|12-7-17 Education in the News|
NJ Spotlight--Fighting the War on Opioids, Substance Abuse on School Front
Administration consolidates tools, lesson plans on one website to help educators spend time teaching rather than searching
Substance-abuse awareness and prevention have been standard in schools for decades, from the anti-drug movies of the 1970s to the familiar DARE officers in the classrooms well into the 2000s.
Now, the opioid epidemic has engendered its own practices for getting the message out to young children and teenagers, and the Christie administration has put together a collection of resources available to schools.
John Mooney | December 7, 2017
NJ Spotlight--Poll Shows Broad Reach of Drug Epidemic, Strong Support for Treatment
Some analysts see findings as indication that people believe war on drugs has failed
Half of New Jersey’s residents have been touched by opioid addiction, and that familiarity may contribute to a more compassionate approach to drug use and strong support for treatment — even if the treatment center is nearby.
Those were among researchers’ takeaways from a Public Mind Poll, released Wednesday by Fairleigh Dickenson University and its School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. The survey found 53 percent of adults view opioid addiction as a treatable disease, and more than eight in 10 believe addicts should be offered treatment instead of being fired from a job, or, if facing criminal charges, sent to jail.
Among the more surprising findings, one researcher said, was the limited “NIMBY (not in my backyard) effect.” Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they would welcome a treatment facility to their community; one in five said they would oppose the construction of a nearby treatment facility for those addicted to painkillers.
Lilo H. Stainton | December 7, 2017
NJ Spotlight--In its Last Gasp, Christie Panel Gives Dire Appraisal of NJ’s Public Pension System
Nonpartisan experts say state can no longer afford ‘intransigence, inaction, apathy and denial’ and recommend switch to retirement plans similar to 401(k)s
A nonpartisan panel of benefits experts that Gov. Chris Christie assembled several years ago to examine the state’s beleaguered pension system released a final report yesterday, issuing one last plea for serious consideration of a set of cost-cutting recommendations that so far have been ignored by top leaders in the Senate and Assembly.
John Reitmeyer | December 7, 2017
Education Week--Facebook's New Messaging App for Young Children Raises Concerns
Social-networking giant Facebook has launched a new messaging app aimed at children under 13, part of a push to bolster the company's younger user base that is raising fears about expanded use of screens and social media by children.
In a news release, Facebook product management director Loren Cheng described "Messenger Kids" as "a new app that makes it easier for kids to safely video chat and message with family and friends when they can't be together in person." Parents can control the app from their own Facebook accounts, Cheng wrote, and Messenger Kids was developed based on "research with thousands of parents" and input from "over a dozen expert advisors in the areas of child development, online safety, and children's media and technology."
The app allows users to hold one-on-one or group video chats, highlights when parent-approved contacts are available online, and comes with a range of digital masks, emojis, GIFs, and sound effects that are popular on other social media platforms, such as Snapchat.
Benjamin Herold on December 6, 2017 12:49 PM
Garden State Coalition of Schools