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Happy Holidays

No matter how you celebrate during this holiday season, I wish you, your family and loved ones a happy holiday and a glorious New Year. May the New Year, bring us all, a year of peace, prosperity and happiness.

Like many of you, I will be taking a break and will see you in the New Year.

Franklin Schargel

 

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Who Speaks For the Children? Not the Politicians or Voters

From the New York Times (11/13/2016) “Politicians and voters often say they want better schools, but that doesn’t mean they are willing to pay for them.”

On Election Day,voters rejected attempts to increase school spending. In 23 states, formular funding – the main type of state funding for K-12 grades, the current funding is lower than in 2008, adjusted for inflation and the growing numbers of students. In seven of the 23 states (Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Wisconsin) legislators have cut income taxes in recent years by “tens of millions to hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Only in Maine where voters backed a tax surcharge on annual income in excess of $200,000. In Oregon,a proposed business tax increase to help pay for schools failed.

Obviously, “putting your money where your mouth is” has no meaning for politicians and voters in 23 states.

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Happy Birthday, Website

None years ago, on December 15, 2007 this website “went live” I was unsure who, if anyone, would be interested in hearing what was on it.

As of today, there have been 485,000 visits, 250,000 are unique (first time visitor), averaging 100-200 a week, 1500-3000 a month. I continue to post two-three times a week and now have over 1250 articles on line.

Visitors are from around the world. Obviously, school dropouts are a global problem. Most people are interested in the 15 Effective Strategies, followed by the Advantages of Alternative Education.

I have been called upon to deliver workshops in 49 of the United States, Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, Poland, Hungary, Turkey, and Israel.

I would like to thank you, the visitor, for your suggestions and feedback. I will take  your words of advice seriously.

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2015’s States With The Highest and Lowest Dropout Rate

WalletHub.com compared the quality of education in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by analyzing 13 key metrics that range from student-teacher ratios, through dropout rates.

According to the study the 2015 States with the:

 Lowest Dropout Rate

  1. Iowa
  2. Nebraska/Texas/North Dakota/New Jersey/Wisconsin

Highest Dropout Rate

  1. Alaska
  2. Georgia
  3. Nevada
  4. New Mexico
  5. Oregon
  6. District of Columbia

What are the commonalities? It is not the cost per pupil because Washington DC spends more money than any state. Is it the percentage of minorities? While New Mexico has a high number of minorities, Oregon does not. 

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2015’s States With The Highest and Lowest Pupil-Teacher Ratio

WalletHub.com compared the quality of education in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by analyzing 13 key metrics that range from student-teacher ratios, through dropout rates.

According to the study the 2015 States with the:

 Lowest Pupil-Teacher Ratio

  1. Vermont
  2. North Dakota
  3. Kansas
  4. Maine
  5. New Jersey

Highest Pupil- Teacher Ratio

  1. Nevada
  2. Oregon
  3. Arizona
  4. Utah
  5. California

 

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2015’s States With The Highest and Lowest SAT Scores

WalletHub.com compared the quality of education in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by analyzing 13 key metrics that range from student-teacher ratios, through dropout rates.

According to the study the 2015 States with the:

The Highest Average SAT Score

  1. North Dakota
  2. Illinois
  3. Iowa
  4. South Dakota
  5. Minnesota

Lowest Average SAT Score

  1. Texas
  2. Maine
  3. Idaho
  4. Delaware
  5. District of Columbia

 

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2015’s States With The Safest and Least Safe Schools

WalletHub.com compared the quality of education in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by analyzing 13 key metrics that range from student-teacher ratios, through dropout rates.

According to the study the 2015 States with the:

 The Safest School Districts

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Kansas and Maine

The Least Safe School Districts

  1. Tennessee
  2. Maryland
  3. Alabama
  4. Arkansas

The Lowest Bullying School Districts

  1. Florida
  2. New Mexico
  3. Massachusetts and Mississippi
  4. Delaware

The Highest Bullying School Districts

  1. Maine
  2. Missouri
  3. Michigan
  4. Idaho
  5. Montana
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2015’s States With The Highest and Lowest Test Scores

WalletHub.com compared the quality of education in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by analyzing 13 key metrics that range from student-teacher ratios, through dropout rates.

According to the study the 2015 States with the:

Highest Math Test Scores

  1. Massachusetts
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Minnesota
  4. New Jersey
  5. Vermont

Lowest Math Test Scores

  1. New Mexico
  2. Louisiana
  3. Alabama
  4. Mississippi
  5. District of Columbia

Highest Reading Test Scores

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Maryland and New Hampshire
  3. Connecticut and New Jersey

Lowest Reading Test Scores

  1. Alaska
  2. Louisiana
  3. Mississippi
  4. New Mexico
  5. District of Columbia

 

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2015’s States With The Best and Worst School Systems

WalletHub.com compared the quality of education in the 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia by analyzing 13 key metrics that range from student-teacher ratios, through dropout rates.

According to the study the 2015 States with the:

Best School Systems

  1. Iowa
  2. Nebraska and Texas and North Dakota and New Jersey and Wisconsin

The 5 worst state school systems are:

  1. Alaska and Georgia
  2. Nevada
  3. New Mexico
  4. Oregon
  5. District of Columbia
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Among children aged 10 to 14, death by suicide is now more common than death from traffic accidents.

On November 3, 2016, the New York Times reported that it is now just as likely for middle school students to die from suicide as from traffic accidents. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, the suicide rate for children ages 10 to 14 had caught up to their death rate for traffic accidents. Death is a rare event for adolescents. But the unprecedented rise in suicide among children at such young ages, however small the number, was troubling. In all, 425 children ages 10 to 14 killed themselves in 2014. In contrast, 384 children of that age died in car accidents. In 1999, the death rate for children ages 10 to 14 from traffic accidents — about 4.5 deaths per 100,000 — was quadruple the rate for suicide. But by 2014, the death rate from car crashes had been cut in half. The suicide rate, however, had nearly doubled, with most of the increase happening since 2007. In 2014, the suicide death rate was 2.1 per 100,000.

Far more boys than girls killed themselves in 2014 — 275 boys to 150 girls — in line with adults in the general population. American men kill themselves at far higher rates than women. But the increase for girls was much sharper — a tripling, compared with a rise of about a third for boys.

The reasons for suicide are complex. No single factor causes it. But social media tends to exacerbate the challenges and insecurities girls are already wrestling with at that age, possibly heightening risks, adolescent health experts said. Social media is, in part, responsible.

Statistically, girls dominate visual platforms like Facebook and Instagram where they receive instant validation from their peers, she said. It also is a way to quantify popularity, and take things that used to be private and intangible and make them public and tangible. It used to be that you didn’t know how many friends someone had, or what they were doing after school

Social media assigns numbers to those things. For the most vulnerable girls, that can be very destabilizing.”

The public aspect can be particularly painful. Social media exponentially amplifies humiliation, and an unformed, vulnerable child who is humiliated is at much higher risk of suicide than she would otherwise have been.

Another profound change has been that girls are going through puberty at earlier ages. Today girls get their first period at age 12 and a half on average. That means girls are becoming young women at an age when they are less equipped to deal with the issues that raises — sex and gender identity, peer relationships, more independence from family. Girls experience depression at twice the rate of boys in adolescence. Depression is being diagnosed more often these days, and adolescents are taking more medication than ever before, but Dr. Levy-Warren cautioned that it was not clear whether that is because more people are actually depressed, or because it is simply being identified more than before.

 

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