Monthly Archives: August 2011

The End Of Domitory Life?

Most Undergrads Will Take Classes Online in 10 Years

College presidents predict big increase in education via the web

By John Johnson, Newser Staff

(Newser) – Online education will be booming over the next decade, according to a new Pew survey of college presidents. Some highlights, as noted by Today’s Digital Life:
• Half of the presidents surveyed say most undergrads will take at least some classes online in 10 years, up from the current estimate of 15%.
• 62% say more than half of textbooks will be digital in 10 years.

• Half of the presidents say online courses offer the same value as those in a regular classroom; that’s higher than the 29% of the general public that feels the same way.
• This brave new world is apparently making plagiarism easier: Half the presidents say they’ve seen an increase over 10 years and most blame the Internet.

CaseClosed2: Good news, now there won’t be any excuses to be late for class.

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Posted by on August 31, 2011 in Education News


Students Will Get Paid Not To Cut Class

Camden to pay students $100 not to cut class

CAMDEN — Sixty-six high school students in Camden will each receive $100 if they attend school through Sept. 30, according to a report on

The program is being funded through a $63,000 Community Justice Grant from the state Department of Criminal Justice. The Camden County Prosecutor’s Office received the grant and gave it to the city, the report said.

The students will attend anti-truancy sessions three days per week. A city employee who was laid off in March will be paid a weekly stipend out of the grant money to administer the program.

Read the full story from the Philadelphia Inquirer

CaseClosed2: So what happens when the money runs out? Will the students continue not cutting classes?

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Posted by on August 30, 2011 in Education News


Are Young Women Starting to Imitate Reality TV Stars?

By: Dea Win, Pretty Girls Rock Dresses™

This afternoon, Atlanta’s DJ Ryan Cameron of V-103 had local teachers on his show discussing the effects of reality tv on our youth. As I listened to the radio show, my mind took me back to my impressionable teenage years. I remember my shero was T-Boz from TLC. I wore a short “Halle Berry” haircut; my jeans stayed baggy; and I kept a fresh pair of white Reebok classics. On several occasions I dragged my mama to the mall to find colorful suits like ones Pam and Gina wore on Martin. I wanted to embody the persona of the 90′s woman, a woman full of class, intellect, independence, and success.

Fast forward to 2011 and the once regal persona has turned into one of tackiness. We have young women emulating the unlady like behavior of the characters from the Basketball Wives. There was an incident over the weekend, reported by TMZ, where a group of young women took out their negative behavior on Trey Songzand his date. These young girls, attempting to get close to Songz, attacked his date by throwing their drinks on her. The attack resulted in a fight that is now viral on the internet. What a way to get Trey’s attention! It is disturbing to see young women behave in such a way.

I wonder where did we go wrong? How did our branding shift from one of empowerment to one of crudeness. We have very grown women misbehaving poorly on national TV. We have constant scrutiny on our lack of healthy relationships. Just last Friday, I saw a horrific billboard in the middle of downtown Atlanta suggesting that “ABORTION IN THE HOOD” is a real problem. I am sick of black women being branded as classless, rude, and ugly. Our young men and women are soaking this crap up on a daily basis. According to the teachers that called into the radio show so many impressionable girls are taking on the negative characteristics of the characters of the reality shows. These characteristics includes promiscuity, chasing after the trappings of the good life, relying on the external instead of refining the internal, and not loving themselves. One teacher spoke about several of her young girls desiring relationships with “ballers” in hopes of getting the “good” life. Is this normal for young girls, or is this the impact of our depictions in the media? I sometimes wonder where would I be if there were Basketball Wives and Real Housewives back in 1996.

Where do we go from here? I suggest we let our voices be heard. Demand positive representation in the media. Act as role models for young women and young men in your community. We need to counteract the negativity that bombards us constantly. A branding face lift is a must. We should boycott such depictions. Sure it’s entertaining to see the drama but are our girls worth the expense?

We are the CHANGE we want and need in the world.

Dea Win, owner and founder of Pretty Girls Rock Dresses™. Motivating women of all ages to embrace beauty, charm, and intellect. There’s POWER in the DRESS, PURSE, and STILETTO. ™

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Posted by on August 29, 2011 in Education News


Another Black Experiment Discovered Years Later

Documentary Released Of Man With Hole In Head After Gov’t Testing

A promo of the film Hole in the Head is making its way around the Web. The promo features the late Vertus Hardiman, who, along with nine other children, was experimented on with radiation in 1927. The children all attended the same elementary school in Lyles Station, Ind., and were severely irradiated during a medical experiment conducted at the local county hospital.

Narrated by Dennis Haysbert, the documentary reports that the experiment was misrepresented as a newly developed cure for the scalp fungus known as ringworm. In reality the ringworm fungus was merely the lure used to gain access to innocent children whose unsuspecting parents blindly signed permission slips for the treatment.

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Posted by on August 28, 2011 in Education News


School Choice Is Key

School choice critical to America’s future
Ed Feulner is president of The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank.
August 26, 2011 8:10 AMWe’re used to hearing bad news from the education front — poor test scores, falling literacy, slipping standards. But the new academic year brings a welcome change: school-choice programs have expanded significantly in recent months. Indeed, The Wall Street Journal has already dubbed 2011 “The Year of School Choice.”

As of this month, 18 states and Washington, D.C., have policies that support private-school choice. But public-school choice options are also continuing to grow. On top of that, there are millions of children participating in K-12 courses online. Meanwhile, homeschooling and charter schools are becoming more widespread.

There are many good public schools across this country, with dedicated teachers who deserve praise. Unfortunately, there are also many bad schools, especially in urban areas. When you consider the damage these institutions inflict — making it nearly impossible for students to learn and fulfill their potential — you realize it’s nothing short of a national crime. That’s why it’s so heartening to see the school-choice movement gaining ground.

It’s encouraging, too, to see this trend crossing the usual red-state/blue-state divide. School choice isn’t spreading in just one region. It’s surging nationwide.

Take Ohio. According to a new report from Heritage Foundation education experts Lindsey Burke and Rachel Sheffield, the Buckeye State has four private-school choice programs now — a national first.

Before now, Ohio’s Educational Choice Scholarship Program was capped at 14,000 students. Now it’s open to 30,000, and legislators have made it possible for more students to qualify. They’ve also added a program for special-needs students, one that provides up to 90 percent of their state education funding for the school their parents choose. Low-income children are being helped as well, thanks to the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program.

Or look at Minnesota. Residents there can use the K-12 Education Credit Program, which provides tax credits to help cover educational expenses at a school of their choosing, up to 75 percent of the amount spent.

Thousands of families have been taking advantage of the program, and ensuring a high-quality education for their children.

Arizona is another state that’s been helping parents. Gov. Jan Brewer recently signed legislation creating an Education Savings Account program for special-needs students. Under it, Arizona deposits 90 percent of the state per-pupil education funding into a savings account that parents control. They can use it for private-school tuition, online education, home-schooling, or to save for college. The funds that are unused in one year can be rolled over to the next. Up to 17,000 special-needs students are expected to be eligible for the program this year.

States also have been getting private businesses involved. Rhode Island, for example, has its Corporate Scholarship Tax Credit program.

Businesses can get a tax credit worth 75 percent of whatever they contribute to a scholarship-granting organization. Pennsylvania has been doing something similar for the last decade — offering businesses a tax credit to encourage charitable donations that fund tuition scholarships.

Perhaps the most hopeful sign occurred here in our nation’s capital: Congress has reauthorized the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program (DCOSP). Despite its popularity and success, the program was being phased out, and President Obama was doing nothing to save it. Now, however, thanks in large measure to House Speaker John Boehner, the program has been restored. In fact, the program’s reauthorization is the only piece of legislation Boehner will sponsor this year — that’s how important the issue is to him.

The DCOSP budget went up, too, from $13.2 million to $20 million.

Low-income students in elementary grades will receive scholarships worth $8,000. For high-school students, it will be $12,000.

There’s still a long way to go, of course. School choice isn’t as widely available as it should be, and teachers’ unions continue to fight it at every step. And although the trend lines are moving in the right direction, we can’t rest until every child has access to the school that best meets his or her needs. Our nation’s future depends on it.

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Posted by on August 26, 2011 in Education News


Bully Free Zone

8 Ways to Teach Your Kids to Stand Up to Bullies

Posted by Amy Kuras on August 25, 2011 at 6:00 AM

As the start of the school year draws near, many of us feel a familiar feeling of dread — not about returning to early-morning hours, or homework, or gym class. Instead, we wonder, “Is this the year? Is someone going to pick on him? Is he (gulp) going to bully someone else? Is she going to just stand there while another kid gets picked on?”

As you know if you went to school yourself — or have ever met children, for that matter — the answer could be any and all of the above. Kids have always and will always pick on other kids, but schools are becoming increasingly aware that bullying can have harmful consequences and shouldn’t get blown off as a normal part of growing up.

That doesn’t help much when your kid comes home crying because someone called her a name or laughed at her. But there are ways to help your child handle bullying situations without too much lasting damage to his or her self-esteem.

DO victim-proof your child. Kids who are different in some way tend to be targets, whether they have trouble learning, look goofy, or even are seen as being “stuck up.” It’s a fine line to walk between not stifling their individuality and making them feel like there’s something wrong with them. Help them develop social skills and enough confidence to deflect the bullies. If your child has a learning problem, enlist the school to help you help him. A counselor can teach better social skills. And if your child is kind of funny-looking, remember that everyone spends part of childhood in an “awkward phase.” Remind your kids of this if anyone picks on them for their appearance — and don’t forget to say you think they are perfect-looking the way they are!

DON’T mistake normal ebbs and flows of friendship for bullying. Bullying is behavior that is intentional, repetitive, hurtful, and comes from an imbalance of power between two kids or groups of kids. Someone not inviting your child to a birthday party isn’t necessarily bullying; someone announcing to the whole class who they invited and didn’t invite may be.

DO teach them assertive behavior. Teach your child how to take calming breaths, look the bully in the eye, say, “Stop doing that,” and walk away — or maybe they can turn it around on the bully and laugh, as if their behavior is just too ridiculous to be taken seriously. Bullies expect their victims to just roll over and take it; most won’t keep it going if they face resistance.

DON’T tell them to fight back. This is likely to backfire on your child in a big way … a classic bully move is to goad someone until they lash out, at which point the bully goes running to the nearest authority figure and plays the wounded party. As satisfying as it would be to punch that mean kid right in the nose, it’s just going to make things worse and will bring your child down to the bully’s level. And, um, this goes for you too, Mom.

DO encourage them to seek help from others. Make sure they know you’re proud of them for telling you about it. It takes a lot of courage for a kid to admit he’s being victimized. Talk to the teacher, the principal, and/or a school counselor. Most have finally gotten the message to take bullying seriously. It might also help your child to “buddy up” with a friend in the hall, the lunchroom, or the bus; if the bullying has isolated them to the point that they are socially radioactive with their peers, ask an older kid not involved in the drama to keep an eye on them. And stay on school administrators if you’re not getting satisfying results.

DON’T tell them to just ignore it. Saying this is like saying to them that you plan to ignore it too. And if your child could ignore the bullies, he would. Bullies want a reaction and will escalate their behavior until they get it.

DO talk to your child about bullying before it starts. Even if your kid never is victimized and never picks on someone, the bystander has an important role to play by letting the bully know that behavior is not okay. Encourage your child to stand up to bullies, even if he doesn’t like the kid being victimized. After all, bullies make life harder for everyone.

Most importantly, DO make sure your home is a place where your children can feel loved and accepted for who they are. Encourage them to pursue their passions through after-school activities that can help them meet more like-minded kids, boost their self-esteem, and gain confidence. That’s the best way to stop your kid turning into a bully’s OR victim.

How do you teach your kid to fight bullies?

About the author
Amy Kuras writes from the urban stew of Detroit, where she lives with her husband and two seriously funny kids. She’s got an inappropriate sense of humor and a wicked caffeine habit and has just decided she “gets” texting.

CaseClosed2: Parents have to teach their kids to stand up for themselves, otherwise, they will continue being picked on by bullies. There is a no bully tolerance policy in effect in schools, however, some bullies will continue to bully and your kid needs to know how to defend himself and be left alone to enjoy his days in school.

More on bullying…

Bullying isn’t good for any child’s academic achievement. But a new study finds that high-achieving black and Latino students are academically harmed the most when they fall victim to bullying.

Students who reported being bullied in the 10th grade saw a drop in their grades in 12th grade compared with their pre-bullying 9th-grade scores, according to research presented today (Aug. 23) at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in Las Vegas. The drop is sharpest for high-scoring black and Latino students, said study author Lisa Williams, a graduate student at Ohio State University. That may be because these high achievers don’t fit their communities’ racial stereotypes.

“When minorities don’t fit stereotypes that are created by society, they experience more bullying,” Williams told LiveScience.

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Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Education News


12-Year-Old Crime Solver

Jessica Maple, 12, of Atlanta participated in the Junior DA program at the Fulton County District Attorney’s office during the summer — and helped solve a burglary. ATLANTA — An Atlanta 12-year-old girl recently solved a crime using her detective skills.

By Alexis Stevens

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

When someone broke into her great-grandmother’s south Georgia home and stole just about everything, a 12-year-old Atlanta girl did what police couldn’t.

She solved the case.

Jessica Maple’s detective work came while participating in the Junior DA program at the Fulton County District Attorney’s office during the summer. After learning in July that the family’s 70-year-old home in Fitzgerald had been ransacked, the seventh grader at Sandtown Middle School traveled with her mom and younger brother to see the damage.

“They swept through the whole house,” Jessica told the AJC. “They literally took everything.”

Gone were appliances, dining room furniture and beds. Even the washer and dryer.

A police officer told Jessica’s family someone must have had a key to the home to have been able to remove such large items. But no one but her mom, Stephanie, had a key, Jessica said. Then she noticed shattered glass from the broken garage door and dark fingerprints someone left behind.

“I don’t see how the police officer didn’t see that,” Jessica said.

Next, family members visited a local pawn shop, where they were shocked to find the furnishings from the home. The owner of the shop told Jessica’s mother about the two men who brought the items in and had their photo IDs, too.

Jessica said her mother told a police officer what they’d found. Then, they went to one of the suspects’ houses and confronted him, Jessica said.

“We asked him why did he do all this,” Jessica said. “He said he didn’t know. He confessed.”

Now Jessica only wishes she could get the police to place the two men under arrest.

“It’s been a month and five days, and they haven’t been arrested,” Jessica said. “It’s really frustrating. If you have all of the evidence right there, why can’t you go arrest them?”

Jessica said participating in the summer program taught her ways the professionals solve real-world crimes on a daily basis. The program, which just completed its 13th summer, gives middle school students the chance to explore careers in law enforcement and includes field trips to police departments.

She admitted she wasn’t thrilled when her mother suggested she participate in the program. But now, she’s glad she did. Jessica wrote an essay about her role in helping solve the burglary in Fitzgerald and spoke at the Junior DA graduation at the end of July.

“These young people are a testament to what is good about our youth,” District Attorney Paul Howard said. “Jessica showed initiative and zeal and in the process, helped to create a better society by assisting police in their quest to get two criminals off the street. Her future is bright.”

Jessica said she isn’t sure yet what she wants to be when she grows up, but the sky may not be the limit for the straight-A student. She also participates in the Atlanta Urban Debate League. This year’s topic? Outer space.

CaseClosede2: I’d say this young lady has a future in crime solving.

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Posted by on August 24, 2011 in Education News