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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
3003 N. Charles Street, Suite 100
Baltimore, Maryland 21218-3843
Phone: (410) 516-7160 / Fax (410) 516-5251

July 23, 1999
Leslie Rice, lnr@jhu.edu

Back to School Experts at Johns Hopkins

Throughout The Johns Hopkins University are researchers working to improve K-12 education. To arrange interviews with any of these researchers, contact Leslie Rice in the Office of News and Information at (410) 516-7160, or at lnr@jhu.edu.

SCHOOL VIOLENCE: What can teachers and school counselors do to prevent tragedies like Columbine High?

Counselor and researcher Fred Hanna has developed a list of characteristics of a teen who may represent a danger to others. Another list looks at warning signs of a youth likely to become involved in a crime. Hanna has published several articles that offer strategies for counselors to reach these troubled teens.

Special education researcher Michael Rosenberg (pictured at right) is director of PAR [for "Prevent, Act, Resolve"], a highly successful behavioral management program designed to reduce violence and discipline issues in schools. Currently, there are PAR schools in Washington, D.C., and throughout Maryland.

EARLY LEARNING: Preventing early school failure: What works?

Developmental psychologist Barbara Wasik of the Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk is a leading researcher on early academic intervention and tutoring. She has developed an early learning program that focuses on developmentally appropriate curriculum from birth to kindergarten.

SUMMER SLIDE: Would year-round school be better?

In one of the longest running education studies in the country, for 17 years sociologist Karl Alexander (pictured at left) has tracked the achievement of 790 Baltimore City students. His data confirms what he calls the "summer slide" -- or the rate during the summer months that urban poor kids fall behind academically while more affluent kids make academic gains. His studies have often been cited by policy makers who make a case for year-round schooling, summer school and quality summer camp programs for low-income kids beginning as early as first grade.

WHOLE SCHOOL REFORM: How should we reorganize failing schools?

Elementary: Robert Slavin (pictured at right) -- who the Wall Street Journal reported "may well become the most influential figure in reading since William McGuffey, whose eponymous `Reader' was the standard primer in the 19th century" -- is creator of research-based elementary school reform programs called Success For All and Roots & Wings, implemented in over 1,700 schools nation-wide.

Middle school: Douglas MacIver is creator of the Talent Development Middle Schools, which have been implemented in schools in low-income areas of Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia. The model includes, among other things, research-based curriculum restructuring, professional development and the creation of school-community partnerships.

High school: James McPartland and his team of researchers have restructured several large, urban high schools in Baltimore City. The Talent Development High Schools program includes restructuring the physical make-up of a school to house several small, contained schools, a separate ninth grade academy, college preparatory programs, and curriculum reform.

When do school reform programs work? Sam Stringfield (pictured at left) has tracked the progress and failure of many of the most prominent school reform programs:

Do after-school programs help at-risk kids? Toks Fashola studied the effects on academic achievement of 34 after-school programs in the country.

HOMEWORK: How can teachers give effective homework and get parents involved in the school?

Joyce Epstein (pictured at left) has studied the positive effect of family, school and community partnerships for at-risk children. She has also studied homework, when it is and isn't effective. She has created a model for schools and teachers to form partnerships with parents and provides homework as a tool to get parents involved in the students' academic achievement.

TEACHER EDUCATION REFORM: Are America's teachers adequately trained? Should there be national standards for teaching degrees?

Ralph Fessler (pictured at right), director of the Graduate Division of Education, believes reforms are needed in teacher education.

ACADEMICALLY GIFTED CHILDREN: How do we help the smart kids?

Carol Mills and her colleagues study how to identify gifted kids and keep them academically engaged.

TEACHING CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES: Is there a crisis in special education? With a nationwide shortage of trained special education teachers, urban poor kids with learning problems are getting the short end of the stick.

Michael Rosenberg (mild to moderate disabilities). Larry Larsen (severe disabilities).

GIRLS, MATH, SPATIAL ABILITY AND MUSIC: Is a person right-brained or left-brained? Carol Mills (girls and math). Wayne Parker (music and math).

MEXICAN IMMIGRANT AND NON-IMMIGRANT CHILDREN: Why are they trailing academically? Sociologist Lingxin Hao explains.

Should we do away with bilingual education? Toks Fashola's research says no.

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