The Best of Our Knowledge
3:08 am
Mon September 18, 2006

The Best of Our Knowledge # 835

Albany, NY – DEBATE: PUBLIC EDUCATION VERSUS PRIVATE EDUCATION -
It's Fall, and schools all across North America are returning to their
regular classroom rhythms. At the same time, in the U.S., the debate
over whether public schools or private schools provide a better
education has heated up. This time, the fuel feeding that fire, is
coming from the Education Department itself. A controversial report
came out this Summer from the Educational Testing Service for the
National Center for Education Statistics. The report compared 4th and
8th grade reading and math scores from nearly 7-thousand public
schools, and more than 530 private schools. The study found that
4th graders attending public schools did significantly better in math
than comparable 4th graders in private schools. In 8th grade math,
it also found that students in conservative Christian schools lagged
behind corresponding students in public schools. This comes at a
time when the U.S. Congress is considering voucher legislation that
would pay for public school students to transfer to a private school of
their choice. To hear two voices in this debate, TBOOK spoke with
Reg Weaver, President of the National Education Association, the
country's largest teacher's union, and Joseph McTighe, Executive
Director of the Council for American Private Education, an umbrella
organization representing 80% of the nation's private elementary
and secondary schools.
Jim Horne reports. (11:40)

ORIGINS OF LIFE - SCIENCE RESEARCH IN EDUCATION SERIES
DID AMYLOID SEED THE ORIGINS OF LIFE? -
So, just what the heck is an amyloid? Well, an amyloid is a complex
protein resembling starch. It may be best known for its association
with diseases like Alzheimer's, mad cow, and diabetes. Alzheimer's
disease is the leading cause of dementia. It affects nearly half the
population over 85, and in the U.S. alone, costs the economy an
estimated 100-Billion dollars each year. Researchers at Emory
University and Argonne National Laboratory have discovered a new
method to manipulate the self-assembly and formation of amyloid
fibrils, a major component of brain plaques associated with
Alzheimer's disease. This is opening new potential applications in
research, industry, and medicine. One of the lead researchers is
Dr. David Lynn, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor of
Chemistry and Biology at Emory in Atlanta, Georgia.
Glenn Busby reports. (6:34)

The preceding material is supported by the National Aeronautics
and Space Administration.

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