher effectiveness to understand how principals affect teacher outcomes. http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/CALDER-Working-Paper-32_FINAL.pdf

See, Principals Matter: School Leaders Can Drive Student Learning http://www.huffingtonpost.com/Karin%20Chenoweth/principals-matter-school-_b_1252598.html?ref=email_share

In lay person speak, what they are saying is that a strong principal is a strong leader for his or her particular school. A strong principal is particularly important in schools which face challenges. Now, we get into the manner in which strong principals interact with their staff – is it an art or is it a science? What makes a good principal can be discussed and probably depends upon the perspective of those giving an opinion, but Gary Hopkins of Education World summarizes the thoughts of some educators:

Top Ten Traits of School Leaders
Last month, 43 of the Education World Principal Files principals participated in a survey. The result of that survey is this list of the top ten traits of school leaders, presented in order of importance.
1. Has a stated vision for the school and a plan to achieve that vision.
2. Clearly states goals and expectations for students, staff, and parents.
3. Is visible — gets out of the office; is seen all over the school.
4. Is trustworthy and straight with students and staff.
5. Helps develop leadership skills in others.
6. Develops strong teachers; cultivates good teaching practice.
7. Shows that he or she is not in charge alone; involves others.
8. Has a sense of humor.
9. Is a role model for students and staff.
10. Offers meaningful kindnesses and kudos to staff and students.
http://www.educationworld.com/a_admin/admin/admin190.shtml

These traits can be summarized that a strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision. https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/07/new-research-school-principal-effectiveness/

Denisa R. Superville wrote in the Education Week article, States Forge Ahead on Principal Evaluation:

Since 2010, at least 36 states have adopted laws requiring principals to undergo regular assessments and increasing the rigor of those reviews, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The changes reflect a shift from largely pro forma evaluations to complicated matrices that seek to tie principals’ effectiveness, in part, to student academic growth. The policies typically require that a percentage of a principal’s evaluation include student performance or growth. The amount ranges, for example, from 20 percent in Delaware to 50 percent of the overall score in states such as Georgia and Ohio.
But according to new, yet-to-be-published research, the growth of principal-evaluation policies has not been matched with corresponding study of their implementation, reliability, and effectiveness. Most of the attention and studies are geared toward similar systems for teachers…
The push to greater accountability for principals and teachers is due to a number of factors, according to the NCSL review of laws and policies adopted between 2010 and 2014.
The federal Race to the Top grant competition, launched in 2009, included such evaluation systems as a requirement for participants. More recently, in order for states to qualify for waivers from provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act, student growth had to be considered as a “significant” factor in evaluating principals, although federal guidelines left the details up to the states.
But the NCSL also found a dearth of valid and reliable evaluation methods, and little emphasis on training for the evaluators….
Mr. Grissom recommends a system that, in addition to considering student performance and growth, would include a qualitative aspect with very specific descriptions of what constitutes “good” performance and require evidence collection, school visits, discussions with people who work with the principals, and surveys that could include parents, teachers, students, and those in the community.
A high reliance on test scores gives only a “narrow view” of principal and teacher performance, said Dick Flanary, a deputy executive director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Factors such as graduation rates, drop-out rates, literacy rates, and teacher turnover may be more appropriate measures to use, in his view.
His group and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, identify a number of other factors they say should taken into account in evaluations. They include professional growth and learning; student growth and achievement; school planning and progress; school culture; professional qualities and instructional leadership; and stakeholder support and engagement…
Competing Approaches
States are trying out a variety of ways to make student achievement a formal part of principal evaluations. New research sorts those approaches into a few common baskets:
“50-50” Percentage Model:
50 percent of the evaluation score is derived from student-outcome measures, usually student achievement or academic growth. This can include indicators such as graduation and attendance rates. The other 50 percent of the score often comes from a performance rubric, aligned with standards developed by the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Example: Georgia
Matrix Model:
In most cases, 50 percent of the evaluation is based on student outcome or growth measures; the other 50 percent of the score comes from a performance rubric. However, the overall score is derived from a matrix table, rather than a percentage formula.
Example: Ohio
Student ‘Data Trump’ Model
Student growth/performance may account for less than half of the principal’s overall score; however, a principal cannot earn the highest rating or be deemed “highly effective” with low student performance/outcome data. In other words, student data “trumps” everything else.
Example: Delaware
SOURCES: Ellen Goldring, Peabody College of Education and Human Development, Vanderbilt University; Kelly Jones, Vanderbilt University
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/05/21/32principals_ep.h33.html

A strong principal is a leader with a vision for his or her school and who has the drive and the people skills to take his or her teachers and students to that vision.

Resources:

The Performance Indicators for Effective Principal Leadership in Improving Student Achievement http://mdk12.org/process/leading/p_indicators.html

Effective Schools: Managing the Recruitment, Development, and Retention of High-quality Teachers http://www.caldercenter.org/upload/Effective-Schools_CALDER-Working-Paper-37-3.pdf

What makes a great principal? http://www.greatschools.org/improvement/quality-teaching/189-what-makes-a-great-principal-an-audio-slide-show.gs

Related:

Wallace Foundation study: Leadership matters in student achievement https://drwilda.com/2012/07/29/wallace-foundation-study-leadership-matters-in-student-achievement/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Soft skills are crucial for college and life success

23 May

Whether or not students choose college or vocational training at the end of their high school career, our goal as a society should be that children should be “college ready.” David T. Conley writes in the ASCD article, What Makes a Student College Ready? http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/oct08/vol66/num02/What-Makes-a-Student-College-Ready%C2%A2.aspxhttps://drwilda.com/2012/10/06/many-not-ready-for-higher-education/

Caralee J. Adams reports in the Education Week article, ‘Soft Skills’ Pushed as Part of College Readiness:

To make it in college, students need to be up for the academic rigor. But that’s not all. They also must be able to manage their own time, get along with roommates, and deal with setbacks. Resiliency and grit, along with the ability to communicate and advocate, are all crucial life skills. Yet, experts say, many teenagers lack them, and that’s hurting college-completion rates.
“Millennials have had helicopter parents who have protected them,” said Dan Jones, the president of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors and the director of counseling and psychological services at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. “They haven’t had the opportunity to struggle. When they come to college and bad things happen, they haven’t developed resiliency and self-soothing skills….”
“The expectations are not in alignment with reality,” said Harlan Cohen, the author of The Naked Roommate and 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into In College, published last year. “Students do not have the communication skills to navigate through adversity that is part of the normal transition to college….”
A holistic approach to college readiness that integrates academic content, college knowledge, and psychology may be what’s needed to help more students complete college, said Andrea Venezia, a project director at WestEd, a research organization based in San Francisco. Rather than compartmentalization of college-readiness efforts, she advocates early training that includes noncognitive strategies and habits of mind that give students internal strength to persist….http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2012/11/14/12softskills_ep.h32.html?tkn=WQRFgl%2Bkfw2CUbzDpa48iaX0xbRF0HCUXIpI&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=es

Soft skills are skills associated with “emotional intelligence.”

Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Melinda Smith, M.A. have written the excellent article, Emotional Intelligence (EQ) for HELPGUIDE.Org.

What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and diffuse conflict. Emotional intelligence impacts many different aspects of your daily life, such as the way you behave and the way you interact with others.
If you have a high emotional intelligence you are able to recognize your own emotional state and the emotional states of others and engage with people in a way that draws them to you. You can use this understanding of emotions to relate better to other people, form healthier relationships, achieve greater success at work, and lead a more fulfilling life.
Emotional intelligence consists of four attributes:
• Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
• Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
• Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
• Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.
Why is emotional intelligence (EQ) so important?
As we know, it’s not the smartest people that are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. You probably know people who are academically brilliant and yet are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their personal relationships. Intellectual intelligence or IQ isn’t enough on its own to be successful in life. IQ can help you get into college but it’s EQ that will help you manage the stress and emotions of sitting your final exams.
Emotional intelligence affects:
• Your performance at work. Emotional intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career. In fact, when it comes to gauging job candidates, many companies now view emotional intelligence as being as important as technical ability and require EQ testing before hiring.
• Your physical health. If you’re unable to manage your stress levels, it can lead to serious health problems. Uncontrolled stress can raise blood pressure, suppress the immune system, increase the risk of heart attack and stroke, contribute to infertility, and speed up the aging process. The first step to improving emotional intelligence is to learn how to relieve stress.
• Your mental health. Uncontrolled stress can also impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand and manage your emotions, you’ll also be open to mood swings, while an inability to form strong relationships can leave you feeling lonely and isolated.
• Your relationships. By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you’re better able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling. This allows you to communicate more effectively and forge stronger relationships, both at work and in your personal life. http://www.helpguide.org/mental/eq5_raising_emotional_intelligence.htm

Whether one calls success traits “emotional intelligence” or “soft skills” is really not important. The traits associated are those more likely to result in a successful outcome for the student.

Bradford Holmes of Varsity Tutors wrote in the U.S. News article, Hone the Top 5 Soft Skills Every College Student Needs about soft skills a college ready individual should possess:

1. Collaboration: It is imperative for college-bound students to function efficiently and appropriately in groups, collaborate on projects and accept constructive criticism when working with others. People who succeed only when working alone will struggle in college and beyond, as the majority of careers require collaboration.
Students can develop the skills necessary to effectively work with others in numerous ways, including participating in athletics and extracurricular activities. They can also opt to complete team-based projects such as service activities during their later years in high school.
2. Communication and interpersonal skills: A common complaint among employers is that young people do not know how to effectively carry on a conversation and are unable to do things like ask questions, listen actively and maintain eye contact.
The current prevalence of electronic devices has connected young individuals to one another, but many argue it has also lessened their ability to communicate face-to-face or via telephone. These skills will again be important not only in college, where students must engage with professors to gain references and recommendations for future endeavors, but beyond as well.
An inability to employ these skills effectively translates poorly in college and job interviews, for instance. High school students can improve these traits by conversing with their teachers in one-to-one settings. This is also excellent training for speaking with college professors. Obtaining an internship in a professional setting is also a wonderful method to enhance communication and interpersonal skills.
3. Problem-solving: Students will be faced with a number of unexpected challenges in life and receive little or no aid in overcoming them. They must be able to solve problems in creative ways and to determine solutions to issues with no prescribed formula.
Students who are accustomed to learned processes, and who cannot occasionally veer off-course, will struggle to handle unanticipated setbacks. Students can improve problem-solving abilities by enrolling in classes that use experiential learning rather than rote memorization. Students should also try new pursuits that place them in unfamiliar and even uncomfortable situations, such as debate club or Science Olympiad.
4. Time management: Whatever structure students may have had in high school to organize their work and complete assignments in a timely manner will be largely absent in college. It is imperative that they be fully self-sufficient in managing their time and prioritizing actions.
The ability to track multiple projects in an organized and efficient manner, as well as intelligently prioritize tasks, is also extremely important for students long after graduation.
Students can improve this skill by assuming responsibility in multiple areas during high school – nothing develops an ability to prioritize faster than necessity – or gaining professional employment experience through internships, volunteer work or other opportunities.
5. Leadership: While it is important to be able to function in a group, it is also important to demonstrate leadership skills when necessary. Both in college and within the workforce, the ability to assume the lead when the situation calls for it is a necessity for anyone who hopes to draw upon their knowledge and “hard” skills in a position of influence.
Companies wish to hire leaders, not followers. The best way for students to develop this skill as they prepare for college is to search for leadership opportunities in high school. This could mean, among other things, acting as captain of an athletic team, becoming involved in student government or leading an extracurricular group. http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/2014/05/12/hone-the-top-5-soft-skills-every-college-student-needs?src=usn_tw

Moi wrote in The ‘whole child’ approach to education: Many children do not have a positive education experience in the education system for a variety of reasons. Many educators are advocating for the “whole child” approach to increase the number of children who have a positive experience in the education process. https://drwilda.com/2012/02/10/the-whole-child-approach-to-education/

In order to ensure that ALL children have a basic education, we must take a comprehensive approach to learning.

A healthy child in a healthy family who attends a healthy school in a healthy neighborhood ©

Resources:

Linking Social Development and Behavior to School Readiness http://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/erickson/

Social and Emotional Learning
http://www.edutopia.org/social-emotional-learning

Related:
College readiness: What are ‘soft skills’ https://drwilda.com/2012/11/14/college-readiness-what-are-soft-skills/

Many NOT ready for higher education https://drwilda.com/2012/10/06/many-not-ready-for-higher-education/

Study: What skills are needed for ’21st-century learning?’ https://drwilda.com/2012/07/11/study-what-skills-are-needed-for-21st-century-learning/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Dr Wilda Reviews: Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945 at the Seattle Art Museum

21 May

Moi was invited to a press viewing of the Seattle Art Museum’s Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945. This visually stunning Deco exhibit at the Asian Art Museum until October 19, 2014 is an example of how artists pick up vibrations and interpret the cultural vibrations that move their spirit and creativity. According to the press materials:

Jazz. Gin. Short hair and short skirts. The modern girl. The rise of film, and the advent of skyscrapers and air travel. After World War I, the world was changing rapidly. With the machine age came an increased emphasis on speed.
The art world answered with Art Deco, which had a driving energy that found expression in its use of themes from cultures all over the world, wild appropriation of other art forms, and graphic designs with fast lines that could be adapted and used on everything from housewares to posters, and for everything from politics to advertising.
By World War II, Art Deco had left its mark on almost every medium of visual art…. http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/deco

In addition, in 1923, the Japanese suffered the Kanto Earthquake which destroyed Tokyo and Yokohama. It was an interregnum period between wars as societies and individuals coped with the shifting social norms and political alliances. The Deco movement attempted to not only embrace modernity, but to make the modern beautiful as well as functional.

Some young Japanese women wanted to be modern girls or MOGA:

“Ten Qualifications for being a moga” (Modern Girl)
1. Strength, the “ene?my” of conventional femininity
2. Conspicuous consumption of Western food and drink
3. Devotion to jazz records, dancing, and smoking Golden Bat cigarettes from a metal cigarette holder
4. Knowledge of the types of Western liquor and a willingness to flirt to get them for free
5. Devotion to fashion from Paris and Hollywood as seen in foreign fashion magazines
6. Devotion to cinema
7. Real or feigned interest in dancehalls as a way to show off one’s ostensible decadence to mobo (modern boys)
8. Strolling inthe Ginza every Saturday and Sunday night
9. Pawning things to get money to buy new clothes for each season
10. Offering one’s lips to any man who is useful, even if he is bald or ugly, but keeping one’s chastity because “infringement of chastity” lawsuits are out of style
–by the leading illustrator Takabatake Kashō for the magazine Fujin sekai (1929)

The 200 items in the exhibit show the marriage of Japanese craftsmanship and artistic expression with the Deco movement. It is well edited to tell the Deco story from the Japanese perspective.
Seattle is very lucky to be a stop on the U.S. tour.

This exhibit is highly recommended. Dr. Wilda gives Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945 a definite thumbs up.

Here is information about the exhibit:

Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920–1945
May 10 – Oct 19 2014
Asian Art Museum
Tateuchi Galleries
http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/exhibitions/deco

Art Deco Style defines Art Deco:

Art Deco Terminology

The term ‘Art Deco’ is taken from the name of the 1925 Paris exhibition titled Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes. The most popular and respected French artists of the day showcased their work at this exhibition.
Jewelry makers, graphic artists, painters, architects, fashion designers and all other manner of craftsmen and women displayed their pieces at the exhibition. All of the works had a commonality – they were not only functional, but also very beautiful (i.e. decorative).
The term came up again in an article by the architect, Le Corbusier, titled ‘1925: Arts Déco’ and in 1966 at the retrospective exhibition titled Les années ’25: Art Deco/Bauhaus/Stijl/Esprit Nouveau. But it wasn’t until Bevis Hiller published his book, Art Deco of the 20s and 30s in 1968 that term was used to truly define that style movement.
In essence, Art Deco is a modern interpretation of the art movement that preceded it, Art Nouveau. So it may be helpful to structure the Art Deco definition in contrast to Art Nouveau.

Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau came into existence as a reaction to the purely functional and practical spirit of the Industrial Revolution. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, society was primarily concerned with production, machinery and the output of goods. Less focus was placed on beauty.
If something did not serve a practical purpose, it was in essence useless, regardless of how much pleasure it gave you to look at and admire it. But just like with anything in life, when you focus on one aspect of something at the exclusion of another, the other comes back with a vengeance! And so in came Art Nouveau.

Artists of the day began creating works of art that were highly stylized and purely decorative. The focus started to shift from the cold, dismal, lifeless factories to the energetic, colourful natural environment. Artists began to incorporate naturalistic motifs into their works – dragonflies, insects, flowers, birds, flowing water, etc.
Rounded edges, scrolls and curves were very popular as they evoked a more organic, natural feel. Moreover, the focus was back on beauty and decoration. Everything from architecture to jewellery to common household objects was embellished and beautified – function took a back seat and beauty was glorified.

Art Nouveau to Art Deco
Art Deco followed in Art Nouveau’s footsteps in that it also paid homage to beauty, but it was a more ‘modern’ interpretation. The Machine Age was well underway at this time and function became an important requirement again. The rounded, scroll, naturalistic motifs of Nouveau were replaced with geometric, angular and streamlined motifs like zigzags and chevrons (notice the difference in designs in the two lamp pictures above). Function was important, but not at the expense of beauty and decoration.

Art Deco Definition
To sum up, the Art Deco definition can be outlined as follows:
Art Deco is both a functional AND decorative artistic style that emerged in the early 1920s and influenced all forms of creative design. http://www.art-deco-style.com/art-deco-definition.html

The Victoria and Albert Museum’s 2003 exhibit showcased the global nature of the Deco style. See, Art Deco: Global Inspiration http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/a/art-deco-global-inspiration/

Resources:

Art Services International DECO JAPAN: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920 – 1945 U.S. museum schedule http://www.asiexhibitions.org/Deco-Japan.html

Japan’s art deco interlude http://www.salon.com/2012/03/17/japans_art_deco_interlude/

An Urbane and Unexpected Leap From West to East http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/arts/design/deco-japan-shaping-art-and-culture-at-japan-society.html?_r=1&

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Life is not fair: African American men and negative stereotypes

20 May

Moi has got plenty to say about hypocrites of the conservative persuasion, those who espouse family values, but don’t live up to them or who support corporate welfare while tossing out that old bromide that individuals must pull themselves up by their bootstraps even if they don’t have shoes.
Because of changes in family structure and the fact that many children are now being raised by single parents, who often lack the time or resources to care for them, we as a society must make children and education a priority, even in a time of lack. I know that many of the conservative persuasion will harp on about personal responsibility, yada, yada, yada. Moi promotes birth control and condoms, so don’t harp on that. Fact is children, didn’t ask to be born to any particular parent or set of parents.

Jonathan Cohn reports about an unprecedented experiment which occurred in Romanian orphanages in the New Republic article, The Two Year Window. There are very few experiments involving humans because of ethical considerations.

Nelson had traveled to Romania to take part in a cutting-edge experiment. It was ten years after the fall of the Communist dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu, whose scheme for increasing the country’s population through bans on birth control and abortion had filled state-run institutions with children their parents couldn’t support. Images from the orphanages had prompted an outpouring of international aid and a rush from parents around the world to adopt the children. But ten years later, the new government remained convinced that the institutions were a good idea—and was still warehousing at least 60,000 kids, some of them born after the old regime’s fall, in facilities where many received almost no meaningful human interaction. With backing from the MacArthur Foundation, and help from a sympathetic Romanian official, Nelson and colleagues from Harvard, Tulane, and the University of Maryland prevailed upon the government to allow them to remove some of the children from the orphanages and place them with foster families. Then, the researchers would observe how they fared over time in comparison with the children still in the orphanages. They would also track a third set of children, who were with their original parents, as a control group.
In the field of child development, this study—now known as the Bucharest Early Intervention Project—was nearly unprecedented. Most such research is performed on animals, because it would be unethical to expose human subjects to neglect or abuse. But here the investigators were taking a group of children out of danger. The orphanages, moreover, provided a sufficiently large sample of kids, all from the same place and all raised in the same miserable conditions. The only variable would be the removal from the institutions, allowing researchers to isolate the effects of neglect on the brain….
Drury, Nelson, and their collaborators are still learning about the orphans. But one upshot of their work is already clear. Childhood adversity can damage the brain as surely as inhaling toxic substances or absorbing a blow to the head can. And after the age of two, much of that damage can be difficult to repair, even for children who go on to receive the nurturing they were denied in their early years. This is a revelation with profound implication—and not just for the Romanian orphans.
APPROXIMATELY SEVEN MILLION American infants, toddlers, and preschoolers get care from somebody other than a relative, whether through organized day care centers or more informal arrangements, according to the Census Bureau. And much of that care is not very good. One widely cited study of child care in four states, by researchers in Colorado, found that only 8 percent of infant care centers were of “good” or “excellent” quality, while 40 percent were “poor.” The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development has found that three in four infant caregivers provide only minimal cognitive and language stimulation—and that more than half of young children in non-maternal care receive “only some” or “hardly any” positive caregiving. http://www.tnr.com/article/economy/magazine/97268/the-two-year-window?page=0,0&passthru=YzBlNDJmMmRkZTliNDgwZDY4MDhhYmIwMjYyYzhlMjg

Because the ranks of poor children are growing in the U.S., this study portends some grave challenges not only for particular children, but this society and this country. Adequate early learning opportunities and adequate early parenting is essential for proper development in children.

Another obstacle many children must overcome is the negative stereotype. Leland Ware opines in the Diverse Education article, Unconscious Stereotypes and Black Males:

In the decades following the enactment of the civil rights laws of the 1960s, old-fashioned, overt discrimination has begun to fade. Klansmen and skinheads are not socially acceptable. However, extensive research conducted over the last 30 years has shown that racial prejudice is pervasive among many who consciously subscribe to a belief in racial equality. Many individuals who believe they have positive attitudes about racial minorities unconsciously harbor racial prejudices. This can cause individuals to engage in conduct that disadvantages minorities without consciously realizing they are doing so. The discrimination occurs when it is not obvious to the perpetrator or when they can point to a race-neutral justification for the actions. Some academics have labeled this phenomenon “colorblind racism.”
Prejudice and stereotypes are the byproducts of ordinary perceptions, categorization, learning, memory and judgment. Categorization is the process by which ideas and objects are recognized, differentiated and understood. It is an essential cognitive activity that enables individuals to reduce the enormous amounts of information they encounter every day to a manageable level. Categorization allows individuals to relate new experiences to old experiences; the unfamiliar becomes familiar. Each object and event is perceived, remembered, grouped into a category and identified. The process is automatic and operates in milliseconds.
The categorization process can also trigger stereotypes. When an individual is seen as a member of a social group, perceptions about that group’s characteristics and behavior influence judgments made about them. Stereotyping involves the creation of a mental image of a “typical” member of a particular category. Individuals are perceived as undifferentiated members of a group, lacking any significant differences from other individuals within the group.
When a particular behavior by a group member is observed, the viewer evaluates the behavior through the lens of the stereotype. This causes the observer to conclude that the conduct has empirically confirmed his stereotyped belief about the group. Stereotypes can be so deeply internalized that they persist in the face of facts that directly contradict the stereotype.
Professor Frances Aboud, who conducted research on prejudice in young children, confirmed that stereotypes develop at an early age. In a study with young children aged three to five, volunteers were given a half-dozen positive adjectives such as “good,” “kind,” “clean” and an equal number of negative adjectives such as “mean,” “cruel” and “bad.” They asked children to match each adjective to one of the two drawings. One drawing depicted a White person and the other showed a Black person. The results showed that 70 percent of the children assigned nearly every positive adjective to the White faces and nearly every negative adjective to the Black faces.
Young children experience a world in which most people who live in nice houses are White. Most people on television are White, especially the people who were shown in positions of authority, dignity and power. Most of the storybook characters they see are White, and it is the White children who perform heroic, clever and generous feats.
Children, who are rapidly orienting themselves in their environments, receive messages about race, not once or twice, but thousands of times. Everywhere a child looks, whether it is on television, in movies, in books or online, their inferences are confirmed. As they grow into adults, these messages remain in their unconscious psyches and can be triggered by the categorization process. This provides the foundation for unconscious discrimination.
Eradicating negative stereotypes about Black men will be difficult, as they are longstanding and ubiquitous. Talking about them will not change people who believe they are egalitarian. However, individuals can be made aware of their unconscious biases.
Harvard’s Implicit Association Test is an experiment that measures the speed at which two concepts are associated. The research shows that unconscious stereotyping and prejudice are widespread. Test takers consistently made more associations between the faces of African-Americans and words having negative concepts. Positive concepts were associated with the faces of Whites. Hundreds of thousands of individuals have taken the test producing similar results.
Recognizing and understanding unconscious discrimination provides a starting point for addressing this problem…. http://diverseeducation.com/article/64283/

Moi wrote about “success cultures in HARD QUESTION: Do Black folk REALLY want to succeed in America?
All moi can say is really. One has a Constitutional right to be a MORON. One must ask what are these parents thinking and where do they want their children to go in THIS society and not some mythical Africa which most will never see and which probably does not exist. Remember, their children must live in THIS society, at THIS time and in THIS place.
Moi wrote in Black people MUST develop a culture of success: Michigan State revokes a football scholarship because of raunchy rap video.

The question must be asked, who is responsible for MY or YOUR life choices? Let’s get real, certain Asian cultures kick the collective butts of the rest of Americans. Why? It’s not rocket science. These cultures embrace success traits of hard work, respect for education, strong families, and a reverence for success and successful people. Contrast the culture of success with the norms of hip-hop and rap oppositional culture.
See, Hip-hop’s Dangerous Values
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1107107/posts and Hip-Hop and rap represent destructive life choices: How low can this genre sink? https://drwilda.com/2013/05/01/hip-hop-and-rap-represent-destructive-life-choices-how-low-can-this-genre-sink/

There is no such thing as a “model minority” and getting rid of this myth will allow educators to focus on the needs of the individual student. Still, the choice of many parents to allow their children to make choices which may impact their success should have folk asking the question of what values are being transmitted and absorbed by Black children.

Resources:
Culture of Success http://www.cato.org/publications/commentary/culture-success

How Do Asian Students Get to the Top of the Class?
http://www.greatschools.org/parenting/teaching-values/481-parenting-students-to-the-top.gs

Related:
‘Becoming A Man’ course: Helping young African-American men avoid prison
https://drwilda.com/2013/07/03/becoming-a-man-course-helping-young-african-american-men-avoid-prison/

Study: The plight of African-American boys in Oakland, California
https://drwilda.com/2012/05/27/study-the-plight-of-african-american-boys-in-oakland-california/

Schott Foundation report: Black and Latino boys are not succeeding in high school
https://drwilda.com/tag/african-american-male/

We give up as a society: Jailing parents because kids are truant
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/we-give-up-as-a-society-jailing-parents-because-kids-are-truant/

Jonathan Cohn’s ‘The Two Year Window’ https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/jonathan-cohns-the-two-year-window/

Who says Black children can’t learn? Some schools get it https://drwilda.com/2012/03/22/who-says-black-children-cant-learn-some-schools-gets-it/

Inappropriate discipline: The first step on the road to education failure https://drwilda.com/2011/12/13/inappropriate-discipline-the-first-step-on-the-road-to-education-failure/

Is there a model minority? https://drwilda.com/2012/06/23/is-there-a-model-minority/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

States getting tough about requiring childhood vaccinations

19 May

Michaeleen Doucleff reported in the NPR story, How Vaccine Fears Fueled The Resurgence Of Preventable Diseases:

For most of us, measles and whooping cough are diseases of the past. You get a few shots as a kid and then hardly think about them again.
But that’s not the case in all parts of the world — not even parts of the U.S.
As an interactive maphttp://www.cfr.org/interactives/GH_Vaccine_Map/index.html#mapfrom the Council on Foreign Relations illustrates, several diseases that are easily prevented with vaccines have made a comeback in the past few years. Their resurgence coincides with changes in perceptions about vaccine safety….
http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2014/01/25/265750719/how-vaccine-fears-fueled-the-resurgence-of-preventable-diseases?utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20140202&utm_source=mostemailed

There are many myths regarding vaccination of children.

Evie Blad reported in the Education Week article, States Tightening Loopholes in School Vaccine Laws:

As outbreaks of preventable diseases have spread around the country in recent years, some states have been re-evaluating how and why they allow parents to opt their children out of vaccines required for school attendance.
Requiring vaccines before school admission has been a key component of a decades-long campaign that had nearly rid the United States of some of its most severe illnesses, from the measles to whooping cough, public-health experts say. But they also warn that broad “personal belief” exemptions that don’t relate to a child’s medical condition or a family’s religious beliefs have made it too easy to bypass vaccines, poking a sizable hole in the public-health safety net.
While some parents act out of a sense of personal conviction, others do so simply because they don’t have time to schedule an appointment, said Stephanie L. Wasserman, the executive director of the Colorado Children’s Immunization Coalition, an Aurora, Colo.-based group that seeks to increase vaccine coverage in the state.
“We want to close that convenience loophole,” she said. “When you choose not to immunize, there are consequences not only to your child and your family; there are consequences to your community as well.”
Since 2011, Washington, Oregon, California, and Vermont have revised their personal exemption processes.
In Colorado—a state with one of the highest opt-out rates in the country and the most recent one to examine its vaccine-exemption policies—a bill passed this month would draw schools into the public health fight….
Laws at a Glance
While all states have school vaccination laws on the books, states vary on how much leeway parents have to opt their children out of required vaccinations.
50 states require specified vaccines for students, but allow exemptions for medical reasons.
48 states grant exemptions for people who have religious beliefs against immunizations. (Mississippi and West Virginia do not allow this exemption.)
19 states allow exemptions for those who object to immunizations for personal or moral beliefs.
SOURCE: National Conference of State Legislatures
http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2014/05/14/31vaccines.h33.html

Dina Fine Maron wrote in the Daily Beast article, 6 Top Vaccine Myths:

To sort through the onslaught of information and misinformation about childhood immunizations, we asked Austin, Texas-based pediatrician Ari Brown, coauthor of “Baby 411: Clear Answers and Smart Advice for your Baby’s First Year,” to debunk some of the most common vaccination myths.

Myth 1: It’s not necessary to vaccinate kids against diseases that have been largely eradicated in the United States.
Reality: Although some diseases like polio and diphtheria aren’t often seen in America (in large part because of the success of the vaccination efforts), they can be quite common in other parts of the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that travelers can unknowingly bring these diseases into the United States, and if we were not protected by vaccinations, these diseases could quickly spread throughout the population….

Myth 2: Mercury is still in kids’ vaccines.
Reality: At the center of this issue is a preservative called thimerosal (a compound containing mercury) that once was a common component in many vaccines because it allowed manufacturers to make drugs more cheaply and in multidose formulations. But public concern, new innovations and FDA recommendations led to its removal from almost all children’s vaccines manufactured after 2001. (More thimerosal background can be found at the FDA’s Web site) Since flu vaccines are not just for children, manufacturers still put thimerosal in some flu-shot formulations. You can ask your pediatrician for the thimerosal-free version, says Brown.
If your child does not have asthma and is at least 2 years old, Brown recommends the FluMist nasal-spray vaccination over the flu shot. “It seems to have better immune protection and it could help your child avoid another shot,” she says. (Caveat: the spray does contain a live version of the virus, which can result in a slight increase in flulike symptoms).

Myth 3: Childhood vaccines cause autism.
Reality: There is no scientific evidence that this link exists. Groups of experts, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Institute of Medicine (IOM), agree that vaccines are not responsible for the growing number of children now recognized to have autism…..

Myth 4: Getting too many vaccines can overwhelm the immune system and cause adverse reactions or even serious illness.
Reality: Children’s immune systems are capable of combating far more antigens (weak or killed viruses) than they encounter via immunizations. In fact, the jury is still out on if there’s an actual limit on how many the body can handle—though one study puts the number around a theoretical 10,000 vaccines in one day.(Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics’ site or the Network for Immunization Information for more information)
Currently, “There is even less of a burden on the immune system [via vaccines] today than 40 years ago,” says Edgar Marcuse, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington who works on immunization policy and vaccines…..

Myth 5: It’s better to let my kid get chickenpox “naturally.”
Reality: Before the chickenpox vaccine was licensed in 1995, parents sometimes brought their child to a party or playground hoping that their child might brush up against a pox-laden kid to get their dose of chickenpox over since cases were usually less severe for children than adults. But pediatricians say severe complications are possible with chickenpox—including bacterial infections that could result in a child’s hospitalization or death….

Myth 6: The flu shot causes the flu.
Reality: The flu shot does not contain a live virus, so your child can’t get the flu from this shot. But, after the shot, it’s not uncommon to feel a bit achy while the immune system mounts its response. Remember that for two weeks following the shot, your child can still get the flu, so be sure to help your child avoid that feverish kid next door.http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2009/02/22/six-top-vaccine-myths.html

A question in the current climate is what can be done to make parents responsible for putting other children at risk.

Jed Lipinksi wrote in the Slate article, Endangering the Herd: The case for suing:

As you’d expect, the growing anti-vaccination movement responded in fury. After Caplan wrote a related post for the Harvard Law Blog, angry comments poured in. “This article is industry propaganda at its worst,” one commenter declared. Another wrote: “Caplan would have familiar company in fascist Germany.” The blog eventually shut down the comments for violations of the site’s policies against “abusive and defamatory language” and the sharing of personal information.
Here’s why the anti-vaxxers are wrong and Caplan and his co-authors are right to raise the idea of suing or criminally charging them: Parents who choose not to vaccinate their kids for reasons of personal belief pose a serious danger to the public.
Measles vaccines are about 95 percent effective when given to children. That leaves a 5 percent chance that kids who are vaccinated will contract measles. This means that no matter what, the disease still poses a public health risk, but we rely on others to get vaccinated to hugely reduce the likelihood of outbreaks. That’s the process known as herd immunity.
Unvaccinated children threaten the herd. Take the San Diego measles outbreak of 2008. After unknowingly contracting the disease on a trip to Switzerland, an unvaccinated 7-year-old boy infected 11 other unvaccinated kids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The majority of the cases occurred in kids whose parents had requested personal belief exemptions (or PBEs) through the state of California, one of 17 states to allow them. But three of the infected were either too young or medically unable to be vaccinated. And overall, 48 children too young to be vaccinated were quarantined, at an average cost to the family of $775 per child. The CDC noted that all 11 cases were “linked epidemiologically” to the 7-year-old boy and that the outbreak response cost the public sector $10,376 per case.
Today, several states blame a rise in preventable diseases on the declining child vaccination rates. In Michigan, less than 72 percent of children have received their state-mandated measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccines. In New York, as Caplan noted in his blog post, pockets of Brooklyn’s Hasidic Jewish community are experiencing a mini measles epidemic. Thirty cases have been confirmed so far. According to Dr. Yu Shia Lin of Maimonides Medical Center, some members of the community avoid the measles vaccine because they think it causes autism. The most visible proponent of this idea, former Playboy Playmate Jenny McCarthy, will receive a giant new platform for her viewpoints when she joins the daytime gossipfest The View on Sept. 9.
The belief that the MMR vaccine causes autism goes back to a 1998 study published in the Lancet by a British gastroenterologist named Andrew Wakefield. In 2010, after years of criticism, the journal finally retracted Wakefield’s study, announcing that it was “utterly clear, without any ambiguity at all, that the statements in the paper were utterly false.” Britain’s General Medical Council later revoked Wakefield’s medical license, noting that he’d failed to disclose his role as a paid consultant to lawyers representing parents who thought vaccines had harmed their kids. The CDC makes clear there is no connection between vaccines and autism.
Yet this dangerous idea persists. Often, it persists among people who are simply doing what they think is best for their kids. Which is why it’s necessary to take extra measures to ensure nonvaccinators understand the risk they pose to other people’s children….
There are legal obstacles to penalizing parents who don’t vaccinate their kids. Courts are generally less likely to impose liability on someone who fails to act than they are on someone who acts recklessly. Also, proving cause and effect will sometimes be difficult. Then again, to win damages, a plaintiff would only have to prove that it’s “more likely than not” that a nonvaccinated child infected another person.parents who don’t vaccinate their kids—or criminally charging them….http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013

It is just a matter of time before there will be lawsuits regarding whether a parent owed a duty to the public to vaccinate their child.

Here is information from the 6 Top Vaccine Myths regarding vaccination schedules:
For Health Care Professionals
Birth-18 Years and Catch-up
• View combined schedules (birth-18 years and catch-up)
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/su6201a2.htm
• Print combined schedules (including intro, summary of changes, references…) [355 KB, 7 pages]

Click to access mmwr-0-18yrs-catchup-schedule.pdf


• Print combined schedules in color (chart in landscape format) [202 KB, 5 pages] also in black & white [348 KB, 5 pages]

Click to access mmwr-0-18yrs-catchup-schedule.pdf


• Print full MMWR supplement (birth-18 years, catch-up, adult, adult medical and other indications, adult contraindications and precautions) [1MB, 21 pages]

Click to access mm62e0128.pdf


• Order free copies from CDC
http://wwwn.cdc.gov/pubs/ncird.aspx#schedules
For Everyone
Easy-to-read Schedules for All Ages
Easy-to-read formats to print, tools to download, and ways to prepare for your office visit.
• Infants and Children (birth through 6 years old)Find easy-to-read formats to print, create an instant schedule for your child, determine missed or skipped vaccines, and prepare for your office visit…
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/child.html
• Preteens & Teens (7 through 18 years old)Print this friendly schedule, take a quick quiz, fill out the screening form before your child’s doctor visit, or download a tool to determine vaccines needed…
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/preteen-teen.html
• Adults (19 years and older)Print the easy-to-read adult schedule, take the quiz, or download a tool to
• determine vaccines needed…
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/easy-to-read/adult.html
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/

Here is information from the American Academy of Pediatrics regarding vaccination.
http://www2.aap.org/immunization/ Parents must consult their doctors about vaccinations.

Related:

3rd World America: Tropical diseases in poor neighborhoods
https://drwilda.com/2012/08/20/3rd-world-america-tropical-diseases-in-poor-neighborhoods/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART©
http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com

Dr. Wilda Reviews ©
http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda ©
https://drwilda.com/

University of California San Francisco study: E-Cigarettes are gateway to smoking

14 May

According to Tobacco Facts most teenage smoking http://www.tobacco-facts.net/smoking-facts/teen-smoking-facts starts early. Among the statistics cited at Tobacco Facts are the following:

Each day 3,000 children smoke their first cigarette.
Tobacco use primarily begins in early adolescence, typically by age 16.
At least 3 million adolescents are smokers.
20 percent of American teens smoke.
Almost all first use occurs before high school graduation.
Roughly 6 million teens in the US today smoke despite the knowledge that it is addictive and leads to disease.
Of the 3,000 teens who started smoking today, nearly 1,000 will eventually die as a result from smoking.
Of every 100,000 15 year old smokers, tobacco will prematurely kill at least 20,000 before the age of 70.
Adolescent girls who smoke and take oral birth control pills greatly increase their chances of having blood clots and strokes.
According to the Surgeon’s General, Teenagers who smoke were:
* Three times more likely to use alcohol.
* Eight times are likely to smoke marijuana.
* And 22 times more likely to use Cocaine.
Although only 5 percent of high school smokers said that they would definitely be smoking five years later, close to 75 percent were still smoking 7 to 9 years later.
Kids who smoke experience changes in the lungs and reduced lung growth, and they risk not achieving normal lung function as an adult.
A person who starts smoking at age 13 will have a more difficult time quitting, has more health-related problems and probably will die earlier than a person who begins to smoke at age 21.
Kids who smoke have significant health problems, including cough and phlegm production, decreased physical fitness and unfavorable lipid profile.
If your child’s best friends smoke, then your youngster is 13 times more likely to smoke than if his or her friends did not smoke.
Adolescents who have two parents who smoke are more than twice as likely as youth without smoking parents to become smokers.
More than 90 percent of adult smokers started when they were teens.

It is important to prevent teens from beginning to smoke because of health issues and the difficulty many smokers have in quitting the habit. See, E-Cigarette Teen Popularity Prompts Concerns http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/09/11/e-cigarette-teen-popular_n_1875319.html

Anna Almendrala reported in the Huffington Post article, 5 Important Lessons From The Biggest E-Cigarette Study:

E-cigarettes as we know them today were invented by a Chinese pharmacist, Hon Lik in the early 2000s as a smoking cessation aid. They are handheld nicotine vaporizers that deliver an aerosol made up of nicotine, flavorings and other chemicals to users. It’s the chemicals in those vapors that are moving municipalities like Los Angeles, New York City, Washington D.C., Chicago and Boston to restrict “vaping” in some way.
Formaldehyde, for instance, is a carcinogen that also irritates the eyes, nose and throat. Propylene glycol can also cause eye and respiratory irritation, and prolonged exposure can affect the nervous system and the spleen. Acetaldehyde, also known as the “hangover chemical,” is also a possible carcinogen.
The secondhand vapor finding is just one of several that UCSF researchers highlighted in the broadest review to date of peer-reviewed e-cigarette studies. The findings, which were published Monday in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, include:
1. Some youth have their first taste of nicotine via e-cigarettes. Twenty percent of middle schoolers and 7.2 percent of high schooler e-cigarette users in the U.S. report never smoking cigarettes.
2. Nicotine absorption varies too much between brands. Early 2010 studies found that users got much lower levels of nicotine from e-cigarettes than from conventional cigarettes, but more recent studies show that experienced e-cigarette users can draw levels of nicotine from an e-cigarette that are similar to conventional cigarettes….
3. Just because particulate matter from e-cigarettes isn’t well studied, doesn’t mean it’s safe. To deliver nicotine, e-cigarettes create a spray of very fine particles that have yet to be studied in depth. “It is not clear whether the ultra-fine particles delivered by e-cigarettes have health effects and toxicity similar to the ambient fine particles generated by conventional cigarette smoke or secondhand smoke,” wrote the researchers….
4. So far, e-cigarette use is not associated with the successful quitting of conventional cigarettes. One clinical trial found that e-cigarettes was no more effective than the nicotine patch at helping people quit, and both cessation methods “produced very modest quit rates without counseling.”
5. Major tobacco companies have acquired or produced their own e-cigarette products. They’re promoting the products as “harm reduction” for smokers, which allows them to protect their cigarette market while promoting a new product. Companies also using “grassroots” tactics to form seemingly independent smokers’ rights groups, just like they did for cigarettes in the 1980s.
Based on the weight of the combined research, UCSF researchers end with several policy recommendations, which include banning e-cigarettes wherever cigarettes are banned, subjecting e-cigarettes to the same advertising restrictions that constrict cigarette marketing and banning fruit, candy and alcohol flavors, which are attractive to younger customers.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/14/e-cigarette-studies_n_5319225.html

Citation:

E-Cigarettes
A Scientific Review
1. Rachel Grana, PhD, MPH;
2. Neal Benowitz, MD;
3. Stanton A. Glantz, PhD
+ Author Affiliations
1. From the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (R.G., N.B., S.A.G.) and Department of Medicine and Cardiovascular Research Institute (N.B., S.A.G.), University of California, San Francisco.
1. Correspondence to Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of California, San Francisco, 530 Parnassus Ave, No. 366, San Francisco, CA 94143-1390. E-mail glantz@medicine.ucsf.edu
Key Words:
adolescent
particulate matter
public policy
smoking
Introduction
Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are products that deliver a nicotine-containing aerosol (commonly called vapor) to users by heating a solution typically made up of propylene glycol or glycerol (glycerin), nicotine, and flavoring agents (Figure 1) invented in their current form by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik in the early 2000s.1 The US patent application describes the e-cigarette device as “an electronic atomization cigarette that functions as substitutes [sic] for quitting smoking and cigarette substitutes” (patent No. 8,490,628 B2). By 2013, the major multinational tobacco companies had entered the e-cigarette market. E-cigarettes are marketed via television, the Internet, and print advertisements (that often feature celebrities)2 as healthier alternatives to tobacco smoking, as useful for quitting smoking and reducing cigarette consumption, and as a way to circumvent smoke-free laws by enabling users to “smoke anywhere.”3
Figure 1.
Examples of different electronic cigarette (e-cigarette) products. Reproduced from Grana et al.1
There has been rapid market penetration of e-cigarettes despite many unanswered questions about their safety, efficacy for harm reduction and cessation, and total impact on public health. E-cigarette products are changing quickly, and many of the findings from studies of older products may not be relevant to the assessment of newer products that could be safer and more effective as nicotine delivery devices. In addition, marketing and other environmental influences may vary from country to country, so patterns of use and the ultimate impact on public health may differ. The individual risks and benefits and the total impact of these products occur …
[Full Text of this Article]
http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/129/19/1972.full

Here is the press release from the UCSF:

E-Cigarettes Expose People to More than ‘Harmless’ Water Vapor and Should be Regulated, UCSF Scientists Find
First Comprehensive Analysis Shows that Industry Health Claims are Unsupported by Data
Share this story:
By Elizabeth Fernandez on May 13, 2014
Email
In a major scientific review of research on e-cigarettes, UC San Francisco scientists found that industry claims about the devices are unsupported by the evidence to date, including claims that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.
The review marks the first comprehensive assessment of peer-reviewed published research into the relatively new phenomenon of electronic cigarettes.
The devices, which are rapidly gaining a foothold in popular culture particularly among youth, are marketed as a healthier alternative to tobacco smoking, as an effective tool to stop smoking, and as a way to circumvent smoke-free laws by allowing users to “smoke anywhere.” Often the ads stress that e-cigarettes produce only “harmless water vapor.”
But in their analysis of the marketing, health and behavioral effects of the products, which are unregulated, the UCSF scientists found that e-cigarette use is associated with significantly lower odds of quitting cigarettes. They also found that while the data are still limited, e-cigarette emissions “are not merely ‘harmless water vapor,’ as is frequently claimed, and can be a source of indoor air pollution.
The long-term biological effects of use are still unknown, the authors said.
In tackling the question of whether e-cigarette use is helping or harming the nation’s tobacco control efforts, the authors analyzed 84 research studies on e-cigarettes and other related scientific materials.
They concluded that e-cigarettes should be prohibited wherever tobacco cigarettes are prohibited and should be subject to the same marketing restrictions as conventional cigarettes.
The paper is published May 12, 2014 in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation.
E-cigarettes deliver a nicotine-containing aerosol popularly called “vapor” to users by heating a solution commonly consisting of glycerin, nicotine and flavoring agents. E-liquids are flavored, including tobacco, menthol, coffee, candy, fruit and alcohol flavorings.
Despite many unanswered questions about e-cigarette safety, the impact on public health, and whether the products are effective at reducing tobacco smoking, e-cigarettes have swiftly penetrated the marketplace in the United States and abroad in both awareness and use. Sold by the major multinational tobacco and other companies, the devices are aggressively marketed in print, television and the Internet with messages similar to cigarette marketing in the 1950s and 1960s, even in the U.S. and other countries that have long banned advertising for cigarettes and other tobacco products.
In one indication of the swiftness by which the devices have been embraced, in the U.S. youth “ever use” of the devices rose from 3.3 percent in 2011 to 6.8 percent the following year; in Korea, youth “ever use” of e-cigarettes rose from .5 percent in 2008 to 9.4 percent in 2011. “Ever use” means whether one has smoked the product even just once.
Furthermore, most adults and youths who use e-cigarettes are engaging in “dual use” – smoking both e-cigarettes and conventional cigarettes.
While most youth using e-cigarettes are dual users, up to a third of adolescent e-cigarette users have never smoked a conventional cigarette, indicating that some youth are starting use of the addictive drug nicotine with e-cigarettes.
The report also tackles secondhand exposure.
“E-cigarettes do not burn or smolder the way conventional cigarettes do, so they do not emit side-stream smoke; however, bystanders are exposed to aerosol exhaled by the user,” said the authors. Toxins and nicotine have been measured in that aerosol, such as formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, acetic acid and other toxins emitted into the air, though at lower levels compared to conventional cigarette emissions.
One study of e-cigarettes was conducted to resemble a smoky bar: the researchers found that markers of nicotine in nonsmokers who sat nearby was similar for both cigarette smoke and e-cigarette aerosol exposure. Short-term exposure studies of e-cigarette use show a negative impact on lung function and bystanders absorb nicotine from passive exposure to e-cigarette aerosol, the authors report.
While early research found that e-cigarettes resulted in lower levels of plasma nicotine than conventional cigarettes, more recent research demonstrated that experienced users can attain nicotine absorption similar to that with conventional cigarettes.
When UCSF scientists pooled the results of five population-based studies of smokers, they found that smokers who used e-cigarettes were about a third less likely to quit smoking than those who did not use e-cigarettes. Whether e-cigarette use prevents attempts to quit or whether people who choose to use e-cigarettes are more highly dependent and therefore have a harder time quitting remains to be determined.
The scientists said their research illustrates the need for product regulation.
“While it is reasonable to assume that, if existing smokers switched completely from conventional cigarettes (with no other changes in use patterns) to e-cigarettes, there would be a lower disease burden caused by nicotine addiction, the evidence available at this time, although limited, points to high levels of dual use of e-cigarettes with conventional cigarettes, no proven cessation benefits, and rapidly increasing youth initiation with e-cigarettes,” the authors wrote.
“Furthermore, high rates of dual use may result in greater total public health burden and possibly increased individual risk if a smoker maintains an even low-level tobacco cigarette addiction for many years instead of quitting.”
The authors are Rachel Grana, PhD, MPH, a postdoctoral fellow at the UCSF Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education (CTCRE); Neal Benowitz, MD, a UCSF professor of medicine and bioengineering and therapeutic sciences and chief of the division of clinical pharmacology at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center; and Stanton Glantz, PhD, professor of medicine at UCSF, director of the CTCRE and the American Legacy Foundation Distinguished Professor in Tobacco Control.
The same authors have previously published general information on e-cigarettes.
The paper is a condensed and updated version of a longer report by Grana, Benowitz and Glantz with the support of the World Health Organization. Additional support came from the University of California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program and the National Cancer Institute and Food and Drug Administration Center for Tobacco Products.
Benowitz is a consultant to several pharmaceutical companies that market smoking cessation medications and has been a paid expert witness in litigation against tobacco companies.
UC San Francisco (UCSF), now celebrating the 150th anniversary of its founding, is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care. It includes top-ranked graduate schools of dentistry, medicine, nursing and pharmacy, a graduate division with nationally renowned programs in basic, biomedical, translational and population sciences, as well as a preeminent biomedical research enterprise and two top-ranked hospitals, UCSF Medical Center and UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital San Francisco.

Science Daily reported about a Swedish Study which showed that parents are influential in their child’s decision whether to smoke.

Teenagers are more positive today towards their parents’ attempts to discourage them from smoking, regardless of whether or not they smoked, than in the past. The most effective actions parents could take include dissuading their children from smoking, not smoking themselves and not allowing their children to smoke at home. Younger children were more positive about these approaches than older children. Levels of smoking amongst participants were stable at 8% in 1987 and 1994, but halved in 2003. The decrease in the proportion of teenagers smoking is thought to result from a number of factors, including changes in legislation and the decreasing social acceptability of smoking….http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090303193956.htm

Another study reported by Reuters came to a similar conclusion that parents influence the decision whether to smoke http://www.reuters.com/article/2009/08/26/us-smoking-teens-idUSTRE57P43R20090826 The Mayo Clinic has some excellent tips on preventing your teen from smoking http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/tween-and-teen-health/in-depth/teen-smoking/art-20047069

As with a lot of issues adolescents face, it is important for parents and guardians to know what is going on in their children’s lives. You should know who your children’s friends are and how these friends feel about smoking, drugs, and issues like sex. You should also know how the parents of your children’s friends feel about these issues. Do they smoke, for example, or are they permissive in allowing their children to use alcohol and/or other drugs. Are these values in accord with your values?

Resources:
Smokeless Tobacco http://kidshealth.org/PageManager.jsp?dn=KidsHealth&lic=1&ps=207&cat_id=20138&article_set=20424

A Tool to Quit Smoking Has Some Unlikely Critics
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/08/science/e-cigarettes-help-smokers-quit-but-they-have-some-unlikely-critics.html

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:
COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

The ‘Common Application’ evolves

13 May

Moi wrote about the “Common Application” in Many U.S. colleges use the ‘Common Application’:
Many students are preparing to apply to college and they will be using the “Common Application” which is used by over 450 universities including some international schools. https://www.commonapp.org/CommonApp/FAQ.aspx
In addition to U.S. colleges, colleges in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland use the “Common Application.” For a good synopsis of the pros and cons of using the application, go to Should I Use The Common Application? http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-experts/2011/09/07/should-i-use-the-common-application
Jacques Steinberg reported about problems with the “Common Application” in 2010. http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2013744243_application23.html

It has been a year of challenges for the Common Application. Kimberly Hefling, AP Education Writer reported in the article, Common Application Makes Changes After Tough Year:

“Given the year we just had, we can’t be complacent about any of this,” Eric Furda, the dean of admissions at the University of Pennsylvania, said during a media briefing. Furda is president-elect of the board of the not-for-profit Common Application membership organization.
The most common problems experienced by students were related to essay formatting, difficulty submitting an application and the inability to determine if they had paid application fees, Furda said. Higher education institutions complained about not being able to pull up documents that had been submitted.
Because of the problems, many colleges and universities extended application deadlines, and some began accepting applications from competing programs.
Furda said most of the problems were corrected by the end of 2013, but challenges persisted.
A review conducted by an outside firm determined that the technology had been rolled out without first being properly tested…http://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/common-application-makes-tough-year-23658956

See, Fixing the Common App http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/04/11/common-application-releases-consultant-report-technical-problems#sthash.9yHgRCsc.dpbs
Jacques Steinberg reported about problems with the “Common Application” in 2010. http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2013744243_application23.html
Eric Hoover reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Common Application’s Leaders Get an Earful http://chronicle.com/blogs/headcount/common-applications-leaders-get-an-earful/36589?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en
In addition to technical problems, the application is facing a law suit.

Eric Hoover reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education article, Has Common App Turned Admissions Into a ‘Straitjacketed Ward of Uniformity’?

Anyone in the mood for colorful renderings of the big business built around the college-admissions process should read the lawsuit filed last week against the Common Application in a federal court in Oregon. The nonprofit group behind the ever-growing online application, a competitor asserts, “has orchestrated a sea change in the student-application process, turning a once vibrant, diverse, and highly competitive market into a straitjacketed ward of uniformity.”
The complaint was brought by CollegeNet Inc., a technology company in Portland, Ore., that builds customized application-processing systems for colleges. CollegeNet argues that the Common Application, which has more than 500 member colleges, has violated federal antitrust laws.
“As colleges are increasingly compelled to join the Common Application,” the lawsuit says, it “is poised to eliminate competition in the broader market within a few short years.”
Over the last decade or so, CollegeNet has lost many customers to the Common Application, whose fee structure rewards member colleges that use its application exclusively. While reporting on the Common App’s growth last year, I talked to Jim Wolfston, CollegeNet’s chief executive, who described his concerns about his competitor….
The Common Application’s leaders have long asserted that increased applications are a side effect of membership—not the organization’s raison d’être. That question aside, the Common App has great influence over the application process at most of the nation’s high-profile colleges.
Whether or not CollegeNet’s legal arguments have merit, some passages in the complaint reflect concerns that admissions officials share. Namely, that the Common App has become too—pick your word—big, dominant, powerful within the realm of selective admissions. (Read all about that here.)
Although the Common App is the biggest fish in the pond, it’s worth noting that plenty of its member colleges use at least one other application, too. Last week, for instance, six colleges announced that they would also accept the Universal College Application, joining 12 institutions that have signed on since last fall. Following months of technical problems with the Common App, some colleges that had used it exclusively have decided not to keep all their eggs in one basket.
After a tumultuous fall, the Common Application’s leaders are doing some soul-searching. Recently, the group’s Board of Directors commissioned an independent review of the organization. One finding was that the Common App’s pricing structure “may be at odds with the mission…. http://chronicle.com/blogs/headcount/has-common-app-turned-admissions-into-a-straitjacketed-ward-of-uniformity/38299?cid=pm&utm_source=pm&utm_medium=en

Applying to a college is just the first step. Students and families also have to consider the cost of particular college options.

Beckie Supiano and Elyse Ashburn wrote the article, With New Lists, Federal Government Moves to Help Consumers and Prod Colleges to Limit Price Increases in the Chronicle of Higher Education about the Department of Education’s new site about college costs.

Resources:

College Preparation Checklist Brochure http://studentaid.ed.gov/sites/default/files/college-prep-checklist.pdf

Federal Student Aid At A Glance http://www.emory.edu/FINANCIAL_AID/docs/Federal%20Aid%20at%20a%20Glance.pdf

Related:

The digital divide affects the college application process https://drwilda.com/2012/12/08/the-digital-divide-affects-the-college-application-process/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/

Common Sense Media report: Raising more ‘useful idiots,’ children don’t read enough and well

12 May

Moi wrote in High – low books: Custom reading texts may help challenged readers:
This is an absolutely jaw-dropping statistic. According the article, Opinion Brief: Detroit’s ‘shocking’ 47 percent illiteracy rate which was posted at The Week:

More than 200,000 Detroit residents — 47 percent of Motor City adults — are “functionally illiterate,” according to a new report released by the Detroit Regional Workforce Fund. That means they can’t fill out basic forms, read a prescription, or handle other tasks most Americans take for granted, according to the fund’s director, Karen Tyler-Ruiz, as quoted by CBS Detroit. Her organization’s study also found that the education and training aimed at overcoming these problems “is inadequate at best,” says Jackie Headapohl at Michigan Live. http://theweek.com/article/index/215055/detroits-shocking-47-percent-illiteracy-rate

Illiteracy is a global problem, with some geographic areas and populations suffering more from illiteracy than others.

Education Portal defines illiteracy in the article, Illiteracy: The Downfall of American Society.

Most people think of literacy as a simple question of being able to read. But while a young child who can work her way through a basic picture book is considered to have age-appropriate literacy levels, an adult who can only read at the most fundamental level is still functionally illiterate.
The world requires that adults not only be able to read and understand basic texts, but also be able to function in the workplace, pay bills, understand legal and financial documents and navigate technology – not to mention the advanced reading comprehension skills required to pursue postsecondary education and the opportunities that come with it.
As a result, when we talk about the effects of illiteracy on society, we’re talking primarily about what happens when you have a large number of adults whose literacy skills are too low to perform normal, day-to-day tasks. However, it is worth keeping in mind that childhood illiteracy is, of course, directly correlated to adult illiteracy. http://education-portal.com/articles/Illiteracy_The_Downfall_of_American_Society.html

The key concept is the individual cannot adequately function in the society in which they live. That means that tasks necessary to provide a satisfactory life are difficult because they cannot read and/or comprehend what they read…. https://drwilda.com/2014/05/04/high-low-books-custom-reading-texts-may-help-challenged-readers/

Andrew M. Seaman of Reuters reported in the article, Reading Report Shows American Children Lack Proficiency, Interest:

Although American children still spend part of their days reading, they are spending less time doing it for pleasure than decades ago, with significant gaps in proficiency, according to a report released on Monday.

The San Francisco-based nonprofit Common Sense Media, which focuses on the effects of media and technology on children, published the report, which brings together information from several national studies and databases.

“It raises an alarm,” said Vicky Rideout, the lead author of the report. “We’re witnessing a really large drop in reading among teenagers and the pace of that drop is getting faster and faster.”

The report found that the percentage of nine-year-old children reading for pleasure once or more per week had dropped from 81 percent in 1984 to 76 percent in 2013, based on government studies. There were even larger decreases among older children.

A large portion rarely read for pleasure. About a third of 13-year-olds and almost half of 17-year-olds reported in one study that they read for pleasure less than twice a year.

Of those who read or are read to, children tend to spend on average between 30 minutes and an hour daily with that activity, the report found. Older children and teenagers tend to read for pleasure for an equally long time each day.

Rideout cautioned that there may be difference in how people encounter text and the included studies may not take into account stories read online or on social media.

The report also found that many young children are struggling with literacy. Only about one-third of fourth grade students are “proficient” in reading and another one-third scored below “basic” reading skills.

Despite the large percentage of children with below-basic reading skills, reading scores among young children have improved since the 1970s, according to one test that measures reading ability.

The reading scores among 17-year-olds, however, remained relatively unchanged since the 1970s.

About 46 percent of white children are considered “proficient” in reading, compared with 18 percent of black children and 20 percent of Hispanic kids.

Those gaps remained relatively unchanged over the past 20 years, according to the report.

“To go 20 years with no progress in that area is shameful,” Rideout said…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/12/reading-report-_n_5307509.html?utm_hp_ref=education&ir=Education

Citation:

Children, Teens, and Reading
A Common Sense Media Research Brief
May 12, 2014
Download the full report (1.02 MB)
This research review charts trends in reading rates and reading achievement over time among kids and teens in the U.S. We focus on national surveys and databases for data on children’s reading habits and reading scores, looking at differences across time, and between demographic groups. We also examine the growing literature on ereading among young people, which has largely studied attitudes toward ebooks and ereading. We conclude with a discussion of key future areas of research on reading and ereading. http://www.commonsensemedia.org/research/children-teens-and-reading

Here is the Common Sense Media press release:

Press room
New Report from Common Sense Media Reveals Dramatic Drop in Reading Among Teens
Report highlights how the nature of reading is changing; addresses a critical need for more research to understand new media platforms’ impact on reading
For immediate release
Monday, May 12, 2014
SAN FRANCISCO, CA—Common Sense Media today announced the release of “Children, Teens, and Reading,” a research brief that offers a unique, big-picture perspective on children’s reading habits in the United States and how they may have changed during the technological revolution of recent decades. The report brings together many disparate studies on children’s reading rates and achievement for the first time, summarizing key findings and highlighting where research is scarce, incomplete, or outdated, as well as offering suggestions for new areas of study.
Society has reached a major transition point in the history of reading. From children’s earliest ages, “reading” used to mean sitting down with a book and turning pages as a story unfolded. Today it may mean sitting down with a device that offers multimedia experiences and blurs the line between books and toys. At the same time, for older children, much daily communication is now handled in short bursts of written text, such as text messages, emails, Facebook posts, and tweets. All of this has led to a major disruption in how, what, when, and where children and teens read, and there is much we don’t yet know.
Though the report finds that reading is still a big part of many children’s lives — and reading scores among young children have improved steadily — achievement among older teens has stagnated, and many children don’t read well or often.
Among the key findings:
o Reading rates have dropped precipitously among adolescents.
The proportion of children who are daily readers drops markedly from childhood to the tween and teenage years. One study documents a drop from 48% of 6- to 8-year-olds down to 24% of 15- to 17-year-olds who are daily readers; another shows a drop from 53% of 9-year-olds to 19% of 17-year-olds. According to government studies, since 1984, the percent of 13-year-olds who are weekly readers went down from 70% to 53%, and the percent of 17-year-olds who are weekly readers went from 64% to 40%. The percent of 17-year-olds who never or hardly ever read tripled during this period, from 9% to 27%.
o A significant reading achievement gap persists between white, black, and Hispanic children.
Government test scores indicate that white students continue to score 21 or more points higher, on average, than black or Hispanic students. Only 18% of black and 20% of Hispanic fourth graders are rated as “proficient” in reading, compared with 46% of whites. The size of this “proficiency gap” has been largely unchanged over the past two decades.
o There is also a gender gap in reading time and achievement.
Girls read for pleasure for an average of 10 minutes more per day than boys, a gap that starts with young children and persists in the teenage years. It’s also reflected in achievement scores, with a gap of 12 percentage points in the proportion of girls vs. boys scoring “proficient” in reading in the eighth grade in 1992 and 11 points in 2012.
“Technology is playing an increasingly significant role in kids’ lives, and it’s changing the nature of how kids read and our definition of what is considered reading,” said Jim Steyer, CEO and founder of Common Sense Media. “Used wisely, technology such as ereaders could help support ongoing efforts to reduce disparities, promote reading achievement, and fuel a passion for reading among all young people, but we need more research to better understand the impact of technology on kids’ reading.”
“Children, Teens, and Reading” is part of a research effort directed by Vicky Rideout, a senior advisor to Common Sense Media, head of VJR Consulting, and director of more than 30 previous studies on children, media, and health.
“This review brings together many different government, academic, and nonprofit data sets to reveal some very clear trends,” said Rideout. “There has been a huge drop in reading among teenagers over the past 30 years, and we’ve made virtually no progress reducing the achievement gaps between girls and boys or between whites and children of color. The bottom line is there are far too many young people in this country who don’t read well enough or often enough.”
This research brief reviews national surveys and databases for trends in children’s and teens’ reading and reading achievement. Studies covered include the National Assessment of Educational Progress by the National Center for Education Statistics, The Kaiser Family Foundation’s Generation M2: Media in the Lives of 8- to 18-Year-Olds, Scholastic’s Kids and Family Reading Report (4th Edition), Northwestern University’s Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology, Common Sense Media’s Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013, and The Joan Ganz Cooney Center’s Learning at Home: Families’ Educational Media Use in America. For the full white paper with details on studies reviewed, the methodology of the review, and other findings, visit: http://www.commonsense.org/research
About Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media is dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing the trustworthy information, education, and independent voice they need to thrive in a world of media and technology. We exist because our kids are growing up in a culture that profoundly impacts their physical, social, and emotional well-being. We provide families with the advice and media reviews they need to make the best choices for their children. Through our education programs and policy efforts, Common Sense Media empowers parents, educators, and young people to become knowledgeable and responsible digital citizens. For more information, go to: http://www.commonsense.org.
Press Contact:
Amber Whiteside
awhiteside@commonsense.org
415-269-8127
Alexis Vanni
avanni@commonsense.org
415-553-6728
###
Topics
Research/Survey Kids & Teens Media

Education is a partnership between the student, parent(s) or guardian(s), the teacher(s), and the school. All parts of the partnership must be active and involved. Parents are an important part because they enforce lessons learned at school by reading to their children and taking their children for regular library time.

Resources:

National Assessment of Adult Literacy (NAAL) http://nces.ed.gov/naal/lit_history.asp

Illiteracy: An Incurable Disease or Education Malpractice?
http://www.nrrf.org/essay_Illiteracy.html

Living in the Shadows: Illiteracy in America http://abcnews.go.com/WN/LegalCenter/story?id=4336421&page=1#.Tt8XMFbfW-c

US Department Of Education Helping Series which are a number of pamphlets to help parents and caregivers http://www2.ed.gov/parents/academic/help/hyc.html

How Parents Can Help Their Child Prepare for School Assignments http://mathandreadinghelp.org/how_can_parents_help_their_child_prepare_for_school_assignments.html

Getting Young Children Ready to Learn http://www.classbrain.com/artread/publish/article_37.shtml

General Tips for Preparing for Kindergarten http://www.education.com/topic/preparing-for-kindergarten/

Classroom Strategies to Get Boys Reading http://gettingboystoread.com/content/classroom-strategies-get-boys-reading/

Me Read? A Practical Guide to Improving Boys Literacy Skills http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/document/brochure/meread/meread.pdf

Understanding Gender Differences: Strategies To Support Girls and Boys http://www.umext.maine.edu/onlinepubs/PDFpubs/4423.pdf

Helping Underachieving Boys Read Well and Often http://www.ericdigests.org/2003-2/boys.html

Boys and Reading Strategies for Success http://www.k12reader.com/boys-and-reading/

Related:

More research about the importance of reading https://drwilda.wordpress.com/tag/reading-literacy-and-your-child/
The slow reading movement https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/the-slow-reading-movement/

The importance of the skill of handwriting in the school curriculum https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/the-importance-of-the-skill-of-handwriting-in-the-school-curriculum/

Where information leads to Hope. © Dr. Wilda.com

Dr. Wilda says this about that ©

Blogs by Dr. Wilda:

COMMENTS FROM AN OLD FART© http://drwildaoldfart.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda Reviews © http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

Dr. Wilda © https://drwilda.com/