Tag Archives: UCLA

University of California Los Angeles study: Study explains when and why bystanders intervene in cyberbullying

18 Jan

Technology can be used for information gathering and to keep people connected. Some people use social media to torment others. Children can be devastated by thoughtless, mean, and unkind comments posted at social media sites. Some of the comments may be based upon rumor and may even be untrue. The effect on a particular child can be devastating. Because of the potential for harm, many parents worry about cyberbullying on social media sites. Moi wrote about bullying in Ohio State University study: Characteristics of kids who are bullies:

A Rotary Club in London has a statement about the Ripple Effect

Ripple Effect – Sending Waves of Goodness into the World
Like a drop of water falling into a pond, our every action ripples outward, affecting other lives in ways both obvious and unseen.
We touch the lives of those with whom we come into contact and, by extension, those with whom they come into contact.
When our actions spring from a spirit of kindness or compassion or generosity, we set into motion a “virtuous cycle” that radiates far beyond our ability to see, or perhaps even fully comprehend.
Just as a smile is infectious, so are more overt forms of service. Our objective — whether in something as formal as a highly-structured website development project or as casual as the spontaneous small kindnesses we share with strangers in hopes of brightening their day — is to send waves of positive change in the world, one act of service at a time.

Unfortunately, some children due to a variety of behaviors in their lives miss the message of the “Ripple Effect.”

Science Daily reported in Psychology study explains when and why bystanders intervene in cyberbullying:

People on social media are often unsupportive of cyberbullying victims who have shared highly personal feelings, UCLA psychologists report.

Compared to face-to-face situations, bystanders are even less likely to intervene with online bullying. The researchers wanted to learn why bystanders are infrequently supportive of when bullying occurs online.

In a new study, the researchers created a fictitious Facebook profile of an 18-year-old named Kate, who, in response to a post, received a mean comment — “Who cares! This is why nobody likes you” — from a Facebook friend named Sarah. That comment gets six likes.

The study involved 118 people, ages 18 to 22, from throughout the United States, 58 percent of the participants were female, and were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. They were randomly divided into four groups; each group saw Sarah’s nasty comment in response to a different Facebook post from Kate. Across the four groups, Kate’s Facebook post varied in level of personal disclosure (more or less personal) and whether it was positive or negative.

Two groups saw Kate make a highly personal disclosure about a relationship. “I hate it when you miss someone like crazy and you think they might not miss you back :(” (negative) or “I love it when you like someone like crazy and you think they might like you back :)” (positive).

The other two groups saw Kate make a less personal comment about the popular HBO program, “Game of Thrones.” “I hate it when a Game of Thrones episode ends and you have to wait a whole week to watch more :(” or “I love it when a Game of Thrones episode ends and you can’t wait until next week to watch more :).”

Participants then responded to questions about how much they blamed Kate for being cyberbullied, how much empathy they had for Kate and how likely they would be to support her.

Although the majority of participants considered Sarah’s comment an example of cyberbullying, they varied in their responses to Kate’s being bullied depending on her original post. Regardless of whether Kate’s post was positive or negative, participants viewed Kate more negatively when she posted a highly personal disclosure.

“We found that when the Facebook post is a more personal expression of the victim’s feelings, participants showed lower levels of empathy and felt Kate was more to blame for being cyberbullied,” said Hannah Schacter, a UCLA graduate student in developmental psychology, and lead author of the study, which is published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior…. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/01/160115100945.htm

Citation:

Psychology study explains when and why bystanders intervene in cyberbullying

Rather than placing the burden on victims to monitor their online behavior, more online empathy is needed

Date:       January 15, 2016

Source:   University of California – Los Angeles

Summary:

People on social media are often unsupportive of cyberbullying victims who have shared highly personal feelings, psychologists report. In a new study, the researchers created a fictitious Facebook profile of an 18-year-old named Kate, who received a mean comment — ‘Who cares! This is why nobody likes you’ — that gets six likes.

Journal Reference:

  1. Hannah L. Schacter, Shayna Greenberg, Jaana Juvonen. Who’s to blame?: The effects of victim disclosure on bystander reactions to cyberbullying. Computers in Human Behavior, 2016; 57: 115 DOI: 10.1016/j.chb.2015.11.018

Here is the press release from the University of California Los Angeles:

UCLA psychology study explains when and why bystanders intervene in cyberbullying

Rather than placing the burden on victims to monitor their online behavior, more online empathy is needed

Stuart Wolpert | January 14, 2016

Even when people agree that someone has been a victim of cyberbullying, participants view the victim more negatively when she posted a highly personal disclosure.

People on social media are often unsupportive of cyberbullying victims who have shared highly personal feelings, UCLA psychologists report.

Compared to face-to-face situations, bystanders are even less likely to intervene with online bullying. The researchers wanted to learn why bystanders are infrequently supportive of when bullying occurs online.

In a new study, the researchers created a fictitious Facebook profile of an 18-year-old named Kate, who, in response to a post, received a mean comment — “Who cares! This is why nobody likes you” — from a Facebook friend named Sarah. That comment gets six likes.

The study involved 118 people, ages 18 to 22, from throughout the United States, 58 percent of the participants were female, and were recruited through Amazon Mechanical Turk. They were randomly divided into four groups; each group saw Sarah’s nasty comment in response to a different Facebook post from Kate. Across the four groups, Kate’s Facebook post varied in level of personal disclosure (more or less personal) and whether it was positive or negative.

Two groups saw Kate make a highly personal disclosure about a relationship. “I hate it when you miss someone like crazy and you think they might not miss you back ☹” (negative) or “I love it when you like someone like crazy and you think they might like you back ☺” (positive).

The other two groups saw Kate make a less personal comment about the popular HBO program, “Game of Thrones.” “I hate it when a Game of Thrones episode ends and you have to wait a whole week to watch more ☹” or “I love it when a Game of Thrones episode ends and you can’t wait until next week to watch more ☺.”

Participants then responded to questions about how much they blamed Kate for being cyberbullied, how much empathy they had for Kate and how likely they would be to support her.

Although the majority of participants considered Sarah’s comment an example of cyberbullying, they varied in their responses to Kate’s being bullied depending on her original post. Regardless of whether Kate’s post was positive or negative, participants viewed Kate more negatively when she posted a highly personal disclosure.

“We found that when the Facebook post is a more personal expression of the victim’s feelings, participants showed lower levels of empathy and felt Kate was more to blame for being cyberbullied,” said Hannah Schacter, a UCLA graduate student in developmental psychology, and lead author of the study, which is published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior.

Participants were asked, on a scale of one to five, whether they “felt for” Kate and whether they blamed Kate for Sarah’s criticism of her. Although the differences were small (about one third of point), they showed a consistent pattern of less forgiving responses when Kate posted about her personal issues as opposed to about Game of Thrones.

The authors found that victim-blaming and empathy for the victim influenced whether participants would intervene by sending a supportive message to the bullying victim (Kate), posting a supportive message, or posting that they disagree with the bully’s comment.  When participants felt that Kate deserved to be bullied and felt less empathy for her, they were less likely to express support for the victim.

“The emotional reactions toward Kate help explain whether online bystanders are likely to support the victim,” said Jaana Juvonen, a UCLA professor of psychology and senior author of the research.

“Our study suggests oversharing of personal information leads bystanders to blame and not feel for the victim,” Schacter said.

On social media websites, there appear to be unwritten rules about what is acceptable, and this study suggests that oversharing personal emotions or information violates these rules, she said.

“Young people need to understand that by revealing personal issues publicly online, they may make themselves more vulnerable to attacks from those seeking to harm others,” Juvonen said.

Sharing your feelings with a close friend is quite different from publicly sharing with many people who don’t know you well.

However, Schacter and Juvonen emphasize that the study’s findings have important implications for changing how people react when they see online bullying. Rather than placing the burden on victims to monitor their online behavior, the authors say that more online empathy is needed. This is a challenge, they note, because bystanders do not see the anguish of victims of online bullying.

“Supportive messages can make a big difference in how the victim feels,” Schacter said. Other research, she noted, shows that sharing of troubles can help strengthen friendships among students and young adults.

Shayna Greenberg, a recent UCLA graduate who worked with Schacter and Juvonen on the study, is a co-author.

The research was partly funded by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Sigma Xi Grant in Aid of Research for Schacter.

Previous studies on bullying by Juvonen and her colleagues have found that:

Media Contact

Stuart Wolpert

310-206-0511

swolpert@support.ucla.edu

Two articles describe the effects of social networking on teen relationships. In the first article, Antisocial Networking?, Hillary Stout writes in the New York Times about toxic social networking sites and their effect on teens. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/02/fashion/02BEST.html?pagewanted=all

Hans Villarica wrote the excellent article in Time, Dealing With Cyberbullying: 5 Essential Parenting Tips

Make sure your kids know cyberbullying is wrong. Many kids don’t understand that when they write down and disseminate feelings of frustration, jealousy or anger toward others online, it can quickly escalate into problems in the real world. They also tend to think that what happens digitally “doesn’t count” and that digital abuse doesn’t hurt, especially since parents usually focus on their kids’ behavior in person…. (More on Time.com: Lessons on Cyberbullying: Is Rebecca Black a Victim? Experts Weigh In)

Take an interest in your kids’ online behavior. Kids tend to think their parents don’t know or care about their online lives. They fear that their parents, in not understanding, will simply take away their cell phone or computer if anything goes wrong….. (More on Time.com: The Tricky Politics of Tween Bullying)

Check school policies on cyberbullying. Contact your child’s teacher or a school social worker or administrator and find out whether there is an official policy on cyberbullying. If there is one, read it and discuss it with your kids.

If there isn’t a written policy in place, ask about how cyberbullying is handled and whether there are any plans to create an official policy. Better yet, step up and join — or push to create — a committee to set the standards…. (More on Time.com: Cyberbullying? Homophobia? Tyler Clementi’s Death Highlights Online Lawlessness)

Set guidelines about cell-phone use. Many parents give their kids cell phones, so they can stay in closer contact with them. But that’s typically not the reason kids want cell phones. Rather, kids use them to surf the Web, send text messages to friends, update their social-networking status, and share pictures and videos.

Review with your children the laws that could affect their cell phone use, including limitations on where and when they can legally take photos or videos, and how you expect them to handle text messaging or Internet use. If you choose to monitor what’s on your kids’ phones, be aware that more than 70% of kids delete messages or photos before giving their parents their phones for checks, according to research from the Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center. (More on Time.com: A Glimmer of Hope in a Bad-News Survey About Bullying)

Help your children respond appropriately if they are cyberbullied. First, talk with your children about what happened and how they feel about it. Be supportive. Remember that your kids feel that they are under attack. Second, report the abuse to the website on which it occurred. This can often be done via an “abuse” or “report” button or link on the site. Lastly, report the bullying to school administrators and ask them to look after your children.                                                                                                                           http://healthland.time.com/2011/03/25/dealing-with-cyberbullying-5-essential-parenting-tips/

Parents must monitor their children’s use of technology.

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

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http://drwildareviews.wordpress.com/

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University of Washington study: Recognition of race starts early

19 Apr

Moi wrote about the intersection of race and class in Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids. It is worth reviewing that post. https://drwilda.com/tag/class-segregation/

Moi wrote about race in Race, class, and education in America:
Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.
A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class https://drwilda.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/

Science Daily reported in the article, Babies prefer fairness — but only if it benefits them — in choosing a playmate:

The findings, published in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology, show that 15-month-old babies value a person’s fairness — whether or not an experimenter equally distributes toys — unless babies see that the experimenter unevenly distributed toys in a way that benefits a person of the same race as the infant.
“It’s surprising to see these pro-social traits of valuing fairness so early on, but at the same time, we’re also seeing that babies have self-motivated concerns too,” Sommerville said.
Forty white 15-month-old babies sat on their parents’ laps while watching two white experimenters divide toys between recipients. One experimenter divided the toys equally, and the other experimenter divided the toys unequally.
Later, when the babies had a chance to choose who to play with, 70 percent of the time infants preferred the experimenter who distributed the toys fairly. This suggests that when individuals are the same race as the infant, babies favor fair over unfair individuals as playmates.
Next, Sommerville and her team asked a more complex question. What would happen when individuals who were of the same race as the infant actually stood to benefit from inequity?
In a second experiment, 80 white 15-month-old infants saw a fair and an unfair experimenter distribute toys to a white and to an Asian recipient. Half the babies saw the unfair experimenter give more to the Asian recipient; and the other half of babies saw the experimenter give more to the white recipient.
When it came time to decide a playmate, infants seemed more tolerant of unfairness when the white recipient benefited from it. They picked the fair experimenter less often when the unfair experimenter gave more toys to the white recipient versus the Asian recipient.
“If all babies care about is fairness, then they would always pick the fair distributor, but we’re also seeing that they’re interested in consequences for their own group members,” Sommerville said.
The findings imply that infants can take into account both race and social history (how a person treats someone else) when deciding which person would make a better playmate.
“Babies are sensitive to how people of the same ethnicity as the infant, versus a different ethnicity, are treated — they weren’t just interested in who was being fair or unfair,” said Monica Burns, co-author of the study and a former UW psychology undergraduate student. She’s now a psychology graduate student at Harvard University.
“It’s interesting how infants integrate information before choosing who to interact with, they’re not just choosing based on a single dimension,” she said….
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/04/140414134051.htm

Citation:

Original Research ARTICLE
Front. Psychol., 12 February 2014 | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00093
“I pick you”: the impact of fairness and race on infants’ selection of social partners
Monica P. Burns1 and Jessica A. Sommerville1,2*
• 1Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
• 2Center for Child and Family Well-being, Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
By 15 months of age infants are sensitive to violations of fairness norms as assessed via their enhanced visual attention to unfair versus fair outcomes in violation-of-expectation paradigms. The current study investigated whether 15-month-old infants select social partners on the basis of prior fair versus unfair behavior, and whether infants integrate social selections on the basis of fairness with the race of the distributors and recipients involved in the exchange. Experiment 1 demonstrated that after witnessing one adult distribute toys to two recipients fairly (2:2 distribution), and another adult distribute toys to two recipients unfairly (1:3 distribution), Caucasian infants selected fair over unfair distributors when both distributors were Caucasian; however, this preference was not present when the fair actor was Asian and the unfair actor was Caucasian. In Experiment 2, when fairness, the race of the distributor, and the race of the recipients were fully crossed, Caucasian infants’ social selections varied as a function of the race of the recipient advantaged by the unfair distributor. Specifically, infants were more likely to select the fair distributor when the unfair recipient advantaged the Asian (versus the Caucasian) recipient. These findings provide evidence that infants select social partners on the basis of prior fair behavior and that infants also take into account the race of distributors and recipients when making their social selections.

Here is the press release from the University of Washington:

April 14, 2014
Babies prefer fairness – but only if it benefits them – in choosing a playmate
Molly McElroy
News and Information
Posted under: News Releases, Research, Social Science
A couple of years ago a University of Washington researcher who studies how children develop social behaviors like kindness and generosity noticed something odd. The 15-month-old infants in her experiments seemed to be playing favorites among the researchers on her team, being more inclined to share toys or play with some researchers than others.
“It’s not like one experimenter was nicer or friendlier to the babies – we control for factors like that,” said Jessica Sommerville, a UW associate professor of psychology. She took a closer look at the data and realized that the babies were more likely to help researchers who shared the same ethnicity, a phenomenon known as in-group bias, or favoring people who have the same characteristics as oneself.
“At the time, about half of the research assistants in my lab were Asian-American and the other half were Caucasian, and most of the babies in our experiments are Caucasian,” Sommerville said. “We know that by preschool, children show in-group bias concerning race, but results in infants have been mixed.”
She and her research team designed a new experiment to test how race and fairness – a social tendency that infants appear to notice – influence babies’ selection of a playmate.
The findings, published in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology, show that 15-month-old babies value a person’s fairness – whether or not an experimenter equally distributes toys – unless babies see that the experimenter unevenly distributed toys in a way that benefits a person of the same race as the infant.
“It’s surprising to see these pro-social traits of valuing fairness so early on, but at the same time, we’re also seeing that babies have self-motivated concerns too,” Sommerville said.
Forty white 15-month-old babies sat on their parents’ laps while watching two white experimenters divide toys between recipients. One experimenter divided the toys equally, and the other experimenter divided the toys unequally, as shown in this video:
Later, when the babies had a chance to choose who to play with, 70 percent of the time infants preferred the experimenter who distributed the toys fairly. This suggests that when individuals are the same race as the infant, babies favor fair over unfair individuals as playmates.
Watch an example of a “choice trial,” when a baby chose between two experimenters:
Next, Sommerville and her team asked a more complex question. What would happen when individuals who were of the same race as the infant actually stood to benefit from inequity?
In a second experiment, 80 white 15-month-old infants saw a fair and an unfair experimenter distribute toys to a white and to an Asian recipient. Half the babies saw the unfair experimenter give more to the Asian recipient; and the other half of babies saw the experimenter give more to the white recipient.
When it came time to decide a playmate, infants seemed more tolerant of unfairness when the white recipient benefited from it. They picked the fair experimenter less often when the unfair experimenter gave more toys to the white recipient versus the Asian recipient.
“If all babies care about is fairness, then they would always pick the fair distributor, but we’re also seeing that they’re interested in consequences for their own group members,” Sommerville said.
The findings imply that infants can take into account both race and social history (how a person treats someone else) when deciding which person would make a better playmate.
“Babies are sensitive to how people of the same ethnicity as the infant, versus a different ethnicity, are treated – they weren’t just interested in who was being fair or unfair,” said Monica Burns, co-author of the study and a former UW psychology undergraduate student. She’s now a psychology graduate student at Harvard University.
“It’s interesting how infants integrate information before choosing who to interact with, they’re not just choosing based on a single dimension,” she said.
Sommerville is quick to point out that her findings do not mean that babies are racist. “Racism connotes hostility,” she said, “and that’s not what we studied.”
What the study does show is that babies use basic distinctions, including race, to start to “cleave the world apart by groups of what they are and aren’t a part of,” Sommerville said.
The study was funded by a Psychology of Character grant from Wake Forest University.
###
For more information, contact Sommerville at sommej@uw.edu.

If one wants to make people’s heads explode, then mention Black conservative, Thomas Sowell. Better yet, quote him. Is the sound moi hears little explosions all over the blogosphere? Sowell has written an interesting piece, The Education of Minority Children©

While there are examples of schools where this happens in our own time– both public and private, secular and religious– we can also go back nearly a hundred years and find the same phenomenon. Back in 1899, in Washington, D. C., there were four academic public high schools– one black and three white.1 In standardized tests given that year, students in the black high school averaged higher test scores than students in two of the three white high schools.2
This was not a fluke. It so happens that I have followed 85 years of the history of this black high school– from 1870 to 1955 –and found it repeatedly equalling or exceeding national norms on standardized tests.3 In the 1890s, it was called The M Street School and after 1916 it was renamed Dunbar High School but its academic performances on standardized tests remained good on into the mid-1950s.
When I first published this information in 1974, those few educators who responded at all dismissed the relevance of these findings by saying that these were “middle class” children and therefore their experience was not “relevant” to the education of low-income minority children. Those who said this had no factual data on the incomes or occupations of the parents of these children– and I did.
The problem, however, was not that these dismissive educators did not have evidence. The more fundamental problem was that they saw no need for evidence. According to their dogmas, children who did well on standardized tests were middle class. These children did well on such tests, therefore they were middle class.
Lack of evidence is not the problem. There was evidence on the occupations of the parents of the children at this school as far back in the early 1890s. As of academic year 1892-93, there were 83 known occupations of the parents of the children attending The M Street School. Of these occupations, 51 were laborers and one was a doctor.4 That doesn’t sound very middle class to me.
Over the years, a significant black middle class did develop in Washington and no doubt most of them sent their children to the M Street School or to Dunbar High School, as it was later called. But that is wholly different from saying that most of the children at that school came from middle-class homes…. http://www.tsowell.com/speducat.html

Sowell ends his article with the following thoughts:

Put bluntly, failure attracts more money than success. Politically, failure becomes a reason to demand more money, smaller classes, and more trendy courses and programs, ranging from “black English” to bilingualism and “self-esteem.” Politicians who want to look compassionate and concerned know that voting money for such projects accomplishes that purpose for them and voting against such programs risks charges of mean-spiritedness, if not implications of racism.
We cannot recapture the past and there is much in the past that we should not want to recapture. But neither is it irrelevant. If nothing else, history shows what can be achieved, even in the face of adversity. We have no excuse for achieving less in an era of greater material abundance and greater social opportunities

The discussion has come full circle because the discussion centers on segregation and whether those children in segregated environments can succeed. This brings us to the thought that liberals are loving Black folk to death.

Related:

Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids https://drwilda.com/2012/11/11/micheal-pettrillis-decision-an-ed-reformer-confronts-race-and-class-when-choosing-a-school-for-his-kids/

The role economic class plays in college success https://drwilda.com/2012/12/22/the-role-economic-class-plays-in-college-success/

The ‘school-to-prison pipeline’ https://drwilda.com/2012/11/27/the-school-to-prison-pipeline/

Trying not to raise a bumper crop of morons: Hong Kong’s ‘tutor kings and queens’ https://drwilda.com/2012/11/26/trying-not-to-raise-a-bumper-crop-of-morons-hong-kongs-tutor-kings-and-queens/

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/

UCLA Civil Rights Project study: Segregated schools in New York, yup those liberals love Black folk

26 Mar

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Joy Resmovits of Huffington Post reported in the article, The Nation’s Most Segregated Schools Aren’t Where You’d Think They’d Be:

NEW YORK — The nation’s most segregated schools aren’t in the deep south — they’re in New York, according to a report released Tuesday by the University of California, Los Angeles’ Civil Rights Project.
That means that in 2009, black and Latino students in New York “had the highest concentration in intensely-segregated public schools,” in which white students made up less than 10 percent of enrollment and “the lowest exposure to white students,” wrote John Kucsera, a UCLA researcher, and Gary Orfield, a UCLA professor and the project’s director. “For several decades, the state has been more segregated for blacks than any Southern state, though the South has a much higher percent of African American students,” the authors wrote. The report, “New York State’s Extreme School Segregation,” looked at 60 years of data up to 2010, from various demographics and other research.
There’s also a high level of “double segregation,” Orfield said in an interview, as students are increasingly isolated not only by race, but also by income: the typical black or Latino student in New York state attends a school with twice as many low-income students as their white peers. That concentration of poverty brings schools disadvantages that mixed-income schools often lack: health issues, mobile populations, entrenched violence and teachers who come from the least selective training programs. “They don’t train kids to work in a society that’s diverse by race and class,” he said. “There’s a systematically unequal set of demands on those schools.”
While segregated schools are located throughout New York state, the segregation of schools in New York City — the country’s most heterogeneous area — contributes to the state’s standing. Of the city’s 32 Community School Districts, 19 had 10 percent or fewer white students in 2010. All school districts in the Bronx fell into that category. More than half of New Yorkers are black or Latino, but most neighborhoods have little diversity — and recent changes in school enrollment policies, spurred by the creation of many charter schools, haven’t helped, Orfield argues…. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/26/new-york-schools-segregated_n_5034455.html

Here is the press release from UCLA:

CRP Researchers Reaffirm Findings of Increasing Segregation
Date Published:March 13, 2014

Several researchers have recently published articles claiming that school segregation has actually not increased in recent decades, as we have reported in our publications. It turns out that these researchers preferred to measure something else—the randomness of distribution of four racial groups across metropolitan areas. This measure has never been the goal of desegregation policies, nor the way in which progress was measured in civil rights law and enforcement.
Related Documents
• Statement Reaffirming Findings on School Segregation
Civil Rights Project Researchers Reaffirm Findings:
School Segregation Increasing in Recent Decades http://civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/news/news-and-announcements/news-2014/crp-researchers-reaffirm-findings-of-increasing-segregation/statement-Civil-Rights-Project-Researchers.pdf
March 13, 2014
Several researchers have recently published articles claiming that school segregation has actually not increased in recent decades, as we have reported in our publications. It turns out that these researchers have not disputed our data, which shows the level of isolation by race and poverty experienced by African American and Latino students. They have, however, preferred to measure something else—the randomness of distribution of four racial groups across metropolitan areas. This measure has never been the goal of desegregation policies, nor the way in which progress was measured in civil rights law and enforcement.
Traditionally desegregation progress has been measured by increased diversity in schools that were formerly of one racial group, and by the percent of black and Latino students concentrated in intensely segregated or substantially integrated schools. These are the central measures we have used. The researchers looking at randomness of multiracial groups conclude that diversity at a metropolitan level has not increased. By carefully examining the Washington metro area, we demonstrate that their measure shows progress. But statistics on the actual schools attended by black and Latino students, our measure, shows a clear increase in isolation from whites and middle class students.
CRP conducted a brief analysis, which foreshadows a more extensive forthcoming report, and found that the randomness statistics are interesting, but they do not sustain the claim that segregation has not increased. Furthermore, the progress they report is often misleading, because the randomness method can produce false negatives and false positives in terms of the segregation or integration of students and schools.
Our analysis explains the dispute and the basis for the conclusions in our reports.

Moi wrote about the intersection of race and class in Michael Petrilli’s decision: An ed reformer confronts race and class when choosing a school for his kids. It is worth reviewing that post. https://drwilda.com/tag/class-segregation/
Moi wrote about the intersection of race and class in education in Race, class, and education in America:
Many educators have long recognized that the impact of social class affects both education achievement and life chances after completion of education. There are two impacts from diversity, one is to broaden the life experience of the privileged and to raise the expectations of the disadvantaged. Social class matters in not only other societies, but this one as well.

A few years back, the New York Times did a series about social class in America. That series is still relevant. Janny Scott and David Leonhardt’s overview, Shadowy Lines That Still Divide describes the challenges faced by schools trying to overcome the disparity in education. The complete series can be found at Social Class https://drwilda.com/2011/11/07/race-class-and-education-in-america/

Lindsey Layton wrote the Washington Post article, Schools dilemma for gentrifiers: Keep their kids urban, or move to suburbia?

When his oldest son reached school age, Michael Petrilli faced a dilemma known to many middle-class parents living in cities they helped gentrify: Should the family flee to the homogenous suburbs for excellent schools or stay urban for diverse but often struggling schools?
Petrilli, who lived in Takoma Park with his wife and two sons, was torn, but he knew more than most people about the choice before him. Petrilli is an education expert, a former official in the Education Department under George W. Bush and executive vice president at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, a right-leaning education think tank.
He set out to learn as much as he could about the risks and benefits of socioeconomically diverse schools, where at least 20 percent of students are eligible for the federal free or reduced-price lunch program. And then he wrote about it.
The result is “The Diverse Schools Dilemma,” which is being published and released next month by the Fordham Institute.
Petrilli said he wanted his son to have friends from all backgrounds because he believes that cultural literacy will prepare him for success in a global society.
But he worried that his son might get lost in a classroom that has a high percentage of poor children, that teachers would be focused on the struggling children and have less time for their more privileged peers.
As Petrilli points out in the book, this dilemma doesn’t exist for most white, middle-class families. The vast majority — 87 percent — of white students attend majority white schools, Petrilli says, even though they make up just about 50 percent of the public school population.
And even in urban areas with significant African American and Latino populations, neighborhood schools still tend to be segregated by class, if not by race. In the Washington region, less than 3 percent of white public school students attend schools where poor children are the majority, according to Petrilli.
Gentrification poses new opportunities for policymakers to desegregate schools, Petrilli argues….
In the end, Petrilli moved from his Takoma Park neighborhood school — diverse Piney Branch Elementary, which is 33 percent low-income — to Wood Acres Elementary in Bethesda, where 1 percent of the children are low-income, 2 percent are black and 5 percent are Hispanic. http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/schools-dilemma-for-urban-gentrifiers-keep-their-kids-urban-or-move-to-suburbia/2012/10/14/02083b6c-131b-11e2-a16b-2c110031514a_story.html

Moi tackled the issue of segregation in Good or bad? Charter schools and segregation:
If one wants to make people’s heads explode, then mention Black conservative, Thomas Sowell. Better yet, quote him. Is the sound moi hears little explosions all over the blogosphere? Sowell has written an interesting piece, The Education of Minority Children©

While there are examples of schools where this happens in our own time– both public and private, secular and religious– we can also go back nearly a hundred years and find the same phenomenon. Back in 1899, in Washington, D. C., there were four academic public high schools– one black and three white.1 In standardized tests given that year, students in the black high school averaged higher test scores than students in two of the three white high schools.2
This was not a fluke. It so happens that I have followed 85 years of the history of this black high school– from 1870 to 1955 –and found it repeatedly equalling or exceeding national norms on standardized tests.3 In the 1890s, it was called The M Street School and after 1916 it was renamed Dunbar High School but its academic performances on standardized tests remained good on into the mid-1950s.
When I first published this information in 1974, those few educators who responded at all dismissed the relevance of these findings by saying that these were “middle class” children and therefore their experience was not “relevant” to the education of low-income minority children. Those who said this had no factual data on the incomes or occupations of the parents of these children– and I did.
The problem, however, was not that these dismissive educators did not have evidence. The more fundamental problem was that they saw no need for evidence. According to their dogmas, children who did well on standardized tests were middle class. These children did well on such tests, therefore they were middle class.
Lack of evidence is not the problem. There was evidence on the occupations of the parents of the children at this school as far back in the early 1890s. As of academic year 1892-93, there were 83 known occupations of the parents of the children attending The M Street School. Of these occupations, 51 were laborers and one was a doctor.4 That doesn’t sound very middle class to me.
Over the years, a significant black middle class did develop in Washington and no doubt most of them sent their children to the M Street School or to Dunbar High School, as it was later called. But that is wholly different from saying that most of the children at that school came from middle-class homes.
During the later period, for which I collected data, there were far more children whose mothers were maids than there were whose fathers were doctors. For many years, there was only one academic high school for blacks in the District of Columbia and, as late as 1948, one-third of all black youngsters attending high school in Washington attended Dunbar High School. So this was not a “selective” school in the sense in which we normally use that term– there were no tests to take to get in, for example– even though there was undoubtedly self-selection in the sense that students who were serious went to Dunbar and those who were not had other places where they could while away their time, without having to meet high academic standards. (A vocational high school for blacks was opened in Washington in 1902).5
A spot check of attendance records and tardiness records showed that The M Street School at the turn of the century and Dunbar High School at mid-century had less absenteeism and less tardiness than the white high schools in the District of Columbia at those times. The school had a tradition of being serious, going back to its founders and early principals.
Among these early principals was the first black woman to receive a college degree in the United States– Mary Jane Patterson from Oberlin College, class of 1862. At that time, Oberlin had different academic curriculum requirements for women and men. Latin, Greek and mathematics were required in “the gentlemen’s course,” as it was called, but not in the curriculum for ladies. Miss Patterson, however, insisted on taking Latin, Greek, and mathematics anyway. Not surprisingly, in her later 12 years as principal of the black high school in Washington during its formative years, she was noted for “a strong, forceful personality,” for “thoroughness,’ and for being “an indefatigable worker.” Having this kind of person shaping the standards and traditions of the school in its early years undoubtedly had something to do with its later success.
Other early principals included the first black man to graduate from Harvard, class of 1870. Four of the school’s first eight principals graduated from Oberlin and two from Harvard. Because of restricted academic opportunities for blacks, Dunbar had three Ph.Ds among its teachers in the 1920s.
One of the other educational dogmas of our times is the notion that standardized tests do not predict future performances for minority children, either in academic institutions or in life. Innumerable scholarly studies have devastated this claim intellectually,6 though it still survives and flourishes politically.
But the history of this black high school in Washington likewise shows a pay-off for solid academic preparation and the test scores that result from it. Over the entire 85-year history of academic success of this school, from 1870 to 1955, most of its 12,000 graduates went on to higher education.7 This was very unusual for either black or white high-school graduates during this era. Because these were low-income students, most went to a local free teachers college but significant numbers won scholarships to leading colleges and universities elsewhere.8
Some M Street School graduates began going to Harvard and other academically elite colleges in the early twentieth century. As of 1916, there were nine black students, from the entire country, attending Amherst College. Six were from the M Street School. During the period from 1918 to 1923, graduates of this school went on to earn 25 degrees from Ivy League colleges, Amherst, Williams, and Wesleyan. Over the period from 1892 to 1954, Amherst admitted 34 graduates of the M Street School and Dunbar. Of these, 74 percent graduated and more than one-fourth of these graduates were Phi Beta Kappas.9
No systematic study has been made of the later careers of the graduates of this school. However, when the late black educator Horace Mann Bond studied the backgrounds of blacks with Ph.D.s, he discovered that more of them had graduated from M Street-Dunbar than from any other black high school in the country.
The first blacks to graduate from West Point and Annapolis also came from this school. So did the first black full professor at a major university (Allison Davis at the University of Chicago). So did the first black federal judge, the first black general, the first black Cabinet member, the first black elected to the United States Senate since Reconstruction, and the discoverer of a method for storing blood plasma. During World War II, when black military officers were rare, there were more than two dozen graduates of M Street or Dunbar High School holding ranks ranging from major to brigadier general.10
All this contradicts another widely-believed notion– that schools do not make much difference in children’s academic or career success because income and family background are much larger influences. If the schools themselves do not differ very much from one another, then of course it will not make much difference which one a child attends. But, when they differ dramatically, the results can also differ dramatically.
This was not the only school to achieve success with minority children. But, before turning to some other examples, it may be useful to consider why and how this 85-year history of unusual success was abruptly turned into typical failure, almost overnight, by the politics of education.
As we all know, 1954 was the year of the famous racial desegregation case of Brown v. Board of Education. Those of us old enough to remember those days also know of the strong resistance to school desegregation in many white communities, including Washington, D. C. Ultimately a political compromise was worked out. In order to comply with the law, without having a massive shift of students, the District’s school officials decided to turn all public schools in Washington into neighborhood schools.
http://www.tsowell.com/speducat.html

Sowell ends his article with the following thoughts:

Put bluntly, failure attracts more money than success. Politically, failure becomes a reason to demand more money, smaller classes, and more trendy courses and programs, ranging from “black English” to bilingualism and “self-esteem.” Politicians who want to look compassionate and concerned know that voting money for such projects accomplishes that purpose for them and voting against such programs risks charges of mean-spiritedness, if not implications of racism.
We cannot recapture the past and there is much in the past that we should not want to recapture. But neither is it irrelevant. If nothing else, history shows what can be achieved, even in the face of adversity. We have no excuse for achieving less in an era of greater material abundance and greater social opportunities

The discussion has come full circle because the discussion centers on segregation and charter schools. This brings us to the thought that liberals are loving Black folk to death.

A couple of thoughts:

1. Would these same students be attending segregated schools if the schools were public, because most cities have segregated housing patterns?
2. Does it matter that children attend segregated elementary schools if they receive a good basic education and are qualified to attend the college of their choice or vocational school of their choice because they graduated from high school with good basic skills?
3. Is there anything inherently wrong with a segregated school if it is not the result of a legal mandate which requires segregation?

Fact of the matter is, liberals like poor folk in theory, just not in fact.

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UCLA study:Youth Empowerment Seminar helps to relieve adolescent stress

15 Jul

Moi wrote in Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children:
Both the culture and the economy are experiencing turmoil. For some communities, the unsettled environment is a new phenomenon, for other communities, children have been stressed for generations. According to the article, Understanding Depression which was posted at the Kids Health site:

Depression is the most common mental health problem in the United States. Each year it affects 17 million people of all age groups, races, and economic backgrounds.
As many as 1 in every 33 children may have depression; in teens, that number may be as high as 1 in 8.
http://kidshealth.org/parent/emotions/feelings/understanding_depression.html

Schools are developing strategies to deal with troubled kids. https://drwilda.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/
A team of researchers has studied the Youth Empowerment Seminar.
Here is a description of the Art of Living Foundation which developed the Youth Empowerment Seminar:
Frequently Asked Questions about the Art of Living Foundation
 

Q: What are the goals of the Art of Living Foundation?
A stress-free and violence-free society; to encourage people from all backgrounds, religions, and cultural traditions to come together in celebration, meditation and service. To achieve these goals, we offer courses and humanitarian projects to eliminate stress from the mind and violence from society. Prevention is easier than cure: peaceful individuals do not contribute to conflict on an individual nor on a societal level. If people are materially poor or suffering from the effects of a natural disaster or war, their stress will be related to that. The International Art of Living Foundation offers material assistance or trauma relief. Take a look at some brief reports on our humanitarian activities, following the Tsunami and Kosovo conflicts. We offer education and empowerment programs so people can break the poverty cycle. On the other hand, those who are affluent may nevertheless be frustrated, depressed or simply wanting to grow spiritually in life. In the latter case, it is not material support that is needed but training programs like the Art of Living Part 1 course. These are for anyone who would like to learn some breathing techniques to release tension, and enable the individual to handle any challenge.
Q: What is the significance of the breath? Why is it so important?
Q: How long has the Art of Living Part I course been taught?
Q: What is a satsang? I noticed The Art of Living organizes events called satsangs where there is a lot of singing and dancing, like a party. It looks like a lot of fun, but what has that to do with stress relief or promoting human values?
Q: Is it a self development program or something spiritual?
Q: So, can anyone take part in a program?
Q: Where do the techniques come from? India? Yoga?
Q: How can I become a member of your organization?
Q: You often cooperate with the International Association for Human Values. What is the connection between the two organizations?
Q: How can I volunteer with your organization?
Q: In your press releases it is mentioned that your activities are ‘volunteer-based’? Why do so many people want to join in? What do they get out of it?
Q: What is meant by ‘seva’? You sometimes speak about it in your press releases.
Q: In your websites you speak about ‘spiritual’ values. Doesn’t that mean The Art of Living is a religious organization?
Q: How do the finances work? Some of your programs are paid, like the Part 1 course, and others like trauma relief support are sponsored by the organisation?
Q: What is the profile of the organization? Is the organization a charity? A training organization?
Q: You are a charitable organization – so why do you have course contribution for your courses?
Q: Is the ashram wheelchair accessible?
Q: Are there any rules and customs in the Ashram or on the program that I should be aware of?
http://www.artofliving.org/about-us-faq

Here is a basic description of the program:

The Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!) is a dynamic and fun program that challenges teens to take responsibility for their life and provides a comprehensive set of practical tools for releasing stress, mastering emotions, and raising self-awareness. The program addresses:
Teens’ physical, mental, social, and emotional development
Breathing techniques to relieve stress and bring the mind into focus
Dynamic games and yoga
Practical knowledge to create awareness
Experiential processes to develop problem-solving strategies
Dynamic group discussions designed to help teens feel at ease in challenging situations, increase confidence, withstand criticism and peer pressure
http://www.artofliving.org/youth-empowerment-seminar-yes

Here is the press release from UCLA:

Note to teens: Just breathe
By Mark Wheeler July 09, 2013
In May, the Los Angeles school board voted to ban suspensions of students for “willful defiance” and directed school officials to use alternative disciplinary practices. The decision was controversial, and the question remains: How do you discipline rowdy students and keep them in the classroom while still being fair to other kids who want to learn?
A team led by Dara Ghahremani, an assistant researcher in the department of psychiatry at UCLA’s Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior conducted a study on the Youth Empowerment Seminar, or YES!, a workshop for adolescents that teaches them to manage stress, regulate their emotions, resolve conflicts and control impulsive behavior. Impulsive behavior, in particular — including acting out in class, engaging in drug or alcohol abuse, and risky sexual behaviors — is something that gets adolescents in trouble.
The YES! program, run by the nonprofit International Association for Human Values, includes yoga-based breathing practices, among other techniques, and the research findings show that a little bit of breathing can go a long way. The scientists report that students who went through the four-week YES! for Schools program felt less impulsive, while students in a control group that didn’t participate in the program showed no change.
The study appears in the July issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health.
“The program helps teens to gain greater control over their actions by giving them tools to respond to challenging situations in constructive and mindful ways, rather than impulsively,” said Ghahremani, who conducted the study at the UCLA Center for Addictive Behaviors and UCLA’s Laboratory for Molecular Neuroimaging. “The program uses a variety of techniques, ranging from a powerful yoga-based breathing program called Sudarshan Kriya to decision-making and leadership skills that are taught via interactive group games. We found it to be a simple yet powerful approach that could potentially reduce impulsive behavior.”
Ghahremani noted that teens are often just as stressed as adults.
“There are home and family issues, academic pressures and, of course, social pressures,” he said. “With the immediacy and wide reach of communication technology, like Facebook, peer pressure and bullying has risen to a whole new level. Without the tools to handle such pressures, teens can often resort to impulsive acts that include violence towards others or themselves.”
Impulsive behavior, or a lack of self-control, in adolescence is a key predictor of risky behavior, Ghahremani said.
“Substance abuse and various mental health problems that begin in adolescence are often very difficult to shake in adulthood — there is a need for interventions that bring impulsive behavior under control in this group,” he said. “Our research is the first scientific study of the YES! program to show that it can significantly reduce impulsive behavior.”
For the study, students between the ages of 14 and 18 from three Los Angeles–area high schools were invited to participate, between spring 2010 and fall 2011. In total, 788 students participated — 524 in the YES! program and 264 in the control group. The program was taught during the students’ physical education courses for four consecutive weeks. Students were asked to fill out questionnaires to rate statements about their impulsive behavior — for example, “I act without thinking” and “I feel self-control most of the time” — directly before and directly after the program. The students who did not go through the program also completed the questionnaires.
The YES! program is composed of three modules focused on healthy body, healthy mind and healthy lifestyle. The healthy body module consists of physical activity that includes yoga stretches, mindful eating processes and interactive discussions about food and nutrition. The healthy mind module includes stress-management and relaxation techniques, including yoga-based breathing practices, yoga postures and meditation to relax the nervous system, bring awareness to the moment and enhance concentration. Group processes promote personal responsibility, respect, honesty and service to others. In the healthy lifestyle module, students learn strategies for handling challenging emotional and social situations, especially peer pressure. Mindful decision-making and leadership skills are taught via interactive games. Students also create a group community-service project, applying their newly learned skills toward that goal.
“There is a need for simple, engaging interventions that bring impulsive behavior under control in adolescents,” said Ghahremani. “This is important to the public because impulsive behavior in adolescents is associated with many mental health problems and, when left unchecked, can result in violent acts, such as those resulting in tragedies recently observed on school campuses.
“The advantage of this program over approaches that center around psychiatric medications is that it develops a sense of responsibility and empowerment in teens, allowing them to clarify and pursue their goals while fostering a sense of connection to their community. Although some medications can help control impulsive behavior, they often come with unpleasant side effects and the risk of medication abuse. Moreover, approaches that rely on them don’t necessarily focus on empowering kids to take control of their lives. ”
Non-pharmacologically–based programs like YES! for Schools that increase self-control are important to explore since they offer concrete tools that students can actively apply to their everyday lives with noticeable results, Ghahremani said.
To follow up on results from this study, the National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded Ghahremani and his colleagues a grant to examine the effects of the YES! program by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the brain circuitry that is important for self-control and emotion regulation. The project also aims to examine how the YES! program can reduce cravings among teen smokers.
Other authors of the study included Eugene Y. Oh, Andrew C. Dean, Kristina Mouzakis, Kristen D. Wilson and senior author Edythe D. London, all of UCLA. Funding for the study was provided by an endowment from the Thomas P. and Katherine K. Pike Chair in Addiction Studies and a gift from the Marjorie M. Greene Trust.
The UCLA Department of Psychiatry is part of the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, a world-leading interdisciplinary research and education institute devoted to the understanding of complex human behavior — including the genetic, biological, behavioral and sociocultural underpinnings of normal behavior and the causes and consequences of neuropsychiatric disorders. In addition to conducting fundamental research, institute faculty members seek to develop effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of neurological, psychiatric and behavioral disorders, including improving access to mental health services and the shaping of national health policy.
For more news, visit the UCLA Newsroom and follow us on Twitter.

Citation:

Effects of the Youth Empowerment Seminar on Impulsive Behavior in Adolescents
Dara G. Ghahremani, Ph.D.,
Eugene Y. Oh,
Andrew C. Dean, Ph.D.,
Kristina Mouzakis,
Kristen D. Wilson, R.N.,
Edythe D. London, Ph.D.
Received 23 August 2012; accepted 8 February 2013. published online 17 April 2013.
Abstract
Full Text
PDF
References
Abstract 
Purpose
Because impulsivity during adolescence predicts health-risk behaviors and associated harm, interventions that attenuate impulsivity may offer protection. We evaluated effects of the Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!), a biopsychosocial workshop for adolescents that teaches skills of stress management, emotion regulation, conflict resolution, and attentional focus, on impulsive behavior.
Methods
High school students (14–18 years of age) in the United States participated in YES! during their physical education classes. Students in a control group attended their usual curriculum and were tested in parallel. We used items from the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (framed to reflect recent behavior) to assess students’ behavior before and after they underwent the program.
Results
Compared with the control group, YES! participants reported less impulsive behavior after the program.
Conclusions
The results suggest that YES! can promote mental health in adolescents, potentially protecting them from harmful coping behaviors.

Moi discussed some of the possible implications of this type of program in Can’t yoga be watered down like Christmas was? Is there a ‘happy holidays’ yoga?
Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Remember when the forces of secularism pushed the “Happy Holidays” maximum because no one should be offended by the expression of “Merry Christmas.” The forces of tolerance and celebrate diversity did not want YOUR religion forced on ME. So much for that “celebrate diversity” thing. Let’s fast forward to the yoga movement and the attempt to spread love, joy, and flexible limbs into the education setting….
The problem for many Christians and particularly Christian parents is NOT that kids don’t need exercise, they do. The problem is the spiritual aspects which emphasize the “Divine.” That is not what Christians believe.  The majority of Christians believe in the Trinity. Guess what, the FIRST AMENDMENT protects those beliefs.
So, what is a “celebrate diversity,” we are soooo tolerant, and hip to boot school district supposed to do when confronted with the “yoga conundrum?” Well, bucky, one waters down the concept as with “happy holidays’ and the new name is ” yocise,” the divine becomes your healthy life. “Yocise” focuses on YOU and fits with the culture’s philosophy of ME and we are no more tolerant with “yocise” than we were with “happy holidays.” “Celebrate diversity.”
https://drwilda.com/2013/02/24/cant-yoga-be-watered-down-like-christmas-was-is-there-a-happy-holidays-yoga/

Related:

‘Becoming A Man’ course: Helping young African-American men avoid prison
https://drwilda.com/tag/therapy-helps-troubled-teens-rethink-crime/
Depression
https://drwilda.com/tag/depression/
Schools have to deal with depressed and troubled children https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2011/11/15/schools-have-to-deal-with-depressed-and-troubled-children/
School psychologists are needed to treat troubled children
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/02/27/school-psychologists-are-needed-to-treat-troubled-children/
Battling teen addiction: ‘Recovery high schools’
https://drwilda.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/battling-teen-addiction-recovery-high-schools/

If you or your child needs help for depression or another illness, then go to a reputable medical provider. There is nothing wrong with taking the steps necessary to get well.

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Legal theft: Education institutions claim copyright ownership of teacher and student work

3 Feb

Here’s today’s COMMENT FROM AN OLD FART: Moi read with interest that Prince Georges County was considering taking copyright ownership of student work. Ovetta Wiggins reports in the Washington Post article, Prince George’s considers copyright policy that takes ownership of students’ work:

A proposal by the Prince George’s County Board of Education to copyright work created by staff and students for school could mean that a picture drawn by a first-grader, a lesson plan developed by a teacher or an app created by a teen would belong to the school system, not the individual.

The measure has some worried that by the system claiming ownership to the work of others, creativity could be stifled and there would be little incentive to come up with innovative ways to educate students. Some have questioned the legality of the proposal as it relates to students.

“There is something inherently wrong with that,” David Cahn, an education activist who regularly attends county school board meetings, said before the board’s vote to consider the policy. “There are better ways to do this than to take away a person’s rights.”

If the policy is approved, the county would become the only jurisdiction in the Washington region where the school board assumes ownership of work done by the school system’s staff and students.

David Rein, a lawyer and adjunct law professor who teaches intellectual property at the University of Missouri in Kansas City, said he had never heard of a local school board enacting a policy allowing it to hold the copyright for a student’s work.

Universities generally have “sharing agreements” for work created by professors and college students, Rein said. Under those agreements, a university, professor and student typically would benefit from a project, he said.

“The way this policy is written, it essentially says if a student writes a paper, goes home and polishes it up and expands it, the school district can knock on the door and say, ‘We want a piece of that,’ ” Rein said. “I can’t imagine that.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/prince-georges-considers-copyright-policy-that-takes-ownership-of-students-work/2013/02/02/dc592dea-6b08-11e2-ada3-d86a4806d5ee_story.html?wpisrc=emailtoafriend

The Free Dictionary defines theft:

A criminal act in which property belonging to another is taken without that person’s consent.

The term theft is sometimes used synonymously with Larceny. Theft, however, is actually a broader term, encompassing many forms of deceitful taking of property, including swindling, Embezzlement, and False Pretenses. Some states categorize all these offenses under a single statutory crime of theft.

OK, moi gets that BIG INSTITUTIONS have been able to manipulate the rules to benefit them and their flow of $$$$. But, shouldn’t the game be fair???? Also, Prince Georges wants to take control of student creations. Really.

Here is an explanation from the UCLA Office of Intellectual Property and Industry Sponsored Research:

Who is an author and who is an owner?

Under the copyright law, the creator of the original expression in a work is its author. The author of a copyright is not the same thing as the owner of the copyright, although in many instances the author is also the owner.  See below.

Who is the owner?

Ownership of copyrightable works created at UCLA is determined in accordance with the UC 1992 Policy on Copyright Ownership. See the Who Owns What Chart and the UC Copyright Policy: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/copyright/systemwide/pcoi.html.

In general, copyrights are owned by the people who create the works of expression, with some important exceptions:

  • If a work is created by an employee of UCLA in the course of his or her employment, UCLA owns the copyright.

  • In most cases, the general rule is that faculty own those copyrightable works that they create as scholarly or aesthetic works. There are some exceptions, generally determined by project funding.

  • In most cases, course work and syllabi that you create are your own, unless “exceptional university resources” or sponsored or departmental funds are used in the creation.

  • If you create the work in the course of sponsored research, or using special departmental funds, or are otherwise relying upon “exceptional university resources,” UCLA likely owns the copyright and you should disclose it to OIP for further evaluation and discussion.

  • Works that are “made for hire” are generally the property of the organization that hired the contractor. Therefore, if you pay an outside vendor to create or assist in creation of a potentially copyrightable work, such as software, photographs, or video/film footage, you should be sure to have an advance, written agreement which specifies that the vendor is doing a “work for hire” and also agrees to assign all rights to the Regents. Feel free to contact OIP at 310-794-0558 for suggested language.                                 https://oip.ucla.edu/copyright/authorship-and-ownership

UCLA’s policy is typical of large research universities. It is not just universities who are claiming copyright in work product.

Tim Walker writes at the NEA site in the article, Legal Controversy Over Lesson Plans:

Anyway, if everybody sells everything on the Web, the thinking goes, then why can’t teachers peddle their lesson plans – original content created on their own time – over the Internet?

Maybe because there is a good chance that you don’t actually own the copyright to the classroom materials you produce.

Intellectual Property: It’s Complicated

“This is a legal issue,” says Cynthia Chmielewski of NEA’s Office of General Counsel. “So if you want to sell your lesson plans online, make sure you actually own them.”

As far as Carol Sanders is concerned, she does.

“This is America,” says Sanders, a veteran English teacher in Brooten, Minnesota. “My district does not own me. And I own what I create for the classroom.”

Right on the first two counts, but does Sanders also “own” the teaching materials she produces?

The short answer is . . . it depends.

If your employment contract assigns copyright ownership of materials produced for the classroom to the teacher, then you probably have a green light. Absent any written agreement, however, the Copyright Act of 1976 stipulates that materials created by teachers in the scope of their employment are deemed “works for hire” and therefore the school owns them.

Sanders and many of her colleagues, however, believe that if they create materials on their own time, using their own equipment, they surely have the right to do with them as they please.

“Under the law,” explains Chmielewski, “this may not make a difference. The issue is whether you created the materials as part of your job duties.”

In 2004, a federal appellate court in New York ruled that “tests, quizzes, homework problems, and other teaching materials” were works made for hire owned by the district and that the “academic tradition” of granting authors ownership of their own scholarly work cannot be applied to materials not explicitly intended for publication. http://www.nea.org/home/37583.htm

Way back in the day, 1956, to be exact, C. Wright Mills wrote The Power Elite which talked about the concentration of power in the hands of a few. Mark Toma updated and explained Wright at Economist’s View in 2009.

In “The Power Elite” Toma opines:

So what is Mills’s theory, exactly? It is that there is a small subset of the American population that (1) possess a number of social characteristics in common (for example, elite university educations, membership in certain civic organizations); (2) are socially interconnected with each other through marriage, friendship, and business relationship; (3) occupy social positions that give them a durable ability to make a large number of the most momentous decisions for American society; (4) are largely insulated from effective oversight from democratic institutions (press, regulatory system, political constraint). They are an elite; they are a socially interconnected group; they possess durable power; and they are little constrained by open and democratic processes.                                         http://economistsview.typepad.com/economistsview/2009/07/the-power-elite.html

BIG educational institutions are simply the part of “power elite” and they will operate just like “too big to fail” banks, unions, and untouchable lobbyists and dysfunctional government. Their only interest is their self-preservation.

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