News highlights for December 6, 2010

CisionPoint news monitoring provides this small sampling of the university's daily news coverage. Click headline to read full text via Cision or link directly to the online article where available. For questions or comments about this service, or to add or delete a name from the mailing list, please contact Gerry Everding.

The Globe and Mail (Canada)
Tests get high marks as a learning tool
New research provides compelling scientific evidence of the value of testing as a learning tool. Henry Roediger and his colleagues at Washington University in St. Louis recently reported the results of a study with a Grade 8 science class. The students were quizzed on only half of the material. That testing was low-stakes, but it made a big difference. They scored 13 to 25 percent higher on the parts of the final exam they had been previously quizzed on, a jump from a C+ to an A-, says Pooja Agarwal, a member of the research team. Same students, same teacher – the difference was in the quizzing. Link to Article

Associated Press
Football player’s death points to screening limits
Suburban Kansas City high school football player Nathan Stiles died in late October from a rare but severe brain injury that likely occurred during an earlier football game but went undetected. The warning signs of concussions – headaches, confusion, and a loss consciousness, among others – are similar to the physical changes that would trigger concern over more serious brain trauma, said Dr. Mark Halstead of Washington University in St. Louis, co-author of an American Academy of Pediatrics study on concussions. Link to Article See also New York Times, Sports Illustrated /,, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

The Wall Street Journal
Max Beckmann, Self-Portrait in Tuxedo | An Artist at the Height of His Powers | Masterpiece by Judith H. Dobrzynski
Max Beckmann, praised as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century, left Germany in 1937 just as Hitler and the Nazi party were gaining power. Beckmann was not Jewish, but the Nazis considered his art to be degenerate. He moved first to Amsterdam, where he remained for a decade, until he was able to secure a teaching post at Washington University in St. Louis (and later the Brooklyn Museum Art School). Link to Article

American Medical Association
Nazi war crimes provide lessons in medical ethics
Article explores stories behind a traveling exhibit, “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race,” which was on display at Washington University in St. Louis from Aug. 9 through Oct. 30, 2010. The exhibit will be on display at the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center through Jan. 2,2011. Link to Article

The Boston Globe
Nuns gone wild

Craig A. Monson, a music professor at Washington University in St. Louis, found a ribald ditty in a music manuscript he stumbled across in a museum in Florence 24 years ago. It seemed like a typical naughty lyric from the 16th century, the kind that might have been sung in a bawdy tavern. Except for one thing: The manuscript came from a convent. The stories in his new book, “Nuns Behaving Badly: Tales of Music, Magic, Art & Arson in the Convents of Italy,” illustrate how much the role of religious communities like convents has changed over time. Link to Article

Kathleen Clark: Information security & fear-mongering about WikiLeaks

In a guest blog, Kathleen Clark, a professor at Washington University School of Law, makes the case for the need for “someone in government [to] provide some clarification – and some sanity” on the issue of WikiLeaks disclosures. Clark says the administration’s response to the WikiLeaks document dump gives us a peek both into the sometimes surreal standards for dealing with information the executive branch deems to be classified, and at the fear-mongering some government officials are engaging in. Link to Article
Better to act on deficit now than pay steeper price later

The bipartisan commission’s plan to tackle the budget deficit has plenty of enemies, which is why many Washington insiders have declared it dead on arrival. Murray Weidenbaum, professor of economics at Washington University, agrees that no sweeping changes are likely to pass before 2013. Weidenbaum, who served as President Ronald Reagan’s top economic adviser, has drawn up his own blueprint for deficit reduction, suggesting spending cuts that total $136.8billion a year. Link to Article
Barnes-Jewish among U.S. worst in readmissions

Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which is affiliated with the Washington University School of Medicine, has one of the highest readmission rates in the United States. Amid growing federal concerns about skyrocketing health costs, the hospital’s poor readmission rates could soon lead to multimillion-dollar penalties. Dr. Will Ross, an associate professor at the Washington University School of Medicine, said poorer patients often lacked a primary care physician or a “medical home.” Link to Article Related Post-Dispatch article

St. Louis Beacon

New sexual health program focuses on girls in foster care

Health professionals in St. Louis are paying closer attention to the sexual health of girls in foster care because data show that about half of them become pregnant or give birth while they are still teens, according to Dr. Katie Plax, a specialist in adolescent medicine at Washington University. Link to Article

News in higher education

New York Times

The country can learn a lesson from these students

Once the world’s leader in science education, the United States has fallen far behind. It ranks 21st out of 30 developed nations in terms of student performance on international science tests. To preserve its economic future, this country needs to get many more American students – especially more minority students – excited about science, argues Brent Staples in an editorial. Link to Article

New York Times

As stations are sold, debate about college radio

As some colleges find cost savings in selling their radio stations, the need for their esoteric programming is being debated. Link to Article

Grand Forks Herald / The Hechinger Report

Colleges pressed to give credit for work experience
Universities and colleges are being pressed to increase graduation rates and speed up the time it takes for students to complete degrees by awarding college credit for their life and work experience. A national campaign that starts Friday will promote the sometimes-derided practice with a program to help adults prepare online portfolios of their job experience that independent faculty will evaluate for academic credit. Link to Article

For additional higher education news (subscription may be required):
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed
University Business

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