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The Best of Our Knowledge
Mon December 11, 2006
The Best of Our Knowledge # 847
Albany, NY – THE HOMEWORK MYTH: WHY OUR KIDS GET TOO MUCH
OF A BAD THING , PT. 1 OF 2 -
Talk to parents with children in grade school, and you may hear
complaints about too much homework. Education watchdog and
author, Alfie Kohn, agrees. In his latest book, The Homework Myth:
Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing , Kohn asked why are
younger children overloaded with homework, when he claims there
are no scientific studies proving its overall learning benefits? Alfie
Kohn's thesis may be difficult for teachers and school administrators
to accept, but he likely will find support from some parents who
believe their children should have more free time at home and
less stress. TBOOK asked Kohn how he decided to write
Joe Donahue reports. (7:25)
**(Attention Program Directors. For more information about the
above story, go to his website: www.alfiekohn.org.)**
GUEST COMMENTARY: POST-KATRINA SCHOOL REFORM -
Can a devastating flood set the stage for the transformation of an
entire school system? Some saw just such an opportunity in New
Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina more than a year ago.
Louisiana took over most of the New Orleans' schools and began
an effort to reopen as many as possible as charter schools. Luis
Miron is an Education Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He's also a New Orleans native who has advised and
studied New Orleans schools for 20-years. Miron has documented
and studied the progress of that school experiment since Katrina.
He comments that the state's attempt at reform is one of the most
massive experiments in urban education ever undertaken.
Education Professor Luis Miron comments. (3:24)
NATIONAL COLD CASE CENTER, UNIVERSITY OF NEW HAVEN -
Anyone who watches television these days is probably aware of the
Cold Case programs running on both broadcast and cable tv. Well,
the National Cold Case Center has just been established at the Henry
C. Lee Institute of Forensic Science at the University of New Haven in Connecticut. Its goal is to help train and army of scientists to search
for evidence in old cases. The National Cold Case Center is being
created with a 500-thousand dollar grant from the National Institute
of Justice. Most people may remember Dr. Henry Lee as the
legendary investigator known for finding even the smallest clues.
Dr. Lee has investigated more than 6-thousand cases over the past
40-years, including: war crimes in Bosnia and Croatia; and the suicide
of President Clinton's former White House Attorney, Vince Foster.
Dr. Henry Lee is Founder and Professor of the Forensic Science
Program at the University of New Haven, editor of seven academic
journals, and author or co-author of 30 books and over 300 articles.
University of New Haven students and faculty have the opportunity
to work with investigators who come from around the country to
process actual cases. Dr. Lee explains to TBOOK that many crimes
remain unsolved due to problems inherent in the collection and
preservation of evidence, and lack of process and procedure at
the crime scene.
Jim Horne reports. (6:56)