Summer Reading August 7th

Two weeks is way too long! A lot has happened, so I’ll just post the my six favorites.

Are Healthier School Lunches Winning Over Students?
It’s not surprising how politicized school lunches are. Our nation in general has such a weird relationship with food, more concerned with trends than with learning to develop healthy eating habits. This mixed with debates surrounding subsidized lunch programs and other funding issues makes school lunches a controversial topic. Education week has a report that investigates one central question – how are students reacting to “healthier” options? It seems like a significant amount of schools are seeing more waste, which does not seem healthier to me.

Why Do Americans Stink at Math? Maybe you’ve heard about Elizabeth Green’s New York Times Magazine article. There has been some criticism from voices opposed to her use of unrepresentative statistics. I agree that her conclusion shouldn’t necessarily have been “people in the US are inherently bad at math,” but she presents some really interesting anecdotal arguments. Although really great resources have been generated by the NCTM (I just got my first Mathematics Teacher magazine, what up!), there is a gap between what’s out there and possible, and what’s actually taking place in many classrooms. I think that has a lot to do with this phenomenon Linda Darling-Hammond wrote about earlier this summer.

My Son Has Been Suspended Five Times. He’s 3. The Washington Post has a piece by Tunette Powell describing her personal experience with racial bias. Through her own experiences and by citing studies, Powell makes an un-ignorable case that we absolutely do not live in a post-racial society.

Coaching Mrs. Pierre
I want a coach! And 10 years experience. Then I’ll be this good.

Campbell Brown: Lame
Did you see Campbell Brown on Colbert? She went on the show to promote a lawsuit, suing to abolish teacher tenure. Jersey Jazzman isn’t exactly unbiased in his coverage, but then again I have seen absolutely nothing on this topic that isn’t inflammatorily adamant that the other side will devastate children’s futures. The article links to the video of the interview and does a very thorough take-down, so all I will say is that making it easier to fire teachers will in no way solve any problems. As though teaching in an under-resourced school isn’t a hostile enough work environment…

The Real Reason Why Kids Fidget
Angela Hanscom is speaking the truth! Kids need to go outside and move around way more than they are now. The article mentions ADHD in the beginning but never comes back to it, and I wish it had. I want to see more distinction drawn between people with ADHD brains and people impacted by a less active lifestyle. Still, this brings to light a non-obesity issue with a lack of movement, which I like to see.

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