What empirical points in this text -- dates, organization, laws, policies, etc -- will be important to your research?




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May 7, 2022
  • Flame retardant chemicals
    • Migrate off of products and into air/dust
    • Many are endocrine disruptors, interfere with the reproductive system and thyroid
  • Stain repellent chemicals
    • Polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs) or polyfluorinated chemicals (PFCs)
    • Enter air, dust, and drinking water
    • 6 million US residents have blood PFAS concentrations over EPA limit
    • Associated with cancer, thyroid disease, immunotoxicity, reduced immune response to childhood immunizations
  • Phthalates
    • Enter air and dust
    • Associated with asthma and allergies
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs)
    • Environmentally persistent pollutant, endocrine disruptor, and probable carcinogen
    • No longer used, but remain in estimated 25,000 US schools
    • Prenatal exposure may affect height, weight, head circumference, and body size at puberty
May 7, 2022
  • Ventilation & air quality:
    • Children breathe more air than adults relative to their body size
  • Water quality:
    • Contaminants like lead have greater effects on cognitive development and behavior of children than adults
  • Thermal comfort
    • Current models for thermal comfort are based on adults and do not predict children's comfort levels
    • Children are more susceptible to the effects of heat stress
    • Children's clothing and activity levels (major determinants of thermal comfort) are distinct from adults
  • Lighting and views
    • Children have larger pupils than adults
    • Children have greater light-induced melatonin suppression--their Circadian rhythms are more susceptible to manipulation
  • Noise
    • Children under 15 are more sensitive to difficult listening conditions because they are still developing mature language skills
    • Children need a greater signal-to-noise ratio in order to understand language
    • Memory and attention development are sensitive to chronic noise exposure
May 5, 2022
  • Ventilation:
    • 15 cubic feet of outside air per person or 5 liters per person per second
    • Carbon dioxide concentrations below 1000 ppm
  • Water quality:
  • Thermal health
    • Indoor temperatures between 68 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Lighting
    • Minimum 350 lux, up to 1000 lux
    • LED instead of fluorescent lighting
  • Noise
    • Maximum background noise: 35 dB
    • Maximum reverbration time: 0.6-0.7 seconds
May 5, 2022
  • Public schools are the second largest sector of US public infrastructure spending (after highways) - investment falls $46 billion short annually
  • 60,000 schools, or 46% of public schools, have significant environmental hazards
  • Students will spend 15,600 hours inside a school during K-12 education
  • Schools are four times as densely populated as offices
  • Childhood asthma accoutns for 13.8 million missed school days each year
  • 31% of schools use portable classrooms
  • Average school building in the US has a lifespan of 50 years, many are older than this
March 18, 2022

Studie provides visual representations of lead concentration in Santa Ana cross matching it with vulnerability risk.


March 16, 2022

 Under a 1986 federal law titled the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA), hospitals are required to treat people who come to the ED presenting with an emergency medical condition, defined as a condition that, without treatment, will likely lead to serious impairment or death. … EMTALA is one of the largest federal mandates to provide services to have gone unfunded (Friedman 2011); costs instead fall on states and local health care systems.” 481

March 9, 2022
  • The process of designing curriculum is quite useful as it details how different activities correspond to learning goals in science, mathematics, and technology. Fig. 3 describes the steps: selecting content through content specialists in the POAC team, making a curriculum outline, individual meetings with content specialists, and making the lesson plans. I really like the activities they designed, such as comparing different mask materials and how they protected against differently-sized viruses. They were also given time to research career pathways and present on epidemiology careers, a step that invites students to imagine career pathways. 

  • I realize the scope and audience of this paper is different, but I am so curious about how the Imhotep Academy created a setting that encouraged underrepresented students to participate and speak up, given that they cite evidence of how difficult that can be. How did they choose participants? 

  • Having read Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed recently, I am thinking about his approach to curriculum design that is based on a feedback loop between would-be learners and would-be educators. The roles of learners and educators aren’t fixed. Content development is not done beforehand just by content specialists but in an iterative process with multiple feedback loops. Since very few research teams have the time or the resources to deploy Freire’s rigorous approach, I am not surprised that most curriculum development does not follow the route. And educators are working with former experiences anyway. So I am curious about how the authors’ previous experiences shaped their approach to curriculum design?

  • A context for this paper is the controversy on the proposed revisions to the California math curriculum that conservative media outlets argue “waters down” calculus–a cherry topping on the college admissions cake–to privilege data science in middle-school grades. Education researchers contend that apart from physics and engineering majors, not many colleges actually require calculus for admissions (many private institutions do), and that the relevance of advanced calculus for college preparation is overrated. 

  • National Commission on Excellence in Education ‘s 1983 report Nation At Risk: the need for a new STEM workforce specializing in computer science and technology 

  • National Council on Mathematics 2000 guidelines for preparing American students for college in Common Core Mathematics 

  • Stuck in the Shallow End: Virtual segregation; Inequality in learning computer science in American schools focusing on Black students 

March 9, 2022
March 9, 2022

Act 35, United Teachers of New Orleans, white flight and school integration, DEI and racialization; will be important to conceptualize overall linking of education to political economy. Further, the text produces many questions for me: How do reforms become spaces for racecraft? How might education restructuring in NOLA provide insight to education restructuring post- and during disaster? How does it help questioning the normative and the prescriptive? 

Further, in interviews of new hires of charter schools, Tompkins reveals how they are ambivalent about what they can do and about their positionalities and ethics, arguing that it leads to atomization and desocialization of the individual, and that prevents collective action. How can ambivalence be interpreted as a space for collective potential rather than collective paralysis? Can it be interpreted as such? Since action does not follow knowledge of contradictions and ambivalence, how can this subjectivity be articulated as politically productive?


March 9, 2022
In response to:

Cudahy elementary school’s struggle for environmental justice foregrounds how sites of industrialization connect to organization of schools and other public institutions. I am curious about the work of organizations involved in the struggle–Cudahy Alliance for Justice, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ). I am also curious about the tactics and strategies used by these individuals and organizations to attain recognitional justice (being heard and listened to): how did they get DTSC and the school district to get them to listen? Further, the latter half of the story focuses on the proposed construction of a charter school nearby the elementary school: How do environmental governance and education restructuring shape each other?