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How the Idea of a ‘Normal’ Person Got Invented [TheAtlantic.com]

Adolphe Quetelet was born in Belgium in 1796. At age 23 he received the first doctorate in mathematics ever awarded by the University of Ghent. Smart and hungry for recognition, he wanted to make a name for himself like one of his heroes, Sir Isaac Newton. Quetelet marveled at the way Newton uncovered hidden laws governing the operation of the universe, extracting orderly principles out of the chaos of matter and time. Quetelet felt that his best chance for a similar achievement was in...

Promising de Blasio School Plan Could be Tanked by Test Scores [CityLimits.org]

A painful truth about homelessness in New York City is that our population of homeless children is the same size as the entire city of Trenton, N.J. and growing. In a case where common sense and scientific inquiry neatly overlap, the Institute for Children, Poverty and Homelessness reported last year that when it comes to education, homeless students as a group have the worst outcomes on almost every measure, including performance on standardized tests, absenteeism and school drop-out. The...

Silicon Valley 'triage tool' calculates the neediest homeless cases [MercuryNews.com]

First, there was a shocking report last spring revealing that homelessness in Santa Clara County cost in excess of a billion dollars every two years. Now, the same firm that calculated those staggering figures has developed a computer model that will identify the most desperate and costly homeless individuals and prescribe cost-saving fixes -- including immediate housing. And because the algorithm, introduced today by a local support group for the homeless, can be employed by any...

Should Happiness Really Be the Goal? [PsychCentral.com]

According to renowned psychiatrist Peter Kramer, happiness isnt the opposite of depression. Resilience is. Ive always loved that reminder because the word happiness makes me uneasy. Its not that I want to be unhappy, or I dont want to be happy. Its that every time I make happiness my goal, I become very unhappy . Like that famous study about suppressing thoughts of white polar bears. When everyone was instructed to think about anything but a white polar bear, they all thought about a white...

A Plan to Avoid More Riots in Baltimore [CityLab.com]

Since the riots that broke out there last spring, Baltimores reputation has been defined, in many corners, by its impoverished communities and the roles police have played in dealing with the people who live in them. So it was with a great deal of relief that the mistrial declared in December in the case of Baltimore police officer William Porter, whod been charged for his role in Freddie Grays death , did not end in the kind of rioting seen during the Baltimore Uprising . But of course the...

When Integrating the Suburbs Isn't Enough [CityLab.com]

This story is the third in a series on changing suburbs in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota. Read Part 1 and Part 2 . Given his oft-repeated opinion that housing and schooling patterns in many parts of the U.S. reflect racial discrimination, and his urging that wealthy, predominantly white suburbs should house more poor people and people of color, its not surprising that the Twin Cities-based academic Myron Orfield has fierce critics. Whats surprising is who they are. Theyre not just...

What If America’s Teachers Made More Money? [TheAtlantic.com]

As districts in certain parts of the country battle staffing shortages and schools nationwide seek to overcome a general sense of dissatisfaction among faculty , several states are considering proposals to pay their public-school teachers more money. The average public-school teacher salary in the United States in the 2012-13 academic year was $56,000 , versus roughly $69,000 for nurses and $83,000 for programmers . Experts say raising that threshold could help improve the professions...

A Poll-Tested Message for Criminal-Justice Reform [TheAtlantic.com]

Just how popular is criminal-justice reform with swing-state voters? It depends on the message. Strong majorities in four purple states and Republican-leaning Kentucky and Missouri seem to agree with the premise of reform that both parties have been promoting: Federal prisons house too many non-violent criminals, the government spends too much money incarcerating them, the main goal of prison should be rehabilitation, and Washington shouldnt make it so hard for inmates to find jobs after...

Meet Kids Harbor: Helping children and families through trauma [TheRollaDailyNews.com]

What happens when a child finds the courage to tell someone about abuse? The phone rings at 1-800-392-3738, Missouri's Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, and information is taken. The child has told a trusted adult such as a teacher, parent, friend, police officer, or someone who has called the hotline to report the abuse. The call could come in at any time of the day, night, or day of the week and often does, according to Kids Harbor Executive Director Cara M. Gerdiman. We respond 24 hours a...

FLOTUS calls for national focus on ending mental illness stigma [TheHill.com]

First lady Michelle Obama is calling for a stronger focus on ending the stigma surrounding mental illnesses, which she said is preventing people from getting treatment. We should make it clear that getting help isn't a sign of weakness it's a sign of strength and we should ensure that people can get the treatment they need, Obama wrote in an op-ed published Wednesday in the Huffington Post . The first lady, who has become a champion for physical activity and nutrition, urged people to...

To Help Youth with Trauma Brain, Treat Entire Family [JJIE.org]

In juvenile justice we have been making space to recognize and address the traumas youth have experienced. However, juvenile justice still lacks in addressing parental trauma of these youth. Can we treat, heal and prevent reoffending in a youth if we have not treated and healed the primary parent of the youth? The juvenile justice system has evolved and continues to evolve from a mentality of accountability = punishment. The latest evolution has those of us working in juvenile justice...

Battle Ground (WA) educators, leaders confront childhood trauma [TheReflector.com]

Social workers, educators and community leaders from around Clark County gathered in Battle Ground last week to hear a talk on building resiliency in children and mitigating the effects of adverse childhood experiences in local youth. Adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) is a psychological term that describes a traumatic event or stressor which affects the growth and development and often the behavioral trajectory of a child. ACEs refer to some of the most tragic events in society, from...

Montana: ACEs Are Us

Todd Garrisons background was in venture capital, sales and marketing. So when he heard a presentation in 2008 by Rob Anda, co-investigator of the original ACE Study, the facts and figures caught his notice. It wasnt personal for me, though I have three ACEs myself, said Garrison, now Executive Director of the ChildWise Institute, a four-year-old non-profit that focuses on child well-being. The brain science is undeniable. That was the aha moment for me. Since then, he has watched others...

The Promise of Integrated Schools [TheAtlantic.com]

Charlotte, North Carolina, became a national model for school desegregation in the 1970s, busing students to balance the racial composition of its schools. Decades later, Charlotte is a city where no racial or ethnic group constitutes a majority of residentswhites (45 percent), blacks (35 percent), and Latinos (13 percent) top the citys multicultural mix. And within this diverse and fast-growing urban metropolis , the citys students are once again segregated by race and class , with levels...

What Dying Looks Like in America's Prisons [TheAtlantic.com]

I drove the four and a half hours to Rome, New York, the night before I was scheduled to visit the prison hospice program at Mohawk. The desk clerk at the Quality Inn gave me directions the next morning. You cant miss it, she said in a raspy voice. Mohawk had once been a residential home for the developmentally disabled. It occupied the southernmost corner of the 150-acre Mohawk-Oneida campus and was converted to a medium-security prison in 1988. Today, it houses about 1,400 inmates, 112 of...

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