Headliners

ASSESSING ASSESSMENT: Neal Kingston, director of the Center for Educational Testing and Evaluation, was quoted widely regarding a grant to the center to help improve assessment for special education students. The grant, KU’s largest ever, is from the U.S. Department of Education, designed to improve testing methods in 11 states, including Kansas. "We need to provide a new generation of assessments where supporting instruction is in the design, not an afterthought, so that all children can meet high standards," Kingston said. "If teachers are going to teach to the test, then we need tests worth teaching to."

THE VALUE OF LEAKS: Adrian Lewis, professor of history, was quoted in a Miller-McClune article about what can be learned from the thousands of documents about the Afghanistan front of the war on terrorism revealed by Wikileaks. More documents are expected to be released concerning the Iraq war soon, and it’s not clear what will be of immediate value. Historians, though, stand to be those most interested, especially after the initial rush of new information. “Historians tend to want to collect everything and then go through it slowly,” Lewis said. “So the question of would they be interested in collecting this stuff — yes, they would. And later on, they can always go back and verify certain pieces of it.”

A PINCH OF SUGAR FOR PAIN: K. Dean Reeves, clinical associate professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at KU Medical Center, was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article about prolotherapy. The practice, injecting sugar water, may not sound like high-tech treatment, but a growing number of doctors are saying the treatment has potential in treating chronic pain and stimulating healing. The treatment has its critics who say any results are psychosomatic. Others differ. "Injection with anything is not a placebo," Reeves said.

LEARNING FROM INDIA’S INSECTS: Michael Engel, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology, was quoted in a London Daily Mail article about a collection of well-preserved insects that offer clues about India’s past. The specimens challenge the idea that India was cut off from the rest of the world 50 million years ago when it was an island. The insects have relatives as far away as Europe, Asia, Australia and Central America. “What we found indicates that India was not completely isolated, even though the... deposit dates from a time that precedes the slamming of India into Asia,” Engel said.

PREEXISTING RESEARCH: The Washington Post cited a KU study in an article about insurance plans that are now accepting people with preexisting conditions. Under the health care overhaul, insurance companies can no longer exclude such people. Plans are now in place across the country. “The plans vary significantly from state to state. States were given the option of running their own program or letting the federal government do so; 27 states opted to run their own plans,” the article states. “A recent report by University of Kansas researchers (Jean P. Hall and Janice Moore, Center for Research on Learning) found that monthly premiums for a 50-year-old nonsmoker ranged from a few hundred dollars to more than $1,000 across the country.”

LISTING CONDITIONS: Jean P. Hall, associate research professor at the Center for Research on Learning, was quoted in a National Public Radio story about state insurance plans for people with preexisting conditions. Different states have widely differing lists of conditions they will cover. "There’s a striking amount of variation in the plans," Hall said.


Campus closeup
Alison Gabriele, assistant professor of linguistics

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