January 2012

Healthier School Lunches Can Lead to Eating Disorders?

There was a news report released this week stating that the federal Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act that has been enacted to serve healthier school lunches to school kids may actually go too far and lead to disordered eating. There is some concern that approximately 30% of kids may be exhibiting at least one symptom of an eating disorder.  Honestly, I cannot see much of a connection. The school programs just serve food healthier than corn dogs and pizza, although those might be on the menu too. How exactly does that lead to eating disorders?

How The Argument Over School Choice Became More Important Than School Choice

Until we truly address the problem of achievement and school inequality, and stop making it a political talking point.

School choice has been one of those divisive, often explosive, topics that immediately separate those in the room into either “left” or “right”. Among conservative thinkers that have harkened back to Milton Friedman’s The Role of Government in Education in 1955, the ideas of voucher systems and charter schools, school choice is the common sense solution to education inequity. However, to liberals school choice has become a kind of scapegoat, allowing individuals to opt out of low functioning schools when the true problem is the school itself; an avoidance technique for never actually fixing “the problem”.

Sex Education Standards

Will we ever have a national curriculum in this subject?

We’ve all suffered through sex ed classes in school. Sweaty-pitted boys and flushed-faced girls staring at an equally-embarrassed twenty-something gym teacher trying to explain reproduction in the stalest way he can. I didn’t learn about sex in that class; I barely heard what the teacher was saying through all the giggles. I don’t think this torturous experience is much different for anybody, and although the maturity levels of the students being taught probably won’t change, the curriculum might. 40 sex and health education experts are calling for “The National Sexuality Education Standards: Core Content and Skills, K-12” to be implemented in classrooms nationwide.

Homeschoolers: Putting Kids in School for High School? Do your Research First

It’s not uncommon that homeschoolers opt to place kids in public or private school once they reach high school.  This can be due to circumstances changing or just because this is what they planned all along. Well, before you consider homeschooling all the way through, consider that high schools may not accept the homeschool credits.

High School Activities

How many is too many?

Quite a number of my friends regretted not being involved enough in high school. They picked one activity or were too involved with hanging out with friends to do much more than attend classes. Personally, I am disappointed in myself for doing too many activities in high school. My friends and I padded our resumes because we thought that many, many activities would make us more desirable to colleges—truth be told, we competed with each other to see who could be the busiest.

Education Reform Leads To Kids Proficient In Looking Busy

Measuring kids by tallies, checkmarks, and test scores sets the bar at "mediocre".

Often times we mistake “business”, that is the act of looking busy, for work. If a person is typing on their computer, talking on the phone, or writing something down, they’re probably being productive, right? Of course, not. Those people could just as easily be Facebooking, talking to a friend, or doodling as they are actually doing some piece of conscious work. However, this gap in logic has come to define “school work”. If the child is busy, if the kid seems to be reading, writing, or speaking to another student, they must be working and engaged. Unfortunately, many kids are getting high marks in “business”, without actually becoming competent in the course content.

Sitting at my desk in the back of the classroom, it’s fairly easy for me to tell which kids are engaging in the content on their laptops, and which are not. However, for the occasional walk-through by an administrator, as long as the kids faces are pointed toward the screen and they’re quiet (or talking in low tones without laughter or enjoyment) then they’re probably engaged in the work. If they look busy (and focused). However, if that same administrator saw the essays that come back at the end of a week long research period, they would understand that “business” does not equal work any more than it equals learning.