Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Law School Titanic

Almost 100 years ago the Titanic went down in about three hours. If you cut through the details it was about hubris, greed, disorganization, carelessness and uncertainty. The Titanic "administrators" consistently ignored warnings of icebergs and sped at nearly top speed through the ice fields of the North Atlantic. No doubt that decision was made by those in charge in part because there was tremendous emphasis on being on time. The externalities of hubris and a focus on a singular goal was the lives of hundreds.

Are there signs you are aboard the law school Titanic? Of course. Here are a few:
1. On an ordinary school day you are called by an administrator calls and asks if you are holding class that day. You ask why and the answer is "Because so many other have canceled class."
2. Your dean sends out regular emails congratulating people for their accomplishments. Accomplishments include include being contacted by a newspaper but not being cited by a court or another scholar.
3. You have an externship program under which you charge students for credit hours but do not teach them and, as far as you know, no one else does either.
4. You approve a battery of courses about "Feelings." Not the song, that would be better.
5. Every peer evaluation of the teaching of every untenured faculty is extremely positive.
6. You fudge, lie or massage employment data.
7. Being a "good father" or a "good mother" or a friend or a spouse become relevant in tenuring and hiring decisions.
8. Procedure is created to achieve the desired ends of a few.
9. Warnings of trouble go unheeded until they become incidents worthy of investigation.
10. When things get nasty, the captain makes sure there is a life boat for one available.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Overweight Boys and Girls Benefit from Being Fit

Improving or maintaining physical fitness appears to help obese and overweight children reach a healthy weight, reports a new study from the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. Researchers analyzed four years of data from in-school fitness tests and body mass index (BMI) measurements of students in grades 1–7 in the city of Cambridge, Mass.

In the study published online March 15 by the journal Obesity, Sacheck and colleagues examined the association between weight status and fitness levels by assessing student performance on five fitness tests. Regardless of their weight, students were classified as “fit” if they passed all five tests and “underfit” if they failed one or more tests.

The assessments taken between 2004 and 2007 coincided with a city-wide weight and fitness intervention that prompted improvements to gymnasiums, promotion of physical activities outside of school, professional development for physical education teachers and issuing “Health and Fitness report cards” to parents. The 2,793 students in the study participated in bi-weekly school gym classes plus a daily recess, and annual assessments of their BMI and physical fitness.

“Of the 1,069 students who were initially obese or overweight, 17% achieved a healthy weight within the one to four year study period compared with 6.3% of students who began the study at a healthy weight and became obese or overweight,” said Jennifer M. Sacheck, Ph.D., senior author and an assistant professor at the Friedman School. “It is encouraging to see any kind of reversal in unhealthy weight patterns, considering Centers for Disease Control statistics indicate child and adolescent obesity rates rose approximately 13% between 1980 and 2008.”

Within the four-year study period, 27% of the 1,882 students who were underfit at baseline became fit.

“Obese and overweight girls who achieved fitness were almost five times as likely, and obese and overweight boys were two and a half times as likely, to reach a healthy weight than those who stayed underfit,” said first author Adela Hruby, a Ph.D. candidate at the Friedman School. “It turns out that maintaining fitness is beneficial, too. We observed that obese and overweight girls and boys who both started and ended the study being fit were more likely to have a healthy weight by the end of the study.”

Staying fit also benefitted healthy weight boys and girls; they were more likely to maintain their weight than those students who declined from fit to underfit over the course of the study.

Maintaining or achieving a healthy weight appeared to be most closely associated with cardiorespiratory fitness, which was assessed by th students’ performance in a 20-yard shuttle run (a 6-minute, back-and-forth run between two markers). Incremental improvement in cardiorespiratory fitness was associated with achieving a healthy weight in children who were obese or overweight at baseline and with weight maintenance in healthy weight students who were fit at baseline.

Sacheck noted additional research is needed to explain the current results. “Because ours is an observational study using just annual measures, it is unclear whether students who became fit did so before they lost weight or whether they lost weight before they became fit,” she said. “Long-term intervention trials that assess both fitness and nutrition could provide more data to determine the role of improved fitness in weight loss.”

A range of options exist for increasing child fitness. “Federal guidelines call for at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day and most of that should fall into the category of cardiorespiratory fitness that builds the capacity of the heart and lungs, such as soccer or dancing,” Sacheck said. “In addition to organized sports, school recesses or walking to school counts toward that one-hour goal. Parents can help by being active with their kids and limiting time spent watching TV or playing video games.”

The authors propose schools as leading advocates for physical activity programming and policies, such as in-school fitness testing. “Although data on childhood fitness and health outcomes is still evolving, there is a body of research showing relationships between the two in adults, such as reduced risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. If studies continue to show the same for children, there is an even stronger case for fitness testing in schools where large groups of children can have access to such an evaluation.”

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another Curriculum w/Professional Development: No Impact

The study Impact on Student English Language Proficiency of Classroom Materials in Combination with Teacher Professional Development examines the impact on student English language proficiency of the On Our Way to English (OWE) curriculum, offered in combination with the Responsive Instruction for Success in English (RISE) teacher professional development.

On Our Way to English was developed to provide ELL students access to English oral language development, comprehensive literacy instruction, and standards-based content area information in science and social studies. Responsive Instruction for Success in English (RISE) complements the OWE classroom program with professional development to understand the content of OWE, the rationale for its structure, and practical strategies for its use.

The study found that the combination of OWE and RISE did not have a statistically significant effect on students’ acquisition of English, teacher-reported student engagement, instructional practices, or assessment practices.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Tackling dyslexia before kids learn to read

For children with dyslexia, the trouble begins even before they start reading and for reasons that don't necessarily reflect other language skills. That's according to a report published online on April 5 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, that for the first time reveals a causal connection between early problems with visual attention and a later diagnosis of dyslexia.

"Visual attention deficits are surprisingly way more predictive of future reading disorders than are language abilities at the prereading stage," said Andrea Facoetti of the University of Padua in Italy.

The researchers argue that the discovery not only closes a long-lasting debate on the causes of dyslexia but also opens the way to a new approach for early identification and interventions for the 10 percent of children for whom reading is extremely difficult.

The researchers studied Italian-speaking children for a period of three years, from the time they were prereading kindergarteners until they entered second grade. Facoetti's team, including Sandro Franceschini, Simone Gori, Milena Ruffino, and Katia Pedrolli, assessed prereaders for visual spatial attention—the ability to filter relevant versus irrelevant information—through tests that asked them to pick out specific symbols amid distractions. The children also took tests on syllable identification, verbal short-term memory, and rapid color naming, followed over the next two years by measures of reading.

Those test results showed that kids who initially had trouble with visual attention were also the ones to later struggle in reading.

"This is a radical change to the theoretical framework explaining dyslexia," Facoetti said. "It forces us to rewrite what is known about the disorder and to change rehabilitation treatments in order to reduce its impact."

He says that simple visual-attention tasks should improve the early identification of children at risk for dyslexia. "Because recent studies show that specific prereading programs can improve reading abilities, children at risk for dyslexia could be treated with preventive remediation programs of visual spatial attention before they learn to read."

Friday, May 18, 2012

Yoga Vs Medical System.

In any medical systems the primary reliance is on medicine. It is assumed that a particular medicine will cure a particular diseases . The medical doctor does the diagnosis, identifies the disease and prescribes a suitable medicine . The patient in this system has to do very little or nothing at all. The task of correcting the diseases and disorder and restoring the health is assigned to the medicine.

Seen in this context , there is a contrast between the medical system and yogic system of treatment . Where as in the medical system an external agent medicine does the corrective work, in the yogic system this external agent is not needed at all. As said earlier, it is the patient himself whose personal understanding , practice and care cures his disease in the yogic system.

Patients suffering from various chronic disease, who had lost their faith in the medical system because in spite of years of treatment they had not achieved the permanent and satisfactory cure. In certain cases, the medicine provided them immediate relief, but not a lasting cure. On the other hand , a great number of such patients achieved the permanent cure through therapeutic yoga. This has specially been so in a cases of diabetes , arthritis and various other cases.

This limitation of the medical system should not mean that it is inferior to the yoga system; rather it is only a matter of the limitation and scope of a given system . There are areas where only the medical science and not yoga can come to the rescue of the patient. Similarly , there are certain diseases ,which , though regarded incurable through medicinal system, are definitely cured through yoga.This shows that every stem of treatment has certain unique points as well as limitations.

Further , the medical treatment has now become so expensive that millions of people all over the world can not afford it. It is, therefore, not surprising that our hospitals now fail to provide medicines to the patients although they used to do so liberally in the past . Yoga on the other hand does not involve any expenses .

Therefore , it would be prudent on the part of the medical men to adopt and use this tested ancient system of yoga, for treating those diseases and ailments whose medicinal cure is not certain. Since the system of therapeutic yoga is now scientifically established , it can be used as a "self-cure" method by people suffering from various disorders in any part of the world.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Using Incentives to Move a District’s Highest-Performing Teachers to its Lowest-Achieving Schools

“Moving Teachers: Implementation of Transfer Incentives in Seven Districts” describes the implementation and intermediate impacts of an intervention designed to provide incentives to induce a school district’s highest-performing teachers to work in its lowest-achieving schools. The intervention, called the Talent Transfer Initiative or TTI, was carried out in 7 districts and includes an incentive of $20,000 over 2 years to a district’s highest-performing teachers who agreed to move to teach in the district’s targeted lower performing schools.

The report uses random assignment within each district to form two equivalent groups of classrooms at the same grade level ("teacher teams"), a treatment group that had the chance to participate in the intervention and a control group that did not. Analyses include 90 vacancy pairs and 86 schools in the 7 study districts.

Data for this report were collected on program implementation and teacher- and principal-reported behaviors and perceptions.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Cholesterol is an important part of the cell membrane in all mammalian cells. It is a wax like steroid metabolite. This is highly essential in the production of steroid hormones, fat soluble vitamins and bile.

In general cholesterol is usually related to disease and is not something that is favored. But the truth is cholesterol is also an important ingredient in your daily nutrients it can’t be entirely neglected. Food with high amount of HDL must be preferred since it aids to protect from heart problems by extracting cholesterol from the walls in artery and sending them to liver for further metabolism. LDL is referred to as bad cholesterol gets its name because of its association with risk towards coronary heart disease.

Follow the below tips and see a remarkable change in your cholesterol level :

• If you love eating Non-Veg, then go for white meat (poultry and fish) since they have low fat level and lessen red meat intake.

• Avoid fried foods and go for grilled ones. In grilled foods there won’t be any extra oil and the vitamins loss will be less.

• Light cheese or skimmed milk has less saturated fat, so it helps maintain your LDL level in normal.

• Include dietary fiber (examples are oats, grain cereals, banana, etc) in your diet, this will lower cholesterol by eliminating the unwanted fats.

• Try to eat in restaurants that proved low fat foods. Try to have salads along with what ever you eat. This will keep high cholesterol food being consumed in fewer amounts.

• Exercising is the key to a healthy life. You don’t have to do tough ones, try walking, jogging, swimming or even cycling for around 30 mins. This will keep you active and fit. Try to do it everyday.

• Olive oil or canola oil is highly recommended even by physicians since it contains less cholesterol.

• Make sure that your snake items have very less cholesterol contents, just go through the label and nutrient content of the snack before buying them.

• Cut down your alcohol intake as one drink a day to maintain a low cholesterol level.

• Get some professional help from dieticians or a physician to help you design you routine and diet.

• Once you have restricted cholesterol level in you diet you will automatically lead a healthy life with no unnecessary weight gain.

• Soft drinks and other sweetened beverages need to be reduced.

• Include Salmon, Fish Oils and Flax seed in your diet since they are Omega 3 -rich foods.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Cucumber and it's natural benefits

This information was in The New York Times several weeks ago as part of their "Spotlight on the Home" series that highlighted creative and fanciful ways to solve common problems.

1. Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.

2. Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B Vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.

3. Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog & provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.

4. Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent Undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.

5. Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the Collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!

6. Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential Nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!

7. Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.

8. Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don't have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.

9. Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!

10. Stressed out and don't have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemical and nutrients from the cucumber with react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.

11. Just finish a business lunch and realize you don't have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the photochemical will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.

12. Looking for a 'green' way to clean your faucets, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won't leave streaks and won't harm your fingers or fingernails while you clean.

13. Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Managing Asthma in Student Athletes

For the student athlete with asthma, spring and summer pose particular dangers. The most significant danger is the all-too-frequent lack of access to a life-saving asthma inhaler, explains Maureen George, PhD, RN, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Federal law permits students to carry their asthma inhalers with them, yet many schools do not because of safety concerns.

“Managing asthma is especially challenging for student athletes because many coaches do not feel comfortable assuming responsibility for administering asthma medications, nor are they trained to do so,” explains Dr. George. “School rules keep epinephrine pens and inhalers off the playing field and in the building or locked in an office when they should be immediately available to student athletes.”

In the worst case scenarios, she says, coaches will tell student athletes with asthma symptoms to sit out or, even worse, push them beyond their limits. “That lack of understanding and empathy is not only embarrassing for the student athlete,” she says, “it is dangerous and potentially life-threatening.”

Dr. George urges parents to know the right of their children to carry their inhalers, to encourage their children to pre-medicate before exercise, and to have gym teachers and coaches receive training to become skilled in the management of acute asthma.

Dr. George also makes these recommendations:
• Student athletes with asthma should use inhalers prophylactically before exercise or athletics, even if they feel well.
• Student athletes with asthma should have access to their medications in school, at the gym, on the field, on the court -- wherever they are playing.
• Parents should learn the law and work with their children’s schools, coaches, and teams to ensure asthma management is being handled appropriately during the school day and during sports.
• Student athletes and their coaches should know the early signs of an asthma attack: shortness of breath, audible wheezing, increased respiratory rate, cough, and complaints of chest tightness. Late signs include a bluish color to the lips and face; decreased alertness, such as severe drowsiness or confusion; extreme difficulty breathing; rapid pulse; sweating; or an abnormal breathing pattern. If a student is having an asthma attack, do not lie the student down; allow the student to sit or recline and rest.
• Students and coaches should have on hand a fully charged cell phone pre-programmed with emergency numbers.
• Coaches should never leave a student in distress; send other children to get adult help and reassure the child to prevent the child from panicking.
• Parents, students, and coaches should follow mold, pollen, and air quality counts and coaches should provide student athletes with alternative activities on days when triggers may cause an unsafe outdoor environment for sustained physical activity.

“Anyone with asthma can fully participate in physical education or competitive sports if their asthma is well-managed. In fact, many Olympic athletes have asthma,” says Dr. George. “All you need to do is see a healthcare provider, take your medication as prescribed, have your rescue medication immediately available to you, and know and avoid your triggers.”

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sight Word Strategy

I love strategies that are "quick and dirty" and cheap! This is a simple strategy to have children practice one or two sight words that are giving them trouble.

Simply get a washable marker and write the word on the child's hand. Make sure to write it so that the word faces the child when the child looks down at her hand. Now remind the child that every time she looks at her hand, she needs to read the word.

This simple strategy gives the child numerous opportunities to target that word throughout the day. She can practice it on her own. She can read it in line to specials, she can read it in line from specials, she can read it in line to lunch, etc., etc., etc. The beauty of it is that it not only prompts the child to remember her sight word, but it also quickly prompts staff to ask her to read the word. It offers lots and lots of repetition within just one day!

And I have to tell you, it works. For the life of me, I could not remember my PIN to check out books from the library and our school librarian forever had to look up my number. The little girl whose hands are pictured here heard us go through it one day and she told me "If you can't remember it, you need to write it on your hand!" Since I do it for my students, I figured, I'd better be willing to do it for myself, especially since she called me out and it was a situation that mirrored when I use the strategy for them! Do you know, since then, I have remembered that crazy PIN?

If you are going to use this strategy, you will want to check with parents first to make sure they are okay with you writing on their child's hand. You also want to make sure to ask the child's permission. After all, you are writing on THEIR body and it IS pretty blatant. I would never want to use a strategy that embarrasses a child. Most of my students this year are okay with it, however, I have 2 students who tell me "no" they don't want me to write on their hands and I respect that. For those students we don't use this strategy.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Valentine's Activity: Hearts Everywhere

If you are in any way similar to me in how you plan lessons for activities you've seen online, you need some time to read about the idea, think about how you would use it with your group, prepare your materials and then implement it. One of the teacher's on my team this year says he likes to let concepts have a chance to "marinate." We've all adopted his lingo. We like to let kids have the chance to have repeated exposure to concepts, but sometimes we also need some marinating time for ourselves.

In an effort to give everyone some time to "marinate" the following ideas, I'm sending them out early (or really late considering I took the pictures last February!)

For my pre-schoolers that I've had in the past, this lesson focused on the positional concept "on" as well as identification of common objects.

I started with the interactive book, "Hearts Everywhere", from the Jefferson Parish AAC link. I would read the book to my class using the felt board and laminated hearts. On each page, the students would take turns placing the heart "on" the object identified in the book.

After introducing the book and the vocabulary, the next day before the children came in the classroom, my assistant and I placed construction paper hearts all over the classroom. During circle time, I would call a few students at a time to go "look for a red heart" and bring it back to the carpet. When they brought their heart back, I would ask them where they found their heart. Once they answered the question, we would place it on our chart and I would call the next group of children to go look.

TIP: If you are working with pre-school age children, be sure to write on the heart the location that you placed it. For example, "on the fish tank." When you have several children looking at the same time, it's easy to miss who picked one up from specific locations. If you don't have several children looking at the same time, the waiting period gets to be too long for little ones. And if you have students at levels similar to the students I have taught, when you ask the question, "Where was your heart?" you will inevitable get the answer "over there" a few times. You want to be sure you can accurately prompt them to answer the question using the positional word "on" and the correct common object where it was.

I love activities that get students actively engaged. These types of scavenger hunts always produce smiles, laughter and excitement.

Because of that I'm trying to think of a way I can adapt the activity to be appropriate for my current third graders.

I think I will connect it to our writer's workshop lessons. We have been working on using more descriptive phrases in our paragraphs. I am going to place many hearts all over the room with their labels. Have the students put their heads down with their eyes closed and give each student 10 or 15 seconds (one at a time) to go get a heart from somewhere in the room. After they collect their hearts, they will describe where they found the heart, but they are not allowed to name the object. Then they will read their paragraphs to their classmates who will need to guess where the heart was originally.

I'll have to let you know how it goes! I'd love to see other ideas on how to use a scavenger hunt type activity to support academic goals for older students. Please post your ideas in the comments section.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Individual Instruction

Do you ever have a chance for individual instruction with your students? I've always tried to "fit" it in somewhere, but was more worried about systematically scheduling my groups and seeing every instructional group every day.

This year a block of time for individual instruction evolved during the time that our speech pathologist comes in to do "push in" language therapy groups. I started off trying to have a group opposite her group, but for a variety of reasons that just didn't work out. Over the first month of school, we tried a few different things during this time and finally settled into a pattern.

We have 4 adults in the room during this time: the SLP, my two assistants and me. Here's how we organize the time now:

11:45-12:30 Speech/Language Therapy and Individual Instruction

The students come back into the room from specials, get drinks, go to the bathroom and then get their journals out.

If the students are not working with one of the adults in the room, they are expected to be writing in their journals. At the beginning of the month, I create a journal prompt menu. The students tape this to the inside of their journals and "x" out the prompts as they write about them. I use the word walls from www.ABCTeach.com and an individual word bank to help them with their writing too. I do this so that the students who are at their desks writing have the support of materials when they don't have the support of the classroom staff. This helps them to be more independent. (In fact, if one the students calls my name while I am working with another student during this time, you'll probably hear a peer saying "You know she's going to ignore you because it's not your turn." It took us a long time to get to this point, but they know what they are supposed to do and they know that they have strategies to be able to do it on their own.)

At the beginning of this time, one assistant takes a student to the clinic for meds and the other assistant takes her break. I get the students transitioned and started on their journals and the SLP calls the students she needs for the day. Once we get going here's how we are organized:

1) Students not with an adult write in journals at desks.

2) Students scheduled for speech/language go to group work.

3) Assistant #1: Helps students with AR tests. I have 7 students who can read and take AR tests independently. However, that leaves 6 who still need support. This assistant pulls students 1:1. They read her an AR book and then she helps them log on and complete the test. We have a laminated folder for each student and tape a quarterly AR goal inside. With the AR goal is a sticker chart so they can record their progress towards the goal. I've also included guidelines for the adult helping (so that it's clear to the person not to help too much!)

4) Assistant #2: Has students read individually to her from their book buckets or chapter books. In the "book buckets" students have a reading log with leveled readers from www.readinga-z.com. Some of my students have started chapter books, but still need some support with them. This is a perfect time for them to read a chapter to my assistant.

5: Teacher: Students read their sight words to me and I record data towards mastery. (I'm fussy about the data recording so I don't like others to do this.) This is also a time for me to read their journals and have a mini-writer's conference. On some days I have also used this time to record Oral Reading Fluency scores. If someone is stuck on a particular skill, I can pull that child during this time and work on it too. (Again, just like with the reading block organization, I like to have systems set for my assistants and the students, so that I can think about how my time is best spent during this block of time. My activities change the most, but I always fall back to sight word practice and mastery when there is not something else that needs to be addressed.)

I've enjoyed this individual time this year and I think the students have too (except for the journal writing, most of them still don't like that.) They enjoy seeing their progress and their skills improve. Each station has a progress monitoring piece embedded into it. At the AR station, they see their stickers tracking progress towards their quarterly goal. At the book buckets station, they see their reading log fill up and the level of their leveled readers go up too. At my station the see their mastery of the sight words turning into "star words" and then speed words. At the SLP's station she always tells them how many they got correct in their previous session and encourages them to go for more correct this time.

Not only do the students like to see their progress towards their learning, I think they really enjoy the one on one time they get with an adult. I have lots of data to show how their academic skills have improved but not very much about how this time impacts the climate of our classroom. However, I really do believe that it makes a positive difference in the relationships that are developed between the adults and the students too.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Reading Chapter Books

Yahooey! Just before Winter Break, I introduced several of my students to reading chapter books independently. Like anything else, we started small and built upon the skills that were already in place.

Since the beginning of the school year, we have spent 10-12 minutes each day with a chapter read aloud. I don't test on it, we don't dissect the book, we don't go crazy if something happens and the chapter is put off until tomorrow. My purpose in approaching it in this manner was to introduce books that were longer in length and to model reading a chapter book in small increments. I wanted the kids to see enjoyment of reading a longer book.

When I felt a few kids were ready, I hand picked some beginning chapter books such as "The Fly Guy" and the "Frog and Toad" series. This introduced the kids to the format of a chapter book but the length and the reading level was still relatively easy for them.

I finally then moved to books in series like "The Magic Treehouse" and "Cam Jansen." In order to help the kids break up the book into manageable chunks and to also let them see their progress, I stole an idea from another teacher on my team.

She shared that for some of her kids, she writes down which pages they have to read each night on a bookmark. Since I am a big fan of post its and I have a lot of them, I used her idea on a post it. I selected quite a few books and then asked the student to choose a book from my pre-selected group rather than the whole library. After he/she selected the book, we went through the table of contents together to see how many chapters were in the book. I then wrote each chapter number on the post it and gave it to them for their bookmark. As they finished each chapter, they could cross of the chapter they had completed.

It has been working pretty well. Two "bonuses" of this visual support is that it is 1) cheap, and 2) easy. As the kids finish the books and successfully pass AR tests, their confidence is growing! Hopefully, this will help to scaffold their "reading endurance" and help them continue to read longer passages and books successfully.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Reading Block

This past week I had a first year teacher and her mentor visit my classroom. I've finally arrived at the point in my career where I actually enjoy this. My assistants and I "do what we do" every day and to have some one come in to observe and ask questions often prompts further reflection on what we do and why we do it. I had one of those moments with this observation.

I'm in a rather unique teaching situation within my district this year. I have a self contained, varying exceptionalities (cross categorical) of all third graders. Most of our self contained classes across the district are multi-grade.

The teacher observing teaches a class of students kindergarten to third grade. She provides direct instruction during the reading block for the first through third graders.

Her question was "How do you expose the students to grade level content in reading but still provide direct instruction at their instructional levels?" Great question! We always talk about exposing kids to grade level curriculum, but the reality is that most students in self contained classes are significantly below grade level expectations in their skills. So HOW do you do that? How would you organize teaching them at their instructional level, but still provide them exposure to grade level materials?

For my class this year, it is actually quite easy. All of my students are third graders, so we start reading block with a shared reading lesson from the grade level materials. Within this time frame we introduce the listening comprehension selection, the focus skill and the robust vocabulary words. After we complete this, we move into instructional level groups for direction instruction in strategies, phonics and comprehension skills.

However, most of the time, in a self contained class, I would need to expose the children to grade level material at three different grade levels. For example, all of the third graders need exposure to third grade materials. All of the second graders need exposure to second grade materials and all of the first graders need exposure to first grade materials.

After thinking and reflecting about it, the following is what I came up with as a structure for accomplishing the balance between grade level exposure and direct instruction at instructional levels for a multi-grade class. Keep in mind, that this is where I would start. It might need some tweaking based on student needs, assistant skill sets, school resources, etc.

I would use the two different methods (grade level, instructional level) of grouping during my reading block.

The first set of groups would be based on the child's instructional level. So no matter what grade the child is in, all the kids that are functioning in a 1.5 grade level for reading would be in one instructional group, etc. Within these groups we would work on decoding strategies, phonics, fluency, comprehension of passages the child reads himself, and focus skills that go with the INSTRUCTIONAL level rather than the grade level.

The second set of groups would be based on the child's grade level. Within these groups we would work on listening comprehension, robust vocabulary and exposure to grade level materials and focus skills.

I base my lessons on a two week schedule, so I typically have 10 instructional days.

It is important to note: My district uses StoryTown Materials. The StoryTown materials are organized into a selection lesson for one week. They also have a focus skill that crosses over 2 selections and practiced over two weeks. The pace of one story every week (addressing the vocabulary, focus skill, grammar and phonics rule) was too fast for my students. I have decided to align my lessons with the focus skills and a two week period. In short, this year, my students are only completing the even numbered selections from StoryTown. We are not using the odd numbered lessons at all. I am attempting to systematically teach the focus skills and third grade curriculum, but do so at a pace that my students can handle and master! I started the year at the pace the curriculum suggests and I had students failing left and right. Clearly something needed to change. I wanted the kids to be exposed to all of the focus skills, so I opted for using all of the even numbered lessons instead of using every lesson at a slower pace.

On Day 1 in my reading block, I would spend the time entirely within grade level groups rotating between the teacher, an assistant and an independent center (probably the listening center.) This would give the students a good long and repeated exposure to the grade level shared reading selection. As the teacher, I would want to spend this time so that I know I am introducing every child to their selection at the beginning of the unit. This also tends to be fun for my students. We act out the vocabulary words, think of pictures that help us remember the meaning and discuss the story.

Then on days 2-9, I would break my reading block into 3 time periods.

1) 60 minutes: rotation with instructional level groups

Instructional group station 1: Teacher led

guided reading and strategy work

To be perfectly honest, this is the station where I spend the bulk of my planning time. I need to think about what the kids are doing, make changes as necessary, push when they are ready for a push and pull back when content is too frustrating. I like to get a program in place for my other two stations so that I can spend the majority of my "thinking" time on my direct instruction group.

Instructional group station 2: Assistant led

If you have a scripted phonics program (i.e. SRA Reading Mastery) I would use that, if not, materials such as Explode the Code are a bit more affordable than purchasing an entire scripted program. If that is not available, I would also look to leveled readers from Science materials, media centers professional library, Scholastic News. I try to keep this station using materials that are familiar to my assistant. That way, I can spend less time planning for her and explaining what I want the students to work on. Just as kids like things to be familiar, adults like things to be familiar too!

Instructional group station 3: Independent

computer programs, independent worksheets, silent reading, TEACCH task baskets, etc. Find something that you have available that your students can do WITHOUT your help. This is critical! If your students cannot independently complete what you assign them, you will never get through your reading instruction with other groups. Even if you have to decrease the level of difficulty, this center MUST be independent or you will sacrifice your instructional time.

2) 5 minutes: Poem or Choral Read

Pull all of the kids back together at their desks or a carpet and do a poem or a choral read. This works as an instructional method working towards improving fluency, but also as a management technique. I find that transitions are easier if the students are moving to a designated place. And then leaving that designated place to group work. So the idea is to pull them all together annd then send them off again to different groups.

3) 20-25 minutes: Grade Level Groups

On days 2-9 I would probably only see one grade level group a day. The grade level groups would move through a similar rotation: teacher group, assistant group, independent group, but would differ in how many times I see them. I see every instructional group every day. I would not see every grade level group every day. Over the course of the 10 days, I would see each group 2 or 3 times, my assistant would see each group 2 or 3 times and they would be independent 2 or 3 times.

The three groups would be as follows:

Teacher led: Shared reading, critical thinking skills and grade level focus skills

Assistant led: Vocabulary bingo or other related games

Independent: Listening center with the targeted selection

On the 10th day, we would rest....oops, I mean test! I would keep the same structure as days 2-9 and complete the instructional level tests in small groups first. Then I would figure out how to fit in the listening comprehension and robust vocabulary for the grade level groups somewhere. I would probably have to steal from another time in the day somewhere!

I would love to hear what others are doing to address this question! Since I've just moved back into the elementary level this year, I haven't been in on these kinds of academic conversations and troubleshooting in a while.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Reading Throughout the Day

Some of you know I've recently switched teaching pre-schoolers with disabilities to teaching third grade students with disabilities.

In Florida, third grade is a "high stakes grade level." Children who do not pass the reading section of our achievement test face a mandatory retention.

My assistants and I are working diligently to help our students develop and improve their reading skills. We have a few systems and procedures that we have in place to help our students maximize reading opportunities throughout the day.

In this post I'll list our systems and procedures, and then in future posts, I'll explain in more detail how we specifically address each item.

1) Guided Reading Groups led by the teacher using district adopted curriculum materials (for my district this is Harcourt StoryTown)

2) Scripted Phonics lesson led by a classroom assistant using SRA Reading Mastery materials

3) "Book Buckets" that include individual leveled readers from ReadingA-Z and a reading log. Update: In December of 2011, we added some chapter books to this time. For more information, see this post.

4) Sight word practice. We store this in our book buckets and simply write targeted a sight word on an index card, hole punch it and collect them on a binder ring.

5) Shared poetry using poems from curriculum materials and other supplements.

6) Shared reading focusing on robust vocabulary and focus skills such character, setting, recalling details, etc.

7) Accelerated Reader using individualized goals and reading levels.

8) Read aloud chapter books.

9) Read aloud grade level short stories led by a classroom assistant.

10) Reading "choice time" activities (popular songs with lyrics..karaoke style, Boggle, Boggle Jr, Spell It Puzzles, Bananagrams, Scrabble, Scrabble Jr, etc).

* For more details on how steps 1, 2, 6 and 9 look in the classroom, visit this post.

We've just started our third week of school and I feel as if we are really starting to move with our reading groups and instruction. It took us a bit of time to finish assessments, formulate groups, and teach our students procedures for each of the areas we've attacked.

Hopefully, by the end of the year, we'll be able to report some good growth in our students' reading skills. I say "we" and "our" with intent because it require a team effort between the students, their families, my assistants and me!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Big Changes.......

It has been a busy, busy summer.

In addition to all of the typical summer school and summer vacation activities, I decided to transfer schools and grade levels. I will actually be teaching at the neighborhood school that I attended myself as a kindergarten student!

In the fall I will start teaching a class for third grade students with varying exceptionalities. And, although, I will miss my pre-k students and assistant terribly, I'm looking forward to the change.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Literacy and Art and a Gentle Reminder

Have you ever had one of those days when the stars and planets are aligning to make sure you "get the message?"

I had one today.

My class is in the middle of a camping theme. They have been having a grand time playing in tents, singing around our "campfire," pretending to roast marshmallows, pretending to grill hamburgers, reading by lantern light, etc.....all of the play based experiences you would expect to find in a preschool classroom.

The shared reading book we have been reading this week is called "The Camping Scare" by Terri Dougherty. It's a simple book with great picture-to-text relationships and good illustrations that show many of our targeted vocabulary words.

In our art center today, we had out large sheets of black construction paper, the scrap bin, scissors, markers and glue. The children were encouraged to make a camping picture as an extension of our other play experiences and the literature we have been reading.

One child took his turn at the art center and began snipping very small pieces of the scraps. I looked at what he was doing and asked him what he was planning on making. He tells me he's making a tent. (This is clearly NOT a tent...in my mind...it is tiny pieces of paper. In my head, we were going to have a great creative experience where the children could cut out shapes of their choice to create figures of tents, etc and then use the markers for the finer details.) Well, I let him continue with his art project and he continued snipping the tiny pieces of paper. Good thing!

It turns out, he used those tiny pieces of blue paper to glue an outline of a tent, then collaged the brown ones to make logs for a fire, the orange ones for the flames and cut a large purple rectangle and used the markers to draw a "friend sleeping in a sleeping bag." It was fantastic!

Clearly, we (as teachers and parents) need to remember that children (even young children) are individuals with their own creativity, thoughts and ideas. I'm so glad that this particular child gave me an experience that serves as a gentle reminder that there are times that children need to have the space and freedom to communicate their thoughts and ideas in the way that they determine rather than with what we impose.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

How others see the U.S. action against UNESCO

The General Conference of UNESCO last fall voted, over America's opposition, to admit Palestine to membership. In response, and in keeping with laws passed in the early 1990s, the United States is withholding its contributions to UNESCO. Since the U.S. assessed contribution corresponds to 22 percent of its regular budget, this is causing a crisis in the Organization.

Here is a comment on the case by the Turkish publication, Todays Zaman:

Just by looking at UNESCO’s identity motto one can observe that something about the latest US decision is not quite right. Here it is: “UNESCO contributes to the building of peace, the alleviation of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information.” And, one may add, it pursues these noble objectives across many underdeveloped countries all over the world. How is it possible then that the Obama administration has announced that it will stop payments towards such an institution? The US, also known as the land of possibilities, has knowingly decided to deny their support for an organization that courageously helps people in need all over the world. I don’t mean to be cacophonic, but this resolution implies, and that’s the worst part of it, the taking away of the possibility of a better life for people in need around the world. In other words, a lot of programs will be shut down.......... The controversy within the position adopted by the US seems to be merely of a legal nature. We know that the US has proved all along to be a loyal ally of Israel. We also know that in the ‘90s two congressional laws were created to expressly prohibit the funding of any UN organization that accepts the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a full member. The purpose of the laws was to encourage negotiation between Israelis and the Palestinians to reach a just and broad peace. What we might not know is that the laws are reversible, and the US Congress could abolish these laws if it wants to. It could vote at any given time to invalidate them, as declared by the president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.Read the entire article titled "Why US decision to deny support to UNESCO is extremely controversial"

Friday, May 4, 2012

More on the U.S. Funding of UNESCO

Public opinion about U.S. funding for UNESCO continues to be alive and well this week.Several articles on the subject appeared including this one from the Minnesota Daily and this one out of Boston University.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Ambassador Susan Rice on Capitol Hill

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice was on Capitol Hill this week to speak with Members of the House about the FY 2013 Federal Budget.During her time on the Hill, the Ambassador spoke about the current status of U.S. funding for UNESCO. You can find more details here. House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen issued a statement in response, which you can seehere.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The IIEP was founded as a result of a USA initiative and now suffers as the USA withholds funding from UNESCO

The Website of the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) makes a number of publications available worldwide via its website.

The IIEP is a UNESCO Category I Center, established in 1963 in Paris, France. It is supported by grants from UNESCO and by voluntary contributions from Member States and others. IIEP is an integral part of UNESCO, yet it enjoys a large amount of autonomy.

Rene Maheu, then UNESCO Director General, and the UNESCO general Conference established the IIEP at the initiative of the U.S. government and in particular of John F. Kennedy's Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Culture, Philip Coonbs. The initiative was advanced following a White House conference convened to assess the effects of decolonization. Within a decade, U.S. leadership and its commitment to the global good led to the creation not only of IIEP but of two other enduring UNESCO centers of excellence: the World Heritage Convention and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission.

It is ironic that UNESCO currently had budgeted to provide only 14% of IIEP's budget with the remaining 86% contributed by new champions of the global good: Norway, Sweden Switzerland and the Netherlands.(Ireland and Spain, despite their desperate financial status also contribute!) Moreover, UNESCO's 14% has been reduced by nearly $900,000 because of the U.S. freeze on contributions to UNESCO. (The world Heritage Center will lose more than $1,1,400.00 because of US action. IOC has also taken a devastating hit.)

As this is written, IIEP's director is leading a UNESCO team to Libya, at the Libyan authorities request, to see how UNESCO might be helpful in rebuilding the country's' intellectual infrastructures. IIEP is on the ground also in South Sudan, Afghanistan and other countries such as Chad and Burkina Faso, that are in desperate need. Let us hope that the United States,that played so Central and positive a role in creating the post world War II international order, of which UNESCO is a central part, will soon emerge from its current slumber and demonstrate to the world the better face of its nature.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth's Hazing Abuses

"This "culture of silence," as some on campus describe it, is both a product of the Greek system's ethos and the shield that enables it to operate with impunity...

"Having a 3.7 and being the president of a hard-guy frat is far more valuable than having a 4.0 and being independent when it comes to going to a place like Goldman Sachs. And that corporate milieu mirrors the fraternity culture."

[Maura Larkins comment: The secrecy and the social politics don't sound completely different from the teachers' lounges in public elementary schools I've taught at, or, for that matter, from the politics in most schools and offices. I suspect the difference is mainly one of degree.]

Confessions of an Ivy League Frat Boy: Inside Dartmouth's Hazing Abuses
A Dartmouth degree is a ticket to the top - but first you may have to get puked on by your drunken friends and wallow in human filth
Rolling Stone
March 28, 2012

Long before Andrew Lohse became a pariah at Dartmouth College, he was just another scarily accomplished teenager with lofty ambitions. Five feet 10 with large blue eyes and the kind of sweet-faced demeanor that always earned him a pass, he grew up in the not-quite-rural, not-quite-suburban, decidedly middle-class town of Branchburg, New Jersey, and attended a public school where he made mostly A's, scored 2190 on his SATs and compiled an exhaustive list of extracurricular activities that included varsity lacrosse, model U.N. (he was president), National Honor Society, band, orchestra, Spanish club, debate and – on weekends – a special pre-college program at the Manhattan School of Music, where he received a degree in jazz bass. He also wrote songs; gigged semiprofessionally at restaurants throughout New York, New Jersey and Connecticut; played drums for a rock band; chased, and conquered, numerous girls; and by his high school graduation, in 2008, had reached the pinnacle of adolescent cool by dating "this really hot skanky cheerleader," as he puts it.

That fall, he enrolled at Dartmouth, where he had wanted to go for as long as he could remember. His late grandfather, Austin Lohse, had played football and lacrosse for Big Green, and both Andrew and his older brother, Jon, a Dartmouth junior, idolized him as the embodiment of the high-achieving, hard-drinking, fraternal ethos of the Dartmouth Man, or what Lohse calls a "true bro." A Dartmouth Man is a specific type of creature, and when I ask Lohse what constitutes true bro-ness, he provides an idealized portrait of white-male privilege: "good-looking, preppy, charismatic, excellent at cocktail parties, masculine, intelligent, wealthy (or soon to become so), a little bit rough around the edges" – not, in other words, a "douchey, superpolished Yalie."

A true bro, Lohse adds, can also drink inhuman amounts of beer, vomit profusely and keep on going, and perform a number of other hard-partying feats – Dartmouth provided the real-life inspiration for Animal House – that most people, including virtually all of Lohse's high school friends, would find astounding. This, like the high salaries that Dartmouth graduates command – the sixth-highest in the country, according to the most recent estimates – is a point of pride. "We win," is how one of Lohse's former buddies puts it.

On January 25th, Andrew Lohse took a major detour from the winning streak he'd been on for most of his life when, breaking with the Dartmouth code of omertà, he detailed some of the choicest bits of his college experience in an op-ed for the student paper The Dartmouth. "I was a member of a fraternity that asked pledges, in order to become a brother, to: swim in a kiddie pool of vomit, urine, fecal matter, semen and rotten food products; eat omelets made of vomit; chug cups of vinegar, which in one case caused a pledge to vomit blood; drink beer poured down fellow pledges' ass cracks... among other abuses," he wrote. He accused Dartmouth's storied Greek system – 17 fraternities, 11 sororities and three coed houses, to which roughly half of the student body belongs – of perpetuating a culture of "pervasive hazing, substance abuse and sexual assault," as well as an "intoxicating nihilism" that dominates campus social life. "One of the things I've learned at Dartmouth – one thing that sets a psychological precedent for many Dartmouth men – is that good people can do awful things to one another for absolutely no reason," he said. "Fraternity life is at the core of the college's human and cultural dysfunctions." Lohse concluded by recommending that Dartmouth overhaul its Greek system, and perhaps get rid of fraternities entirely.

This did not go over well. At a college where two-thirds of the upperclassmen are members of Greek houses, fraternities essentially control the social life on campus. To criticize Dartmouth's frats, which date back more than 150 years, is tantamount to criticizing Dartmouth itself, the smallest and most insular school in the Ivy League. Nestled on a picturesque campus in tiny Hanover, New Hampshire, the college has produced a long list of celebrated alumni – among them two Treasury secretaries (Timothy Geithner, '83, and Henry Paulson Jr., '68), a Labor secretary (Robert Reich, '68) and a hefty sampling of the one percent (including the CEOs of GE, eBay and Freddie Mac, and the former chairman of the Carlyle Group). Many of these titans of industry are products of the fraternity culture: Billionaire hedge-fund manager Stephen Mandel, who chairs Dartmouth's board of trustees, was a brother in Psi Upsilon, the oldest fraternity on campus. Jeffery Immelt, the CEO of GE, was a Phi Delt, as were a number of other prominent trustees, among them Morgan Stanley senior adviser R. Bradford Evans, billionaire oilman Trevor Rees-Jones and venture capitalist William W. Helman IV. Hank Paulson belonged to Lohse's fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, or SAE.

In response to Lohse's op-ed, the Dartmouth community let loose a torrent of vitriol against him on The Dartmouth's website. Lohse, it was decided, was "disgruntled" and a "criminal." His "blanket and bitter portrayal of the Greek system" was not only false, complained one alumnus, "but offensive to tens of thousands of Dartmouth alumni who cherished the memories of their fraternities." Another alumnus put it this way in a mock letter to a human-resources manager: "Dear Hiring Manager, do yourself a favor: Don't hire Andrew Lohse... He will bring disgrace to your institution, just as he did when he embarrassed Dartmouth and SAE." The consensus, as another alum put it: "If you don't want to be initiated, don't pledge."

Though two of Lohse's SAE brothers have confirmed his allegations are generally on the mark, the fraternity has turned on Lohse, portraying him as a calculating fabulist who bought into the Greek system wholeheartedly and then turned against it out of sheer vindictiveness. In a letter to Rolling Stone, SAE's lawyer, Harvey Silverglate, labeled some of Lohse's most extreme allegations "demonstrably untrue" and compared Lohse to the stripper who falsely accused a number of Duke lacrosse players of raping her in 2006. "Lohse is... a seemingly unstable individual," Silverglate wrote, "with a very poor reputation for truth-telling and a very big axe to grind."

This is not the first time that SAE has come under fire for hazing abuses, or the first time the house has closed ranks against an attack: In 2009, a member of the Dartmouth faculty accused the fraternity of making pledges chug milk and vinegar until they threw up. According to Lohse and two other SAE alums, the brothers agreed to deny the charges, and discussed in detail how to respond when questioned by college officials. This "culture of silence," as some on campus describe it, is both a product of the Greek system's ethos and the shield that enables it to operate with impunity.

"The fraternities here have a tremendous sense of entitlement – a different entitlement than you find at Harvard or other Ivy League schools," says Michael Bronski, a Dartmouth professor of women's and gender studies. "Their members are secure that they have bright futures, and they just don't care. I actually see the culture as being predicated on hazing. There's a level of violence at the heart of it that would be completely unacceptable anywhere else...

"Dartmouth is a very appearance-oriented place," sophomore Becca Rothfeld tells me when I visit the campus in February. "As long as everything is all right superficially, no one is willing to inquire as to the reality of the situation... "People don't really talk about things at Dartmouth, let alone argue or get outraged about them."

This winter, in the wake of Lohse's op-ed, 105 Dartmouth professors, concerned about this entrenched mindset of avoidance, signed a letter condemning hazing as "moral thuggery" and urged the college to overhaul the Greek system. It was the faculty's third concerted effort to reform the system since the 1990s. Dissent, a signature part of the undergraduate experience at many liberal-arts colleges, is, at Dartmouth, common only to the faculty. "No matter what your actual 'Dartmouth Experience' is, everyone usually falls in line and says, 'Yes, we all love Dartmouth,'" laments English professor Ivy Schweitzer... "It's really a very corporate way of thinking."

Within the Ivy League, Dartmouth is considered the most "corporate" of the schools, with a reputation for sending graduates to Wall Street and the upper echelons of the corporate world. Statistics show that roughly a quarter of each graduating class find jobs in finance and business – a figure many students consider low, given Dartmouth's prominent ties to its Wall Street alumni, who often come back to campus to recruit. "I've been at our house when a senior partner from a financial-services firm and a chief recruiter from someplace like Bain are standing around drinking with us as we haze our pledges," says senior Nathan Gusdorf...

"Presumably, you would find a lot of drinking and plenty of frat boys at any university," says Gusdorf, "but here, drunk frat boys are handed so much power right off the bat. People do incredibly bad things to one another here, because they know they're going to get away with it."

That attitude of inherent entitlement often carries over after graduation. "One of the few dependable ways into the one percent is via these elite feeder systems, like Dartmouth," says David Rothkopf, a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the author of Power Inc., which examines the influence wielded by multinational corporations in the global era...