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Friday, November 21, 2014

Parental involvement still essential in secondary school

Medical Xpress – Anthony Moore

“”The key findings here are that parents should always be involved, but they need to give great thought as to how they are involved and the manner in which they stay involved as the child ages.””(more)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

5 Smart Ideas for Reducing the Effects of Kids’ Trauma

Education News – Julia Steiny

“…for various reasons, lots of the kids wriggling around in our worlds have experienced trauma…Margaret Paccione-Dyszlewski, Ph.D., will help us understand how to create environments that are prepared to handle traumatized kids and to prevent triggering trauma or escalating a boil-over.” (more)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Reversing Childhood Obesity: A New Call to Action

The Huffington Post – Lance Henderson

“For the past decade, a metaphorical fire has raged out of control, a conflagration of dire statistics on childhood obesity and the health and financial costs they portend. Here’s a sampling: the tripling of obesity rates in kids over the past 30 years, $147 billion in annual health care costs related to obesity, and a projection that 40 percent of U.S. children born today will develop Type 2 diabetes in their lifetime.” (more)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Panama City needs a better-educated populace to reduce crime

News Herald – Juliann Talkington

Juliann

Even though Panama City, Florida has more police per capita than Detroit and Memphis, the law enforcement presence has done little to deter criminal activity. Panama City is now the fourth most dangerous city in Florida.

 

With beautiful beaches, many outdoor activities, and a temperate climate one has to wonder why the crime rate is out of line with cities of similar size.

 

Part of the problem is low academic achievement. According to the U.S. Bureau of Justice there is a link between high school graduation and crime – 56 percent of federal inmates, 67 percent of the inmates in state prisons, and 69 percent of the inmates in local jails did not complete high school.

 

In Bay County, Florida, over one quarter (27%) of the students do not graduate from high school. This is well above the national (20%) and state (24%) averages.

 

Given the graduation/incarceration link, the best way to stop crime in Panama City might be to improve academic achievement.

 

Some people argue that the low graduation rate in Bay County is due to insufficient funding. However the per student spending in Bay County is almost the same as per student spending in Nassau County, the Florida county with the highest graduation rate (almost 91%).

 

Others worry that poor student performance is due to a high student/teacher ratio. However, Bay County has a student/ teacher ratio of 16.1 students per teacher. Nassau has a slightly higher student/teacher ratio, 16.7 students/teacher.

 

Also, Nassau County has about the same percentage of the population with college degrees and the two counties have close to the same percentage of the population below the poverty line.

 

So what are the real issues?

 

First, Panama City has few high paying jobs so there is little incentive for students to complete high school. To make matters more challenging, many companies that offer high quality and high tech jobs close operations in Panama City, because they cannot find dedicated, reliable, skilled workers.

 

To bring high quality employment options to Bay County and keep them here, schools must set high standards so students are ready for high quality 21st Century employment (strong language arts, math, and science skills).

 

In addition, schools need to identify deficiencies and begin remediation early, so students do not leave school.

 

To achieve these educational goals, schools must reward high quality teachers who have outstanding subject area proficiency in math, science, and language arts.

 

With a better-educated populace, Panama City can become a safer and more desirable place to live.

 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bullying prevention: Can parents make the world bullyproof?

The Christian Science Monitor – Lisa Suhay

“October is National Bullying Prevention Awareness month, a time to end bullying and build friendships. When bullying continues, despite national awareness campaigns, can parents bullyproof the world for their kids?” (more)

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Trouble can start for schoolkids after classes end

The San Francisco Chronicle – Aerin Curtis

“It’s the same story for juvenile school students. Unsupervised after-school hours can lead to a number of problems, including criminal activity.” (more)

Ofsted: too many teachers ‘accepting low-level disruption’

The Telegraph – Graeme Paton

“Ofsted warn that large numbers of pupils are being allowed to disrupt lessons by making silly comments and swinging on chairs, with few sanctions from head teachers.” (more)

Friday, September 12, 2014

Truancy rates are higher among California’s low-income students, report says

The L.A. Times – Sara Hayden

“Across California, truancy rates for students from low-income backgrounds were disproportionately higher than for their more affluent peers during the 2013-14 school year, according to a report released Thursday.” (more)

Minneapolis Superintendent Bans Suspensions for Younger Children

Education News – Grace Smith

“Minneapolis has decided that suspending children in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, and first-grade for non-violent behavior is the wrong approach to discipine.” (more)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Julia Steiny: We’re Crippling Our Kids with Fear

Education News – Julia Steiny

“I hate to date myself, but when we were 9 or even younger, my friends and I were off into the big bad world with only strict orders to be home when the street lights when on. Often we rode our bikes to a commercial street at least a mile away from the house.” (more)