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All work and no play: One SOE student’s productive summer

Isa (second from right) with CAST researchers Dr. Carmen Alba, Dr. Grace Meo and Dr. David Rose (Isa’s mentor)

For teachers and students alike, the summer months offer the promise of a respite – a time when reading is picked for reasons of enjoyment rather than assigned, and an afternoon can be spent at the pool rather than in the library. Not all, however, use the months between semesters for purely restful purposes. Summer jobs and internships are a part of the hot months for many, including students here at the SOE.

But as SOE students return to class this fall, few can compare their summer work with that of Ana Isabel  Arathoon (‘Isa’), who is entering her third and final semester as a M.S. in Special Education student.

Isa, on track to finish her degree in just three full semesters with a focus on both early intervention and assistive technology, has big plans for her future, and is wasting no time moving in that direction, even during the  “off’ months of summer. Continue Reading →

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Balfanz headlines “Access to America” forum in North Carolina

Robert Balfanz

Robert Balfanz

SOE researcher Robert Balfanz was one of the headline members of a panel discussion in North Carolina on Monday that discussed the future and vitality of the city of Charlotte, joined by former N.C. Gov. Jim Hunt, Charlotte board of Ed Chair Ericka Ellis-Stewart and Superintendent Heath Morrison.

The discussion, which took place at central Piedmont Community College, was hosted by the Democratic National Convention host committee and was the third in a series of public talks highlighting pathways to success.

Balfanz highlighted the need for the health of public schools and that they would shape the vitality of the city, indicating that it would take a united effort from many groups – government, school, families – to get more students “on the pathway to Adult Success”.

Read more about the talk at the Charlotte Observer.

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Balfanz: Let’s focus on Chronic Absenteeism

Robert Balfanz

Robert Balfanz

SOE research scientist Robert Balfanz co-authored this article for Education Week with Hedy Chang

As states and Congress rethink how to judge a successful school—whether by measuring graduation rates, using standardized-test scores, or judging teacher effectiveness—they should make sure to track another critical piece of information: the number of students missing 20 days or more of school each year.

Obviously, missing so much school is a problem for the absent students: By 3rd grade, the children who missed too much of kindergarten and 1st grade are falling behind in reading, research shows. By 6th grade, chronic absence becomes an early-warning sign that students will drop out of high school.

But these absences also affect other students, when teachers have to slow their instruction to accommodate students who missed lessons the first time they were taught. A study Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader of New York City 4th graders found that even students with good attendance rates had lower standardized-test scores than their peers when they went to schools where nearly 10 percent of students missed class every day. And in districts where state funding is based on attendance, chronic absence also costs schools money .

Continue reading this post at Education Week (Subscription required)

 

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Reports find youth ‘sexting’ not particularly common

Though the lurid nature and protective nature of adults has made it a national story, a pair of recent studies found that illegal actions involving ‘sexting’ (sending illicit photos or videos of oneself via the internet or smart phones, often to classmates) is not particularly widespread.

The studies, published by the University of New Hampshire’s Crimes against Children Research Center, both found relatively low numbers of these incidents. Continue Reading →

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