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March 13, 2017

This week’s family-related news included an update on the issue of judicial review of a transgender bathroom policy, the resurgence of teaching cursive writing in school, research regarding exploratory and explanatory drives in children, information on how Educon brings inspiration to educators, a generous donation to the Chicago Public School system made by Chance the Rapper, research on why fewer teens are getting a driver’s license, a photo essay focusing on students worldwide, a global look at reckless behavior of teens, a plea to parents to allow their children to explore new interests and opportunities in college.

Supreme Court Won’t Decide Transgender Teen’s Challenge to Bathroom Policy Bill Chappel, NPR, March 6, 2017 In a reversal, the Supreme Court will not decide Gavin Grimm’s lawsuit over a school policy that requires students to use the bathroom corresponding to their biological sex. The court was scheduled to hear the case this month.

Flip the Script: Cursive Sees Revival in School Instruction Karen Matthew, Associated Press, March 6, 2017 Alabama and Louisiana passed laws in 2016 mandating cursive proficiency in public schools, the latest of 14 states that require cursive. And last fall, the 1.1 million-student New York City schools, the nation’s largest public school system, encouraged the teaching of cursive to students, generally in the third grade.

Autism and the Drive to Explain and Explore Tania Lombrozo, NPR, March 6, 2017 A paper by researchers M.D. Rutherford and Francys Subiaul, recently published in the journal Autism, offers a fresh approach to investigating our exploratory and explanatory drives by testing whether two populations of children — those diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and those without known developmental delays — differ in how they explore and seek explanations in physical and social domains. The results suggest that children with ASD have a heightened drive to explain — but only in the physical domain.

How Schools Can Face the ‘Bad Habits’ That Inhibit Meaningful Changes Katrina Schwartz, NPR, March 6, 2017 Even when everyone in a school building understands that a set of habitual behaviors are holding back change it can be difficult to shift away from them because of time constraints, history, comfort with something familiar, or control issues. But if school leaders and educators truly want to see changes to teaching and learning, they must name negative habitual behaviors, own them, and intentionally make plans to address them.

Chance The Rapper Puts Up $1 Million to Support Chicago Public Schools Rodney Carmichael, NPR, March 6, 2017 Chance the Rapper, the newly minted Grammy winner, announced plans to donate $1 million to Chicago Public Schools. “This check that I donated is a call to action,” said Chance, calling for politicians and corporations to follow suit…”

Why Many Teens Don’t Want to Get a Driver’s License Tim Henderson, PBS Newshour, March 6, 2017 The share of high school seniors across the country who have a driver’s license dropped from 85.3 percent in 1996 to a record low 71.5 percent in 2015, according to data from the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future survey. The reasons for this drop are varied including a sluggish economy, high insurance rate and kids not seeing the great need to drive at a young age.

60 Stunning Photos of Girls Going to School Around the Globe – Every Child Deserves an Education The Huffington Post Globally, 65 million girls are not in school. Out of the 774 million people who are illiterate around the world, two-thirds are women. To celebrate International Women’s Day and honor the importance of global education, we’ve rounded up 60 photos of girls going to school around the world.

Teenagers Do Dumb Things, but There Are Ways to Limit Recklessness Lisa Damour, The New York Times, March 8, 2017 A study of more than 5,000 adolescents and young adults from 11 countries across Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas confirmed that adolescents worldwide have similarly risk-prone brains, but vary substantially in actual risk taking. While many Americans see individual autonomy as a cherished aspect of our national identity, granting lots of freedom may not be the best way to keep teenagers safe.

College Professor Says: Let Your Kids Choose Their Own Major Shannon Reed, The Washington Post, March 9, 2017 If the student will attend a four-year college, parents need to accept that part of the point of being there is to explore new interests and ideas, which might lead their child to a better understanding of who they are, what they’re good at and what work they might want to do.

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