Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Screen Time Linked to Lower Brain Development in Kids | PEOPLE.com

Screen Time Linked to Lower Brain Development in Kids | PEOPLE.com

Screen Time Linked to Lower Brain Development in Preschoolers, MRIs Show
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids have limited screen use due to the possible cognitive behavioral risks

A new study has found an association between excessive screen use and a lower level of brain development among preschool-aged children.
The study, which was published on Monday in the journal JAMA Pediatrics, used a special type of MRI called diffusion tensor imaging to scan white matter in the 47 participants’ brains, and made several alarming finds — particularly relating to the development of language, literacy and cognitive skills.
To start, participants completed a cognitive test, while their parents completed a survey called ScreenQ that informed researchers how much time and what type of content their children were using screens to view.
Children with higher ScreenQ scores measured lower in structural integrity and myelination, the latter of which is the “coating of connections between nerve cells with a fatty substance” that “insulates the nerve cells and increases the efficiency of signaling,” according to The New York Times.
Meanwhile, children with higher ScreenQ scores also had “poorer expressive language and did worse on tests of language processing speed, like rapidly naming objects,” the Times reported.




“This is the first study to document associations between higher screen use and lower measures of brain structure and skills in preschool-aged kids,” lead author Dr. John Hutton, a pediatrician and clinical researcher at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, said, according to CNN.
He continued: “This is important because the brain is developing the most rapidly in the first five years. That’s when brains are very plastic and soaking up everything, forming these strong connections that last for life.”
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids have limited screen use due to the possible cognitive behavioral risks, including language delay, poor sleep and impaired executive function, according to the study.
The study was conducted from August 2017 to November 2018 on participants recruited at a U.S. children’s hospital, and took pains to note that screen time implications for brain development on young kids still remain unknown despite found associations.
The World Health Organization’s latest recommendations say kids younger than 1 should have no screen time, while children under 5 should stick to an hour or less.
Still, for parents who can’t avoid the screens, David Hill, a pediatrician who helped write the American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2016 guidelines, previously told PEOPLE that they should show their kids shows like Sesame Street, which help the child learn some skills.
“All content should be deliberately chosen,” Sierra Filucci, editorial director CONTINUE READING: Screen Time Linked to Lower Brain Development in Kids | PEOPLE.com





CARL J. PETERSEN: A Fox Watches Over the Data Hen House

A Fox Watches Over the Data Hen House

A Fox Watches Over the Data Hen House
The Times of the nineteenth of December had published the official forecasts of the output of various classes of consumption goods in the fourth quarter of 1983, which was also the sixth quarter of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. Today’s issue contained a statement of the actual output, from which it appeared that the forecasts were in every instance grossly wrong. Winston’s job was to rectify the original figures by making them agree with the later ones.”
– 1984
As students in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) enjoyed their summer vacation, Michael Kohlhaas dot org was giving the public a glimpse into what goes on behind the scenes in the charter school industry. Among the many damaging revelations in these confidential documents was the fact that LAUSD Board Member Nick Melvoin had collaborated with the California Charter School Association (CCSA) in the creation of the School Performance Framework. Under this plan, data would be manipulated to give these publicly funded private schools additional access to public facilities. However, the CCSA would oppose any efforts to use this same ranking system in the renewal process for charter schools.
Instead of listening to the calls to investigate Melvoin for his actions, the board appointed him to lead the “Continuous Improvement Data Committee.” The inaugural meeting of the foxes guarding data’s hen house was held on September 24. I joined other LAUSD stakeholders in addressing the conflict during public comment:



Imagine if all of the board members had a Yelp score and we took those and lined them up. Then we assigned staff members or maybe office space based on how those rankings went. Perhaps someone like Nick Melvoin who has a .5 ranking on Yelp would have his vote count CONTINUE READING: A Fox Watches Over the Data Hen House

NEW FROM JEFF BRYANT: Ed Politics | Fighting back against the school privatization agenda

Ed Politics | Fighting back against the school privatization agenda





Investigations Unearth Systemic Corruption in K-12 School Leadership—and Students and Teachers Lose Out - Progressive.org

Investigations Unearth Systemic Corruption in K-12 School Leadership—and Students and Teachers Lose Out - Progressive.org

Investigations Unearth Systemic Corruption in K-12 School Leadership—and Students and Teachers Lose Out

Revelations of corruption in business and government are becoming an everyday affair, with example after example of people in leadership positions using elevated status for personal gain rather than for the public good. The deluge of stories about lying and cheating politiciansindustry lobbyists, and corporate executives can lead to easy cynicism about how things work in business and politics. 

But what about when corruption flourishes in public schools?
A recent series of investigative articles I reported for Our Schools, an education project of the Independent Media Institute, found numerous instances of school purchases and personnel being steered toward decisions that rewarded opportunistic leaders and well-connected companies rather than students and teachers. And even though a number of such exposés suggest systemic corruption, media accounts generally frame these scandals as singular examples of corrupt behavior.
But take, for example, former superintendent of Kansas City public schools John Covington, who suddenly resigned his position there to run a state-operated school district in Detroit. He took with him an employee Mary Esselman, and their relationships with a software company called Agilix, its “Buzz” learning platform, and the consulting firm, School Improvement Network. Detroit Metro Times journalists Curt Guyette reported that the software was barely functional and increasingly angered teachers forced to use it. But Covington and Esselman worked to get the Buzz software platform “expanded”—not only in Michigan but across the country.
Superintendent of Seattle schools, Maria Goodloe-Johnson, was accused by board members of having numerous ongoing conflicts of interest and ultimately fired when an audit found that $1.8 million in contracts awarded through a program she administered “provided no public benefit or were questionable.” Covington hired her for his Michigan gig, too.
In Los Angeles, superintendent John Deasy’s tenure was overwhelmed by CONTINUE READING: Investigations Unearth Systemic Corruption in K-12 School Leadership—and Students and Teachers Lose Out - Progressive.org

Giving schools an honest grade - The Washington Post

Giving schools an honest grade - The Washington Post

Were public schools better way back when? Giving today’s schools an honest grade



By James Harvey and Jack McKay

Roland Chevalier, a former superintendent in St. Martin Parish, Louisiana, liked to describe what he called the “piñata theory” of school reform: Keep beating the schools until good things fall out of them.
It’s discouraging. A steady stream of censure, carping, derogation, and disparagement has been aimed at public schools ever since Nation at Risk intoned in 1983 that school failure meant, “Our nation is at risk.”
 

The denunciations rest on a three-legged stool of poorly documented claims. Our schools used to be much better. Our students used to learn more. And school failure has undermined American competitiveness as, in the words of A Nation at Risk, “one great American industry after another [has fallen] to world competition.” The Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s teaching in American elementary and secondary schools have a lot to answer for.
Most of that indictment is nonsense. No one denies there are problems in our schools. We’ll get to them. But to lay the effects of globalization at the schoolhouse door is a stretch.
Despite that, demoralized school leaders have often deferred to the judgments of powerful people, no matter how thin and poorly documented the critics’ arguments.
Let’s look at the record.

Schools used to be much better
Really? How can anyone with a straight face claim that the legally segregated schools in the Old South were an improvement over today’s schools? Or that it was acceptable for public schools to refuse to enroll children with disabilities? Are we prepared to abandon nearly 3.5 million young women playing high school sports and return to the day when only about 300,000 did so? Each of these inequities CONTINUE READING: Giving schools an honest grade - The Washington Post

Big Education Ape: John Thompson: Insights on the Origins of “A Nation at Risk”: A Conversation with James Harvey and John Merrow | Diane Ravitch's blog - https://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2018/11/john-thompson-insights-on-origins-of.html

Will Texas be the first for African American studies? | Cloaking Inequity

Will Texas be the first for African American studies? | Cloaking Inequity

WILL TEXAS BE THE FIRST FOR AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES?

Public comments for statewide adoption of African American Studies will be Wednesday, November 13th.  I encourage anyone with interest in the course to speak before our Board on the importance of adoption and maintaining factual integrity.  The curriculum framework can be found here https://www.ginatxsboe1.com/aas.html

Public comments will be considered during the First Reading in January 2020 and Second Reading in April 2020, so please be sure to leave a one-pager and contact information.

You will need to know the specific item number, date, and committee.  The window for registration is Friday, 11/8 at 8am to Monday 11/11 at 5pm Each individual will need to register themselves, and there are no limits to how many individuals can register to speak.

I’m truly thankful for your advocacy.

Educationally yours, 

Aicha Davis
Find out more at The Purple Apple by GEORGINA CECILIA PÉREZ
— Read on www.ginatxsboe1.com/purpleapple/african-american-studies-is-on-the-november-agenda

The new CTU contract, sick days and pensions. – Fred Klonsky

The new CTU contract, sick days and pensions. – Fred Klonsky

THE NEW CTU CONTRACT, SICK DAYS AND PENSIONS


I don’t buy the story that Mayor Lightfoot is Rahm 2.0, plus I supported the teachers and the CTU’s strike demands.
Under their new contract, Chicago Teachers Union members would be able to accrue more than six times as many unused sick days as before.
The tentative agreement reached Thursday between the city, Chicago Public Schools and the CTU allows union members to bank 244 sick days, up from 40.
That’s more than enough days to cover an entire school year — an increase that could allow a longtime employee to retire a year early and still receive their full pension.
The 40-day cap was the result of 2012 contract negotiations following scrutiny of a policy that allowed employees to cash CONTINUE READING: The new CTU contract, sick days and pensions. – Fred Klonsky

Louisiana Educator: Common Core and Ed Reform; Overwhelming Evidence of Failure

Louisiana Educator: Common Core and Ed Reform; Overwhelming Evidence of Failure

Common Core and Ed Reform; Overwhelming Evidence of Failure

Louisiana adopted Common Core standards sight unseen.
Louisiana adopted the Common Core State Standards in 2010, before they were even written, partly because the Louisiana power brokers (LABI) and some out-of state billionaires said "the children could not wait". Strong medicine was needed to cure the ills of public education. Our reform oriented leaders thought we could cash in on generous grants offered by the O'Bama administration to implement this scheme without the need for clinical trials.  The only problem was that since there was not enough federal money appropriated to fund all the states that took the plunge on Common Core, only a few states were selected for the grants. Louisiana passed laws, and regulations forcing all our public schools to adopt and implement the standards even though we did not get the grant money. On top of what was done to our students, our teachers were stripped of rights shielding them harm by political influence that had been working well for many years to insure that teachers were treated as professionals.

We would never allow completely untested medicine or drugs to be used on our children; not so with education experiments.
This idea of administering strong untested medicine to cure the ills of education was sort of like how parents used to give their children caster oil and other untested remedies before they had access to modern medicines tested using clinical trials.  Also, today, for education strategies, we have well established methods of field testing and validation before we try new ideas on innocent children. But unfortunately the self appointed education reformers like Bill Gates, Michael Bloomberg, the Waltons and others who would never use untested practices on there own businesses, decided that CONTNUE READING: 
Louisiana Educator: Common Core and Ed Reform; Overwhelming Evidence of Failure


Teaching at D.Tech High School: Chemistry (Part 3) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Teaching at D.Tech High School: Chemistry (Part 3) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

Teaching at D.Tech High School: Chemistry (Part 3)

I enter the classroom after Greg Fenner has begun the lesson. Thirty-one students sit at eight scattered tables in a large room adorned with the essential Periodic Table of Elements. A cart filled with tablets sits at one side of the room. Each table seats four students comprising a team for activities and homework that the teacher assigns during a lesson.
Sporting a trim beard and mustache, Fenner wears jeans, blue T-shirt and tan desert boots. He also has a cloth shoulder strap holding a small pouch.  Perched on his head is a pair of goggles. A graduate of a Bay area university’s teacher education program, this is Fenner’s fourth year at d.tech. He lives in San Francisco and often bikes to the city train station, rides to a stop a few miles away from d.tech high school and completes the commute on his bike.
Today is lab day.  Students will be studying chemical reactions using hydrochloric acid and baking soda. They follow instructions in their textbook, Chemistry in the Earth System, a text linked to Next Generation of Science Standards adopted by California.

Lab workbook exercise
A table near where I am sitting holds eight lab trays filled with a thermometer, flask, measuring cylinder, filter paper, beaker, and one pair of goggles. Fenner explains what the strength of the acid is and the importance of being careful when using it in the experiment. He explains students will mix it with sodium hydrogen carbonate (baking soda). He gives safety instructions to the class before one student from each team comes up to get a tray to bring back to the CONTINUE READING: Teaching at D.Tech High School: Chemistry (Part 3) | Larry Cuban on School Reform and Classroom Practice

UPDATE: Resisting the Silver Bullet in Literacy Instruction (and Dyslexia): “there is no certifiably best method for teaching children who experience reading difficulty” | radical eyes for equity

Resisting the Silver Bullet in Literacy Instruction (and Dyslexia): “there is no certifiably best method for teaching children who experience reading difficulty” | radical eyes for equity

Resisting the Silver Bullet in Literacy Instruction (and Dyslexia): “there is no certifiably best method for teaching children who experience reading difficulty”


The Mind, Explained episode 1, Memory, introduces readers to some disorienting facts about human memory, transported in the soothing and authoritative voice-over by Emma Stone.
The episode shares a 9-11 memory from a young woman, recalling sitting as a child in her classroom and watching the smoke from the Twin Tower collapse billowing past the window as she worried about her mother working in the city.
Her memory is vivid and compelling, but it also factually wrong—both the detail of the billowing smoke (the window didn’t face that direction and the proximity of the school would not have allowed that event to occur) and her mother was not in the city that day.
Memory, the episode reveals, is often deeply flawed, as much a construction by the person as any sort of accurate recall.
Watching this, I thought about one of the most misinterpreted poems commonly taught in schools, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.”
This poem, and how people almost universally misread it, is parallel to the problems with memory in that people tend to impose onto text what we predict or want that text to say; and the verbatim elements of a text, the raw decoding of words, also depends heavily on schema, what the reader knows and the correlations that reader makes with words and phrases.
Frost’s poem, by the way, is about the significance of choosing, in that when we choose we determine our path. But the poem literally states multiple times that the paths are the same; therefore, the poem is not some CONTINUE READING: Resisting the Silver Bullet in Literacy Instruction (and Dyslexia): “there is no certifiably best method for teaching children who experience reading difficulty” | radical eyes for equity

On Normal, ADHD, and Dyslexia: Neither Pathologizing, Nor Rendering Invisible | radical eyes for equity - https://wp.me/p2GmBR-9a2 via @plthomasEdD

Image result for Normal, ADHD, and Dyslexia

UPDATE: A new ranking system for L.A. schools? look like a no-go Board to consider 1-to-5 scale - Los Angeles Times

A new ranking system for L.A. schools? Board to consider 1-to-5 scale - Los Angeles Times

Yelp-like ratings for L.A. public schools look like a no-go. But what’s next?

Jackie Goldberg

Students receive grades on their report cards, but should schools also be graded on their performance?
In this era of at-a-glance five-star ratings and numeric rankings, the Los Angeles school board is wrestling with how to fairly assess campuses and present data in an easy-to-understand way.
On Tuesday, a school board majority is expected to reject its first-ever plan to rate schools The next steps are not entirely laid out. But an emerging strategy would use already reported state data and make it more accessible and easier to understand. The state does not rank schools.
Veteran educator Jackie Goldberg, who joined the board via a special election in May, fueled the anti-grading momentum after the plan to rate schools on a scale of 1 to 5 became more widely known in August. The plan was never supported by the unions representing teachers or administrators.
Goldberg contends that simple “summative” ratings are not fair to schools that serve students from low-income families because academic achievement is largely linked to their socioeconomic level.
“There’s nothing wrong with giving people data,” Goldberg said. “But I don’t want to do it a way that displays the ‘good schools’ and displays the ‘bad schools’ and then allows people to say: ‘Let’s punish the bad schools.’ I don’t believe in public humiliation.”
That’s not how board member Nick Melvoin sees it.
“We need a vocabulary to talk about schools that are high- and low-performing,” said Melvoin, who would like to see a summary rating of schools.
Melvoin said that an easy-to-understand, single rating for schools based on a system designed by the district, would be more fair and valid than outside rating websites.
Under the proposed L.A. Unified grading system, elementary and middle schools, for example, would have had 45% of their ratings based on test improvement and 35% on the actual scores. The final 20% would have been based on how well each school is keeping suspension rates low and preventing chronic absenteeism.
Even though such ranking systems have gained political favor, they remain controversial, with experts divided.
Although California no longer applies a single score to a school, most states have moved in the other direction — with 45 using or planning to use some form of CONTINUE READING: Yelp-like ratings for L.A. public schools look like a no-go. But what's next? - Los Angeles Times - https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2019-11-05/grading-schools-in-los-angeles by @howardblume on @latimes


A new ranking system for L.A. schools? Board to consider 1-to-5 scale


By HOWARD BLUME

Los Angeles Unified is considering its first-ever plan to provide a rating scale for public schools and privately run charters, a move aimed at giving parents and educators simple and accessible analysis of campus performance, documents reviewed by The Times show.
If it moves forward, the effort to rate schools on a scale of 1 to 5 would allow for a direct comparison of academic programs in a way that would benefit some schools and present others in an unflattering light. The proposal is already raising red flags among critics who say such simplified ratings would be unfair to some schools.
“Schools are not restaurants and should NOT be rated!” said Juan Flecha, president of the school administrators union, in an email. “I think this is demoralizing and a slap to all of the dedicated employees of schools receiving one, two, and three stars.”
The system, which could roll out as soon as October, appears to have lukewarm support from Supt. Austin Beutner and mixed support from Board of Education members.
“We have to, as a district, get comfortable talking about results,” said board member Nick Melvoin, who supports the proposed system.
The goal is to allow all schools to be compared “side by side with consistent data,” according to documents. Most of a school’s score would be based on students’ performance on state standardized tests. More credit would be given for a school’s test improvement rate rather than the scores.
At elementary and middle schools, 45% of a rating would be based on test improvement and 35% on the score. The final 20% would be based on how well the school is keeping suspension rates low and preventing chronic absenteeism.
At the high school level, 40% of the rating would be based on a school’s test improvement and 25% on scores. Again, 20% would be based on suspension numbers and absenteeism. Another 15% would take in factors including the graduation rate, the percentage of students who qualify for admission to a four-year state college and student performance on the standardized exams related to Advanced Placement courses.
The formula takes into account how well smaller groups, such as Latinos or African American students, are faring. If such a group is doing especially poorly, it would count against the school’s overall number.
The new School Performance Framework is an outgrowth of a resolution passed by the school board on April 10, 2018, several weeks before Beutner was hired. It was brought forward by Melvoin and Kelly Gonez.
Melvoin said he expects the system to be in effect by October, when parents will be using a relatively new online application for magnet schools and other programs.
“We need a vocabulary to talk about schools that are high- and low-performing,” as well as which schools are having more success with similar students, Melvoin said. “There is this myth that we already know this information. If we know this and are not doing something about it, then that’s a problem. I actually don’t think we know this.”
On that part, Beutner is in agreement.
“We need as much information as possible for those in the school community — for school leaders — to understand where the opportunities are, to understand what CONTINUE READING: A new ranking system for L.A. schools? Board to consider 1-to-5 scale - Los Angeles Times

Big Education Ape: See how closely Ohio school report card grades trend with district income - cleveland.com - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2019/09/see-how-closely-ohio-school-report-card.html



Big Education Ape: State School Rankings and School Report Cards Drive Racial and Economic Segregation | janresseger - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2019/06/state-school-rankings-and-school-report.html

Audio: A Lesson From Indiana About L.A.'s Proposed School Rating System | 89.3 KPCC

Audio: A Lesson From Indiana About L.A.'s Proposed School Rating System | 89.3 KPCC

A Lesson From Indiana About L.A.'s Proposed School Rating System
L.A. Unified School District officials have been developing a system to give each of its schools a grade — a single, overall rating of its academic performance.
But the idea has been controversial, and on Tuesday, the LAUSD board could vote to end the project.
Big Education Ape: State School Rankings and School Report Cards Drive Racial and Economic Segregation | janresseger - http://bigeducationape.blogspot.com/2019/06/state-school-rankings-and-school-report.html
The district considered the idea because California is one of the rare states that does not issue ratings, labels, or even letter grades to schools.
Every year, 45 states issue school ratings — including Indiana, where a 2013 scandal about the state's A-F letter grade ratings holds lessons about how school rating systems work.
Audio: A Lesson From Indiana About L.A.'s Proposed School Rating System | 89.3 KPCC