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links for 2010-06-15

  • Authors: Jacob L. Vigdor, Helen F. Ladd

    Abstract quote: Using within-student variation in home computer access, and across-ZIP code variation in the timing of the introduction of high-speed internet service, we also demonstrate that the introduction of home computer technology is associated with modest but statistically significant and persistent negative impacts on student math and reading test scores. Further evidence suggests that providing universal access to home computers and high-speed internet access would broaden, rather than narrow, math and reading achievement gaps.

  • Quote:"researchers looked at the questionnaires filled out by public school students in North Carolina — nearly 1 million of them between 2000 and 2005 — in which students report time spent on homework, time spent watching TV, time spent using home computers for homework as well as other data to gauge broadband access to their homes, which expanded substantially in those years.

    “Students who gain access to a home computer between fifth and eighth grades tend to witness a persistent decline in reading and math tests,” they conclude. The effect is modest, they say, but statistically significant. Other studies, they say, are finding similarly discouraging results.

    // That's hilarious.

  • Quote:"But according to many academics, industry claims about whiteboards are not based on rigorous academic studies. One frequently cited study, conducted by Marzano Research Laboratory and funded by Promethean, surveyed 85 teachers who volunteered to teach a lesson of their choice to two classes, one with the whiteboard, one without. The teachers then gave a test of their own design, with results showing an average 17-point gain in classrooms with whiteboards. "It's a suggestive study — you can't conclude anything," said Steve Ross, an education professor at Johns Hopkins University. "And that's being generous."

    Even the study's author, Robert Marzano, noted that 23 percent of the teachers reported higher test scores without the whiteboard, and some reported lower scores using it. "It looks like whiteboards can be used in a way that can lull teachers into not using what we consider good instructional strategies," Marzano said in an interview.

  • // Computers bad for learnin'
  • Quote:"Dryman had been one step ahead of the law since 1951 when he avoided the hangman's noose, a relic of frontier justice still in use at the time.

    Less than 20 years later he was out on parole. Not content with that good fortune, he skipped out and evaded authorities for four decades. After a while he even forgot about hiding and signed up for V.A. benefits from his days in the Navy in 1948.

    (tags: crime law)
  • Quote:"On an IQ test using 100 as the average or norm, one standard deviation is 15 points. So if a child took the test within a week of a local murder, his or her score was 7-8 points lower on average than the score of a similar child in a similar neighborhood where there was no murder.

    This fits in with what is known about the effects of post traumatic stress, Sharkey said. "The results suggest that children may carry the burden of violence with them as they take part in daily life within the neighborhood or school settings," he said.


    The effects wear off after a week to nine days, Sharkey found. But in areas with a lot of crime, this does not provide much relief.

    // Huh.