New legislation proposed in Congress today would require the U.S. Department of Education to study the nutritional value of foods available in schools, as well as the forms of food marketing. Sponsored by Representatives Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Todd Platt (R-PA), the National School Food Marketing Assessment Act has a large roster of supporters, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, National Parent Teacher Association, American Heart Association, and the Center for Science in the Public Interest.
That end-of-the-school-year DVD may have been homemade by the teacher, but that doesn’t mean it can’t pack an accidental porno cherrybomb. An elementary school teacher in Sacramento mistakenly included 6 seconds of a “home movie” in a compilation she sent home to students. Click through to the article for an awesome photo illustration of how adults think kids react to gross-out grownup stuff. [SFGate] (Thanks to Paul!) (Photo: Adactio)
The recession continues to rot America’s cultural core, this time by attacking one of our most cherished traditions: prom. Gone are the ice sculptures and $1,000 dresses. America’s children are now buying dresses off racks and trading limos for the family car. Imagine!
It turns out kids in wealthier homes have higher IQs, not because of genetics but because of environment. Surely you can be frugal (or just plain poor) and raise a smart one? A psychology professor suggests you focus on praising effort over achievement, and teach delayed gratification—something that also helps when it comes to financial responsibility, so it’s a win/win skill. You should also explain that IQ is expandable, not inherent: “Students exposed to that idea work harder and get better grades.”
Left to fend for himself after budget cuts, His tests cost over $500 a year to print, but this year he only got $316, one calculus teacher resorted to selling ads on quizzes and tests to cover his printing costs. $10 for quizzes, $20 for tests, and $30 for a final.
School supplies in eight states are tax-free this weekend thanks to sales tax holidays. Hurry though, because the savings expire at the end of the day, unless you live in Washington D.C., where the savings last through August 10. The full list, inside…
Cash-strapped colleges are partnering with banks to transform student IDs into debit cards. The deals are a windfall for the institutions, but force students to open accounts laden with hefty penalty fees and surcharges.
Wondering where the tax money you pay into the NYC public school system is going? Well, part of it goes to pay the salaries of about 700 teachers who are forced to sit in special rooms that are located all over the city. All day. And do nothing. Sometimes for years at a time. [Rubber Room via BuzzFeed]
29 Readington Middle School students earned two days detention after paying for their lunch with pennies. School administrators took the penny treatment a sign of disrespect towards cafeteria workers, who eventually collected 5,800 pennies.
“At first it started out as a joke, then everyone else started saying we’re protesting against like how short our lunch is,” student Alyssa Concannon said.
The Humane Society of America has sued the USDA in an attempt to close a loophole that allows downer cows who aren’t otherwise ill into the food supply. They claim the loophole increases the risk of introducing mad cow disease to humans, and leads to abuse against the cattle—like with, oh, say, a forklift. [Wall Street Journal]
The Tennessee State Board of Education is expected to pass a bill on January 25th that will make Tennesee the eighth state (after Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Louisiana, Missouri, South Dakota, and Utah) to require that its high school students take a personal finance class before graduation.
“We are getting calls from people who are saying that they used some kind of an electronic software program to file their tax returns and that they did not check the box to donate their kicker,” said Rosemary Hardin, a spokeswoman for the Oregon Department of Revenue. “When we bring up their tax return, that box is checked.”
Now that Ohio has made personal finance basics a mandatory requirement to graduate from high school, people are starting to look at the problem of who teaches it and what it consists of (just look at the comment threads in the two related posts below to see the wide spectrum of opinions and personal experience anecdotes). A new Ohio State University study has found that the current level of teaching is all over the place—and the people teaching it have widely varying levels of knowledge about the subject matter.
We may indeed have a nation of financially illiterate youths, but despite cries for increased financial education in public high schools, the one program that’s historically addressed this—“checkbook math”—has never enjoyed a reputation as a “real” math class because the actual math skills involved are so basic, and it’s being phased out as most students avoid it because, as one student says, it “doesn’t look good for colleges.”
Snickers and Cokes would be a thing of the past at school cafeterias and vending machines if the Senate approves an ambitious amendment from Senators Harkin (D-IA) and Murkowsky (R-AK). The amendment to the Farm Bill would establish strict federal guidelines limiting the sale of deliciously unhealthy treats brimming with sugar, salt, and fat.
The nutrition standards would allow only plain bottled water and eight-ounce servings of fruit juice or plain or flavored low-fat milk with up to 170 calories to be sold in elementary and middle schools. High school students could also buy diet soda or, in places like school gyms, sports drinks. Other drinks with as many as 66 calories per eight ounces could be sold in high schools, but that threshold would drop to 25 calories per eight-ounce serving in five years.
The always feisty Center For Science In The Public Interest has released a school lunch report card and while no state received an “A”, only Kentucky and Oregon are close to the CSPI’s standards. Oregon went from an F to an A-, but it wasn’t easy: