NY Education

RFP Posted: Alternate Assessment fo...

RFP Posted: Alternate Assessment for New York State Students with Severe Cognitive Disabilities

The New York State Education Department (NYSED), Office of State Assessment (OSA), seeks proposals for the New York State Alternate Assessment (NYSAA) for English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics (Service 1), and separately for Science and Social Studies (Service 2). The NYSAA in ELA and Mathematics is administered to students each year in Grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. The NYSAA in Science is administered to students in Grades 4 and 8 and once in high school. The NYSAA in Social Studies is administered to students once in high school.
RFP Posted: Continuing the Developm...

RFP Posted: Continuing the Development of State Assessments in Elementary–and Intermediate–Level English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics Measuring the Common Core State Standards

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) is seeking proposals to continue the development of tests in English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics in Grades 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 for multiple school years as defined in this RFP.
RFP Posted: Transition Services Pro...

RFP Posted: Transition Services Professional Development Support Center (PDSC)

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) P-12: Office of Special Education is seeking proposals for the Transition Services Professional Development Support Center (PDSC).
NYSED P-12 Guidance: Public Health ...

NYSED P-12 Guidance: Public Health and Education Laws Require Schools to Follow State Requirements for Vaccinations

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBE-WL) is seeking proposals to operate eight (8) Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBE-RN) technical assistance support centers in the State, which will include seven (7) regional RBE-RN technical assistance support centers and one (1) Statewide Language RBE-RN.
RFP Posted: Regional Bilingual Educ...

RFP Posted: Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBE-RN)

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) Office of Bilingual Education and World Languages (OBE-WL) is seeking proposals to operate eight (8) Regional Bilingual Education Resource Network (RBE-RN) technical assistance support centers in the State, which will include seven (7) regional RBE-RN technical assistance support centers and one (1) Statewide Language RBE-RN.
Funding Opportunity: 2015-16 Reward...

Funding Opportunity: 2015-16 Reward School Dissemination Grants

Funding for Title I Reward Schools to disseminate best practices, mentor low performing schools, and refine and enhance the Reward School’s own best practices.

InsidehigherEd

Essay on staying healthy on a crowd...

Essay on staying healthy on a crowded campus

Eszter Hargittai shares tips, realizing that academics can't isolate themselves from people, some of whom will be sneezing and coughing.

How universities might use MOOCs to...

How universities might use MOOCs to encourage online teaching (essay)

In the second part of a series on the influence of MOOCs on faculty behavior, Marie Norman offers suggestions for how administrators can use the courses to encourage professors to teach online.

How MOOCs can develop good (and bad...

How MOOCs can develop good (and bad) teaching habits (essay)

Teaching massive open online courses can encourage instructors? good (and bad) habits. Marie Norman explores how we can use what we learn to improve teaching.

Essay on how academics can gain con...

Essay on how academics can gain control of their e-mail and their time

Kerry Ann Rockquemore writes that you can gain control of your e-mail and your time, which is essential on the path to tenure.

Essay on pregnancy issues in academ...

Essay on pregnancy issues in academic job searches

Joseph Barber considers the questions about when a job candidate may want to reveal and what to say.

Advice for department chairs on man...

Advice for department chairs on managing conflict (essay)

Academic departments can encounter conflict from many angles, and it can undermine chairs if they don't manage it well. Patricia Price and Scott Newman offer advice on how they can do so.

BBC News Education

Science 'squeezed out of primaries'

Science 'squeezed out of primaries'

Science is being squeezed out of English primary schools, with a third not providing the recommended two hours of teaching a week, research suggests.
Clever girls lack science confidenc...

Clever girls lack science confidence

Girls still lack confidence in pursuing high-paid careers in science and technology, even when their school results are as good or better than boys, says an international study.
Teachers 'give higher marks to girl...

Teachers 'give higher marks to girls'

Teachers are more lenient in their marking of girls' schoolwork, according to an international study.
Exam changes 'risk school problems'

Exam changes 'risk school problems'

Head teachers warn the overhaul of the exam system is likely to cause significant problems for schools.
University bosses earning £260,000

University bosses earning £260,000

While university leaders want to keep £9,000 fees, a lecturers' union survey shows that vice-chancellors are earning up to £623,000 per year.
Delay school start and 'miss a year...

Delay school start and 'miss a year'

Parents of summer-born children are being told they could miss a year of secondary school if they delay their start at primary, MPs are told.

US Govt Dept of Education

Overcoming Challenges through Perse...

Overcoming Challenges through Perseverance and the Arts

The Importance of Early Education f...

The Importance of Early Education for All

It?s time for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. There?s no doubt change is necessary to ensure our children?s civil rights to a high quality education. While the media has focused on the annual assessments mandated by NCLB as being key, I want to highlight another critical improvement needed: high-quality preschool. We are a family that can speak to the benefits of high-quality preschool for every child. We have lived in the north, south, east, and west. Our whole lives have been about education and overcoming struggle and ?the odds.?
What Teachers Read in February

What Teachers Read in February

Here are the top 10 stories teachers read this month, based on clicks from one of our most popular newsletters, The Teachers Edition.
Visit to Virginia Elementary School...

Visit to Virginia Elementary School Underscores Commitment to Early Ed

U.S. Department of Education to End...

U.S. Department of Education to End Contracts with Several Private Collection Agencies

Following a review of 22 private collection agencies, the U.S. Department of Education announced today that it will wind down contracts with five private collection agencies that were providing inaccurate information to borrowers. The five companies are: Coast Professional, Enterprise Recovery Systems, National Recoveries, Pioneer Credit Recovery, and West Asset Management.
New Guidance to Help Protect Studen...

New Guidance to Help Protect Student Privacy in Educational Sites and Apps

When signing up for a new technology, digital service, or app, there?s a simple little check box near the end that most of us don?t give much thought. But for schools and districts, agreeing to a terms of service agreement could have big implications for student privacy.

Yahoo

Kansas bill targets teachers who ex...

Kansas bill targets teachers who expose kids to 'harmful' materials

Sparked by a middle-school sex education poster to which a parent objected, the bill is one of a series of battles ? in Kansas and beyond ? over such curriculum and the roles of parents and educators in determining what?s appropriate. Supporters see the bill as a protection to children in a society where pornographic images and mature sexual language are increasingly common. Opponents say it would not only restrict sex education, but would have a chilling effect on the teaching of literature and other subjects where issues of sexuality come into play. It would now also apply to public institutions, and would remove the ?affirmative defense? protections for K-12 teachers.
Lawmakers review bill to allow conc...

Lawmakers review bill to allow concealed guns at colleges

Nevada lawmakers heard hours of testimony Thursday on a deeply divisive bill that would allow concealed weapons at college campuses, K-12 schools, day care centers and airports. The Assembly Committee ...
Lawmakers reviewing bill to allow c...

Lawmakers reviewing bill to allow concealed guns at colleges

Nevada lawmakers are again considering a bill that would allow concealed weapons at college campuses, K-12 schools, daycare centers and airports. The Assembly Committee on Judiciary will hold a hearing ...
Where to Net Scholarships for Women...

Where to Net Scholarships for Women at All Levels of Higher Education

Since the first International Women's Day in 1911, one of those enduring achievements has been the effort to increase the number of women graduating from college. The Stephen Bufton Memorial Educational Fund is the national education fund of the American Business Women's Association, and it offers nearly a dozen annual scholarships and essay contests. Whatever your major or grade level, the SBMEF scholarship listing should be one of the first places you check. Another women-in-business organization, Executive Women International, also sponsors a sizable scholarship.
Two California teachers plead not g...

Two California teachers plead not guilty in sex with student case

By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Two Los Angeles-area teachers pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges they provided cocaine and alcohol to underage students on a beach camping trip where one of the instructors had sex with a 17-year-old boy, prosecutors said. Melody Suzanne Lippert, 38, and Michelle Louise Ghirelli, 30, joined about five students on camping trips at San Clemente Beach in Orange County during Thanksgiving and winter breaks last year, said Orange County Deputy District Attorney Kristin Bracic. Prosecutors say the two teachers provided the teens with alcohol, cocaine and marijuana, and that Ghirelli had sex with the 17-year-old boy. The two teachers, who are free on bail, were arrested in January in a case that gained prominence after one of their colleagues, a teacher at South Hills High School in suburban West Covina, came to their defense on social media and was suspended by his school district for appearing to blame the students involved.
California Republicans take on teac...

California Republicans take on teachers' union in package of education bills

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California Republican lawmakers on Wednesday announced a package of bills to dramatically change the way public school teachers are hired, fired and evaluated, embracing controversial education reforms in the most populous U.S. state. The bills, which put the Assembly's Republican minority on a collision course with the state's powerful teachers union, are the first in a series of policy initiatives planned under the caucus' new leader, Assembly member Kristin Olsen of Modesto. The package would enshrine into law several reforms called for by plaintiffs in a lawsuit, Vergara v California, that last year led a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to declare unconstitutional several laws meant to protect teachers' jobs. The California Teachers Association slammed the package, saying it was a response to a court case that is still under appeal.

Independent

New university aims to attract wome...

New university aims to attract women into engineering

Plans for the UK?s first newly built university for three decades will be unveiled today ? specialising in engineering and aiming for women to comprise half of all its students and teaching staff.

Quakers go to war over ?bellicose? ...

Quakers go to war over ?bellicose? school pack that promotes 'pro-military values'

The Government has been accused of helping indoctrinate children with pro-military values through a new schools pack aimed at promoting the armed forces.

Half of parents in some areas denie...

Half of parents in some areas denied first choice of school

Nearly half of parents in some parts of the country have had their first choice of secondary school rejected, with families in inner cities faring the worst.

Labour demands pledge that Coalitio...

Labour demands pledge that Coalition will not raise tuition fees beyond £9,000

Ed Miliband challenged David Cameron and Nick Clegg last night to pledge that they will not raise tuition fees beyond £9,000.

British values 'are more than pictu...

British values 'are more than pictures of the Queen,' says shadow Education Secretary

Schools should be more sophisticated about the way they teach British values, Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt said yesterday. Too many just rely on sticking up pictures of the Queen and double-decker buses in the school hall, he told the London Festival of Education conference in London.

Give girls career advice before the...

Give girls career advice before the age of 10, says shadow Education Secretary

Girls should start careers lessons from the age of seven to encourage them to become more ambitious, Labour?s shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt said yesterday.

Education Week

Hillary Clinton's K-12 Record Could...

Hillary Clinton's K-12 Record Could Be Campaign Fodder

Decades of policy work could offer rivals plenty to critique should the former first lady, senator, and secretary of state make a run for the White House in 2016.
Study: Twitter Discourse Reveals De...

Study: Twitter Discourse Reveals Deeper Rifts on Common Core

Researchers found that while social media gave parents a bigger voice in the debate, it also led to a "proxy war" over common standards.
More than 1M Illinois students to t...

More than 1M Illinois students to take new standardized test

Missouri panel OKs bill for sports ...

Missouri panel OKs bill for sports for homeschooled students

Wyoming Senate advances bill to all...

Wyoming Senate advances bill to allow guns in schools

Ala. Supreme Court: Tax credit for ...

Ala. Supreme Court: Tax credit for private-school parents OK

Educause

The Role of Campus Leadership in En...

The Role of Campus Leadership in Ensuring IT Accessibility

“Everyone should have an opportunity to participate in higher education.”

With those words, Michael K. Young, President of the University of Washington, opens a new video from his institution’s AccessComputing Project, IT Accessibility: What Campus Leaders Have to Say. Developed with support from the National Science Foundation, this video presents university presidents, chief information officers, and other higher education leaders who stress the importance to higher education of accessibility for persons with disabilities, and of having campus technology environments that support it.

read more

The Game is Changing. What Will Be ...

The Game is Changing. What Will Be Expected of You?

“When we were doing our studies for the National Academies, the typical first response of university presidents or CFOs or provosts was to say: ‘I understand things are changing very rapidly, but I'll ask my CIO to take care of it. The CIO usually can.’ We would then ask: ‘Suppose you wake up in the morning and come in to your office and nothing works anymore. You can't access e-mail. All of your course systems have collapsed. Who fixes the problem?’ They begin to scratch their heads, and pretty soon it's like the five phases of grief. They start off with denial and anger, move through bargaining and depression, and finally reach acceptance.” — James J. Duderstadt, Change and the Research University

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The Top-Ten IT Issues, 2012

The Top-Ten IT Issues, 2012

EDUCAUSE Top 10 IT Issues, 2012

The EDUCAUSE annual publication of top IT issues has long resonated as a yearly snapshot of the most pressing issues for IT leaders in higher education. At the top of list for 2012:

Updating IT professionals’ skills and roles to accommodate emerging technologies and changing IT management and service delivery models Supporting the trends toward IT consumerization and bring-your-own device Developing an institution-wide cloud strategy

 

Below are the EDUCAUSE Review article summarizing the IT Issues Panel's findings for 2012 and accompanying resources.

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Tune In June 5 -- Rolling Out a BYO...

Tune In June 5 -- Rolling Out a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program

This free hour-long session, “Rolling Out a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Program,” will offer ideas, sample policy statements and guidelines, and lessons learned for campuses interested in implementing a BYOD strategy for mobile devices on campus.

Those unable to attend may wish to visit the archives after the event or browse related resources.

Interact on Twitter at #EDULive.

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Get Involved with EDUCAUSE -- Volun...

Get Involved with EDUCAUSE -- Volunteer Submissions Are Due June 1

As someone who has a vested interest in higher education IT, you are part of a dynamic and close-knit community where we share new ideas, network with peers, and work toward the common good of the profession.

EDUCAUSE provides opportunities to be an active member by volunteering in a variety of roles, either short- or long-term, throughout the year. These opportunities include:

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Is Agile the Future of Project Mana...

Is Agile the Future of Project Management?

Gartner predicts that by the end of 2012, agile development methods will be used on 80 percent of all software development projects. Project Management Institute’s research shows that agile project management tripled from December 2008 to May 2011, and can help decrease product defects, improve team productivity, and increase business value.

Read the latest article release on agile project management from the Project Management Institute.

To help you apply project management processes at your organization, EDUCAUSE members have access to a selection of professional development resources:

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Huffingtonpost.com

Why Athletes Go Broke and What We C...

Why Athletes Go Broke and What We Can Do About It

Once you begin to play sports seriously, you will most likely spend a lot of time at it. Between games, practice and weight training, more time than you think will be spent striving to become a better player. Because of this, there's a good chance you'll have little time left for anything else.

In 2009, Sports Illustrated did a study of former NFL and NBA players.

This is what the study showed:

After only 2 years of retirement, 78 percent of NFL players were either broke or struggling financially. Within 5 years of retirement, 60 percent of NBA players are broke.

To me, these statistics are staggering. How does a person make millions of dollars over his career, yet go broke within five years of leaving his sport? How is this even possible?

The reason this happens though, is because these athletes have no idea what to do outside of their sport. Their minds are so hard-wired for training and practicing, they don't cultivate themselves in other areas of expertise. They spend the prime years of their lives training to be world class athletes, yet they don't realize that they have over 40 years left to live once their careers are over.

This is why you will hear from everybody to get an education. And if you have the opportunity to get one, make the most of it. I know lots of athletes who receive a college scholarship, yet get terrible grades or do something to get into trouble. It's hard enough to receive a college scholarship of any kind. But when you receive that scholarship and blow it all away? That's the worst possible thing you can do.

Excel in school, but you can only learn so much from the classes you take. Learn about lots of different subjects and become an expert in what you are passionate about. Read books, magazines, listen to audio books and start to cultivate your mind early, because the life cycle of most athletes ends at age 25 -- maybe age 30, if you are really good.

However, the life expectancy of a human is over 70 years. After 25 years of playing a sport, you will have at least 45 years left to live. You can ask lots of athletes who have played professionally, and they will say they never thought their careers would end. They thought they would be in the NBA for 10 to 15 years and couldn't even fathom their careers ending.

The average NBA career is less than 3 years, and a player can get injured at any moment or be called into the coach's office and told he is being released from the team. Unless another team picks that player up, he is without a job. This is the career of a professional athlete. It is unstable, ever-changing, risky and short-lived.

My advice: Prepare yourself in all aspects of your life so you don't become a one-dimensional person.

Sports Set Our Kids up for Success ...

Sports Set Our Kids up for Success -- but WE Must Follow Through

There are many reasons why sports are so valuable for our children to play, no matter what age those children may be. Of course, helping kids develop and maintain physical fitness is one extremely important reason why kids should play sports. Playing sports helps kids stay healthy. In an age of almost epidemic numbers of people suffering from diseases and physical ailments related to obesity or not being at their optimal weight, the more opportunities for kids to be healthy and fit, the better it is for all.

On top of the physical benefits, there are many other reasons why kids should play sports, probably too many to cover in a single blog post. We have all heard it many times now, but sports can teach kids so many valuable life lessons. As coaches, many of us focus on intentionally teaching those life lessons to the young people in our care. The booklet and presentation by the same name, Life Lessons for Athletes, by Bruce Brown, the director of Proactive Coaching, highlights 10 behavioral characteristics that we should be helping kids to learn, understand and develop, not only for their involvement in sports, but for all aspects of their lives. The 10 characteristics are:

1. Integrity 2. Teachable Spirit 3. Academic Responsibility 4. Confidence 5. Accountability/ Work Habits 6. Discipline 7. Mental Toughness 8. Pride/Humility 9. Leadership 10. Selflessness

While there are certainly more things that playing sports can teach young people, this list is a prime example of many of the qualities and characteristics we can help young people learn by being involved in sports.

However, there is an extremely important caveat to this. In order for us to make sure that sports are teaching young people these things, we must make sure that we are intentional and purposeful about teaching them to our student-athletes. So often we hear people say that sports teach character, but when we look at the games that kids (and adults) are playing, we do not see examples of great character -- and all too often we see the exact opposite. Just because a child runs around on a soccer field or a basketball court for two hours, it does not mean that s/he will learn how to be a better person or learn the value of working hard or any of the other elements on the list above. In fact, too often children are taught (whether intentionally or not) how not to behave. Oftentimes children learn how not to behave from the example of the people who should be teaching them the right way to behave -- coaches and parents. But when coaches (and parents) intentionally design lessons and practice plans that include various elements of character, sportsmanship and life lessons, and then go out and work on those things with their teams, children have a much better chance of learning many positive lessons from their involvement in sports.

So how can coaches and athletic administrators do this? It's quite simple -- incorporate into your practice plans daily or weekly themes and lessons that you will teach. This can be done for 10 or 15 minutes prior to or after practice, where you take a theme of the week (for instance, something on the list above) and you read a paragraph or two about that theme and then discuss it. It is helpful to have some quotes by famous (and not-so-famous) people about that quality and discuss those quotes with players. Some of my favorite moments as a coach have been those 15-minute lessons I have had with my teams, to hear how certain ideas or quotes have affected certain players, and to hear the discussions that were then spawned because of it. This can be a very powerful part of any team's season.

However, it doesn't end there. If we take 15 minutes for four days in a week to discuss sportsmanship or poise, and then in the game on Friday night, I act like a raving lunatic at every call I disagree with, or I run the score up on a much weaker opponent, the 15-minute lessons were worthless -- and possibly even damaging. We must go out and live by the very principles and lessons we are trying to espouse. During the week when we cover sportsmanship, for instance, I will set up moments in practice (that the players don't know are coming) that will test our sportsmanship. I have purposefully made bad calls in scrimmages to see how we handle ourselves and then stopped the scrimmage to address the right or wrong response that we saw.

Sports can be extremely valuable in the growth and development of young people. However, it is up to us as the adults to do everything we can to make sure that what we want them to learn and enjoy from the experience are the very things that we are teaching them.

For more information on Proactive Coaching, visit www.proactivecoaching.info or check out their Facebook page.

This blog post is part of a series curated by the editors of HuffPost's The Tackle on the importance of youth sports. To see all the other posts in the series, click here. Join the conversation on Twitter and tell us why you feel sports are important for youth with #TheTackle.
Gender Fluid Generation: Evolving G...

Gender Fluid Generation: Evolving Gender Norms at School

2015-03-06-1425608182-1918305-IMG_0200.jpg Originally published on Youthradio.org, the premier source for youth generated news throughout the globe. By: Nanette Thompson The first time I learned that gender could be fluid was in sex ed in the 9th grade. I remember the teacher mumbling under her breath that some people don't identify their gender with the biological sex they were born with. At the time it didn't phase me because I'd never known anyone who'd talked about it or felt that way. But now, three years later, I have a 16-year-old classmate who's trans. His name is Jace McDonald. "That is the name I have chosen," said Jace. "It's what my parents would have named me if I was born biologically male." Jace McDonald was born female. But says he always knew there was something different about him. He didn't like so called girl things, and more than that, he felt like a boy. At 13, he started identifying as transgender, and has become something of an activist. "Never ask someone who's trans what their real name is," he said. "That is so offensive. My real name is Jace. And my birth name is none of your business." 2015-03-06-1425608796-6265272-IMG_0217.jpg Jace McDonald laughs with classmates in his high school drama class. He says it's one of the places he feels most at ease. "People in general need to have a place where they feel safe and where they can be themselves," he says. Photo Credit: Teresa Chin/Youth Radio> Jace has thick glasses and short brown hair, and he's outspoken at school. One time in English class when a teacher stumbled over gender terminology, Jace stepped in to clarify and ended up teaching a whole lesson himself. He sometimes finds himself fed up. "High school is hard enough as it is," he said." High school as someone who is non-gender conforming just makes it harder. How many times today am I going to be called a girl?" In many ways, it seems like gender non-conformity awareness is at all-time high. Last week Congressman Mike Honda announced via Twitter that he was the "proud grandpa of a transgender grandchild." And according to new polling out last month, young people increasingly see gender as not just limited to male and female. But the torchbearers of gender fluidity aren't just celebrities or politicians, but kids. But schools are still catching up with the needs of gender nonconforming students. Last year, California's first law protecting gender nonconforming students went into effect. It gives Jace the right to use the bathroom of his choice. Last month, Jace and I walked down the hall of the high school that we both attend. He stopped and pointed to set of doors that are our main bathrooms on campus. He says when he uses the bathroom between classes that kids occasionally give him strange looks. "So if I walk in there are there are people already in there, I'm more likely to hold it and just go to my next class," he said. It seems rough, but Jace says this is way better than he used to have it. He's a junior now, and this is his first year at my school. He's gone to two other high schools and left because he was taunted and called names like tranny. He says, the schools didn't let him use the boy's bathroom, and insisted on keeping his birth name on the roster. At my school, he says he finally feels safe. 2015-03-06-1425608472-6102371-IMG_621516.jpg Third grader Tomás Rocha, 8, in the hallway of his elementary school. Tomás is often asked if he is a boy or a girl. "Sometimes I say, does it really matter?" he says. Photo Credit: Brett Myers/Youth Radio> Just a few towns away at Malcolm X Elementary School, teachers start addressing gender identity at a young age, with the goal of making school more safe and inclusive. One of the students there, third Grader Tomás Rocha has shoulder length hair and long bangs. He's wearing a turquoise My Little Pony t-shirt  with black flats. A lot of days he wears dresses, and last year he started using the girls bathroom. Tomás says people regularly ask him if he's a boy or a girl. "I just really think i'm really both," said Tomás. "I really don't care what people call me . Sometimes I say I'm a girl. Sometimes I say I'm a boy. Sometimes I say does it really matter?" However, it mattered to his mom Amy. She struggled with Tomás's gender bending. And at first hoped it was a phase. "His first grade teacher told me that, 'Yeah I don't know if this is a phase,'" she said. "And so that scared me because I wanted it to be a phase, because I didn't want to have to have my child hurt. I wanted him to be what society wants a baby boy to be like when they're born. You know, tough and want to play sports." Her concerns came from her fear of Tomás  might get bullied.It's something Tomás's teacher Julia Beers also thinks about. Beers was Tomás' second grade teacher last year -- the first year he started wearing dresses to school. When students question Tomás, Beers tries to assume the best -- that her students are curious and not trying to be mean. Like when she overhears a student say to Tomás, "Did you know you were wearing a dress to school today?" "If a student is laughing for example, I might say,  'Hmm what are you thinking when you laugh like that?'" she said. "And by opening up that question, it can often help that student kinda dig deeper and realize 'It just seems weird' or 'I feel uncomfortable' or 'I've just never seen someone do that before.'" According to the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, 82 percent of transgender young people say they don't feel safe at school.  Struggles, like the ones my high school classmate Jace has been through, are the norm. For Tomás though, his elementary school's efforts seem to be working. His mom says his grades and behavior improved after he was given more freedom to be himself. Youth Radio/Youth Media International (YMI) is youth-driven converged media production company that delivers the best youth news, culture and undiscovered talent to a cross section of audiences. To read more youth news from around the globe and explore high quality audio and video features, visit Youthradio.org
Brown University Shuts Down Date Ra...

Brown University Shuts Down Date Rape Investigation After Botched Lab Results

Brown University in February dropped an investigation into whether a male student slipped date rape drugs into a woman's drink at a fraternity party, and found another male student not responsible for sexually assaulting one of the two women who drank from it, documents obtained this week by The Huffington Post show. The university blamed the labs it hired to test for the drugs for providing faulty toxicology reports, and earlier this week announced it would lower the sanctions against Phi Kappa Psi, the fraternity where the drugging allegedly took place. Brown University is already under federal investigation by the U.S. Department of Education into how it handles sexual violence on campus. Both men and women have come forward to accuse the school in Providence, Rhode Island, of failing to adequately punish offenders. And now, the messy handling of the drugging investigation has left alleged victims angry they were denied a hearing, while the fraternity is accusing the school of unjustly punishing it. Two women, who asked to remain anonymous, say their drink was spiked with a date rape drug at a Phi Psi fraternity party on Oct. 17, 2014. A female senior had asked a male student for her own drink instead of the punch being served at the party because she was concerned about her food allergies. Both she and her friend, a junior who drank from the same cup, say they felt physical effects immediately and remember struggling to move on their own. The junior said a separate male student, not from the fraternity, sexually assaulted her after the party. The women reported the alleged drugging and assault to the university on Oct. 18. Brown opened an investigation, collecting hair and urine samples from the women to be sent to two labs to be tested for date rape drugs, such as gamma hydroxybutyric acid (GHB). Carlson Company was contracted to conduct a hair test on the female student with the allergies, and Lifespan Laboratories to conduct a urine analysis on her friend who had reported being sexually assaulted. By the end of November, both tests had come back concluding GHB was present in the women, according to toxicology reports reviewed by The Huffington Post. But the results were put in doubt in December after the student accused of drugging the women had his own expert review the toxicology reports, according to university documents and emails. That student obtained a court injunction on the hearing that month; the school then dropped the charges in February, school records show. Upon further review from independent experts, the school decided in February the toxicology results were "inconclusive" because the labs had not followed proper testing protocols. It cut in half the four-year suspension in it had given Phi Psi in January, when it deemed the fraternity had "facilitated" conditions leading to sexual violence. On Feb. 23, Phi Psi started distributing on campus and to media outlets a statement that raised doubts about the results of one GHB test and said the second came back ?conclusively negative.? This is untrue, and members did not respond to request for comment on the inaccuracy. The women question Brown's decision to drop conduct charges, since they say the university told them their testimony was credible enough to at least hold a hearing. Other students who have been involved in the student conduct process say hearings are often held based on complainant and witness testimony, and questioned whether the investigation was derailed by a conflict of interest. "There was a concern raised because the individual who allegedly administered the GHB at the party, his father is a member of Brown's corporation and donated a lot of money to the school," said Katie Byron, a senior and member of the university's sexual assault task force. Two other students with knowledge of the case made the same claim, but would not go on the record with the accused student's name due to fear of retaliation. The alleged victims also question why Brown chose Carlson Company, since it's just a third party that doesn't actually do any testing and because it has a history of problems. Carlson did not respond to request for comment. Lifespan said privacy laws prevent it from saying anything. Brown also declined to comment, citing federal privacy law. The school said in a statement on Sunday that Brown "regret[s] that the testing in this matter has become a point of controversy." "This case has been complicated and difficult," wrote Vice President for Campus Life Margaret Klawunn and Executive Vice President for Planning and Policy Russell Carey. "The University had not previously been presented with a credible report of students being served a drink mixed with a date rape drug. We have learned a great deal from the investigation of these matters." In February, Brown found a second student not responsible for sexually assaulting one of the women that reported being roofied at the frat party. The alleged assault victim was told her inconsistent memory made it difficult to conclude the male student was guilty. "Even sober people can trip on pavement at night," the university wrote in an appeal decision to the complainant, in response to her description of being unable to walk properly that night. Brown confirmed that her having trouble with unlocking a door and needing to lean against the wall is "an even clearer manifestation of diminished motor skills." However, the school could not determine whether she was so intoxicated that the accused should have "reasonably known" she was not capable of giving consent. Since she only had "flash memories" of not being able to move during the incident, the university added, it was difficult for her to effectively contradict the accused student's version of events. The alleged victim said she feels she was in a no-win situation. She can't provide a full recollection of the night because, as she believes, she was drugged. At least one witness from the night of the alleged drugging still believes the women had their drinks spiked. A roommate of the woman with the allergies has worked as an EMT for a year and said he checked her vital signs after she stumbled home from the Phi Psi party. "Her vital signs and her behavior that night were not at all symptoms of alcohol and I'm very confident of that," said the roommate, who requested anonymity to avoid identifying the alleged victim. "It was not alcohol given to her."
School Breakfast Is Just the Beginn...

School Breakfast Is Just the Beginning

"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." Those words of Francis of Assisi came to mind as schools around the country celebrated National School Breakfast Week this past week. School breakfast is a great starting point for many schools when it comes to improving the health and wellness of kids. And for good reason. By now the facts are well established that breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day and has far-reaching physical and educational benefits for students. Studies link school breakfast to improved health, concentration, alertness, behavior and academic performance. School breakfast is the epitome of doing what's necessary to set up students for success and simultaneously help fight chronic hunger for millions of children who rely on school meals for vital nutrition. There are good things to celebrate this National School Breakfast Week, including the gains in school breakfast participation rates over the years and the innovation that has helped spur that participation. According to the Food Research Action Council's latest School Breakfast Scorecard, an average of 13.2 million children ate school breakfast each school day during the 2013-2014 school year, and almost 85 percent of those students were low-income and qualified for free or reduced-priced meals, a record-high for low-income students participating in the School Breakfast Program. Key to increasing participation have been expanded universal school breakfast and alternative school breakfast programs, like breakfast in the classroom, grab-and-go breakfast and breakfast after the bell, which offer breakfast to kids outside of the traditional cafeteria environment and meet them where they are in the morning. These tactics help to address many obstacles to delivering school breakfast to the kids who need it most, from reducing the stigma associated with eating free breakfast to feeding kids who can't arrive early enough for breakfast in the cafeteria. They may even allow kids to simultaneously eat and do work at the start of the day -- the kid's equivalent of a deskfast. Something so good for the brain is truly a no-brainer. We know school breakfast works. It's necessary, it's possible and it helps make academic success possible for students. Teachers, principals, food service directors and school nurses who have received grants from us for their school breakfast programs report increased attention, better behavior and fewer visits to the nurse's offices for hunger pains, among other outcomes. Cathy Kantrell, a teacher at George Washington High School in San Francisco told us, "The grab-and-go breakfast opportunity is one of the best successes I've experienced in 38 years of teaching." Unfortunately, the program remains underutilized, as evidenced by the fact that about half the students eligible for reduced-price or free school lunch are participating in the school breakfast program. The more that is done to expand these programs, through the Community Eligibility Provision and alternative school breakfast, for example, the more likely we can reach the seemingly impossible goal of ensuring all hungry kids eat a nutritious breakfast at the start of the day. There are many other seemingly impossible goals when it comes to school health, wellness and learning. So while we celebrate accomplishments during National School Breakfast Week, we should also be looking at and helping schools address the bigger picture of school wellness, which includes physical activity, physical education classes, nutrition education, school gardens, school snacks and many other touch points throughout the school day. To achieve these goals, schools must take a serious look at their local school wellness plans and work to update them with community partners. Once a school's plan is in place, it can work with all stakeholders, from staff to parents to students and community groups, to implement it in ways that are unique to its needs. Healthy eating and daily physical activity for all students is necessary and possible, a concept which brings to mind another famous quote: Where there's a will, there's a way. 2015-03-05-1425597136-9240245-WA_Hoquiam_EmersonBIC4.JPG
Why Our Kids Don't Love School Anym...

Why Our Kids Don't Love School Anymore

On a weekend in December, I took a borrowed camera and lights and headed out to Montclair, New Jersey. All weekend long, one after another, public school parents and students tromped down the stairs to Christine McGoey's basement. McGoey, a member of the parent activist group Montclair Cares About Schools (MCAS), had offered up her home and with fellow activist Regina Tuma, assembled a diverse collection of urban and suburbanites, so that I could record their testimony. They wanted to talk about the changes that they were witnessing in their schools and in their children, changes which they believed emanated directly from corporate education reforms, and in particular, the upcoming PARCC Standardized Tests. (PARCC, an acronym for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, is a multi-state consortium that has engaged the testing and publishing behemoth Pearson to create the Common Core-aligned computer-based standardized tests.) Parents and students talked about the dramatic changes in curriculum and a flood of test prep in classes and homework. Some spoke about the massive expenditures for technology and testing materials, as hands-on instructional time declined. Parents of children with special education needs and individualized education plans (IEPs), found the implications of these changes particularly troubling. Many were concerned that the test-obsessed curriculum would undermine their community's focus on equity and desegregation. Most devastating, parent after parent described an insidious slide in the engagement of their children with school. They were all deeply frustrated and fed up with being ignored by policy makers and the media. Getting their story out of the basement and into the larger world is what we did with my borrowed equipment on that cold December weekend.

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Disadvantages of BS/MD Programs

Disadvantages of BS/MD Programs

Despite all of the wonderful advantages associated with BS/MD programs, they are not appropriate for all students. There are several potential disadvantages. Most of the BS/MD programs prohibit a student from applying to medical schools other than the one associated with the program. While this may not seem like much of a disadvantage, medical schools...Continue Reading >

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Advantages of BS/MD Programs

Advantages of BS/MD Programs

There are a number of potential advantages to the student considering a BS/MD program. The obvious advantage is that if you are accepted into a BS/MD program, you no longer have to worry about whether you will be accepted into a medical school. You are accepted. Early acceptance into a BS/MD program can ease your...Continue Reading >

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The New MCAT

The New MCAT

Starting in April 2015 the MCAT is brand new. So what does this mean for those of you who are interested in attending medical school? The biggest practical change is that the MCAT now has four sections vs the three sections of the old MCAT. The new sections are Chemical and Physical Foundations of Biological...Continue Reading >

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3/2 Engineering Programs

3/2 Engineering Programs

We will sometimes have a student interested in a traditional pre-med program also be considering a major in some field of engineering. I have discussed in the past my concerns about majoring in engineering if you want medical school in your future. But for the student who really wants an engineering background, there is another...Continue Reading >

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How Do You Decide Which Colleges to...

How Do You Decide Which Colleges to Visit?

This time of year many high school juniors are thinking about visiting some colleges over the Spring break. But how do you decide which colleges to actually visit? For most students, it isn’t so much about which specific colleges you visit as it is about visiting different types of colleges. Start by visiting colleges near...Continue Reading >

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How Do We Find the Right College fo...

How Do We Find the Right College for You?

We are sometimes asked how we decide on which college to recommend for each student. There are several factors that go into our college recommendations. One of the biggest factors is having the knowledge of hundreds of colleges which we have visited. Kelley and I each visit a number of different colleges around the US every...Continue Reading >

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