Education

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  • Long-Term Effects of Spanking

    Spanking may lead to aggression and sexual problems later in life, says a new study. So why do so many parents still believe in it?
  • Try Accounting For Taste

    Savoring Cheval Blanc 1982 in your cellar is far superior to guzzling champagne in a VIP lounge.
  • Time to Put the Candidates to the Test

    In this primary season, one major issue has been all but missing in action: education. Most experts agree that No Child Left Behind, President Bush's plan for closing the achievement gap between rich and poor kids, is a noble effort. But it has serious downsides. It punishes struggling schools, turns classes into test-prep factories and has caused some states to lower, not raise, standards. How will the next president fix it? NEWSWEEK asked two experts, the Education Sector's Thomas Toch and Jeanne Allen, chief of the Center for Education Reform, to evaluate each candidate's plan. Then we assigned grades. ...
  • No Child Outside the Classroom

    When no child left behind became law in 2002, teachers suspected there'd be some casualties—they just didn't think field trips would be one of them. Since the federal government's landmark overhaul of U.S. schools, class trips have plummeted at some of the country's traditional hot spots for brown-bag learning. The new emphasis on standardized testing has resulted in "a reluctance to take kids out of the classroom," says Natalie Bortoli, head of the visual-arts program at the Chicago Children's Museum, which has lost more than a tenth of its field-trip business since 2005. At Mystic Seaport, a maritime museum on the Connecticut coast, school traffic has slowed more than a quarter since 2005, while Boston's New England Aquarium has lost nearly the same amount since 2003. Even NASA's Johnson Space Center has started to see its figures stagnate, says marketing director Roger Bornstein, "and stability is not our goal."Teachers blame the bear market in part on No Child Left Behind, which...
  • The Secret Lives Of Teens

    We meet Austin on page 77 of "Class Pictures," a new book of large-scale color portraits by Chicago-based photographer Dawoud Bey, culled from 15 years that Bey spent visiting high schools across the country. Austin has a blond buzz cut, beefy arms and a flat, tight-lipped expression as he leans forward on his desk. "What up?" Austin writes in his accompanying essay. "My favorite class in school is Science. I like to go out Friday nights and chill." On the next page we meet Carolyn, who rests her head on one hand, letting her dark hair drape onto her desk. Like Austin, she accepts the camera's gaze head on, but there is a wistful look in her eyes. Her father died of Lou Gehrig's disease during her sophomore year, Carolyn explains in her essay. "Your memories are engulfed with all that sadness," she writes. "And you try to get beyond that, but it's so hard."Chilling out on a Friday night, dealing with a parent's death: looking at Bey's photographs reminded me of the vast spectrum of...
  • Lost In Translation

    Does the next generation of American executives have what it takes to lead the rest of the world?
  • Antidepressants: Beware the File-Drawer Effect

    Here in science-writing land, when it comes to biomedicine we try hard to stick to rigorous, vetted evidence. That means studies published in reputable journals by, ideally, scientists with no financial or ideological stakes in what they’re investigating. Testimonials and anecdotal reports of patients who swear by some new remedy don’t count (except when we need a “real person” to liven up a dry medicine story)....
  • Go Stand in the Corner

    Disciplining kids can be tricky. Parents try the old star chart, then scolding, punishing, maybe even a swat or two. Bad news: Alan Kazdin, the new president of the American Psychological Association, says none of it will help much. His new book, "The Kazdin Method for Parenting the Defiant Child: With No Pills, No Therapy, No Contest of Wills," in stores this week, lays out a different approach. He spoke with NEWSWEEK'S Peg Tyre. ...
  • Preschool Expands Nationwide

    The states are spending more and more money to educate children before they start kindergarten. But one expert warns that not all programs are created equal.
  • College Admission Gets Tougher

    The children of the baby boomers are flooding colleges with applications, making the process more competitive than ever.
  • Michelle Rhee: Unconventional, Bee-Swallowing Reformer

    Michelle Rhee got a reality check in her first year of teaching, in 1993. The second graders at Harlem Park Elementary in a tough neighborhood in Baltimore were hard enough to keep in their seats, let alone teach anything. One day a bumblebee got into the classroom and the students were more out of control than ever. The daughter of Korean immigrants wasn't about to let a bunch of rowdy 8-year-olds trample her aspirations to get them to learn. When the bee landed on Rhee's desk, she swatted it, popped it in her mouth and gulped it down. For the first time, it seemed, her students were quiet. After that day they paid more attention, even if they were just waiting to see what she'd do next. "The kids were, like, 'Oh, my God, she's crazy! Who is this woman?' " Rhee says.That's precisely the question being asked in Washington, D.C. Rhee, 37, has taken on the city's most unruly job: reforming the D.C. public schools. When the city's new mayor, Adrian Fenty, asked her to be his schools...
  • How to Prevent a Tragedy

    Tucked away in rural Southwest Virginia, remote Blacksburg is an unlikely spot for the worst school shooting in U.S. history. Nevertheless, an April 16 rampage by a mentally disturbed student, Seung-Hui Cho, left 32 people dead. In the wake of that tragedy, Virginia Tech has begun to make changes in its campus security, student-privacy policies and mental-health services. But it's not the only one. Here's what some institutions around the country are doing: ...
  • The 1,440-Minute Cycle

    Is there a dirtier phrase in politics than "the media"? Some days it's hard to see why you hate us—"you" being liberals, conservatives, candidates and all other carbon-based life forms. There's as much good journalism getting done now as, say, 40 years ago. But other days, I get it. Take Nov. 20, 2007. At 9 a.m., Barack Obama launched a comprehensive education plan at a Manchester, N.H., high school; an hour later he told students that he "got into drinking," "experimented with drugs" and "wasted a lot of time" as a teenager. Obama had already written about his wayward youth. But the press perked up. "That's going to be the story of the day," said one reporter. By noon, OBAMA ON PAST SUBSTANCE ABUSE was atop the Drudge Report. Education, to say the least, was not.This is the first presidential election to move at the speed of the Internet. After years of dismissing bloggers as peanut galleryists in pajamas, every major media outlet is requiring reporters to provide a daily play-by...
  • Ornish: Forget About Willpower

    The real secret to sticking to your New Year's resolutions is knowing you want to lose weight and live healthier. Fear of dying is not sustainable; joy of living is.
  • Talk About It

    With what words does Leticia Salais begin her essay?What does this tell you about her?As a young person, what feelings did she have about the language of her culture?How did she act out those feelings?How did those feelings follow her into adulthood?What decisions did she make as a result?How did those decisions affect her role as a parent?What caused her to rethink those decisions?What changes did she make in her life?How did those changes affect her?How did they affect her children?
  • Work It Out

    1. This week's "My Turn" column includes several words and phrases in Spanish. Based on your prior knowledge or translation skills, guess what each of them means. Check your answers, using a dictionary or the feedback of a teacher of the language.2. Leticia Salais makes the argument that being bilingual is a service to our ever-diverse society. Identify her examples of such service. What does this say about the importance of effective communication in all aspects of our lives? Respond to her column—and to two other classmates—in a blog entry, either in English or Spanish.
  • Work It Out

    1. At a recent campaign stop in New Hampshire, one candidate said, "I'm electable if you vote for me." Define the term electability. As a class, discuss: Who decides whether a candidate is electable? Have each person in your class ask five voters whether assertions of electability or unelectability will affect how they vote. Report your findings to the class. Compile your data, and write a summary of it.2. This article suggests that candidates need to possess certain qualities in order to succeed as candidates. With a small group, list those qualities. What qualities does a president need? List them. Make a Venn diagram that compares and contrasts the qualities a candidate needs to possess with the qualities that a president needs to possess. Write a letter to the editor summing up your thoughts on the subject.
  • You’re a Liar, Obama! A Liar!!! (Just Kidding.)

    The Hillary Clinton campaign attacks Barack Obama's denial of lifelong political ambitions by digging up his kindergarten essay "I Want to Become President." Uh, gotcha? Score: 45... Then, two days later, after Hillary's campaign gets roasted on a spit for behaving like kindergartners, a spokesman claims it was all just "a joke." Those Clintons. Such kidders. Score: 50TV host Glenn Beck says fellow Mormon Mitt Romney's faith is "a nonissue ... Who cares?" This is the same guy who once asked a Muslim U.S. congressman to prove he wasn't a terrorist. Score: 62
  • U.S. Kids Lag in Reading

    U.S. education statistics show improved literacy for fourth-graders. But a new global study finds more countries jumping ahead of the United States.
  • Marketing School to Jaded Kids

    In an age of media saturation and ubiquitous advertising, some schools are trying professional marketing campaigns to sell the notion that 'school is cool.'
  • In Trouble For Show And Tell

    For Demarcus Blackwell, having the "sex talk" with his 15-year-old son was "kind of embarrassing." But that was nothing compared with the idea of explaining sexual harassment to his preschooler. "He doesn't have the slightest clue about sex anything," says Blackwell, of Waco, Texas, whose 4-year-old son Christopher was suspended last year for sexual harassment when a female school aide reported that the child buried his face in her chest when she hugged him. "How do you explain what's a better kind of hug?"Blackwell is one of a number of parents whose kindergartners and first graders are being suspended, often for days at a time, for sexual misconduct based on behavior like hugging, poking and pinching classmates or school staff. In Ohio, 74 first graders were suspended for "unwelcome sexual conduct" last year, up from 52 in 2005. In Virginia, at least 13 kindergartners have been suspended in each of the last three years for "sexual touching." Massachusetts and Maryland also note...
  • New Research on Teen Sex

    New research questions whether early warning signs such as teen sex inevitably lead to problems.
  • Vaccine Debate Heads to Court

    Maryland school officials are taking parents to court for refusing to inoculate their kids. Could other districts follow suit?
  • A, My Name is Alice: Moniker Madness

    You know the old children’s game (excellent for long car trips) where you think of a name, place, and item for sale beginning with the same letter: “P my name is Paul, and I come from Poughkeepsie and I sell potatoes.” Turns out there may be more to it than we thought: People like their names so much that they unconsciously opt for things that begin with their initials. Tom is more likely to buy a Toyota, move to Totowa and marry Tessa than is Joe, who is more likely to buy a Jeep, move to Jonestown and marry Jill—and Susie sells seashells by the seashore. Even weirder, they gravitate toward things that begin with their initials even when those things are undesirable, like bad grades or a baseball strikeout....
  • Tooning In

    Who are the two characters in the cartoon? How would you describe each one's emotions? What is going on in the cartoon? What is the cartoonist's point? Take a look at the Newsweek Education Program's Political Cartoon resource if you need some help. Pay particular attention to the sections on symbols and irony.
  • The Writing On The Wall

    Good penmanship is more than just a quaint skill. A new study shows that it's a key part of learning.
  • Teacher Boycotts 'No Child' Law

    A Wisconsin middle school teacher opposed to No Child Left Behind explains why he refused to administer a state exam to his students.
  • Teaching Literature to Soldiers

    Soldiers in training might not immediately appreciate the value of literature. But professor Elizabeth Samet has found that in time many come to realize the power of words.
  • Talk About It

    What is one theory about why food allergies are increasing? What evidence supports this theory? What radical approach to treating food allergies are researchers studying? What triggers an allergic reaction? What is immunotherapy?What is one hypothesis about why the United States have increasing numbers of people with peanut allergies? How do schools accommodate kids with food allergies? How many children have food allergies? What percentage of children have food allergies?
  • N.Y. Might Ban Display of Noose

    ALBANY, N.Y. — Following a rash of cases involving nooses, the state Legislature Monday moved toward making it a felony to display the symbol of lynchings in the Old South in a threatening manner."We won't tolerate this," said Sen. Dean G. Skelos, a Long Island Republican who sponsored the measure that passed Monday in the Senate. "There is no place for racism and intimidation in America."The bill also covers etching, drawing or painting the symbol. He said that, as in the case of Nazi symbols and burning crosses, an intent to threaten or harass would be part of an anti-noose law.The Democrat-led Assembly may convene Tuesday and could consider the measure then.Skelos said the recent "rash of incidents clearly demonstrates the need for tough new penalties."Monday's Senate vote came as New York City police said a black high school teacher in Brooklyn had been targeted with a letter containing racial slurs and a string tied into a noose.The teacher told police she received the letter...
  • Get Me Out of This Place

    Princeton student Callie Lefevre landed in Beirut last summer itching to study Arabic and prepared for "a totally wonderful experience." What she got instead was the second Lebanon war, with Israeli fighter planes dropping bombs near her campus, forcing an emergency evacuation through Syria. She got out with the help of a company called International SOS, which bundles evacuation insurance with overseas medical and security solutions. The Beirut crisis helped International SOS land 25 new clients as colleges rushed to sign up, says Laura Angelone, its director of scholastic programs. With more students passing on Paris and choosing to study abroad in locales where conflict, natural disaster and political strife are more commonplace, anxious schools are increasingly turning to a handful of risk-management companies that specialize in extricating kids from dangerous situations. Most colleges foot the bill themselves—about a dollar per day—in exchange for a menu of services that range...
  • Oral Roberts Shaken by Scandal

    Allegations of misuse of school funds, improper political activities and an Imelda Marcos-style closet full of shoes have led to a lawsuit and investigation at the evangelical university.
  • Warning to Students About Gambling

    BOSTON — Harrah's Entertainment pitched a proposed Rhode Island casino to college students as a place "to have fun when they're taking a break from studying."In Connecticut, home to two of the world's largest resort casinos, a 21-minimum age limit doesn't deter young people. And colleges in Missouri changed their health center intake forms to include a space for gambling issues, after counselors found the problem was prevalent but not being addressed.As Massachusetts debates a proposal by Gov. Deval Patrick to allow three full-scale casinos, professionals are warning that college students are more susceptible than others to gambling addictions, and that college administrations are not prepared to deal with the fallout."There is a steady flow of high school and college students that attempt to get into the casinos," said Marvin Steinberg, head of the Connecticut Council on Problem Gambling.Patrick's plan would put poker, roulette, slot machines and the accompanying free drinks within...
  • Women Leaders' Success Secrets

    These 11 women came from many different backgrounds, but they all had big dreams. The path to power meant facing obstacles and their biggest fears.