Sunday, December 27, 2009

Delaware educators hope early intervention will help reduce dropout rates

Delaware schools are looking for early signs of dropout risk. The Delaware News Journal reports that the state department of education will begin a new study in January. Educators will analyze math and reading scores, as well as attendance. They hope that early intervention will identify students at risk for dropping out. Read more>>

Website takes the mystery out of auto repair

I love my Toyota Camry. It’s one of the most reliable cars I’ve ever owned. However, as any car owner knows, auto parts wear out – even if you’re good at performing scheduled routine maintenance.

Let’s face it. Repairs, such as brake rotor replacement, are sometimes necessary. If you’re like me, you hope that the mechanic does the job quickly and professionally – and that you don’t need to empty your bank account to pay for the work.

If you live in the Dallas area, online assistance is available to help you identify shops that provide Dallas auto repair. RepairPal.com offers a number of free resources. For instance, if you need a brake job, all you have to do is fill out an easy form to learn the estimated cost. In addition, you can quickly locate auto repair shops near you.

RepairPal.com also offers owner ratings and reviews on virtually any type of car or truck. My son is a truck owner, so I’m going to give him a heads up on this feature.

Say, for instance, you owned a Chevrolet Silverado. Enter the year of your vehicle on the online form, and discover lots of valuable information. Read other owners’ reviews and ratings. With a few mouse clicks, you can learn common problems associated with the vehicle. You can even check for automaker recalls.

RepairPal takes the mystery out of auto repair. The site is user-friendly and free. It doesn’t get much better than that.


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Venezuela's Chavez threatens Toyota, GM

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez is threatening to expel international automakers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Chavez specifically targeted Japanese carmaker Toyota. The Venezuelan president was also critical of Fiat SpA of Italy, which controls Chrysler Group LLC, and General Motors Co.

Reuters reports that Chávez, threatening the auto manufacturers with nationalization, accused Asian and U.S. carmakers of refusing to share technology with the locals. Chávez ordered an investigation into Toyota operations.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Schools offer fewer computer science classes

Fewer students seem be interested in computer science courses, and some educators worry that future employees may lack essential skills for the workplace. These same young people, who know their way around the Internet and social networking sites, may not know how computers and the Web actually work.

Why the concern? A survey by the Computer Science Teachers Association reveals that the number of schools offering introductory or advanced computer science courses has declined since 2005. The website CSEdweek.org explains why computer science education is important:

  • It exposes students to critical thinking
  • It is essential for success in the digital age
  • Too few students are exposed to opportunities presented by computer science

The Washington Post takes a closer look at the issue.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Native Americans win $3.4 billion settlement

The U.S. government has agreed to pay $3.4 billion to settle a class-action lawsuit for mismanagement of trust fund accounts held by hundreds of thousands of Native Americans. The settlement ends a 13-year legal battle to resolve a dispute that dates back to the late-1800s.

The agreement ends the case brought by Native American tribes charging that the Interior Department had swindled hundreds of thousands of Indians out of royalties for leasing their lands to mining, timber, and energy interests. The lead plaintiff in the suit filed in 1996 is Elouise Cobell, a member of the Blackfeet Indian tribe in the western state of Montana.

Study: Stress levels in teens higher than parents realize

If your teen is looking particularly stressed, school pressure and family finances may be contributing factors. That's according to a new national survey by the American Psychological Association. The study adds that parents often are unaware of the stress.

Psychologists say that if young people don't learn healthy ways to manage that stress now, it could have serious long-term health implications. The study looked at young people between the ages of 13 and 17. Read more