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Submission + - The Common Core Costs Billions and Hurts Students (nytimes.com)

schwit1 writes: Six years after the release of our first national standards, the Common Core, and the new federal tests that accompanied them, it seems clear that the pursuit of a national curriculum is yet another excuse to avoid making serious efforts to reduce the main causes of low student achievement: poverty and racial segregation.

The people who wrote the Common Core standards sold them as a way to improve achievement and reduce the gaps between rich and poor, and black and white. But the promises haven’t come true. Even in states with strong common standards and tests, racial achievement gaps persist. Last year, average math scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress declined for the first time since 1990; reading scores were flat or decreased compared with a decade earlier.

Submission + - Iran destroys 100,000 satellite dishes in crackdown (yahoo.com)

schwit1 writes: Iran destroyed 100,000 satellite dishes and receivers on Sunday as part of a widespread crackdown against the illegal devices that authorities say are morally damaging, a news website reported.

"The truth is that most satellite channels... deviate the society's morality and culture," he said at the event according to Basij News.

Under Iranian law, satellite equipment is banned and those who distribute, use, or repair them can be fined up to $2,800 (2,500 euros). Iranian police regularly raid neighbourhoods and confiscate dishes from rooftops.

Submission + - 20 Years Ago: The First Online Video Lectures (mp3newswire.net)

Hodejo1 writes: "I guess I could have made a few patent trolls in Texas drool if back in 1996 if I only thought to file a few forms", mused Richard Menta about the Guest Lecture Series, the first university level video courses commercially distributed online. Menta began the project in August of that year. As his team assembled the first set of lecturers one of them, Harvard professor Dr. Eric Mazur, struck him as unique. A physicist, Mazur "found that, as someone seasoned in the content he was teaching, he tended to endow his knowledge in a straight line from A to Z. This meant driving right through, rather than navigating around, the conceptual roadblocks students who are just introduced to the material struggle with." Mazur's epiphany came when he realized that students who grasped the material remained cognizant of these roadblocks and thus had better success helping other students comprehend than he did. His solution was to incorporate this into his teaching by pausing at periodic points through any given lecture and instructing his student to talk over the material they just received with their neighbor. Comprehension soared and this was the topic of his proposed lecture on Peer Instruction. Menta's "Ah Ha" moment came when he realized he could easily incorporate this discovery into the Guest Lecture Series platform. In December of 1996 Peer Instruction became the first video lecture to be streamed commercially online. Built-in was a simple communications platform for all the lectures so students could discuss the lesson online too. The idea stuck and today this is standard stuff on online learning platforms like Moodle.

Submission + - Another state to let psychologists prescribe medicatio (ishn.com)

JayneHardaway writes: The American Psychological Association (APA) hailed the enactment of a law making Iowa the fourth state in the country to authorize licensed clinical psychologists with advanced specialized training to prescribe certain medications for the treatment of mental health disorders.

Submission + - MH370 Pilot Flew a Suicide Route on His Home Simulator Closely Matching Final Fl (nymag.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was likely steered into the sea intentionally, by its own captain, in a pre-planned mass murder-suicide, a new report reveals.

In an exclusive story posted online Friday, New York magazine says that the plane’s captain, Zaharie Ahmad Shah, “conducted a simulated flight deep into the remote southern Indian ocean less than a month before the plane vanished under uncannily similar circumstances.”

Submission + - Physicists Combine Gold with Titanium And Quadruple Its Strength (futurism.com)

schwit1 writes: When it comes to bone replacements, the go-to material is still titanium. Hard, wear-resistant, and compatible to the body, titanium looks like the best alternative to actual bone, maybe even better. Who knew that you could improve the ‘gold standard’ by just adding actual gold?

Rice University physicists have discovered that an alloy of titanium and gold is three to four times harder than steel, and may actually be better as a material for replacement body parts. The study, published in Science Advances , described the properties of an alloy of the two metals, a 3-to-1 mixture of titanium and gold, called Titanium-3. They found the alloy to be four times harder than titanium.

When they checked the biocompatibility and wear rate of the alloy, the researchers knew that it would rank high, since its parent metals are already biocompatible and used in medical implants. Surprisingly, Titanium-3 performed well over their expectations, actually being more biocompatible and wear resistant than pure titanium.

Gold-pressed latinum?

Submission + - Due process is under assault in America (washingtonexaminer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Due process isn’t the sexiest part of the Constitution. It doesn’t get all the attention like the First or Second Amendments. But it is so incredibly important to the foundation of our country that it’s painful to see the hits it’s been taking these past few years.

The latest attempt has been incredibly direct, with Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., declaring that “due process is what’s killing us right now.” Manchin’s comments came in response to the Orlando terrorist attack that killed 49 people and injured 53 more. Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Manchin said that due process was keeping legislators from banning those on the Terrorist Watch List from purchasing guns.

“The problem we have, and really the firewall we have right now, is due process,” Manchin said Thursday. “It’s all due process.”

Darn that pesky due process and its constitutional protections!

Manchin is just the latest pol to advocate trampling on Americans’ constitutional rights. On Wednesday, a number of pols told my colleague Joel Gehrke that the presumption of innocence was unnecessary when government seeks to deprive someone of a constitutional right.

Submission + - State Department to release Clinton records on date that doesn't exist (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: Last July, International Business Times reporter David Sirota filed a FOIA with the State Department for all communications sent by Hillary Clinton referencing the Trans Pacific Partnership.

An initial estimate had the records be ready for release by April 2016, but since then the release date slipped, then slipped again, to not only a date beyond the election, but to a date that doesn't actually exist: November 31st, 2016.

Perhaps we'd understand what was going on better, except that a FOIA request to the State Department for their date estimation methodology filed in 2013 is still awaiting response, having had its own estimated completion date moved back six times.

Submission + - Why Does Science Appear to Be Getting Things Increasingly Wrong?

azaris writes: Recent revelations of heavily policy-driven or even falsified science have raised concern in the general public, but especially in the scientific community itself. It's not purely a question of political or commercial interference either (as is often claimed when it comes to e.g. climate research) — scientists themselves are increasingly incentivised to game the system for improved career prospects, more funding, or simply because they perceive everyone else to do it, too. Even discounting outright fraud or manipulation of data, the widespread use of methodologies known to be invalid plagues many fields and is leading to an increasing inability to reproduce recent findings (the so-called crisis of reproducibility) that puts the very basis of our reliance on scientific research results at risk. Of course, one could claim that science is by nature self-correcting, but the problem appears to be getting worse before it gets better.

Is it time for more scientists to speak out openly about raising the level of transparency and honesty in their field?

Submission + - The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever (telegraph.co.uk) 1

schwit1 writes: New data shows that the “vanishing” of polar ice is not the result of runaway global warming

When future generations look back on the global-warming scare of the past 30 years, nothing will shock them more than the extent to which the official temperature records – on which the entire panic ultimately rested – were systematically “adjusted” to show the Earth as having warmed much more than the actual data justified.

“How we are being tricked by flawed data on global warming”

Submission + - Woman of 24 found to have no cerebellum in her brain (gizmocrazed.com)

Diggester writes: DON'T mind the gap. A woman has reached the age of 24 without anyone realising she was missing a large part of her brain. The case highlights just how adaptable the organ is.

The discovery was made when the woman was admitted to the Chinese PLA General Hospital of Jinan Military Area Command in Shandong Province complaining of dizziness and nausea. She told doctors she'd had problems walking steadily for most of her life, and her mother reported that she hadn't walked until she was 7 and that her speech only became intelligible at the age of 6.

Submission + - DNA reveals history of vanished "Paleo-Eskimos"

An anonymous reader writes: The earliest people in the North American Arctic remained isolated from others in the region for over 4,000 years before vanishing around 700 years ago, new analysis shows. The study also reveals that today's Inuit and Native Americans of the Arctic are genetically distinct from the region's first settlers. "A single founding population settled, and endured the harsh environmental conditions of the Arctic, for almost 5,000 years — during which time the culture and lifestyle changed enough to be represented as distinct cultural units," explained Dr Maanasa Raghavan, first author of the new paper.

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