The committee recommended that boys ages 11 and 12 should be vaccinated. It also recommended vaccination of males ages 13 through 21 who had not already had all three shots. Vaccinations may be given to boys as young as 9 and to men between the ages of 22 and 26.
HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease — between 75 percent and 80 percent of females and males in the United States will be infected at some point in their lives. Most will overcome the infection with no ill effects. But in some people, infections lead to cellular changes that cause warts or cancer, including cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancers in women and anal cancers in men and women. A growing body of evidence suggests that HPV also causes throat cancers in men and women as a result of oral sex.
And not to get too graphic here, folks, but for those of you with younger children, you should understand that many teens today have this idea that oral sex is like a kiss or petting. They like to say they don't have sex (intercourse) but many who are sexually active, do engage in oral sex.
From another education blog, Greg Linden's, a story about the latest study published by the National Academies of Science: Incentives and Test-Based Accountability in Education. Two conclusions:
- Test-based incentive programs, as designed and implemented in the programs that have been carefully studied, have not increased student achievement enought to bring the U.S. close ot the levels of the highest achieving countries.
An op-ed from the Texas Tribune (via the NY Times) about how some legislators may be tacitly ignoring the high school drop-out rate for their own benefit.
Every time a student drops out of public school, taxpayers save money. That’s one fewer student, at a savings of more than $11,000 per year from state and local sources.
The dropout problem has a longer fuse. The reward for fixing it is somewhere in the future, way past the next election.
The public schools are on a 13-year clock, starting with kindergarten and ending with the fourth year of high school. The budgeteers are on a two-year clock that starts and ends in even-numbered years.
Their horizons are determined by the election calendar. Politicians are actually pretty responsive. They react to the things that will hurt them politically, and to the things that will help them politically. And the judgments they’re concerned with are those delivered by voters.
From The Grio website, a story about how Berkeley's school district has the best success with African-American students in the US.
One of the school districts with over 75 percent of its African-American student body graduating is located on the West Coast. Out of 271 African-American students who attended Berkeley High School, 205 graduated last year. That's one of the highest African-American graduation rates in the country.
The Berkeley Unified School District made closing the education gap a top priority.
Just three years ago the school district, led by a grassroots coalition of community, civic and religious organizations, including the group Parents of Children of African Descent initiated a program called the 2020 Vision program. The program's sole focus is to close the achievement gap in Berkeley public schools by the year 2020.
From the Smithsonian website, Why are Finland's Schools Successful?
“Whatever it takes” is an attitude that drives not just Kirkkojarvi’s 30 teachers, but most of Finland’s 62,000 educators in 3,500 schools from Lapland to Turku—professionals selected from the top 10 percent of the nation’s graduates to earn a required master’s degree in education. Many schools are small enough so that teachers know every student. If one method fails, teachers consult with colleagues to try something else. They seem to relish the challenges. Nearly 30 percent of Finland’s children receive some kind of special help during their first nine years of school.
The school where Louhivuori teaches served 240 first through ninth graders last year; and in contrast with Finland’s reputation for ethnic homogeneity, more than half of its 150 elementary-level students are immigrants—from Somalia, Iraq, Russia, Bangladesh, Estonia and Ethiopia, among other nations. “Children from wealthy families with lots of education can be taught by stupid teachers,” Louhivuori said, smiling. “We try to catch the weak students. It’s deep in our thinking.”
Every school has the same national goals and draws from the same pool of university-trained educators. The result is that a Finnish child has a good shot at getting the same quality education no matter whether he or she lives in a rural village or a university town. The differences between weakest and strongest students are the smallest in the world, according to the most recent survey by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
This is a long article but worth reading if only for inspiration.