From Psychedelics To Alzheimer’s, 2016 Was A Good Year For Brain Science…and more in this week’s news roundup!

From Psychedelics To Alzheimer’s, 2016 Was A Good Year For Brain Science
(NPR Shots)

In the spirit of optimism, and with input from the Society for Neuroscience, here are a few of the noteworthy neuroscientific achievements of 2016.

School Graduation Rates Are Deceiving. Here Are 7 Things That Would Help
(NPR Ed)
High school graduation rates are improving, but an investigation into the numbers shows some of that is due to quick fixes. Policy experts respond with their suggestions for real progress.

Seven steps to finding the right advisor
(APA Monitor)

Your success as a graduate student in research psychology may depend on it. Here’s advice from experts on finding the best fit

From Teasing to Torment
(GLSEN)

From Teasing to Torment: School Climate Revisited, A Survey of U.S. Secondary School Students and Teachers provides an in-depth look at the current landscape of bias and peer victimization as reported by students and teachers from across the nation.

Proof That Having a Background in STEM Can Be a Game-Changer for Women
(Fortune)

A background in STEM can have an enormous impact in shaping the careers of female leaders, enabling us to differentiate ourselves in heavily male-dominated industries and showcase our skill sets. This presents a unique opportunity for women to excel in their careers—not only in STEM-related fields, but in whichever industry they ultimately pursue.

Could early music training help babies learn language?
(The Conversation)

Language and music both require rhythm; otherwise they don’t make any sense. They’re also both built from smaller units – syllables and musical beats. And the process of mastering them is remarkably similar, including precise movements, repetitive practice and focused attention. I also noticed that my musician peers were particularly good at learning new languages. All of this made me wonder if music shapes how the brain perceives sounds other than musical notes. And if so, could learning music help us learn languages?

How Teachers Learn to Discuss Racism
(The Atlantic)

Urban-education programs prepare them for imperative contemporary conversations with students.

What Is Faculty Diversity Worth to a University?
(The Atlantic)

The “invisible labor” done by professors of color is not usually rewarded with tenure and promotion. But it is more important now than ever.

Lawmakers in 2 States Propose Bills to Cut Tenure
(The Chronicle of Higher Education)

Republican lawmakers in at least two states — Sen. Brad Zaun of Iowa and state Rep. Rick Brattin of Missouri — proposed bills this month that would eliminate the tenure system at public colleges and universities.

Supreme Court wrestles with defining rights for students with disabilities, including autism
(Washington Post)

U.S. Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments Wednesday in a dispute over the level of education that U.S. public schools owe to millions of children with disabilities, one of the most significant special-education cases to reach the high court in decades.

States Preparing Expanded Toolkit in Assessment of School Quality
(Education Week – sign up required; 3 free stories/mon)
Educators are still wrestling with what they should add to the mix to meet ESSA’s mandate to go beyond just test scores.

Trump’s Anti-Immigration Rhetoric Fuels Data Concerns
(Education Week – sign up required; 3 free stories/mon)
Spurred by President-elect Donald Trump’s promise to deport millions of undocumented immigrants, some education officials are wrestling with the possibility that student data might be used in new ways that could have harsh consequences for some students and families.

Study of millions of online ratings of professors suggests scores vary with an instructor’s gender, discipline and perceived “easiness.”
(Inside Higher Ed)
Many professors laugh off their reviews at RateMyProfessors — after all, “hotness,” one of the site’s metrics (connoted by a chili pepper), doesn’t really translate to tenure or promotion. Yet some research suggests that, like it or not, the site’s ratings correlate with ratings professors earn on their institutions’ student evaluations of teaching.

About the Author

Amanda Macchi, MPH
Amanda comes to APA as a recent graduate of the George Washington University’s Milken Institute School of Public Health. During her time at GW Amanda specialized in global health, focusing on the challenges facing mental health in low-and middle-income countries. She received her undergraduate degree in marketing from Emerson College in Boston, Mass. Over her professional career, Amanda has executed multiple print and digital communication campaigns and facilitated community engagement for a variety of health organizations. In her free time, Amanda loves pyrography, collecting and learning about midcentury modern furniture and her Chihuahua/Pug mix, Pickles.