The Next Evolution
The Atlantic published two articles this week about intriguing advancements in the science of alcoholism and epigenetics.
Scientists discovered a new way of studying addiction in rats that may yield clues to better understanding and treating alcoholism. Instead of treating every lab rat as identical, scientists are studying the segment of the lab rat population that become addicted to drugs when given the choice between drugs and sugar. Differences in their genes may provide clues to what causes addiction in humans.
The other article, “Can a Parent’s Life Experience Change the Genes a Child Inherits?,” looks at the controversial world of epigenetics research. It is a long but fascinating look at how a parent’s life experiences, such as living through a famine, can impact their children and even grandchildren.
Food for Thought
America’s aging water infrastructure could present an economic opportunity, according to a recent report from Brookings Institute. The report lays out a water workforce playbook, detailing how states can take use aging water infrastructure for workforce development, as water workers tend to earn more than the average U.S. worker and do not require high levels of educational attainment.
Rand Corporation released a study yesterday of the Gates Foundation’s Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching, a multi-year, $575 million investment in teacher effectiveness in seven district and charter school systems. A few major findings from the six-year evaluation include:
- “The sites succeeded in implementing measures of effectiveness to evaluate teachers and made use of the measures in a range of human-resource (HR) decisions.”
- “With minor exceptions, by 2014–2015, student achievement, access to effective teaching, and dropout rates were not dramatically better than they were for similar sites that did not participate in the Intensive Partnerships initiative.”
The Gates Foundation commissioned this report, and now it is showing their efforts to improve student achievement fell short. The 74 Million published an article yesterday summarizing the study for those who do not want to read the 587-page report.
What we're reading
The Overlooked Children Working America’s Tobacco Fields"Kids as young as 10 and 11 are picking cash crops for giant international companies—and hardly anyone is watching to make sure the work is safe." This article focuses on the tobacco industry in North Carolina. ... Read the rest
Opioids don’t have to be addictive – the new versions will treat pain without triggering pleasure
Receivership: A New Tool for Addressing Vacant Problem Properties in North Carolina
Supreme Court Clears Way for States to Tax Online Sales
Trump's Federal Reorganization Plan Could Affect Major State and Local Government Programs
Opening School-Based Health Clinics Can Lower Teacher Health Costs
We Need to Save Ignorance From AI