This is a corrected version of this blog
It’s been more than a year since Rochester schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas launched efforts to significantly expand the amount of time students spend in school.
The concept, often referred to as expanded learning, usually extends the amount of time students receive instruction in core subjects. And students are also offered afterschool activities designed to help students retain what they’re learning, as well as explore their interests such as art, music, and sports. (Charter school advocates also frequently cite longer school days as crucial to student improvement.)
A new partnership between North East Area Development (NEAD), School 33, and the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education will develop the Literacy Engagement and Achievement Program, or LEAP. The goal for LEAP is to test whether high quality summer and after school programs significantly improve the academic outcomes of some of the city’s most at-risk children—particularly African-American and Hispanic boys.
The Trayvon Martin-George Zimmerman case focused most of the country’s attention on race relations. And that’s where much of the conversation remains.
But if you would like to know more about how Florida’s Stand Your Ground legislation got signed into law, watch this report by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow. SYG was signed into law by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush during his last term.
Since then, 20 more states have passed some version of SYG. Unfortunately, no one seemed to see the downside to the law’s shoot-first-and-ask-questions-later plausibility, and the number of justifiable homicides in those states has steadily climbed since 2005, according to Maddow.
Also interesting is how the NRA helped to promote the law through its involvement with the American Legislative Exchange Council. Many of the biggest consumer companies in the US are also members of policy-pushing ALEC — brands like Pepsico and Kraft. Oops!
Many of these companies are now rethinking whether it’s good business strategy to be seen supporting an organization that promotes legislation that could potentially result in the death of their customers. And they’re dropping their membership.
Will any of this attention to SYG lead to repeal of the law? Unlikely, Maddow says.
Anyone who has experienced severe pain or pain that becomes debilitating and chronic knows that pain medications can play an important role in recuperating and returning to a normal life. But concerns about narcotic abuse, also a serious health problem in the US, cause many physicians to be reluctant about prescribing these types of medications.
And a new study by the University of Rochester Medical Center shows that there is an additional set of issues at work. If you’re white and affluent, you are more likely to receive opioid drugs for pain relief than if you are black, Hispanic, poor, or have less education, according to the URMC study, which was recently reported in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.
Analyzing data of more than 50,000 visits to about 1,400 emergency room departments showed that medications like Vicodin, OxyContin, and Percocet were less likely to be prescribed to patients of color And they were less likely to be prescribed to people who live in poor neighborhoods compared to people who live in more affluent areas.
Researchers already knew that racial and ethnic disparities existed, but the URMC study may be the first that discovered socioeconomic status, such as poverty, income, and education levels, also determine who receives opioid pain prescriptions.
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