Principal Susan Lofton said it was a mix of community involvement and teacher dedication that helped turn around Nicholas Senn High School in Chicago. The school had been plagued by behavior problems and low grades. Lofton said through meetings with neighbors and parents, higher academic standards were implemented, plus tougher disciplinary programs.
Students can learn about complex subjects, such as science, by participating in groups on Facebook, according to a new study. Researchers found that incorporating teacher-directed Facebook forums in the curriculum increased student engagement and led students to engage in "largely on-topic, civil and sophisticated" conversations with classmates.
Several school districts in North Carolina are forming partnerships to provide apartments for new teachers who otherwise could not afford to live in the communities where they work. Some school officials say the promise of affordable housing is a great recruiting tool for new teachers.
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan says an effort by Congress to cut as much as $2.8 billion from the department's budget, "makes no sense." If the cuts come to pass, Duncan says, programs for early-childhood education, inner-city and tribal communities would be among some that could be eliminated.
Depression, loneliness and poverty were seen at higher frequencies among older gay and lesbian people in northeast Ohio, according to a survey by two LGBT groups. Nearly 40% had experienced depression, loneliness or isolation in the past two weeks and one-fourth of respondents said they had not disclosed their sexual orientation to their doctors. This can lead to incomplete medical care, along with reluctance to bring partners to medical appointments to act as an advocate.
There is no evidence that the sexual orientation or gender of parents have a negative effect on child development, said Gary Gates, a research director for the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. However, there are ongoing obstacles for same-sex couples in public adoptions, including a law in Michigan and a potential law in Florida. "If you put those bars in place, then private adoption and reproductive technology would become the primary way in which same-sex couples become parents. Those ways are more expensive, and in some cases only feasible among economically privileged groups," he said.
About one-quarter of child welfare workers at the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families were unlicensed as of last week. Today was the deadline for more than 2,700 social workers to pass a state licensing exam, but officials say they need more time. "Our focus is on evaluating all the issues that may have hindered staff in their efforts to attain licensure," DCF spokeswoman Rhonda Mann said. "We are working with the union to come up with the best plan to get the remaining staff licensed as quickly as possible."
The Massachusetts mental health system fails patients due to poor coordination and inadequate data, Attorney General Maura Healey says in a new report. She cites delays in treatment and policymakers' lack of information on where to direct resources. Meanwhile, "without appropriate levels of reimbursement [for behavioral health treatment], a provider's ability to accept and treat patients will be strained," the report says.
University of Missouri leaders will focus on recruiting and retaining faculty as 110 faculty members are set for retirement. Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin says the retirements will give schools within the system the chance to hire both experienced and newer faculty as it seeks to enhance its national and international status.
Youngsters with autism who played with guinea pigs registered lower stress levels than when the animals weren't with them, according to research published in Developmental Psychobiology. It's part of work that Marguerite O'Haire of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University began in 2009 to explore the effects of animals in classrooms. Parent and teacher studies found social improvements among children of all abilities. By reducing anxiety, guinea pigs may help foster social skills and allow children to develop responsibility and empathy, said autism expert Deborah Fein.