Homework

The Washington Post writes:

“What should homework be?” asked veteran educator Dorothy Rich, founder of the nonprofit Home and School Institute. “In the biggest parameter, it ought to help kids make better sense of the world. Too often, it just doesn’t.”

In the nation’s classrooms, teachers say they work hard to conform to school board policies and parent demands that do not always match what they think is the best thing for children.

Yet teachers themselves don’t uniformly agree on something as basic as the purpose of homework (reviewing vs. learning new concepts), much less design or amount or even whether it should be graded. And the result can be inconsistency in assignments and confusion for students.

Diabetes Rising in India

The New York Times writes:

In its hushed but unrelenting manner, Type 2 diabetes is engulfing India, swallowing up the legs and jewels of those comfortable enough to put on weight in a country better known for famine. Here, juxtaposed alongside the stick-thin poverty, the malaria and the AIDS, the number of diabetics now totals around 35 million, and counting.

The future looks only more ominous as India hurtles into the present, modernizing and urbanizing at blinding speed. Even more of its 1.1 billion people seem destined to become heavier and more vulnerable to Type 2 diabetes, a disease of high blood sugar brought on by obesity, inactivity and genes, often culminating in blindness, amputations and heart failure. In 20 years, projections are that there may be a staggering 75 million Indian diabetics.

Diabetes unfortunately is the price you pay for progress, said Dr. A. Ramachandran, the managing director of the M.V. Hospital for Diabetes, in Chennai.