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AMHA to build Summit Lake center

By John Published: May 27, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Akron's federal housing agency won a $4 million grant to build an Early Childhood/Adult Learning Center in the Summit Lake neighborhood.

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Akron gets $4 million federal grant for preschool

By John Published: May 26, 2011

Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority is one of 10 recipients of a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to build an Early Childhood/Adult Learning Center in the Summit Lake neighborhood.

AMHA says this about the new center:

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Private school enrollment takes hit in bad economy

By John Published: May 26, 2011

Education Week reports on the latest U.S. Department of Education findings on enrollment in private, religious schools.

Overall, private schools served about 10 percent of the nation's kindergarten through 12th-grade students in 2009-2010, down from a high of 12 percent in 1996. During the same period, public school enrollment increased by 2.1 million students, to 49.3 million students, from 2001 to 2009.

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Dyslexic astrophysicists better at finding black holes

By John Published: May 24, 2011

Kurt Fischer who heads the Mind, Brain and Education program at the Harvard Graduate School of Education recently addressed the Swedish parliament about the new discipline linking biology, psychology and education.  

In the first clip, Fischer says kids are learning to read in highly educated societies, but the one-size-fits-all approach really only fits about 25 percent of students. The real breakdown appears to be around 4th grade when, after having learned to read, they fail to learn from what they read. Can all children learn? Well, half a brain is enough with enough special effort. Fischer talks about a famous case of an Argentine boy named Nico who had  the right hemisphere of his brain removed when he was three years old because of severe epilepsy. 

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Akron schools face deficit

By John Published: May 24, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

The Akron school district's finances will plunge from a surplus of nearly $34 million to a nearly $11 million deficit in two years.

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Older students share lessons on universe

By John Published: May 23, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Revere school levy helps save 44 jobs

By John Published: May 19, 2011

By Jody Miller
Special to the Beacon Journal

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2 more Ohio urban school districts making cuts

By John Published: May 18, 2011

Associated Press

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Highland levy gains a dozen votes, still headed to recount

By John Published: May 18, 2011

The Highland schools levy picked up a dozen votes in the  late absentee and provisional ballots counted today by the Medina County Board of Elections. That leaves the district with a 23-vote victory margin,  however:

Summit County has to certifiy its results on May 24th and a small portion of Highland overlaps.

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Wandering axons

By John Published: May 18, 2011

Science writer Carl Zimmer's new column in Discover is a fascinating exploration of how neurons find each other in the brain to form synapses. Neurons receive signals on one end through branch-like dentrites and transmit the signal via a long snaking outgrowth called an axon. But how does an axon know which neurons it's supposed to find in the vast forest of the brain?

The nervous system further directs these wandering axons by placing guide cells along their path. Some guide cells release navigational chemicals. Others become part of the path itself, as migrating axons grab the cells and climb them like ropes. Guide cells even babysit axons that arrive at a destination early, before a partner cell is available to connect. Without a viable partner the axon would die; the guide cells form temporary synapses with the axons until the intended target is found.

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Mad Hot Crouse wins Gold

By John Published: May 16, 2011

     The fifth-grade ballroom dance team from Akron's Crouse elementary won the top award at the Grand Finals competition Saturday at the Ohio Theatre at PlayhouseSquare.
    The competition is for fifth-graders participating for the first time in the Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio program, which promotes social development through ballroom dance.
    The Crouse fifth graders were sole winners of the Gold prize, said Jo Jo Graham the organization's founding executive director.
   Fifth graders from Shumacher elementary tied for the Silver with two other schools and fifth-graders from McEbright elementary tied two teams for the Bronze.
    Seven Teams representing Summit, Cuyahoga, and Lake Counties (Akron Public Schools, Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Painesville City Schools) competed in the Grand Finals after winning semi-final competitions earlier in the year.
     Dancing Classrooms is an offshoot of the New York City ballroom dance program developed by Pierre Dulaine. It was made famous in the 2005 film documentary Mad Hot Ballroom and the 2006 movie Take the Lead.
      Districts pay half of the total $3,000 cost of the 20 sessions that are held over 10 weeks. Dancing Classrooms Northeast Ohio, a nonprofit organization, pays the other half through fundraising.
     The program was brought to Crouse, Leggett elementary, and Hyre Middle School last fall.
    Eighth-graders at the Akron Opportunity Center and fifth-graders at Seiberling and McEbright elementary schools took classes in
the winter.
   Fifth-graders at Schumacher and Rimer elementary schools participated this spring.

Here's a video I took of the Crouse dancers earlier this year:

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Math anxiety

By John Published: May 16, 2011

Education Week has an interesting story about math anxiety that reports some of the research discussed at this year's Learning and the Brain conference in Chicago.

Mathematics anxiety is more than just disliking math, however; someone with math anxiety feels negative emotions when engaging in an activity that requires numerical or math skills. In one forthcoming study by Ms. Beilock, simply suggesting to college students that they would be asked to take a math test triggered a stress response in the hypothalamus of students with high math anxiety.

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Teaching in the animal world

By John Published: May 15, 2011

No animal teaches like humans teach, but how did we acquire this innate cognitive ability and expand it exponentially to create and sustain human culture?

Here is a post on ScienceBlogs by Jason G. Goldman, a graduate student in psychology at the University of Southern California that gives a nice summary of research into types of proto-teaching observed in nonhuman animals, including ants and meerkats. Watch the video of meerkats teaching their young to capture and eat scorpions. The post is part of a series on pedagogy, which I discovered on the Facebook page of the International Mind, Brain and Education Society.

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Irish Rocket teams finish in the upper half, but miss the top 10

By John Published: May 14, 2011

The  all-girl Team Alpha model rocket team from St. Vincent-St. Mary High School  finished 33rd out of a 100 competitors  at the  The Team America Rocketry Challenge national finals held today near Washington D.C.

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Contest to lift off The Team America Rocketry Chal...

By John Published: May 14, 2011

 

Contest to lift off

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IT'S LAUNCH TIME

By John Published: May 14, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Poverty poisons the brain

By John Published: May 13, 2011

Social science researchers -- going back to James Coleman's influential  1966 report ? ?Equality of Educational Opportunity?-- have long identified poverty as a strong predictor of student achievement.

Daniel Lende at the Neuroanthropology blog discusses how recent research in neuroscience is beginning to explain the damage that excessive levels of stress hormones such as cortisol have on developing brains. Impoverished homes are often stressful environments for children. Lende links to this study showing a relationship between poverty and the development of the hippocampus, a seahorse-shaped structure of the brain associated with learning and memory that is affected by stress.

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Education bill expands eligibility for vouchers

By John Published: May 12, 2011

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Akron schools relax 'no nits' lice policy

By John Published: May 10, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Akron schoolchildren diagnosed with head lice may return to school as early as the day after treatment, even if lice eggs remain in the hair.

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Local levies hanging on final ballots

By John Published: May 8, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Three area school districts with levies that narrowly passed or were defeated in Tuesday's primary won't know if the money's in the bank until the official counts are certified later this month.

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Kasich proposal would close schools that stay in bottom 5 percent for three years

By John Published: May 7, 2011

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

Ohio Gov. John Kasich's education adviser has told school officials that schools that remain in the state's bottom 5 percent for three years will be closed if the governor's proposals pass the legislature.

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Akron mom to get clemency hearing in Columbus

By John Published: May 6, 2011

John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Bogus story on Highland levy making rounds

By John Published: May 6, 2011

A Highland school board member received an email with a fake story about how the district's narrow levy win in Tuesday's election has been reversed because of a count of provisional ballots.

The story appears to be written by the Akron Beacon Journal and has a headline, a Medina dateline and a staff writer byline: Walter Bourquin.

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47 years of study pay off

By John Published: May 6, 2011

By Carol Biliczky
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Traveling Along the Number Line

By John Published: May 5, 2011

Here's a podcast uploaded today of Stanislas Dehaene speaking at Harvard about the bridges that are being formed between neuroscience and education. The bridge is possible because our primate brain is constrained by its architecture, but plastic enough to change itself with cultural inventions such as reading and precise mathematical computations. Dehaene points out if the brain were a blank slate, unconstrained, then any kind of education would work as well as any other.

He specifically mentions the Mind, Brain and Education journal, the peer-reviewed publication of the International Mind Brain and Education Society. Note: These podcasts are from the launch of the IMBES Journal in 2006.

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Changes coming to Buchtel, Perkins

By John Published: May 5, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Cuts planned by Ohio schools with new levy losses

By John Published: May 4, 2011

Associated Press

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Luck rains on schools in Summit districts

By John Published: May 4, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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Are teachers overpaid?

By John Published: May 3, 2011

Not according to this Op-ed in the New York Times. It's unfortunate that the only way we can signal that we value something is to cast it in military terms, but the authors here suggest we respect the work of teachers as much as we respect the work of the armed forces, especially when the war isn't going well.

And yet in education we do just that. When we don't like the way our students score on international standardized tests, we blame the teachers. When we don't like the way particular schools perform, we blame the teachers and restrict their resources.

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Flurry of amendments favor for-profit charters

By John Published: May 2, 2011

The Plain Dealer had an interesting story on Saturday about amendments to the budget in the Ohio House of Representatives that call for even less regulation of for-profit charter operators such as Akron-based White Hat than exists now.

"Oh my goodness, have we not learned anything from the history of the last 10 years in Ohio?" asked Ryan.

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First grads emerge from Early College with credits under belts

By John Published: May 2, 2011

By John Higgins
Beacon Journal staff writer

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