Ayah Idris, 14, spent two weeks of her summer isolating strawberry DNA at a Seattle cancer research center, watching heart cells pulse in a dish and learning about ethical guidelines for animal research, Yahoo! News reports. This type of inspiring dive into the rigors and rewards of a career in science would seem to be a perfect antidote to the national hand-wringing over the slipping state of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the U.S. In addition to offering the kinds of inquiry-based experiences that have been shown to best promote science learning, programs such as the Summer Fellows bring kids in contact with the latest scientific advances that have yet to be published in textbooks. Now, the funds that bolster these programs are in danger……Read More
An elementary school teacher fired by a private San Diego-area school following a domestic violence incident involving her ex-husband is speaking out about her ordeal, Yahoo News reports. Carie Charlesworth, who taught second grade at Holy Trinity School in El Cajon, Calif., told the San Diego NBC affiliate that the incident with her ex-husband occurred back in January. “Basically, we’d had a very bad weekend with him,” Charlesworth, a mother of four, said……Read More
When high school senior Jenny Bonilla got her college acceptance letter in March, she felt shock and heartbreak rather than joy, Yahoo! News reports. That’s because the letter from Goucher College, a private liberal arts school in Baltimore, also brought news that she would owe an unaffordable $20,000 a year in tuition and board, even with a scholarship the college was offering. Bonilla had been in the running for a full ride to Goucher but eventually lost out because her parents’ combined income of $57,000 a year was deemed too high. “That was heartbreaking,” she said……Read More
Detroit Public Schools announced a groundbreaking initiative that should have broad-spectrum impacts for residents when fully implemented, Yahoo News reports. “Neighborhood-Centered, Quality Schools” aims to partner community and schools and make schools hubs within the neighborhoods they serve. Here are outcomes and changes locals can expect……Read More
A 17-year-old from Colorado Springs, Colo., has won the top award of $100,000 from the Intel Foundation for her research of algae biofuels, the foundation announced this week, Yahoo! News reports. Sara Volz was awarded the top prize for her research, which included artificial selection to establish populations of algae cells with high oil content that can be used as economically feasible biofuel. Volz’s project was selected out of an initial 1,712 entries from high school seniors. The 300 semifinalists were announced in January and 40 of those individuals were chosen as finalists and invited to Washington, the foundation stated. Volz established a home lab underneath her loft bed and sleeps on the same light cycle as her algae, the foundation reported. According to the Denver Post , Volz did some of her research with the help of Colorado State University and the Air Force Academy but found that it was more practical to keep all of her research in a single site: the same room where she slept……Read More
Missouri state Rep. Bryan Spencer, R-Wentzville, is a teacher by trade and a freshman lawmaker in the General Assembly. Spencer introduced House Bill 294 in mid-February which requires all high school students in Missouri pass proficiency tests in four core areas before the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education will issue a diploma, Yahoo! News reports. Local school districts can issue certificates of achievement, but those won’t count towards a student’s graduation. Spencer’s motivation for the bill is threefold, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch .
* The lawmaker says students already take exams to assess how much they’ve learned. The same tests could be used to ascertain whether students are ready to graduate. The exams also offer a way to evaluate teacher performance and increase the credibility of high school diplomas in Missouri…
The Daily Caller, quoting a story from World Net Daily, reports an incident at Lumberton High School in Lumberton, Texas, in which female students were encouraged to dress in burqas and students were taught that Islamist terrorists are “freedom fighters,” Yahoo! News reports. According to the Daily Caller account, students in a world geography class at Lumberton High dressed in Islamic clothing, were taught that Islamist terrorists are, in fact, “freedom fighters,” and were told that problems afflicting Egypt were brought about by “democracy” but are now being fixed by the current Muslim Brotherhood regime, based apparently on a Washington Post article. Lumberton High School is located in the town of Lumberton in Hardin County near Beaumont in East Texas. The population of the town is 92.9 percent white, 4.7 percent Hispanic, 0.7 percent Asian, 0.4 percent African American, 0.3 percent Native American, 0.9 percent mixed race, and .04 percent “other.” The number of Muslims who live in the town is not listed. The Washington Times reports that State Sen. Dan Patrick, the chairman of the Texas Senate Education Committee, has promised an investigation of the incident. Patrick suggested that the lesson was “anti-American” since it seemed to denigrate democracy as well as being discriminatory against Christians, since a view of Islam was taught in Lumberton High School but that Christianity was not……Read More
Hawaii’s school teachers have their work cut out for them. Hawaii’s kids continue to lag behind national averages on standardized tests for reading, science, and math, says a commentator for Yahoo! News. The school teachers have been working without a contract for more than 17 months due to multiple failed contract negotiations. Out of frustration, and in order to try and force a resolution to the standoff, some schools have adopted the “work to the rule” concept. They work from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., and that’s it. One of the issues with the contract negotiations is teacher salary. On the surface it looks like the teachers are well paid, with a starting salary of about $45,000 per year. But upon closer examination, all is not as it seems. In a comparison among the 50 states based on a “salary comfort index,” Hawaii’s teachers ranked 50 out of 50. This ranking means that, based on the salary earned, Hawaii’s teachers’ standard of living is the worst out of all 50 states……Read More
In a matter that affects the most populous state, California, the Obama Administration and the Department of Homeland Security are getting behind changes that would pave the way for highly educated and skilled foreign students in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) to remain in the United States after earning their advanced degrees here, says a commentator for Yahoo! News. Currently, our nation’s leading universities — including many in California — seek to enroll exceptionally bright students but then lose them to competing nations with more relaxed immigration laws. This anomaly was once again mentioned in President Obama’s inaugural address. Calling it a “Startup Visa,” it is a step forward by the DHS to ensure that the United States has the world’s most highly skilled workforce. Talented graduates are sorely needed by American employers, who indicate that there simply are not enough Americans of this caliber to fill all the roles necessary……Read More
In an early bid for Father of the Year, a Miami police detective allowed his 10-year-old daughter to use three drug-sniffing dogs and an ounce of cocaine for a science fair project, Yahoo! News reports. Douglas Bartelt, a detective with the Miami-Dade Police Narcotics Bureau, provided his daughter, Emma, with three detector canines and 28 grams of cocaine (street value: approximately $1,300) for her entry into Coral Gables Preparatory Academy’s annual science fair. Not surprisingly, she won.
“The purpose for this scientific investigation was to find which dog would find the cocaine fastest using it’s [sic] sense of smell,” the fourth grader wrote in the abstract for her project, entitled “Drug Sniffing Dogs…