May 31st, 2012
06:14 PM ET

Michigan high school athlete with Down syndrome now able to keep playing

By Michael Martinez and Kelly Andersen

The Michigan High School Athletic Association on Thursday approved a waiver provision that gives a student athlete with Down syndrome a chance to continue participating in sports despite being 19 years old.

Under the new provision, Eric Dompierre, who will be a senior in the fall, could be approved to play as early as August if the Ishpeming School District formally seeks a waiver for him, said John Johnson, spokesman for the athletic association.

Eric's father, Dean Dompierre, told CNN that he hopes other states will follow Michigan's lead in offering an exception to sports age limits for students with disabilities.

"I feel relieved," Dean Dompierre told CNN in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon. "It's been two and a half years. We've been petitioning and working with the association."

He said he's looking forward to "just watching Eric run down onto the field in the first football game this fall. If he can contribute to the team, even better. The same goes for basketball season."

"The hardest part has been the stress of not knowing whether or not it's going to be Eric's last season," he added.

He said he is "almost positive" that his son will be granted a waiver in August.

Eric Dompierre's underdog quest to keep playing sports in Michigan's Upper Peninsula garnered widespread attention because he has shown flashes of athletic prowess despite his Down syndrome, such as when he hit a three-point shot in the basketball playoffs to help his team maintain a comfortable lead.

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Filed under: Extracurricular • Policy
May 31st, 2012
03:16 PM ET

Sal Khan: Revolutionizing web education

Khan Academy founder Sal Kahn previews his All Things Digital appearance and talks about the success of his site.

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Filed under: At Home • Practice • Resources • Technology • video
May 31st, 2012
12:10 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today: Cheating runs rampant
Daniel Denvir says than emphasis on high stakes testing at the federal and state levels has led to rampant cheating among U.S. school districts. His article also says that subjects outside of reading and math have been hurt as well, including science, physical education and the arts.

Education Week: NCATE Accredits First 'Nontraditional' Program
The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education has accredited iTeachU.S., which can now recommend teachers for licensure in the states of Texas, Louisiana, and Tennessee. The online provider is the first non-higher-education-based teacher preparation program accredited by NCATE.

Washington Post:College dropouts have debt but no degree
The percentage of college dropouts who have students loans has risen over the past decade. Public policy has pushed more students towards college, and some education experts say that more needs to be done to help students reach graduation. Student Voices of Military-Connected Children Inspire Guidance from Secretary Duncan
After meeting with children of members of the U.S. military, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan wrote a letter asking school districts to consider the needs of military children. The students told Secretary Duncan of the hardships they face when transitioning to new schools and difficulties in connecting deployed family members with school activities. Vaccine adds to cost of college
Vaccination against meningitis is now mandatory for most students at Texas colleges. At around $140 per shot, the vaccine against the rare but potentially fatal infection could cost as much as one or two textbooks.

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Filed under: Curriculum • Economy • Policy • Practice • Technology • Testing • Today's Reading List
Summer 'brain drain' worse for poor kids
Studies show that children lose some of their skills over the summer if their brains are not stimulated.
May 31st, 2012
06:07 AM ET

Summer 'brain drain' worse for poor kids

By Jim Roope, CNN
(CNN) - Some call it ‘the summer slide.’ Some call it ‘the summer brain drain.’ But whatever you call it, summer learning loss is a real phenomenon that has plagued students since summer vacations began.

Fourth-grade teacher Marian Valdez says that much of what kids learned in the 3rd grade they seem to forget over the summer.

Listen in as Jim Roope talks to teachers and students about summer:

“We spend the first couple of months, especially in math, reviewing, going back over the facts, time tests, those kinds of things,” said Valdez, who teaches at Washington Elementary in Los Angeles.

The first known report about summer learning loss came in a 1906 New York Times article by William White. He tested students in math before and after the summer and a found loss of skills. So for more than a hundred years, we’ve been trying to stop the summer knowledge leak.

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Filed under: At Home • Behavior • Curriculum • Podcast