Report Roundup

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Report Notes 'Flaw' Of Federal Ed. Law

The biggest flaw in the federal No Child Left Behind Act lies in its failure to address the concentrations of poverty in the nation’s schools, according to a report from the New York City-based Century Foundation.

According to the report, prepared by senior fellow Richard D. Kahlenberg, "NCLB does nothing directly to address America’s long-standing problem of separately educating poor and middle-class children." Rather, like most education reforms, he writes, it is an effort to make "separate but equal work."

That approach likely will fail, he argues, because research finds what all students need most is the good learning environment typically found in majority middle-class schools, where fewer than half the students qualify for free- or reduced-price school meals.

That environment includes an adequate financial base, money spent on the classroom rather than on bureaucracy, an orderly environment, a more stable student population, strong principals and well-qualified teachers, better curricula and higher expectations, active parent involvement, and motivated peers who value achievement.

—Lynn Olson

Reading Disabilities

Reading disabilities are more prevalent in boys than in girls, according to a report in the April 28, 2004, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The authors examined four reading-assessment studies: two from New Zealand, one that looked at the entire United Kingdom, and one that covered England and Wales.

In one of the New Zealand studies, the rate of reading disabilities in boys was 21.6 percent, compared with 7.9 percent for girls.

—Catherine A. Carroll

Bullying and Obesity

Overweight and obese children are more likely to be victims or perpetrators of bullying than their normal-weight peers, according to a recently released study of 5,749 Canadian children ages 11 to 16.

Among normal-weight children in the study, based on a national survey conducted in 2002, nearly 11 percent reported being victims of bullying, compared with 14 percent of overweight youngsters and 19 percent of obese children.

—Darcia Harris Bowman

Alcohol Marketing

Youths from 12 through 20 see two alcohol-related advertisements on television for every three seen by adults, says a new study.

The study, conducted by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown University in Washington, found that in 2002, 50 percent of teens saw an average of 507 alcohol-related commercials on television, and 32 percent saw 780 such ads on average.

Nielsen Media Research, the industry source for television ratings, provided the audience data.

—Rhea R. Borja

Vol. 23, Issue 36, Page 9

Published in Print: May 12, 2004, as Report Roundup
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