Wildfires take a toll on students’ test scores years after the smoke clears
- Children who survived the worst of the 2009 wildfires in Victoria, Australia performed more poorly than expected on standardized tests years later, particularly compared to their peers in regions that escaped the flames, new research says.
- A new study, published Wednesday in the journal Child Development, tracks the test scores of students who attended severely affected schools.
- And it reports that on average, their academic progress on reading and arithmetic lagged compared to students in areas that were less badly burned, even years after the fires.
- The bigger catch is that the study didn’t include kids who had to switch schools after the fires, which could mean the results we’re seeing are an underestimate of the fires’ consequences.
- Schonfeld points out that homeless students regularly struggle with the same uncertainty and loss that affects children impacted by disasters like fires.
Last Year Was Bad for Measles. A New Outbreak in Washington Suggests 2019 Could Be Worse
- An outbreak of measles cases in Washington state has infected 22 people, most of them children under 10, in what is the second significant outbreak of the disease in the U.S. since September.
- Health officials in Washington’s Clark County, which sits north of Portland, Ore., said that 17 of the cases in the outbreak involved children under the age of 10, with another four between 11 and 18 years old.
- The Clark County measles outbreak comes only four months after New York State recorded 167 cases of measles in September, in what was one of the worst outbreaks in the U.S. in decades.
- The reasons for the rise in new measles cases are related to increased travels to areas where measles is more common, as well as the vulnerability of communities in the U.S. where people choose not to vaccinate their families against the disease.
Probability helps zebrafish stay in schools when faced with predators
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- Zebrafish are exceptionally good synchronised swimmers, forming tight schools that contain hundreds of individuals.
- Physicists have shown how the fish stay together even as they swim faster to avoid a predator – and they do so by subconsciously performing the kind of weighted averages calculation familiar to high-school mathematics students.
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SHUTDOWN DAY 31: Schools worry they won't be able to feed kids; White House thinks GDP growth could fall another 0.13 points this week
- Schools are worried about feeding children school lunches as the record partial government shutdown continues, with at least one school district already reducing children's lunches as it fears running out of food.
- This was necessary to "conserve food and funding" due to the shutdown, now in a record 31st day, it said in a Facebook post.
- A White House official told INSIDER last week that the administration expects the shutdown to deduct 0.13 percentage points from quarterly economic growth for every week that the government is closed.
- This estimate for how much the shutdown is expected to damage the economy is more than double what the White House originally thought.
- The White House's original estimate did not take into account the knock-on effects of government contractors not getting paid, and instead only looked at the lost productivity from workers directly employed by the federal government.