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Friday, August 1, 2014

Soil Degradation and Deforestation in the United States

Soil Degradation and Deforestation in the United States

by Sarah Ganly

The United States is a beautiful country that is home to many different species of plants, insects, and animals. The United States is also the home to many people and industries, but in the United States only "15.8%" of the land is protected (World Resources Institute, 2006).As recorded by the World Resource Institute (2006), in the United States as of 2003, 443 of the 22,661 species in the United States are threatened. The population is constantly increasing, and this in turn causes consumer demand to increase. When consumer demand increases industry grows, and the environment in the United States suffers. Growth of industry has led to the decline of forests; growth of industry has also led to an increased rate of soil degradation. Soil degradation and deforestation are both main contributors to the loss of biodiversity in the United States. Without biodiversity one must wonder whether or not man will be able to sustain itself. Severe soil degradation and deforestation in the United States is caused by human activities, but there are ways to start resolving these issues for the benefit of all.
Soil degradation in the United States is a serious threat, and the root causes of this danger are human activities in this country such as agriculture. In the United States it is estimated that soil erosion is costing about "$44 billion a year in damage to farmland, waterways, infrastructure, and health" (Kaiser & Proffitt, 2004, p. 7 ). It is also predicted that if farmers did not replace the lost water and nutrients, "U.S. crop yields would drop 8% per year" (Kaiser & Proffitt, 2004, p.7 ). Agriculture is an important part of life in the United States. Agriculture should be treated with respect to the environment instead of being destructive to the environment. Soil degradation naturally occurs from water and wind, but poor agriculture methods are the main cause of this problem in the United States. One of the main problems with agriculture in the United States is the practice of "sowing crops without fertilizers season after season" (Kaiser & Proffitt, 2004, p.5 ). This practice causes the soil to be drained of all its nutrients, and in turn this causes the soil to be less and less fertile. Another problem with agriculture is poor irrigation methods. These methods cause a chemical imbalance in the soil. When the land is improperly irrigated an increased amount of groundwater occurs, and this causes salinization. Salinization occurs when the soil becomes oversaturated with salt; this causes the land to become infertile (Kaiser & Proffitt, 2004). Poor methods of agriculture are a leading cause of soil degradation in the United States, but with improved farming methods the harmful impact agriculture causes can be lessened.
Deforestation is another environmental threat in the United States. "831 square miles" of forest in the United States has been lost from 2000 through 2005 (Butler, 2007, para. 2). The forest lost is considered the older forests which contain the highest amount of animal and plant species. The United States was found to have the "seventh largest annual loss of primary forests in the world (Butler, 2007, para.1). According to Butler (2007), the United States ranks the worst on annual forest loss for wealthy countries. Although the older or primary forests have been lost in the United States, some new forest plantations and growth from previously cut forests has helped the United States be able to claim a gain in overall forest cover. (Butler, 2007) Although the United States can boast a higher forest cover they quality of the forest gained is not as high as the forest lost. The number of wildlife species in the new forest is significantly lower than the older forests. Deforestation in the United States is caused by the logging business, road construction, industrialization, and paper consumption. All of these causes of forest destruction the logging business is the main cause of deforestation in the United States. The Forest Service that is meant to protect the forests is influenced greatly by the timber industry. The Forest Service in the United is so heavily influenced by the logging industry that the Timber certification (n.d.) stated, that the Forest Service "actually subsidizes timber companies to the extent of $500 million per year in taxpayers' money" (para. 2). These practices make wood and paper cheaper and provides jobs in the timber industry, but it makes it harder for the recycling industry to be successful (Timber certicication, ). Timber is highly consumed by the people of the United States, and the deforestation caused by human consumption is a threat, but there are ways to help reconcile the negative impact deforestation has on the United States.
There are methods that can be taken in order to help improve these problems in the United States. The impact of soil degradation is hard to combat, but with improved farming methods and regulations it can be helped. "No-till farming has helped reduce water erosion by over 40% since 1982" in the United States according to Kaisser&Proffit (2004).The farming industry can help stop soil degradation by using more environmentally beneficial planting methods such as crop rotations and maintaining strips of natural plant growth in between crops. Farmers and gardeners can also help stop soil erosion by planting deep rooted perennials and using all naturally available precipitation in order to decrease ground water. A decrease in ground water will help decrease the amount of salt in the soil. Intercropping is also a very practical and environmentally beneficial method of farming that would help slow down the harmful process of soil degradation. Intercropping occurs when multiple different crops are grown on a piece of land (Sullivan, 2003). This method is good because instead of all of a particular nutrient being drained from the soil, the different crops will use different nutrients, and put back different nutrients into the land. With this land more crops can be grown in smaller areas without leaving the soil infertile (Sullivan, 2003). To improve deforestation laws should be enacted to protect the land. In 2001 Bill Clinton enacted a law that would preserve, "58.5 million acres of undeveloped national forest" (Butler, 2007, para. 4). President Bush has recently repealed that law, and the land is open to construction, but if that law could be reinstated it would make a huge step in protecting our forests and biodiversity. Deforestation is highly threatened by the timber industry in the United States. If the taxpayer's money went to the recycling industry instead of the logging industry than the negative influence of deforestation could be controlled (Timber certification,). The loss of jobs in the timber industry could be supplemented by increased jobs in recycling and environmental protection. There are many practices that the government, individual, and businesses should use in order to help stop the damages of soil degradation and deforestation in the United States.
There are many other places that are dealing with similar environmental issues as soil degradation and deforestation. In Canada there have been many problems with soil degradation. It was estimated that soil degradation was costing Canada about "$1.3 billion" a year and would continue to increase with time (Forge, 1998, para. 11 ). In order to prevent this tremendous loss of money and land the Canadian government enacted laws regulating and monitoring farming methods, and promoting awareness of the true harm of soil degradation. Soil conservation methods have been put into practice and seem to have worked. Due to soil conservation practices "the use of fallowing has decreased 30% over 20 years"; erosion has decreased and crop rotations have helped increase the amount of organic materials in the land (Forge, 1998, para. 13). Although these methods have been successful, they have only been successful in about one third of the area because the farming methods do not apply to all of the crops being grown (Forge, 1998). Brazil is another country promoting awareness of environmental issues. In Brazil they have created "more than 20 million hectares of parks, extractive reserve, and national forests", and many of these areas are significantly placed by new agricultural areas (Terra Daily, 2007, para. 4). If these areas are truly protected, it will stop "one billion tons of carbon from being transferred to the atmosphere through deforestation by the year 2015" (Terra Daily, 2007, para. 7). The success of these methods has spurred a program for reduction compensation in the United Nations which would help deforestation decrease globally (Terra Daily, 2007). The practice of promoting awareness of soil degradation and preserving natural forest land are methods that should be implemented in the United States.
The environment is seriously under attack in the United States. Soil degradation and deforestation have a direct impact on the environment in the United States by causing green house gas emissions to increase. These problems also cause infertility and loss of land. Both soil degradation and deforestation also cause a loss in biodiversity in the United States. These issues are serious threats to all species, humans and wildlife alike, and need to be dealt with immediately. There are many methods that have been put into use in order to help resolve the issues of soil degradation and deforestation; there are also many methods that have proved successful in other places such as Canada and Brazil. These methods, which include promoting awareness, preserving land, better farming methods, and allocating tax money to the recycling industry instead of the logging industry, are all very promising, and should be put into action in the United States. The problems of soil degradation and deforestation are real problems not only in the United States, but the rest of the world as well. The United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world and should set a good example and protect the environment from this destruction instead of promoting it.
References
Butler R.A., (2007). United States has 7th highest rate of primary forest loss. Mongabay. Retrieved July 20, 2007, from http://news.mongabay.com/2005/1116-forests.html
Forge F., (1998). Agricultural soil conservation. Parliamentary research Branch. Retrieved July 20, 2007, from http://dsp-psd.pwgsc.gc.ca/Collection-R/LoPBdP/MR/mr151-e.htm#FEDERAL%20INITIATIVES(txt)
Kaiser, J. & Proffitt, F. (2004). Wounding earth's fragile skin. Science, 304(5677).
Sullivan P., (2003). Intercropping principles and production practices. National sustainable agricuolture and information services. Retrieved July 21, 2007, from http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/intercrop.html#concepts
Terra Daily. (2007). Brazil demonstrating that reducing tropical deforestation is key winwin global warming solution. Retrieved July 19, 2007, from http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Brazil_Demonstrating_That_Reducing_Tropical_Deforestation_Is_Key_WinWin_Global_Warming_Solution_999.html
Timber certification. (n.d.). Deforestation threat. Retrieved July 20, 2007, fromhttp://darwin.bio.uci.edu/~sustain/issueguides/TimberCert/deforest/threats.html
World Resources Institute. (2006). Biodiversity and protected areas. Retrieved July 21, 2007, from http://earthtrends.wri.org/text/biodiversity-protected/country-profile-190.html

The Environmental Issues of Water and Air Pollution in Orange County, New York

The Environmental Issues of Water and Air Pollution in Orange County, New York

by Sarah Ganly

In Orange County, New York there are many air and water pollution issues that affect the community. In my community air pollution is a serious issue. Orange County, New York has some of the dirtiest air in all of the United States. Water pollution in my area is also a problem that is being caused by developments in my area. There are many factors that have an affect on pollution in my area, and some of these factors can help, but many do not.
"More people in Orange County are expected to become sick from dirty air than they would in most places in the United States" (Bernhard & Perkes, 2006). The severe air pollution problems in my area are affecting climate because it is causing global warming. The increased use of fossil fuels in my area is due to population increase and transportation increase. Since my area is so close to the city many people are moving to my community and commuting to their jobs. The topography in my area helps intensify air pollution because there are a lot of urban buildings, and more are being built everyday. The area I live in is a mountainous region; this also helps increase air pollution because it decreases air flow. Air pollution in my area is decreased by the level of snow and rain received. The amount of trees also helps decrease air pollution, but if the area I live in is continued to be urbanized there will be less trees.
In my community water pollution is a problem because of development projects. The area I live in is right outside of New York City; it has recently become a site for developers. One project that is being suggested is a "2,000-acre Catskill Park resort, which critics said would erode mountain soil and send pollutants into reservoirs" (Upstate projects could threaten NYC water, p.2) Many proposals like this are constantly under review in my community and the nature that I am used to being surrounded by is starting to disappear.
Air pollution extremely affects the people in my community because the risk of getting cancer "is nearly doubled: 79 cancer cases per million residents" (Bernhard & Perkes, 2006). This is not the only serious health issue caused by air pollution in my area; other health issues include "asthma, emphysema and heart disease" (Bernhard and Perkes, 2006). The environment is also affected by air pollution in my community because it causes the amount of ultraviolet radiation to increase, and this radiation has a negative effect on crops and plants in my community.
The environment is affected by water pollution cause by development projects in my community because soil erosion causes loss of good land and soil for farming. This also causes the need for a higher use of fertilizer in my community. This also affects the people in my community because the water pollution in reservoirs would require building a "$8 billion filtration plant" which would directly affect the tax payers in my community. (Upstate projects could threaten NYC water, p.4)
It is upsetting to know that my community is so troubled buy air pollution and water pollution, but it is interesting to know that there are natural things such as rain and snow are helping the environment. I think that urbanization of my community is causing many of the problems with pollution in my area.
References
Bernhard, B., & Perkes, C. (March 23, 2006). O.C.'s dirty air. Retrieved June 28, 2007 from, http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/homepage/abox/article_1067450.php

The Lives of Jesus and Muhammad and Their Influence on the World

Many people only know Jesus and Muhammad as figure heads for the Christian and Muslim religion, but they were real people. The lives of these men have influenced people for well over a thousand years. These religions are still practiced to this day, and although Jesus and Mohammad lived completely different lives, both have had a very strong impact on history and humanity.
Jesus only lived for about 30 years, but he left a long history behind. He was born in Bethlehem, Israel around 6BC. He spent his infancy in Egypt, and he spent his youth in Nazareth, Israel. (Timeline during life of Jesus) He spent most of his life as a carpenter, but started teaching when he was in his thirties. Jesus taught for three years and "attracted a following of thousands" (Timeline during life of Jesus). He lived a traditional Jewish life and taught people to love one another and God. Jesus did many controversial things; the most outrageous thing he did was claim to be God. This was said to be blasphemous, and he was "killed at the request of Jewish religious leaders" (Timeline during the life of Jesus). The Roman Governor, Pilate, was convinced by Jewish religious leaders to execute Jesus. He "was brutally tortured and then hung by his hands, which were nailed to a horizontal wooden beam (cross)." (Brief summary of Jesus' life, p.2) Three days after he died on the cross Jesus was said to have risen from the dead. "According to more than 500 witnesses" Jesus traveled throughout Israel for 40 days after he rose from the dead (Brief summary of Jesus' life, p.2). Jesus then returned to Jerusalem where he proceeded to ascend into heaven; he was said to have "left the earth alive by rising up into the sky" (Brief Summary of Jesus' life, p.2).
Muhammad is another very important person whose history has left a mark on time. Muhammad was born in 570AD in "the town of Mecca" (The life of Muhammad, p. 1). When Muhammad's mother took him on a journey to visit his father's grave she became ill and died. At the age of five or six Muhammad became an orphan. He was put into the care of his paternal grandfather, and eventually ended up living with his uncle in Mecca. (The life of Muhammad, p.2). In his twenties he met a woman named Khadija bint Khawalayd, and after some years they were married. Muhammad was still living in Mecca when the town started to become very materialistic; he was distressed by this. Muhammad began to make retreats out of Mecca where he would meditate and fast. "On one occasion, after a number of indistinct visionary experiences, Muhammad was visited by an overpowering presence and instructed to recite words of such beauty and force that he and others gradually attributed them to God" (The life of Muhammad, p. 7). Experiences like this continued to happen and although Muhammad was afraid he eventually told his tribe about these occurrences. At first Muhammad and his followers were "belittled and ridiculed"; later they "were persecuted and physically attacked" (The life of Muhammad, p.8). After a decade Muhammad's wife and uncle both died, and there was an attempted assassination on his life. Muhammad and the Muslims eventually decided to leave Mecca and travel to Medina where there was a civil war going on. Muhammad was asked to "act as their mediator"; he "remained here for the next six years, building the first Muslim community" (The life of Muhammad, p. 9). The Meccans did not approve of Muhammad's fame and battles ensued. After three years a treaty was signed allowing Muslims to move without worry through Arabia. By 630AD Muslims had gained much power and outweighed the Meccans. "In January, 630, they marched on Mecca and were joined by tribe after tribe along the way. They entered Mecca without bloodshed and the Meccans, seeing the tide had turned, joined them." (The life of Muhammad, p. 10) Muhammad died in 632AD and was buried in Medina.
The lives and deaths of Jesus and Muhammad have both had a tremendous impact on history and the world around us. The death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus convinced many people that he was truly the son of God. These miraculous events caused many people to convert to Christianity despite persecution. "Only a few months later in that same city of Jerusalem one record states that some 3000 new followers were added in a single day." (A brief summary of Jesus' life, p.5) The incredible events after Jesus' death caused Christianity to be the faith of choice for many people. 100 years after Muhammad's death, "Muhammad's teaching and way of life had spread from the remote corners of Arabia as far east as Indo-China and as far west as Morocco, France and Spain" (The life of Muhammad, p.10). Muhammad's death was not as strong as an influence in the success of his religion as Jesus' death was. I feel the actions of Mohammad when he was alive played a much stronger part in creating the Islam religion. After the death of Muhammad "leaders of the Muslim community consensually chose Abu Bakr, the Prophet's father-in-law and one of his earliest followers, to succeed him" (The life of Muhammad, p.10). Jesus' death was a very important factor in the spread of Christianity; whereas, Muhammad's life practices were more of a dominating factor in the spread of Islam. 

Jesus is worshiped by Christians and Muhammad is not worshiped by Muslims. Jesus is considered one with God in the holy trinity, and he is worshiped be Christians all over the world. Jesus was worshiped as well when he was alive by his followers. As Jackson states, "When folks bowed before the Lord and worshipped him, in not a single case did he ever rebuke the worshippers and suggest that he was unworthy of such adoration." (2000) Muhammad is not worshipped by Muslims because in the Muslim religion God is only to be worshiped, and Muhammad was not God. Muhammad is a prophet of God and a teacher, but he is not god himself. In the Muslim religion it is wrong to worship idols or saints. Jesus is worshiped by his followers because he is considered God, and Muhammad is not worshiped because he was a tool that God spoke through, and it is against Islamic religion to worship others than God. 

The messages of Jesus and Muhammad are still being carried out today. Christianity is preached, published, and publicized throughout the world through by many different people. There are may different sects of Christianity, and they all practice the teachings of Jesus. Christianity is the largest religion in the world today, and it is followed by Islam. (Major religions of the world ranked by number of adherents, 2007) Like Christianity, the Muslim religion is practiced all over the world by many people. The messages of Jesus and Muhammad are being carried out by the billions of followers that they have. 

The lives of Jesus and Muhammad happened about 570 years apart, but they have the largest following of people in the world. Jesus only lived into his thirties and his death was a pinnacle point in the success of his religion. Muhammad lived into his 60's and accumulated his following for about 30 years of his life. Both of the religions have prospered long after the death of both Jesus and Muhammad, and they are still practiced by many people all over the world.
References
Adherents. (2007). Major Religions of the World Ranked by Number of Adherents, Retrieved July 8, 2007 from, http://www.adherents.com/Religions_By_Adherents.html
Jackson, W. (May 4, 2000). Is it appropriate to worship Jesus? Retrieved July 8, 2007 from, http://www.christiancourier.com/articles/read/is_it_appropriate_to_worship_jesus
Jesus Central. (2007). Timeline during life of Jesus, retrieved July 8, 2007 from, http://www.jesuscentral.com/ji/historical-jesus/jesus-lifetime.php
Jesus Central. (2007). Brief summary of Jesus' life, retrieved July 8, 2007 from, http://www.jesuscentral.com/ji/historical-jesus/jesus-life.php
Kikim Media. (2002). The life of Muhammad, retrieved July 8, 2007 from, http://www.pbs.org/muhammad/timeline_html.shtml

Walt Whitman's View

Walt Whitman's View

by Sarah Ganly
The art of art, the glory of expression and the sunshine of the light of letters is simplicity. Nothing is better than simplicity... nothing can make up for excess or for the lack of definiteness. To carry on the heave of impulse and pierce intellectual depths and give all subjects their articulations are powers neither common nor very uncommon. But to speak in literature with the perfect rectitude and insouciance of the movements of animals and the unimpeachableness of the sentiment of trees in the woods and grass by the roadside is the flawless triumph of art. (Whitman, Preface to Leaves of Grass) 
I, Walt Whitman, think that creating literature is an art that portrays humanity and society and should emulate nature in its disregard for boundaries.
"I sing the body electric" with all that it is; the expressions and the various ranging motions it can make are worthy of praise. The human form is incredible with all its infinite possibilities and complexity. From the "brain in its folds inside the skull-frame" to the "the circling rivers the breath" the working of the human body is awe inspiring. The human being is perfect and natural the way it is. Gender and age only lend character to the beauty and wonder of the human form. All people should walk erectly and "speak with a full and sonorous voice out of a broad chest" (Whitman, Song of Joys). "Small the theme of my Chant, yet the greatest--namely, One's-Self--
a simple, separate person." (Whitman, Small Theme of My Chant)
I believe one should "disengage yourself from parties" and question authority and belief structures. Not only question your rulers but hold yourself above them and judge them. The common man is the true nobleman. "I above all promote brave soldiers." They battle the most trying of wars, staged in "the field the world". (Whitman, Ponder in Silence) The genius of the world does not only lie in the "executives or legislatures, nor in its ambassadors or authors, or colleges or churches or parlors, nor even in its newspapers or inventors--but always most in the common people." Man should hold to "no law but their own will". People should bow down to no known or unknown oppressor.
A poet should write simply and flow naturally. A poet should give no regard to orthodox rhyme schemes. A true poet's greatest accomplishment is to write as thought it was nature itself. True poetry is to capture the simple raw existence of the world. All structured forms of writing should be thrown aside when writing. "Away with old romance! Away with novels, plots, and plays of foreign courts, Away with love-verses sugar'd in rhyme, the intrigues, amours of idlers." (Whitman, Democratic Vistas)
None should be afraid. All should "be copious, temperate, chaste, magnetic, and what you effuse may then return as the seasons return, and may be just as much as the seasons." (Whitman, On Journeys through the States) Humanity should be "the learners of all, teachers of all, and lovers of all."
Work Cited
Whitman, Walt. "Democratic Vistas." THE INNER SANCTUM EDITION OF The Poetry and Prose of WALT WHITMAN. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Simon AND Schuster, 1949.
Whitman, Walt."On Journeys Though the States" THE INNER SANCTUM EDITION OF The Poetry and Prose of WALT WHITMAN. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Simon AND Schuster, 1949.
Whitman, Walt. "Preface to Leaves of Grass." THE INNER SANCTUM EDITION OF The Poetry and Prose of WALT WHITMAN. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Simon AND Schuster, 1949.
Whitman, Walt. "As I Ponder'd in Silence" THE INNER SANCTUM EDITION OF The Poetry and Prose of WALT WHITMAN. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Simon AND Schuster, 1949.
Whitman, Walt. "Small Theme of my Chant" THE INNER SANCTUM EDITION OF The Poetry and Prose of WALT WHITMAN. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Simon AND Schuster, 1949.
Whitman, Walt THE INNER SANCTUM EDITION OF The Poetry and Prose of WALT WHITMAN. Louis Untermeyer. New York: Simon AND Schuster, 1949.

The Influence of Absinthe

The Influence of Absinthe
by Sarah Ganly

Absinthe is the most wonderful shade of green. This substance, also known as the green fairy, usually consists of 50% to 70% of alcohol. This means that absinthe is 100 to 140 proof. This is an extremely large amount of alcohol. It should not be consumed alone. This alcohol is so strong that it is actually illegal in the United States.
Absinthe's delicious flavor and aroma is attributed to the use of anise and fennel in the creation of the substance. Wormwood also plays a key role in the production of this incredible drink. Wormwood contains a chemical that is similar to the chemical in marijuana. This chemical creates a pleasant feeling when consumed. The chemical is called thujone; it adds the bitter taste found in absinthe.
This exceptional green potion was created by a doctor named Pierre Ordinaire, but this drink is not the least bit ordinary. When it was originally created it was used to cure many different ailments. It was considered by numerous people to be a wonder drug. Absinthe, containing an unusually strong amount of alcohol, would definitely ease one's pain. One can assume that the wormwood also produces a wonderful feeling. Such delightful feelings would make anyone's suffering or sickness seem to be healed. Absinthe was even given to French troops to prevent sicknesses.
Absinthe was very popular in France in the late 1800's. Absinthe was known for its ability to creatively stimulate. Many famous artist's and writers partook of this controversial drink. Ernest Hemingway was known to take pleasure in this glorious emerald treat. Pablo Picasso even dedicated his artistic talent to painting glasses of absinthe on more than one occasion. Vincent Van Gogh, Oscar Wilde, and Arthur Rimbaud are some of the other known admitted absinthe fans. Scores of writers and artists were known to enjoy absinthe as their drink of choice.
This distinctive cocktail has also been blamed for the murder of a man's wife. In 1905 a man named Jean Lanfray became extremely inebriated from drinking absinthe. In his drunken frenzy he proceeded to murder his wife. At this point in time prohibition was on the rise. The murder of Lanfray's wife became attributed to absinthe, thus giving the drink a bad name. Lanfray claimed to only have consumed two absinthe mixtures. It is hard to truly hold absinthe responsible for a man's decision to take someone's life. This decision relies more on the heart and soul of a man than his liquor of choice.
Absinthe is also known as an aphrodisiac. This brew was very popular in the wealthy club scene in France. It was revered by countless elite male and female socialites. Absinthe was especially popular at the Moulin Rouge. Drinking absinthe concoctions at the Moulin Rouge was all the rage during the 1800's. It was a typical to see multiple men and women sipping lime green colored cocktails and dancing lewdly any night at the Moulin Rouge. Absinthe and the club scene went hand-in-hand due to the drinks euphoric effects.
Absinthe has had a long and interesting history. This mesmerizing drink is legal to possess and buy in the United States. It is not legal to sell in the U.S. This celebrated jade potion is also legal in Canada, Spain, and the Czech Republic. Absinthe is known for its ethereal effects, its ability to inspire, and its inevitable talent for getting the user intoxicated. Although absinthe is not as easy to come by as any other alcohol; it is world renowned for several reasons.

Safety Tips for Creating and Maintaining Your Garden Without Having to Worry

Safety Tips for Creating and Maintaining Your Garden Without Having to Worry

by Sarah Ganly

Gardening can be a very meditative project, but it can also be a huge hassle. When gardening there are many things to worry about such as poison ivy, oak, and sumac, insects, and dirt stains, but with some ingenuity and planning your gardening experience can be completely enjoyable and without worries.
Before you go out into your yard and start digging there are some things you should do first. It is important to have a good plan about where your want everything to grow in your garden. The amount of sun, water, and how a plant grows should be taken into consideration when planning your garden. It is helpful to draw a gardening map before starting your garden. This map will help you effectively decide where to place your plants. For instance you do not want to plant something that needs a fence where you have no fence, and you also do not want to plant a full sun plant in the shade. Drawing a map can be fun and informative when making your garden and maintaining it, and you will always know which plants are which!
Now that you have your plants and your plan you are almost ready to go outside and get dirty, but before you grab your shovel there are a few tips you should take into consideration. In order to protect yourself from poison ivy and other rash inducing plants you should spray your self and your clothes with secret deodorant spray. This procedure may seem strange, but it keeps the oils off of your skin. This will help prevent you from developing some very troublesome rashes. Insects are another problem when gardening. Neem oil can be purchased at some garden stores and is helpful in keeping insects away from you, as well as, your plants. It can be mixed with water and sprayed on plants and clothing as a means of insect protection. In order to protect your hands and nails from getting stained with dirt another good idea is to gently scrape your nails over a bar of soap. This method will help keep the dirt out from under your nails, and it makes washing your hands much easier. Preparation when gardening is very important in guaranteeing an enjoyable gardening session.
All of these ideas are very important when gardening and they make any problems that may possibly arise easily solvable. Gardening is a peaceful activity that can be maximized by these precautionary procedures. Now that you have the tools and tips you need to garden with out worry, pick up your shovel and get dirty!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Recycling Things Found Around Your Home to Make Altered Art

Recycling Things Found Around Your Home to Make Altered Art

Altered art is all about using things found around your home to make art. Many people spend a lot of money on expensive art supplies, and they simply overlook all the treasures they have right around their house. Here are some of the things I enjoying using that I have around my home. One if my favorite sayings is "Waste not, want not."

You know how a lot of products you buy from the store have that clear plastic cellophane around them; this is a great tool when creating art. Big pieces can be used to cover pictures, and a mat board frame can be placed on top of the cellophane to protect and enhance your art. Cellophane can be painted, crumpled, or shredded and added to art to create depth.
Another useful and overlooked art supply is newspapers and books. These items can come in handy in many ways; they can be used as interesting backgrounds for scenes. Newspapers and books can also be used to cut words, letters, and quotes out of. Some newspapers and books also have fun and interesting pictures that can be used as focal points of art projects.
Wire is a big helper when creating altered art because it can be used to create flowers, fairy wands, trees, and anything else you can shape it into. Wire is also helpful because it can be attached to art so that your art can be hung on the wall. Wire can also make a stand for your art, or it can help you tie parts of your art together.
Twist ties from bread and other packaged good are another fun art tool. Some come in pretty metallic colors, and some come in plain colors, but they can also help hold things together. These twist ties can also be tied into bows or used as flower stems.
Sticks, pine cones, dried flowers, and leaves are also helpful items when creating altered art. Sticks can be used to make frames, or sticks can be used to simulate trees in landscape scenes. Pinecones can be used as miniature trees, and they can be painted depending on what season is being simulated. Dried flowers and leaves can be used as wings or clothes for little flower fairies. They can also be used to create texture and depth to a work of art.
Altered art is my favorite art because iit gets your hands dirty, and because you can use all sorts of everyday junk to produce it. I hope you find these items as useful and inspiring as I have, and remember have fun!

Tips on Creating Art Card Editions and Originals and Artist Trading Cards

Tips on Creating Art Card Editions and Originals and Artist Trading Cards

Art card, editions and originals are an easy and inexpensive way to make gifts for people, express yourself, and have a good time. I love making art cards and find it very relaxing. There is only one simple rule to these fun little cards; artist trading cards must measure 2 and a half inches by 3 and a half inches. This size is actually a convenient size because it is the same measurements as the average playing card. ACEOs and ATCs can be composed of whatever materials you enjoy working with, and here are some tips that I find useful when making ATCs and ACEOs.
I like to use a lot of collage work when making ACEOs so I usually do random image searches on the computer to find images that strike some inspiration for me. Once I find a good image I print it out and cut it out. If you do not have a printer you can use magazines or books to find images; you may also feel free to draw your own images.
Once I have a good image I place it on the cards I have precut from cardstock or cardboard, and I glue it down. I like to alter my pictures by adding some oil pastels. Oil pastels are fun because they smudge, and can be wiped away if you only want to add a hint of color to the original image. Acrylic paint is another interesting art tool to use because it can be watered down and used to create blurry effects. I also use paint pens, markers, and pens on occasion to add details that the paint and pastels can not create.
Another fun part of making ATCs is picking a theme. Since these little cards can be used as gifts it is fun to make holiday themed cards, and a handmade card is always more thoughtful than a store bought card. ATCs can be made for Easter by using bunny rabbit cut outs and fake grass. Beads can be used in place of eggs. Christmas themed ATCs are also nice gifts because you can use tinfoil to make angel wings and pine needles to add accents.
A major part of making ACEOs and ATCs is personalizing them. It is important that your art cards have your own personal touch, so make sure to let your artist freedom run wild. Feel free to use things found around your home that do not naturally seem artistic to add your own personal touch. Just remember to have fun when making these cards, and your ATCs will come out better than expected.

How to Draw Dragons

How to Draw Dragons

Dragons are famous mythical characters that appear all over the television and movies. They are awesome creatures that are a combination of lizard, snake, and bat. Drawing a dragon may seem intimidating to those who are interested in drawing mythical creatures, but they are not as hard to draw as is expected. This article will teach you how to draw the profile view of a dragon.
First you will need paper and a pencil; a basic idea of what you want your dragon to look like is also important. Remember that dragons can come in many shapes and sizes, and dragons can have ears, fangs, horns, big wings, or long tails. They can have talons or they can have scales, but either way it is important to know what you are trying to draw before you get started.
Now that you have your ideas and your pencil start by drawing a line for the neck. Remember dragons are kind of like snakes and the neck shape should look something like a question mark or a hook. Next it you will draw the head as an elongated egg or oval shape. If your dragon is going to be rough instead of friendly it is good to make this oval more box shaped than round. Remember the smaller end is the snout and should be on the outside of the neck. Then you will have to draw a flattened circle at the upper part of the egg shape that is closer to the neck. This circle will be where the eye socket and the eyebrow structure is located. Next draw another slightly larger circle underneath the eye circle, and this circle is the beginning of the dragon's jaw and mouth.
Now that you have the basic shape of the dragon you will have to fill in the details. Where you have made the eye socket circle you should draw an eye. Those of you who can picture dragons know that they have a rectangular or narrow shaped eye, and this shape should be placed at the bottom of the flatten circle so the rest of the circle appears to arch over the eye giving it definition. Next using the side of the jaw circle, that is closer to the neck, define the jaw line and extend it along the bottom of the head to where the mouth and snout would be. Now draw a line separating the upper and lower jaw that extends into the jaw circle. I like to make the line a little jagged because it can simulate teeth. This line can determine whether or not your dragon is smiling. This is also when you would create a slight line in the beginning of the snout for a nose whole.
Next draw to lines that are parallel to the neck line you have drawn. You will want these lines to create a wide enough space to make sense as a neck for your dragon. Remember again a dragon's head and neck look much like a snake, and dragon's also have an underbelly that varies like a snake. The first neck line you have drawn can help to define the belly of the dragon. You can make horizontal lines going across the belly to simulate the difference in scales. Now you can add horns, scales, fangs, and any other details you would like on your dragon. Remember to erase any unnecessary lines that you have used to create your basic dragon shape, and remember to have fun because that is what art is all about!

The Benefits of Diversity in the Classroom on the Teaching Environment

The Benefits of Diversity in the Classroom on the Teaching Environment

Many teachers do not take the atmosphere of a classroom into consideration when they conduct their classes, but the atmosphere is an essential part of learning in a classroom. The environment a class is taught in helps determines the success of the lessons and the students. All students are different, and it is important for all students to respect each other in order for the productivity of a classroom to optimized. As a teacher it is important that I am able to create an atmosphere of tolerance, acceptance, and caring in the classroom in order to provide for the diversified needs of my students.
I live in Pine Bush which is located in New York. Pine Bush is located about two hours upstate from New York City, and it is a rural town. The population in Pine Bush is of Caucasian, Hispanic, Latino, African American, Asian, Pacific Islanders, and people of mixed ethnicity. In Pine Bush there are many churches, and many people of different religious beliefs. Presbyterian and Baptists churches are located very close to the center of town in Pine Bush, and there is a Buddhist monastery located in town as well. There are people of high, low, and middle class economic status, but many people in Pine Bush are of the middle working class. Pine Bush may seem like a quiet country town, but it is also diverse in many ways.
In all classrooms all over the world it is extremely important to have an atmosphere that is tolerant, accepting, and caring in the classroom; this atmosphere is beneficial to the students, the teachers, and the entire world. Practicing tolerance and acceptance in school provides students with the ability to be comfortable with themselves; it also helps students let go of preconceived biases and teaches students to learn more about what is inside of a person instead of judging them by their outsides. The use of tolerance, acceptance, and caring in the classroom provides a nice atmosphere that can be productive to learning. These practices will promote teamwork, confidence, and respect, and these are all key factors in a successful classroom. Teachers will also benefit from the use of tolerance, acceptance, and caring because they will be able to fairly grade and support students. If teachers are accepting of student's differences they will be able to look at students for their potential instead of with a bias mind, and this will help them teach more successfully. These ideas will also allow the students and teachers to earn respect for each other which will make the classroom a pleasant and productive environment. The world will benefit as a whole because of these practices because the all people should be taught tolerance, acceptance, and caring, and if more people were taught these things people would treat each other better on a bigger level. Tolerance, acceptance, and caring are beliefs that the future generations should be ingrained with, and teaching students today is what will make this possible.
In order to create a tolerant, accepting and caring classroom atmosphere there are many things one can do as a teacher. As a teacher in Pine Bush, New York I would make sure to discuss diversity, and why it is a positive thing in the classroom. I would create lesson plans that discuss the cultures of my students and the cultures of my community. I would discuss the different religious beliefs of the community as well. I believe it is also necessary to speak to the students about disabilities and at risk students; I think that it is important to discuss these issues in order to help students realize that these differences do not make someone less than them. I would also speak about socioeconomic issues and how they affect students, and the differences in gender. I think teaching about gender issues is also very important because many gender stereotypes influence how both male and females learn, and I feel that it is important for both boys and girls to be given equal opportunities in the classroom. I would discuss these issues in order to help show the students that all people have needs, and I would emphasize that it is important for students to accept and help each other in order to benefit themselves and the world around them. I would make sure the students are aware that differences in people make the world interesting, and I would create lesson plans that would help show students how their own unique differences help the classroom function properly. These lessons will help the students identify and overcome their biases, and I will also learn about my own biases from them. During these lessons I would also make sure to tell the students what I have learned about my own biases to help them understand that they can learn about themselves and improve on themselves. I feel that it is also important for students to be aware of the inequalities that exist so that they can receive the education they deserve, and they can fulfill their educational goals.
In my classroom I would have a multicultural bulletin board, and this bulletin board will contain many fun facts for students to learn from. This bulletin board will change every month, and it will contain all of the holidays that can be celebrated each month. This bulletin board will also contain different images that are associated with these different holidays, and stories and poems that describe these holidays will also be featured on this bulletin board. I would also like to include the different awareness months because there are many that are important and many that are fun and interesting such as national mentoring month, national hot tea month, heart disease awareness month, national hamburger month, and watershed awareness month. I would keep a list on the side of my bulletin board of all the different awarenesses of the month, and students would be free to discuss and research these ideas. In the beginning of each month I would allow the students to add their own thoughts to the bulletin board. I would ask them to fill in any holidays that they practice or are aware of; this would give them the ability to represent themselves and their cultures. I would also make sure to include all of their birthdays to remind them that they are all special. Each day I would have a different student give a short speech about a holiday that fell on that day, and if there was no holiday they could pick one of the month's awareness topics. This exercise will help students learn about cultures and the world, and it will help students celebrate diversity everyday.
As a teacher it is important to make sure the classroom atmosphere is comfortable in order to ensure productivity. Teaching students that differences are a good thing and those differences can be learned from and valued is a way to help ensure a positive classroom environment. As a teacher I will help my students understand biases, and I will help them be able to accept differences and treat people fairly by educating them about the differences of the people around them. I believe there are many ways a teacher can incorporate diversity lessons into the classroom, and a bulletin board is a fun, hands-on way for students to be able to learn to respect and enjoy their differences. Overall I believe that teaching students to respect each other despite their differences will benefit the students, the teachers, and the rest of the world.

How to Implement a Student At-Risk Program

How to Implement a Student At-Risk Program

As a teacher one must be able to cater to the needs of all the students in the classroom; one must also take into consideration the problems that students may face. Not all students are the same, and some students are considered at-risk because of their behavior and the situations in which they live. These at risk students do not always receive the attention they need in order to learn and become mature responsible adults. In order to meet the needs of at-risk students, alternative programs must be designed and implemented that can identify students that need help, fulfill the needs of these students, optimize the resources of the community, and take into consideration the impact on the community, district, and students.

This program will serve students of the ages of 10 through 19 who are "high risk" case, and have violent or suicidal problems (Chinn & Gollnick, 2006, p. 320). Violence in schools is a very serious issue that needs to be handled in order for the learning environment to be fully optimized. The media is constantly covering issues of student violence, and this should make this problem blatantly obvious to everyone as an issue of much concern. In the United States every year an estimated "2 million adolescents in the United States attempt suicide", and "2000 young people commit suicide"; this is a very alarming statistic that proves that a need for attention to this situation is in order (Chinn & Gollnick, 2006, p. 324). It is important that this program encompass the ages 10 through 19 because this age group has the highest tendencies for suicide and violence. Violent and suicidal students are a risk to them selves and others, and they need to be given the help they need in order to improve themselves and their situations.
In order to identify violent and suicidal students many things must be taken into consideration, but the behavior of the student is a very important factor. In order to determine if a student is violent there are some "early warning signs" that can be acknowledged; a candidate for this program may exhibit "uncontrolled anger", "expression of violence in writings and drawings", "social withdrawal", and "excessive feelings of isolation and being alone" (Nash, 2001, p.7). Violent students may also show a lack of interest in school and poor grades, but it is important to note that a student who shows only one of these signs is not necessarily violent. Other signals that may help determine which students are violent are "serious threats of violence", "patterns of impulsive and chronic hitting, intimidating, and bullying behavior", "history of discipline problems", "past history of violent and aggressive behavior", "intolerance for differences and prejudicial attitudes", and affiliation with gangs" (Nash, 2001, p.8). There are many signs that may help determine students that are suicidal, and these signs are "suddenly deteriorating academic performance", "self-mutilation", "unhealthy peer relationships", "volatile mood swings", "dangerous or uncharacteristic risk-taking", and "depression" (Teaher's guide to recognizing suicide, 2006, pp. 3). It is very important to be aware of these signs in order to determine what students are in need of this program.
This program will address the needs of the students in many ways that will help lead these students on a productive path of education. This program will not only focus on academics, but it will also focus on helping to improve the self-esteem of students. This program will include community service options and the ability to earn college credits through work study programs. It will also offer hands on art and science programs where students can exhibit their natural talents. Counseling services and discussion classes can also be offered so that students can learn that they are not the only one feeling the way they feel, and they can learn to get past their problems. With these programs students will have something positive to focus their energy on, and they will learn how rewarding their efforts can be. Violence and suicide occur because of the lack of self-esteem that a student has, and this program will make sure to help the students realize their full potential.
Many additional resources of the community can be utilized for this program. Students can do volunteer work in local parks and recreational areas where they can earn community service. Local libraries can also be a helpful resource to this program by providing students with a place to help research and explore the different art and science programs they choose to become involved in, students can also do volunteer work at the library, and hold discussion groups. Students can also hold fundraisers to help proved funds for their activities, and the local community can help support these activities. The community can also provide the praise these students need when they hold art exhibits or plays that they have constructed. The community is a very important part of the program because the community must realize that these students need help, and the community can be a positive influence in the lives of these students as well as this program.
This program holds many potential positive impacts on the district, students, and community. The district can use this program as a starting point for implementing other programs in the area, and it can learn from the positive affects of this program. All of the students will benefit from this program; the non-violent students will not have to worry about violence in their schools, and violent and suicidal students will be given opportunities that will help them become less violent and suicidal. The community will benefit as a whole because the students who are being treated will grow up to be better people. The community violence will decrease, and students who are in need of help in these areas will have a place to go. The community will also be given the opportunity to applaud the students who have improved because of this program through the art and science projects the students put on and the community services they provide. This program is beneficial to everyone in many ways.
In order to implement this program there are many steps that must be taken. A location must be chosen, and an estimated number of students in attendance must be determined. Classes can be chosen to be provided at a private location or during after school hours at a local school. Teachers participating in this program should trained "to use active listening skills and provide empathy, to utilize assertive and non-judgmental communication techniques that allow clear limits to be set, to acquire the skills to be able to intervene safely with violent acting out students", and "be able to debrief and problem-solve in the aftermath of a violent episode" (Sova, 2003, pp.2). Art and science program specifications should be determined as well as means of funding these programs. A network of community service programs should be established in order to implement this program, and parents should be spoken to in consideration of these projects. There are multiple tasks that must be completed in order to realize this program, but the positive impact it can have on the students, the community, and all people completely outweigh the efforts needed to bring these ideas to fruition.
Violence and suicide is a huge problem in schools, and programs need to be created that help serve these students and solve these problems. Students must be properly identified by behavior patterns, and their needs must be identified and met through self-esteem building practices and positive reinforcement. The district, students, and community will all benefit from this programs, and they can all work together to make this programs work. If this program is implemented the future generations will be better people as a whole, and their children will have also learned from this program from the student's own positive experience.
Reference:
Chinn, P. & Gollnick, D. (2006). Multicultural education in a pluralistic society
(N/A, 2006, May). Teacher's guide to recognizing suicide. Retrieved February 13, 2008, from Recognizing and Responding to the Warning Signs of Suicide: http://www.promoteprevent.org/Publications/center-briefs/Teacher_Guide_recognizing_suicide.pdf
Sova, G. (2003). New directions in discipline: violent students. Retrieved February 17, 2008, from New Directions: http://www.newdirectionsindiscipline.com/violent.htm
Nash, J. (2001, August). Warning signs of potentially violent students. Retrieved February 17, 2008, from Potentially Violent Students: http://www.madison.k12.al.us/pupilservices/PotentiallyViolentStudents.PDF

Bilingual Education and the Laws and Conflicts that Affect It

Bilingual Education and the Laws and Conflicts that Affect It

Bilingual education is a matter of controversy, but there are still students that need assistance in language development in order to successfully learn. It is hard to teach children with language development issues, but schools and the government have to figure out ways to meet these needs. One conflict confronting English Language Learners is funding of bilingual education; this conflict is contradicted by the lack of funding for English immersion programs. It appears that many people feel that English immersion is a more effective way of teaching English Language Learners than bilingual education. These people believe that bilingual education has a detrimental effect on English Language Learners, and "students in bilingual education programs consistently score lower on standard achievement tests" (Sorenson, 2007). These people believe that teaching ELL students English should be the first priority, but many schools still use bilingual education. It appears that although English immersion may be a better program many schools continue to use bilingual education because it guarantees that they will receive higher funding. Federal funding is mainly aimed at bilingual education programs, and schools fear that they will lose funding. (Sorenson) It is hard to teach students effectively if there are not enough resources.
Another interesting conflict that affects the education of English Language Learners is Proposition227. This law was created in California, and it is meant to end bilingual education. While ending bilingual education it will in turn promote English immersion programs, but many schools are opposing it. In fact many schools are finding ways around this law. (Crawford, 1999) It is argued that bilingual education programs are the best way for teaching English Language Learners, but many believe that it is not as effective as giving students intense English learning classes. Many parents and teachers believe that the use of bilingual education is very important to their children's education. They believe this so strongly that they have sought waivers in order for their children to continue to be taught in their native language. Some people criticize "districts for granting too many parental waivers and for using too little English", and may file suit against schools for not strictly enforcing this proposition (Crawford, 1999). Those that believe in using bilingual education have also filed suit; they claimed that this law is "unconstitutional", but they were denied because "no "irreparable harm" to students had yet been shown" (Crawford, 1999). In order to meet the educational needs of English Language Learners schools have to either go along with the laws or find ways around them.
Reference:
Crawford, J. (1999). What now for bilingual education?. Retrieved February 9, 2008, from Rethinking Schools Online Web site: http://www.rethinkingschools.org/archive/13_02/bimain.shtml
Sorenson, L. (2007). Teach our children English. Retrieved February 9, 2008, from ProEnglish Web site: http://www.proenglish.org/issues/education/beindex.html

The Impact of the First Amendment of Education

The Impact of the First Amendment of Education

The Constitution is an amazing document that has helped create the society we live in today. The First Amendment has a huge impact on all of our everyday lives, but what some may not realize is that it also directly affects education.
A key educational issue that is related to the First Amendment is the separation of church and state because the first amendment states that no laws endorsing a religion shall be passed. This issue impacts education because the pledge of allegiance is said in many schools, and God is referenced in this pledge. It is argued that public schools are funded by the government and the use of God in public schools is illegal according to the First Amendment.
Another educational issue posed by the First Amendment is the issue of prayers before sports events. This issue impacts the classroom because some students might find it relevant to have a prayer before a sports event, and the first amendment states that the government may not prohibit the free exercise of religion. It is also arguable that the prayer, as is the pledge of allegiance, is tradition. Schools may argue that the ceremony before a sports event is solely up to the students, and the choice of action is the student's prerogative which makes it not the power of the school. The school may argue that they are not endorsing religion and the act is not unconstitutional. This issue is also controversial because the first amendment guarantees people the right to practice their religion.
Like the last educational issue posed by the First Amendment there is also an issue with prayer during graduation ceremonies. This issue impacts education because endorsement of religion by a school violates the First Amendment. This action also raises an issue about religious discrimination because the First Amendment states that freedom of speech is a right of all people and freedom of religion as well. This argument impacts education because it is a contradictory subject, but allowing students to choose whether or not they will say prayers during graduation is constitutional, where as, requiring that they pray would violate the constitution.
Another key element in the First Amendment that impacts education is the ability of people to petition the government when they feel laws are unjustly passed. In many cases this First Amendment right has led education to change. For instance the ability for students to choose whether they say the pledge of allegiance and for some schools to have the pledge of allegiance removed from school curriculum.
The right to assemble is another First Amendment right that has impact on education; due to this right many people have had the ability to form groups that fight against issues in education. This right has helped in the battle against having the pledge of allegiance removed from school curriculum because parents have assembled and taken the issue to court. The right to assemble is also an important issue in education because it allows parent teacher associations to exist and it allows parents and teachers to have an impact on their children's education.
The First Amendment plays many roles in education, but it also causes many controversies in education. Although the First Amendment causes some issues in education to be hard to judge; it also provides people with the ability to challenge these ideas and improve on education overall.

Cases and Laws that Have Affected the Education of Students with Disabilities

Cases and Laws that Have Affected the Education of Students with Disabilities

Equal inclusion of students with disabilities is an important and serious issue in American education. There are many cases and laws that have had an impact on this issue. Here is a list of such cases and laws:
Brown vs. Board of Education is the first case to set a positive example for educators in relation to the rights of the students. This case acknowledges the fact that an African American student should be able to attend school in an equal educational environment to white students (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006). This case was so exemplary because it was the first case to set a standard of integration instead of segregation. Brown vs. Board of Education is such a famous case because it not only gave African American students a right to a better education; it also paved the way for disable students to receive an equal education as well (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
PARC vs. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is another important case that affects the equal inclusion of students with disabilities. This case caused all students, from the ages of 6 through 21, with disabilities to be provided free public education (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
Mills vs. Board of Education required that the District of Columbia provide a free public education to students with disabilities. This case also required that educators provide "due process procedural safeguards"; as a result of Mills vs. Board of Education laws that "clearly outlined due process procedures for labeling, placement, and exclusion" were created, and "Procedural safeguards to include right to appeal, right to access records, and written notice of all stages of the process" were also required (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
In 1975 a very important law was signed. "Public Law 94-142, the Education for All Handicapped Children Act" was a law that "provided individuals, ages 3 to 21, with a free and appropriate education for all children with disabilities, procedural safeguards to protect the rights of students and their parents, and education in the least restrictive environment, individualized educational programs, parental involvement in educational decisions related to their children with disabilities, fair, accurate, and nonbiased evaluations" (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
In 1994 amendments to the previous act were passed by congress, and this law is called "Individuals with Disabilities Education Act" (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006). This law required that students with traumatic brain injury and autism be a "separate class entitled to services", and this law also required students with disabilities to be given a "transition plan" that assess the needs of the student and sets a plan for transition into adulthood (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
In 1997 another IDEA law that amended Public Law 94-142 was passed. This law was called "Public Law 105-17", and it included strengthening the "role of the parents" in order to ensure educational success and meditational methods of encouraging "parents and educators to resolve their differences" (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006). This law also allowed school officials to discipline students in a manner that changed the safeguards previously set and set formulas for funding.
Another case that has played a role in the educational standards of students with disabilities is Hendrick Hudson School District v. Rowley, and this case is the first case to challenge the idea of "appropriate education" (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006). This case is a touchy subject because it questions the ability to provide education to students with disabilities and the funding needed for such education. This case ruled that students with disabilities were meant to be provided with a free public education that was fair and provides satisfactory results, but not necessarily the best possible education (Chinn and Gollnick, 2006).
There have been many cases and laws that have directly impacted the education of special education students. Standards of education have increased for students with disabilities, and many special education students have been provided with excellent educational environments, but funding has caused a satisfactory education to be satisfactory instead of excellent.
Reference:
Chinn, P. & Gollnick, D. (2006). Multicultural education in a pluralistic society.