Tag Archives: The Washington Post

Competency based education tested in DC schools

11 Nov

An article in The Washington Post reports on a test of competency based education in the DC schools.

I think this is a good thing, there is a substantial body of evidence suggesting the value of behavioral approaches to education. Unlike other approaches that make teachers into the problem, behavioral approaches give teachers the skills they need to help children. Teacher are treated as partners, not problems:

“Inside the Washington school system the competency curriculum has drawn virtually no criticism, and it has been warmly supported by the Washington Teachers Union, whose representatives helped draw it up.”


The medical case for the fist bump

23 Oct

From The Washington Post:

‘It’s the safest way to exchange pleasantries and “ritualistic touching,” according to a fresh study published today in the American Journal of Infection Control. “People rarely think about the health implications of shaking hands,” said Dave Whitworth of Aberystwyth University in a statement. “If the general public could be encouraged to fist-bump, there is genuine potential to reduce the spread of infectious disease.”’

You can read the original paper here.



The cost of drinking

21 Oct

Alcohol is the world’s most popular neurotoxicin. Its effects on the brain are well documented. A recent article in The Washington Post reviews the hidden costs of drinking.


Prohibition was a failure, but the article makes a good case for increasing taxes on alcohol.

Too much TV does not cause Alzheimer’s disease (but it does correlate with it)

29 Jul

Once again the media jump from correlational findings to make causal claims. Here is the headline in The Washington Post:

“Too much TV could raise the risk of Alzheimer’s, study suggests”

At least they qualified it with the words “study suggests.”

The false promise of fish oil

24 Jul

I have been blogging a lot about diet lately and I should move onto other topics, but I think this Washington Post story is important:

“People in the United States spend about $1.2 billion annually for fish oil pills and related supplements even though the vast majority of research published recently in major journals provides no evidence of a health benefit.”



Freddie Gray and lead

5 May

Here is the story in The Washington Post.

“The house where Freddie Gray’s life changed forever sits at the end of a long line of abandoned rowhouses in one of this city’s poorest neighborhoods. The interior of that North Carey Street house, cluttered with couches and potted plants, is lacquered in a fresh coat of paint that makes the living room glow.

But it wasn’t always this way. When Gray lived here between 1992 and 1996, paint chips flaked off the walls and littered the hardwood floor, according to a 2008 lawsuit filed in Baltimore City Circuit Court. The front window­sills shed white strips of paint.”


“Reports of Gray’s history with lead come at a time when the city and nation are still trying to understand the full ramifications of lead poisoning. Advocates and studies say it can diminish cognitive function, increase aggression and ultimately exacerbate the cycle of poverty that is already exceedingly difficult to break.”



Michael O’Hare, at The Reality Based Community, provides some insight:

“The lead angle in Gray’s story should be more featured in the ongoing news coverage, along with the unemployment, social service denial, educational malpractice, and police abuses raining down on his neighborhood. Let me say it again: irreversibly neurologically poisoned.”


Alcohol consumption by country

21 Mar

An article in today’s Washington Post on world alcohol consumption:

“The rise of drinking in countries like China could be a cause for concern. Alcohol, which contributes to more than 300,000 deaths among males each year in the country, is considered the sixth greatest risk factor for men by the Institute for Health Metric and Evaluation.”



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