Stuff YOU Should Know

Posted by on Aug 28, 2015 in Stuff You Should Know

Jimmy Carter’s Cancer News

Jimmy Carter. Photo: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-USZC2-10]

Official presidential photo of Jimmy Carter. Photo credit: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-USZC2-10]

The years 1977 to 1981 were turbulent ones for Jimmy Carter, our 39th president of the United States. The country suffered high inflation and interest rates, as well as an energy crisis. Despite playing a successful role in the Camp David Peace Accord between Israel and Egypt, Carter’s presidency was plagued by the Iran Hostage Crisis. On November 4, 1979, between 400-500 Iranian students stormed the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Tehran and ultimately held 52 diplomats and embassy workers for 444 days. Many agree that Carter’s inability to rescue the hostages through both diplomacy and military action cost him the re-election.

McGraw-Hill networks book cover images

Click on the book covers to learn more about U.S. history in the networks titles United States History and Geography and United States History and Geography Modern Times.

Carter’s post–presidency has been categorized as considerably more successful. In 1982, he and wife Rosalynn founded the Carter Center, a nonprofit organization committed to human rights, conflict resolution and assisting in the oversight of legitimate elections around the world. He has also authored more than 20 books, ranging from poetry to  foreign policy. Despite being 90, Carter has continued to be very active in his various endeavors. However, a recent physical exam revealed cancer in the former president’s liver. After having ten percent of his liver removed, a follow-up scan revealed that the cancer (melanoma, a type of skin cancer) has spread to parts of his brain. Carter made an announcement that he would cut back dramatically on his obligations while he continues to undergo treatment.

Dig Deeper Do some research into the life of Jimmy Carter. Read a book review or article about one particular accomplishment and write a paragraph about what you learned. You can also learn more about President Carter’s years in the White House by examining McGraw-Hill Educations networks textbook’s United States History and Geography or United States History and Geography Modern Times.

Refugee Surge

btw has brought you continued updates on the constant flow of refugees in the Middle East. Many are from Syria, fleeing the brutality of that government and the civil unrest that erupted in 2011. They are trying to reach the northern European Union states like Serbia and Germany where they might receive relief. Around 44,000 refugees have passed from Greece and into Macedonia in the past two months. But the country’s leaders recently closed the border, leaving many stranded in Greece amid an already over-taxed economy.

On August 24, the Macedonian government lifted the blockade, which led to a massive surge of refugees through the border. In response a state of emergency was declared. The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is helping to restore order and properly assist refugees. This includes distributing food and water and looking for more ways to bring in supplies like tents, bedding, and medical care. The UNHCR has also set up resting places that offer protection from the sun, as well as legal advisors to help with documentation, registration, and asylum procedures refugees need to settle in various countries. The Red Cross is also helping reunite families who have been separated.

Dig Deeper Nearly 300,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean this year. Continue to follow this story, noting what the leaders of the EU are doing to deal with the crisis. Note which countries are having success and those that are struggling and what factors contribute to the success or failure.

Ed-Tech Boom

The largest education publisher in the world, Pearson, recently announced that it sold two of its major newspapers—The Economist and The Financial Times. According to CEO John Fallon, this sale will allow Pearson to focus even more on its global education strategy. (Pearson is the largest educational publisher around the globe.) But the company does suffer from its association with what many believe is a culture of excessive educational testing and distorted accountability measures. Around $1 trillion is spent on education each year, much of it in public funds.

Educational technology is becoming a booming business. Venture financing for the industry has risen close to 96 percent in the past year. Companies like Learn Capital and NewSchools Venture Fund provide funding for education start-ups ranging from learning platforms, to private schools, to open-source media companies. But with the increase in technology use in the classroom comes criticism of its influence. Many are blaming this surge on an educational system in the United States that favors the needs of administrators over educators and students. Some believe this is limiting the choices of educators and empowering big business. The tech companies, on the other hand, say that the acceleration of technology can lead to greater personalization for students.

What Do You Think? One of the issues facing ed-tech is determining its Return on Investment (ROI). Do some research and see if you can find a company that is getting positive reviews on its integration of technology into the classroom. What makes that company successful?