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Education

Research on charter schools needs to go beyond test scores

Author: William G. Schmitt

Elementary school

A comprehensive review of the research assessing charter schools as the fastest growing area of school choice reforms has uncovered a need for studies that take a different tack, according to University of Notre Dame sociologist Mark Berends.

Berends, director of Notre Dame’s Center for Research on Educational Opportunity (CREO), notes that the explosive growth of charter schools in the past decade, with total enrollment now exceeding 2.5 million children, has benefited from claims in the public arena that are not thoroughly examined.

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Engineering & Technology

Faculty lectures add to options for football weekend activities

Author: Brittany Collins

Football Fridays at the Eck

Visitors who want a break from tailgating on football weekends have a variety of options for public lectures and talks around campus this fall. From science to the humanities to faith, these events will explore a range of topics of interest to the University of Notre Dame community.

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Faith & Service

New York Times columnist Ross Douthat to speak in Notre Dame Forum

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Ross Douthat

Ross Douthat, author, blogger and New York Times columnist, will speak on “Catholic Freedom and Secular Power: How the Religious Liberty Debate Has Changed Since Vatican II,” at 4 p.m. Sept. 16 (Wednesday) in the Decio Theatre of the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.

Douthat’s lecture is a keynote event in the 2015-16 Notre Dame Forum on “Faith, Freedom and the Modern World: 50 Years After Vatican II,” which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the publication of pivotal documents of the Second Vatican Council that have particular significance today.

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Health & Medicine

Three questions with Rich Taylor: Alzheimer's and Brain Awareness Month

Author: William G. Gilroy

Rich Taylor

June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, which seemed a particularly apt time to talk with Rich Taylor, a University of Notre Dame researcher whose research focuses on the discovery and development of new therapeutic leads for the treatment of unmet clinical needs in a number of diseases, including Alzheimer’s. Taylor is associate vice president for research, professor of chemistry and biochemistry and interim director of the Warren Family Research Center for Drug Discovery and Development.

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International

ND Expert: Open more, safer legal ways into the EU to deal with refugee crisis

Author: William G. Gilroy

Maurizio Albahari

Each day seems to bring a troubling new chapter as Europe confronts a staggering refugee crisis. On Thursday (Aug. 27), 71 refugees were found dead in the back of an abandoned freezer truck in Austria. On Friday (Aug. 28), Libya discovered the bodies of 200 immigrants off its coast after their overcrowded boat sank on its way to Europe.

Maurizio Albahari, assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, believes it is critical to open safe, legal ways into the European Union to curb the number of refugee deaths.

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Law

Law professor appointed as consultant in Colombia peace talks

Author: Michael O. Garvey

Douglass Cassel

Douglass Cassel, professor of law and adviser to the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR), has been appointed by Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos to a bilateral working group in the peace talks between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

The Colombian government and FARC, the country’s largest rebel group, resumed peace talks in 2012 to negotiate an end to the country’s half-century-long civil war, the longest such conflict in the world’s history. Colombia’s low-intensity war has caused more than 250,000 deaths and the displacement of more than 5 million people within its borders.

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Research

Climate change through the lens of impact investing

Author: Carol Elliott

Earth

Climate change presents daunting challenges along myriad fronts, including environmental effects, government policies, human services — and business investment. In just the next two decades, an estimated investment of $53 trillion will be required to limit the rise in global temperature to less than 2 degrees Celsius, according to the International Energy Agency. Even at that level, the agency puts the odds at just 50 percent.

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Science

Social Science

Cultivating ivy-covered gardens: Political science professor looks at disconnect between self-image and reality of field

Author: William G. Gilroy

Michael Desch

Trends in political science are marginalizing the subfield of security studies, argues Michael Desch, a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame, in a new piece in the journal Perspectives on Politics.

Desch believes that social science, as practiced in the United States since the early 20th century, has tried to balance two impulses: to be a rigorous science and a relevant social enterprise. However, he believes there is a disconnect between political science’s self-image of balancing rigor and relevance with the reality of how political scientists actually conduct their scholarship most of the time.

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