Dyslexia Affects More Than Just Language in the Brain

by Raymundo Gutierrez, age 12

New research shows that dyslexia is not just about language and reading, but more related to brain functions. Dyslexia is a disability that can cause confusion while reading and writing.

Dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence; it’s a learning disability, meaning it affects how people learn, not how smart they are or what they do with their knowledge. Previously, researchers thought dyslexia-affected parts of the brain handle language. Now, new research suggests dyslexia has more to do with a brain process called adaptive learning. [read more]

“Code Start” Aims to Diversify the Tech Industry

by Christy Zheng, age 13

In the world of technology, black Americans are at a disadvantage. According to Information is Beautiful, an online infographic text, there are significantly fewer black Americans than white Americans working in the top U.S. companies. This statistic is evident in the texts list of the racial diversity in said companies, including Instagram, YouTube, and Google.

For example, Information is Beautiful's list reported that only one percent of employees at Pinterest and Nvidia are black. Comparatively, Amazon had the highest percentage of black employees: a paltry 15 percent. Overall, 12 percent of employees in the top 50 U.S. companies are black, while only five of the 500 Fortune 500 CEOs are black. [read more]

Sallie Mae Survey Shows Families are Paying More for College Educations

by Amie Kabera, age 16

According to Danielle Douglas of The Washington Post, parents are relying more and more on their annual income to pay for their children's college educations.

A survey conducted by national financial company Sallie Mae revealed perhaps surprising results. In 2014, families with children in college spent an average of $24,164 on tuition and books, a 16 percent jump from the previous year and the highest jump since 2010. [read more]

Edgewood Offers Free College Prep for Underrepresented Students

by Leila Fletcher, age 15

In an effort to reach underserved young people and diversify their pool of applicants, Edgewood College recently created a program that would encourage diversity among its college students. To learn more about this program—the “Edgewood College Math Precollege Program”—Simpson Street Free Press reporters interviewed Steven Post, professor of Mathematics at Edgewood.

“We want students that we can make a difference with to apply to the program,” said Post, who teaches the summer math course that comprises part of the free program. [read more]

Recent Education Articles

In the 1940’s, most scientists were men. This was the case until the admiral Dr. Grace Hopper came along and flipped the script. [read more...]
The way people have learned to read and interpret written language is something that scientists have studied for a long time. How is it that simple marks on a mere piece of paper can convey mind-changing ideas? [read more...]
Dr. Jack Daniels recently announced in a press conference that Madison Area Technical College will open a new campus on the south side of Madison in 2019. The college also announced a new partnership with the Madison School district. The plan is to open an expanded campus able to serve as many as 5500 students. [read more...]
High school graduates looking for a trade career face a difficult decision: spend thousands of dollars on a college degree or seek jobs without the degree. Despite the fact that employers may expect a degree, there’s still hope for those planing to forgo college. Apprenticeship programs are taking the nation by storm, and allow students to get an education while also gaining valuable experience. [read more...]
Are school lunches unhealthy for kids in America? Lunch programs that offer healthy and nutritious meals must follow strict guidelines. However, students at Roosevelt High School in Chicago, Illinois feel that the food they’re being served is barely edible, let alone healthy. [read more...]
Many may have heard the name “Malala Yousafzai” before, but some might not know who this powerful young woman is. Yousafzai is a very important activist who has helped girls in Pakistan fight for their educations. [read more...]
Earlier this year, scientists stumbled upon a specimen they claim to be the oldest fossil ever discovered – dating back at least 3.77 billion years. In a recent study, researchers Mattew S. Dodd, Dr. Dominic Papineau, and their colleagues at the University College London examined rocks from a formation in Canada called Nuvvuagittuq. [read more...]
NASA’s planet-hunting telescope called Kepler, which was launched in 2009, has recently discovered 10 new planets outside our solar system that look to be the right size and temperature to sustain life, according to a recent article in the Wisconsin State Journal. [read more...]
Do you know how the Universe began? Many scientists believe it has to do with a theory called the “Big Bang.” [read more...]
Do you know the difference between dragonflies and mayflies? Each insect's family includes a variety of species; in fact, there are 5,000 species of dragonfly and 2,000 of mayfly. [read more...]
Over the past year, Wisconsin has revised dozens of permits for high-capacity wells, allowing for an additional billion gallons of groundwater to be extracted. Recently, Wisconsin legislature passed a bill essentially removing the Department of Natural Resources' permit checks when wells are repaired, rebuilt, or transferred. [read more...]
Algae, mollusks, and sea anemones all live on coastlines. While wetlands have still waters, coastlines alternate between wet and dry terrain. Perhaps surprisingly, a plethora of interesting species thrive in both of these aquatic environments. [read more...]
Last Tuesday, we sat down with Seth Ebel, a thirty-something civil engineer at the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department. He has the air of a pragmatic idealist: passionate and motivated, yet down-to-earth and committed. [read more...]
Humans see light in a number of ways. Each way depends on light and wavelengths. [read more...]
You’ve probably heard of DNA—the genetic information contained in each human cell— but perhaps you haven’t heard of the person who helped discover its unique structure: Rosalind Franklin. Though her discoveries about DNA structure led to a paper that won the Nobel Prize. Franklin's accomplishments were not initially credited to her. Luckily, records of Franklin's work ultimately came to light, and her true contributions to science are now understood by the general public. [read more...]
The Simpson Street Free Press interns for the Dane County Land and Water Resources Department recently had the chance to attend a teaching workshop at the UW- Madison Arboretum. It was hosted by the Latino Earth Partnership, an organization that works to promote collaboration between educators and Latino communities. [read more...]
Have you ever wondered how baby teeth fall out? It is a normal, natural, and interesting process. [read more...]
UW-Madison recently created a new website, the STEM Diversity Network, that promotes connecting diverse people on campus in various STEM fields. The website compiles resources on science, technology, engineering, and math. [read more...]
In a whirlwind of college preparation, student loans are often a confusing element of an already stressful journey. From subsidized to unsubsidized loans and FAFSA to payment plans, there are many facets about the student loan process of which those applying should be aware. [read more...]
While white male land-owners have enjoyed the right to vote since the formation of the United States, American women protested and campaigned for the right to vote—a movement called suffrage. [read more...]
Recently, a team from Madison’s James C. Wright Middle School took home the championship in a national African American History Challenge Bowl competition in New Orleans. [read more...]
Do you love listening to music every day? So much so that you can’t stop listening to it? Even though listening to music can be a fun way to pass time, it can make concentrating on work very difficult. [read more...]
Breathing is something many people probably do without even thinking about it. But not those with asthma. Asthma is a common condition that affects the lungs and causes sufferers difficulty breathing. It affects one in every 12 people. [read more...]
Hundreds of new college students will join Madison College’s new ‘Scholars of Promise’ scholarship program this fall. The program aims to help students from low-income backgrounds succeed as they pursue higher educations. [read more...]
It is more beneficial for a man to downplay the amount of work that went into his ideas, to act as if they just popped into his head. But for a woman, it is more beneficial to explain how much effort went into nurturing her ideas and developing them over time. Researchers in a joint project from Cornell University and Columbia Teachers College recently unveiled these problematic patterns in a series of three studies. [read more...]
Madison College (MATC) has expanded its relationship with Edgewood College. Under a new plan, the private institution Edgewood College will guarantee admission to MATC graduates with associate degrees in human services, or electrical or civil engineering. [read more...]
Critiques of news organizations have been at the center of recent political and public rhetoric. Nevertheless, a recent poll yielded promising results for the news industry: over half of the population is willing to pay for news. [read more...]
In 1967, Thurgood Marshall became the first African American appointed to the United States Supreme Court. Thirteen years earlier, he changed the course of civil rights when he successfully defended Brown vs. Board of Education before the Supreme Court and struck down the doctrine of “separate but equal” in public education. [read more...]
Everything in the world is made up of one or more elements. The Periodic Table of Elements charts all the different elements and their characteristics. It is organized by each element's mass. [read more...]
Yesterday, one of the top local stories was the ‘pilot program’ to disconnect Madison students from social media applications during the school day. As high school students, we usually don’t get too hype about the news, but this was different. A full-scale ban on thirty social media apps. That meant no Snapchat, no Instagram, no Twitter, and seven long class periods. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press editors applaud the Wisconsin State Journal editorial published on April 5. We challenge and question the subsequent guest column written by Allen Ebert and the Madison Central Consortium Project also published in the State Journal. Both op-ed pieces address the future of the Madison College downtown site. [read more...]
New York State recently eliminated a controversial teacher-screening test due to the disproportionate failure of black and Latino candidates. [read more...]
According to Danielle Douglas of The Washington Post, parents are relying more and more on their annual income to pay for their children's college educations. [read more...]
In an effort to reach underserved young people and diversify their pool of applicants, Edgewood College recently created a program that would encourage diversity among its college students. To learn more about this program—the “Edgewood College Math Precollege Program”—Simpson Street Free Press reporters interviewed Steven Post, professor of Mathematics at Edgewood. [read more...]
Albert Einstein was a renowned physicist and remains one of the most famous scientists to this day. His findings, especially his General Theory of Relativity, completely re-shaped the way the world views the universe. [read more...]
All my life, I have left my home in America every year to fly across the Atlantic and spend my summers in Hungary. [read more...]
“Bootleggers and Baptists.” When I first heard this phrase, I thought that it must be some expression that refers to a dull topic that only middle-aged adults would understand. But as I conducted more research, I soon discovered that the phrase is actually a storied saying with a fascinating origin! [read more...]
New research shows that dyslexia is not just about language and reading, but more related to brain functions. Dyslexia is a disability that can cause confusion while reading and writing. [read more...]
In the world of technology, black Americans are at a disadvantage. According to Information is Beautiful, an online infographic text, there are significantly fewer black Americans than white Americans working in the top U.S. companies. This statistic is evident in the texts list of the racial diversity in said companies, including Instagram, YouTube, and Google. [read more...]
Imagine growing up struggling with your sexual or gender identity. Coming to terms with who you are can be difficult—especially when you find yourself battling the opinions and beliefs of the people around you. Eventually, you might figure it out. However, whether you identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, transgender—you crave acceptance from your family, friends, and society. After all this questioning, you may decide you're ready to come out. You tell your family about your identity. However, they don't accept you and kick you out, leaving you homeless. [read more...]
According to a 2003 study, more than 70,000 Dane County residents grapple with low literacy. Founded in 1974, Madison’s Literacy Network directly combats low literacy and provides free services for those hoping to improve their English language skills. [read more...]
Two well-known and talented college basketball players have withdrawn from the NBA draft and will return to school. Nigel Hayes of Wisconsin and Malik Pope of San Diego State will return to their college teams. Both players will add firepower to two of the best basketball programs in the NCAA. [read more...]
Can you imagine getting paid six million dollars to say three words? Well that’s exactly the deal Justin Timberlake made with McDonalds when he sang the catchphrase, “I'm Lovin' It.” But what effect does this advertising have on this food chain's young audience? [read more...]
Madison, Wisconsin’s very own One City Early Learning Center on the South Side of Madison will be the first US pilot site for the groundbreaking AnjiPlay curriculum. This preschool focused curriculum was developed over a 15 year period by Ms. Cheng Xuequin, Director of Preprimary Education for Anji County, China. It features minimally-structured, open-ended environments designed to allow more imaginative play and contact with the natural world. It places trust in children to take risks and to seek their own individual understanding of the world around them. [read more...]
Today's average college student spends up to $1,000 a year on textbooks. Most students also cover other expenses such as room, board, phone bill, laundry, and car payments; tuition alone can cost an additional $10,000 to $70,000 a year. So while it can be tempting not to pay for a bunch of glossy pages you may never use again, purchasing a textbook is a smart investment. It's just how you make the purchase that makes all the difference. [read more...]
Ever since World War II, all U.S. citizens have been required to pay income taxes. The income tax affects many states including Wisconsin and targets many top-earning businesses. This has led to an expansion of the national tax system over time. [read more...]
J.K. Rowling is regarded by the world as a highly successful writer due to her creation of the Harry Potter series. But before Rowling achieved fame, she went through a dark period. During this time, she faced many challenges that threatened not only her writing career but also her well-being. [read more...]
Did you know that a good apology has six different components? A new study completed by Ohio State University Fisher College of Business, revealed the ingredients of an effective apology. The study shows that those who incorporate more of these components into their apologies have a better chance of being forgiven. [read more...]
Recent data published by the Nation’s Report Card shows that our nation’s 12th-graders are declining in reading and math skills. In fact, the study indicates that only one-third of high school seniors are ready for the academic rigor of college. [read more...]
American Girl, the Middleton-based toy company and long-time friend of Simpson Street Free Press, recently signed a multi-year agreement with Scholastic, publisher and distributor of children’s books. [read more...]
For many lower income students, going to college might seem like an unreachable dream. Thankfully, a $50,000 donation from UW Health and Unity Health Insurance to Madison College will provide scholarships to under-represented youth to help them get on the right path toward a health care career. [read more...]
Does the language one think in or speak in determine how one perceived events? Does it affect how one notices things? A debate has raged on for over 70 years about whether language affects how people think. [read more...]
Completing college is a milestone that improves quality of life and future earning potential. But for many graduating high school seniors, high tuition fees are a barrier to attending college. To help bridge the gap for lower-income students, Madison College (MATC) has launched the Scholars of Promise program. [read more...]
In the 21st century, college students from low-income backgrounds often have trouble affording school and paying off student loans. Imagine adding unexpected bills to the mix. The Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates recently created the Emergency Grant Assistance Program to help these students pay for “unforeseen financial emergencies.” [read more...]
Lowell Elementary School just celebrated its 100th birthday. The building, located at 401 Maple Avenue on Madison’s east side, opened its doors on January 3, 1916. More than 400 students currently attend Lowell Elementary. [read more...]
Simpson Street Free Press staff writer and columnist, Enjoyiana Nururdin, was recently promoted to lead editor of La Follette High School’s student newspaper, The Lance. [read more...]
Madison Community Foundation (MCF) is a local charitable organization that creates grants for meaningful local initiatives. Madison College president Dr. Jack Daniels recently joined 16 other community leaders on the MCF Board of Governors. [read more...]
We've all been there. You're at the store and see something you want, but you have no money. You're impecunious. [read more...]
In a day and age where few college students can secure jobs before graduating, student loans are increasingly scary. In fact, college students average thousands of dollars in debt. And with today’s grim job market, these loans can’t help but make you question: is a college education really worth it? [read more...]
As college tuition rates continue to climb, many prospective and current college students are feeling the pressure of costly higher education. However, there are many creative ways to save for college. [read more...]
I was recently accepted to “Conserve School,” an environmentally focused semester-long boarding school in Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin. The application process was relatively easy compared to the hard part: waiting for an answer from the school. [read more...]
Since April of this year, Jack Daniels, president of Madison Area Technical College, has been pushing to sell the university's downtown location and invest instead in the school's south Madison campus. Following weeks of debate, MATC's board of trustees voted on this controversial proposal during their May 13 meeting. [read more...]
Recently, writers and editors gathered around at Simpson Street Free Press to hear uplifting words of wisdom from Barbara Jill Thomas. Thomas is a retired biochemist from Baltimore, Maryland. [read more...]
Lafollette High School’s assistant principle, Jim Pliner, recently announced he will be leaving the school at the end of the 2014-2015 academic year. Pliner will take the position of head principle at Oregon High School (OHS) for the 2015-2016 academic year. [read more...]
En toda la Unión Europea sólo hay tres países que tienen el mismo número de mujeres que de hombres trabajando en las ciencias y en la ingeniería. Estos tres países son Letonia, Lituania y Polonia. Esto no parece justo, pero ahora, ¿es mejor que en el pasado? [read more...]
A recent Simpson Street Free Press editorial regarding student achievement and teachers’ expectations prompted a rebuttal from La Follette’s school newspaper, The Lance. In examining the arguments presented by both sides, I thought they merited further discussion. [read more...]
I recently had the opportunity to interview historical fiction author Kekla Magoon at the Madison Public Library. [read more...]
Have you ever heard the phrase “strike while the iron is hot”? Around the Simpson Street Free Press newsroom, we hear the phrase often. [read more...]
Evansville High School student and Simpson Street Free Press teen editor Sylvan Bachhuber received a $25,000 scholarship to attend Conserve School in Land O’Lakes, Wisconsin. This makes her the second Free Press student accepted by the Conserve School this year. [read more...]
Graduating college is a significant milestone in life. In most cases it marks the end of an age; scholastic education is over and a professional career begins. While many students find it exciting to be on the cusp of “adulthood,” a good portion are burdened by debt. And now, after graduation, they also face the stress that comes with debt. [read more...]
Standardized tests have traditionally been considered to be an accurate way to predict a person’s future success. But according to a study published in Psychological Science, a person’s spatial skills may be a more accurate predictor. [read more...]
In early September, Senator Glenn Grothman from West Bend, a suburb of Milwaukee, introduced a bipartisan bill that would potentially allow middle school students to take high school level classes for high school credit. These classes would be taught by certain qualified teachers. [read more...]
Amid national discussion over interest rates on federal student loans, and the mounting problem of student loan debt, University of Wisconsin System passed a tuition freeze to take place this academic year. This means that for the 2013-14 year, costs of tuition will remain the same as the previous school year. The freeze will apply to in-state and out-of-state undergraduates along with graduate students. Therefore, the change will affect all UW System students. Lawmakers wrote the tuition freeze into the 2013-15 state budget that was passed by Governor Scott Walker. [read more...]
Across the Middle East and Africa one of the great civil rights struggles of our generation is being fought. Young girls are on the front lines. [read more...]
As a recent high school graduate, I understand the importance of education. There is a clear correlation between the unemployment rate, salary earned, and the level of education a person receives. The future of our economy depends on educated people. [read more...]
A new initiative aimed at the achievement gap opened recently in Madison’s Leopold School neighborhood. It is a partnership between Dane County and the United Way of Dane County. The program intends to support learning for children from birth until they enter four-year-old kindergarten. “This investment will help make sure more kids enter four-year old kindergarten ready to succeed,” says Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. [read more...]
Developed in 1990 by Lyle Hill and Bob Heidman, the Adult Role Models in Science program, better known as ARMS, is a partnership between children and adults handled by the UW-Madison Institute for Biology Education. Their mission is to improve science education in elementary and middle schools through long-term community collaboration. [read more...]
Advancement via Individual Determination program, commonly known as AVID recently earned recognition at Madison East High School. The high school has been chosen as a National AVID Demonstration School. The program is used by 4,000 schools in 15 countries, however only the top 2 percent of these schools are designated as demonstration schools. [read more...]
Reading Education Assistance Dogs aren’t like the average dogs you would find in the nearby park. They are registered as therapy dogs in a new program at Fitchburg Public Library. [read more...]
On a recent cold evening, a group of Simpson Street Free Press reporters gathered at the Goodman South Madison Library. We were in pursuit of a very hot story. [read more...]
At one time, it was said, girls go to college to earn their “Mrs. Degree.” Today it is more common to hear the phrase, “Girls go to college to get more knowledge; boys go to Jupiter…” [read more...]
In 2011, elementary-school students in the United States scored well in math, continuing a 20-year trend of improvement. On the other hand, reading scores showed only minimal improvement. [read more...]
University of Wisconsin Colleges are attempting to make college a more accessible option for state students. Through a partnership with the Department of Public Instruction, they plan to kick off the 2013-14 school year with a dual- credits program called the Cooperative Academic Partnership Program (CAPP). This program will help prepare high school students for college. [read more...]
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) recently submitted its 2013 budget proposal. It includes plans to allow public high school students to take the ACT for free. [read more...]
Now, more than ever, it is important for high school students to plan ahead for college. Secondary education is a necessary but costly endeavor. That is why many financially savvy students choose to enroll in 2-year transfer programs. Two-year schools help you fulfill degree requirements, and then transfer to a 4-year college to receive a bachelor’s degree. [read more...]
Nichelle Nichols is a graduate of Madison’s public schools. She is also raising four sons who are attending Madison schools. As part of her professional career, she is active in the schools working for the Urban League to coordinate the Schools of Hope tutoring program. Now, Nichelle Nichols is running for Seat 1 on the Madison school board. [read more...]
“Education should be the top priority in our city.” This statement was made to us during a recent interview with Madison school board candidate Mary Burke. [read more...]
You know those simple, basic words that we use all the time but don’t think much about? Well, some of them have been around for over 10,000 years. [read more...]
The Madison School District is facing more budget cuts than ever and music programs will be among the first to go. Just in the last few years, one entire orchestra was cut from the Madison Memorial music program and more cuts will follow. For example, the music department is in need of important items such as instruments and stands, but no funds are available from the school district. [read more...]
My name is Alex Lee and I am a freshman at West High School. I am thrilled to takeover the role of Fresh Face columnist following Max Lien, who is now a sophomore. [read more...]
The results of a national reading exam administered in 2009 showed Wisconsin’s African-American fourth-grade students posted scores that trailed their racial peers in every other state. Now, there is new national data from 2011; and this new data shows only slight improvement for those Wisconsin students. [read more...]
OMG! New expressions are being added to the dictionary! [read more...]
Recently, studying has been a drag for me and tests seem harder as the school year is progressing. A mediocre score on just one test can send your grade plummeting. Getting behind in class is not good, especially near end of the school year. [read more...]
My name is Max Lien and I am a freshman at La Follette High School. [read more...]
The start of a new school year means that you will be writing essays in class. This is especially true in middle school and high school. To write a great essay you must use effective paragraphs. [read more...]
As the school year begins, many teachers bombard students with homework. This is a time when many of us are still trying to adjust to our new school routine. This is especially true for high school freshmen. [read more...]
In 2006, 49 percent of Wisconsin’s African-American seniors graduated from high school. That figure is 32 percentage points below the state average for all students. Numbers like those are saddening and make me realize that the achievement gap is still very wide, and a lot of work needs to be done. However much work there is to do on a national or state level, but to many of us, this is a personal thing. Each of us must possess a desire to not be a statistic. We should set the precedent. [read more...]
Each Summer America’s Nagging Achievement Gap Gets Wider. [read more...]
Scientists recently studied the effects of harmonics to pinpoint why music impresses some and disappoints others. Along the way, they made an interesting discovery. [read more...]
My name is Andrew Liu and I am a freshman at James Madison Memorial High School. [read more...]
My parents have owned the Oriental Food Mart on South Park Street since September, 1, 2000. It has been a long journey to get to south Madison. [read more...]
As I near the end of my sophomore year in high school, the idea of college is quickly becoming a reality. I beginning to learn more about the requirements I need to get into college. One of the key deciders of college admission is your standardized test scores. [read more...]
For the first time in decades, girls’ math test scores across the country have equaled that of boys. Some say this disproves the common stereotype that boys are better at math and science. [read more...]
Recently, a celebration of achievement was held for Spanish-speakers at a local Madison church. More than 100 people received certificates recognizing their completion of computer skills classes offered by the Vera Court and Bridge-Lake Point-Waunona neighborhood centers. Classes included basic computing, intermediate skills, Microsoft I, and Microsoft II. [read more...]
Throughout my school years, I have experienced many different types of teachers. My eighth grade history teacher loved to give lectures, tests, worksheets, and essays. My ninth grade history teacher is completely different. We almost never have any tests or lectures. Our teacher likes to teach us in a other ways, using videos, oral presentations, and collage projects. [read more...]