Your source for youth perspectives on trends, policies and innovation in education.

New Guidelines: Keeping Track Of Teen Suicide Attempts

This week, clinicians, researchers, insurers and patients have a new handbook for diagnosing mental disorders. The DSM-5 (the fifth version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) contains changes that will affect young people specifically, including new guidelines on how to measure and document suicidal behavior in adolescents.

Dr. David Shaffer, Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Columbia University, worked on this section of the new manual, and he gave us a little background.

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Schools In L.A. Ban “Willful Defiance” Suspensions

Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) made headlines this week by prohibiting schools from suspending students for “willful defiance.”

If you aren’t following every twist and turn of the debate in Calif. over school discipline, you might be thinking, what’s the big deal? After all, we’re talking about one tiny line-item in the CA education code.

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Luis Flores

Young Immigrants Torn Between Their Futures And Their Families

Tucked away in the student center at University of California Berkeley, the Undocumented Student Programis designed to be a national model. It makes college possible for students without legal status. Meng So runs the program. He’s totally passionate about the work, and insists students here couldn’t wait for national immigration reform. “So we said, as the number one public institution in America, we’re gonna take a lead, and we’re gonna act when others won’t,” said So.

That means: low cost housing, financial aid, and free legal services, on top of the in-state tuition and grants that California offers many undocumented students, who attended three years of high school.

All to support students like sophomore Carlos Hernandez Martinez.

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(Photo Credit: Benjamin Chun)

Cheating In The Digital Age

My parents always tell me that when it comes to school, I have it a lot easier than they did. When they entered college in the 80s, the encyclopedia was still the go-to source for academic information, and your only tools in the classroom were a notebook, pen, and an open mind. This, to me, is unimaginable. Today’s educational technology makes it a lot easier to learn, and a lot easier to cut corners.

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(Photo Credit: KT King)

Labeled And Lost: A Teacher’s Reflection

I once spent a week in a special ed classroom as a student. I loved it because I was finally in a class with my best friend (who had been labeled special ed because his English wasn’t perfect yet.)

Even he said, “You don’t belong here.” He was right. It was a clerical error, and administrators soon realized they needed to move me, and before I knew it I was back in classes full of students I had been around for my whole academic career. Nap time was over.

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(Photo Credit: kPluto)

Bullying At An Art School

Being bullied used to be all I knew. Now, my voice is the new ruler of my kingdom.

I’ve switched to five different school to get away from bullying since the third grade. I thought a performing arts school would be different, and that I would make friends that have the same goal as me, to be a professional music artist.

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Science Class Gets A Makeover: More Practice, Evolution, Climate Change

A group of twenty six states, including California, released new K-12 science education standards this week, called The Next Generation Science Standards.

Two big takeaways include: tackling controversial issues to “combat widespread scientific ignorance,” and emphasizing scientific and engineering practices (instead of just skills) — like planning and carrying out investigations, and engaging in argument from evidence.

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Connected Learning: Inside and Outside the Classroom

What if your extracurricular activities weren’t just extra but a part of your academics too? New thinking on education intends to bring students’ interests into the classroom. It’s called Connected Learning and promotes the idea that students will excel in school if what they are learning is relevant to their lives, experiences, and passions. This plan is spelled out in a new report, by Mimi Ito, the research director of the Digital Media and Learning Hub at the University of Ca. Irvine.

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