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Kids Tell All: I Am More Than a Standardized Test

Written by | June 25, 2013 | 0
In the last 11 years, the number of federally mandated tests in our nation’s public schools has nearly tripled. Principals, teachers, and students all feel the pressure of these high-stakes exams. “If a school does not make adequate yearly progress for several years in a row,” according to Bob Schaeffer, the public education director of FairTest, “a school can be reconstituted, which means the staff is replaced.” Many states have additional consequences for students. Schaeffer says they use test scores for “grade promotion, gifted-and-talented promotion, graduation (about half the states have exit exams), and scholarship aid.” Twelve-year-old Zion knows how important these tests are for his future—and the future of his school. “It’s

Ancient Odd Couple Discovered in Fossilized Burrow

Written by | June 25, 2013 | 0
  Scientists have discovered a burrow in South Africa where two unlikely creatures shared a home before being entombed by a flash flood 250 million years ago. The strange bedfellows were a beat-up young amphibian seeking shelter and a sleeping cynodont, considered a distant ancestor of mammals, researchers say. The burrow was unearthed from what is today South Africa’s Karoo Basin, which would have been part of the ancient supercontinentGondwana at the start of the Triassic Period. Using high-energy X-rays from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in France, scientists were able to see through the lair and look at its contents without destroying it. [Wipe Out: History’s Most Mysterious Extinctions] The scans first revealed the skull of a mammal-like reptile calledThrinaxodon.