IN THE AFFIRMATIVE: Two new studies co-led by Stanford's Geoffrey Cohen conclude that small, well-timed interventions may dramatically close the achievement gap for Latino students. Delivered at critical times throughout the year, the interventions -- a series of "values-affirmation" writing exercises -- produced higher grades in the pilot group when compared to a similar set of students who wrote "about values that were important to other people, but not themselves." Even better, the effects of the intervention persisted for three years, "remaining stable even as students transitioned from middle school to high school." A separate but related study found that the interventions also minimized feelings of "identity threat," as evidenced through academic achievement and student journal entries. You may recall recent efforts by PERTS (advised by Cohen) to deliver similar interventions online.