Here is a listing of articles published in the last 7-10 days that may be of interest:
1. New study shows health insurance premium spikes in every state; WashingtonPost.com, November 17, 2011
Brief Introduction: Premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance have risen faster than incomes in every state in the nation, according to a report released Thursday. The District of Columbia had the highest annual total premiums, including both the employer’s and the worker’s share. In 2010, they averaged $5,644 for a single policy and $15,206 for a family version — a rise of 51 percent and 41 percent, respectively, since 2003.
2. Feds provide $6M for rural health care in 6 states; Chicagotribune.com, November 19, 2011
Brief Introduction: Six states in the Mississippi River Delta region are getting more than $6 million in rural health care grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. More than half of it is going to Mississippi. Nearly $3 million in rural development grants will pay for the first urgent care center in Mound Bayou, Miss., and almost $700,000 will create an electronic intensive care unit system among five hospitals in Mississippi's poorest rural counties, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday.
1. Congress blocks new rules on school lunches; New York Times.com, November 15, 2011
Brief Introduction: Congress on Monday blocked rules proposed by the Agriculture Department that would have overhauled the nation’s school lunch program. The proposed changes — the first in 15 years to the $11 billion school lunch program — were meant to reduce childhood obesity by adding more fruits and green vegetables to lunch menus, Agriculture Department officials said.
2. States strengthening teacher evaluation standards; Boston.com, November 18, 2011
Brief Introduction: President Barack Obama's recent use of executive authority to revise the No Child Left Behind education law is one of several factors driving a trend toward using student test scores, classroom observation and potentially even input from students, among other measures, to determine just how effective educators are. A growing number of states are using these evaluations to decide critical issues such as pay, tenure, firings and the awarding of teaching licenses.
1. Perceived racism may impact Black American's mental health; St. Louis American, November 19, 2011
Brief Introduction: For black American adults, perceived racism may cause mental health symptoms similar to trauma and could lead to some physical health disparities between blacks and other populations in the United States, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association (APA). Black Americans' psychological responses to racism are very similar to common responses to trauma, such as somatization, which is psychological distress expressed as physical pain; interpersonal sensitivity; and anxiety, according to the study. Individuals who said they experienced more and very stressful racism were more likely to report mental distress, the authors said.
2. Arizona educators clash over Mexican American studies; Latimes.com, November 20, 2011
Brief Introduction: A state law adopted this year aims to outlaw divisive ethnic studies, and Huppenthal will soon decide whether the Tucson district's program violates the law and should be eliminated. In a state known for cultural clashes, the debate over the future of Mexican American studies in Tucson is particularly charged, prompting raucous protests and a host of accusations — of brainwashing, of sloppy academics, of racism.
3. A hard life for one Latina teenager; Latimes.com, November 18, 2011
Brief Introduction: She is 16 years old, and a native-born Georgian. She has a learner's permit and would like to take the driving class that would allow her to get a license — that elusive prize so many of her foreign-born friends will never have. The class costs $230, but the money from her two jobs is spoken for. Since her stepfather, an illegal immigrant named Abigail Carrillos, returned to El Salvador to avoid a forced deportation, she has stepped up as the family's main breadwinner.