From this week’s news:
- Junk Food Bans Help Schoolkids Avoid Unhealthy Snacks: Study
HealthDay: Elementary schools are less likely to sell unhealthy snack foods and drinks if school districts or states have rules that limit the sale of such products, a new study finds. However, more than three-quarters of public elementary schools in the United States are located in a state or school district that does not limit the sale of items such as sugary drinks, salty snacks, candy or high-fat milk, according to the research published June 10 in the journal JAMA Pediatrics.
- Students Found With Guns at School on Rise
EdWeek Rules for Engagement blog: The number of students who were caught with guns at school in the last few years has gone up, new U.S. Department of Education figures show. According to the latest report about the Gun-Free Schools Act, there was a 10 percent increase in the number of guns found on students from the 2008-09 school year to the 2010-11 school year.
- Concussion Prescription: A Year on The Bench For Youngsters?
NPR Shots blog: Head injuries are a big problem for young athletes, who may be more vulnerable for a year after having a concussion, according to research published Monday. That means students and their parents may have to think hard about when it’s safe to return to play.
Over on ASCD‘s “The Whole Child” blog, City Connects Executive Director Mary Walsh has a guest blog post about how schools can counter the impact of poverty on students. In “Support All Students to Close the Achievement Gap,” she writes:
How can schools, with their limited resources, address these barriers to learning? Traditionally, the approach has been through “student support,” a catch-all phrase whose definition varies from school to school and district to district. Typically, it encompasses the role of counselors. Often, only the most vulnerable and at-risk students receive the lion’s share of the attention. Student support can be approached differently, in a way that dramatically enhances its effectiveness. It works best when delivered in a comprehensive, systematic approach to each and every student in a school.
For more information:
- Follow the Whole Child blog on Twitter @WholeChildAdv
The latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ “The Condition of Education 2013” report, released in May, shows that one in five schools was considered high poverty in 2011, an increase from one in eight in 2000. More than 16 million children live in poverty in the U.S. At City Connects, we continue to believe that the until we address poverty and the myriad ways it impacts a child’s ability to learn and thrive, the achievement gap will persist.
Today, former Massachusetts Secretary of Education Paul Reville has a commentary in Education Week advocating a “massive redesign” of the education system. Our current model is not working, he writes, and schools alone are not equipped to confront the many challenges of poverty:
I believe that our experience demonstrates, as Richard Rothstein and others have argued, that schools alone, conceived in our current early-20th-century model, are too weak an intervention, if our goal is to get all students to high levels of achievement. Even when optimized with high expectations, strong curriculum, and expert instruction, today’s schools have not proven powerful enough by themselves to compensate for the disadvantages associated with poverty. Of course, there are notable exceptions of individuals and schools defying the odds, but these schools are isolated examples at the margin. We have not been able to scale up their success. The exceptions have not proven a new rule, though some practices have shown promise. The gaps, on average, persist. After 20 years of school reform experience, the data don’t lie.
His ideal 21st-century school would “[meet] every child where he or she is, [provide] education and support beginning in early childhood, and [include] postsecondary learning.” Reville writes that this new model “should not mass-produce education, but should tailor the education to the individual, much as a health-care system does.”
At City Connects, we tailor our work to the individual strengths and needs of every child in a school across four areas: academics, social/emotional/behavioral, health, and family. Each student in a school is connected to a set of services and enrichment activities that address his or her unique needs. Evaluation of our work shows that by addressing the in- and out-of-school factors impacting students, they are better able to achieve in school–even if that school is high-poverty.
For more information:
- See our recent post, “The connection between students’ health & poverty“
From this week’s news:
- Teen Pregnancy Rate at Its Lowest, Again, CDC Says
EdWeek Rules for Engagement blog: The teen pregnancy rate is at a record low, again, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. And the steady declines from 2007 to 2011 mark the most longest period in recent history for which the drop persevered.
- Teenagers Are Wired for Peer Approval, Study Says
EdWeek: It’s true: Adolescents really do want to jump off a bridge just because their friends are doing it. But new research suggests changes in how teenagers view risks and rewards around their peers are not only a critical part of their development, but may also provide a key to motivating them.
- Oh, This Is Fattening? Teens Ignore Fast-Food Calorie Counts
NPR: A new study published in the Journal of Public Health found that about 40 percent of tweens and teens (ages 9 to 18) report paying attention to calorie information when it’s available in chain or fast-food restaurants.
From this week’s news:
- The Health Toll of Immigration
NYTimes: A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents. The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life.
- Teen Girls Who Exercise Are Less Likely to be Violent
Columbia University: Regular exercise is touted as an antidote for many ills, including stress, depression, and obesity. Physical activity also may help decrease violent behavior among adolescent girls, according to new research presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Washington, DC.
- ADHD Most Prevalent Disorder in Report on Mental Health of Children
EdWeek On Special Ed blog: Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder leads the list of mental health issues captured in the first-ever report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention intended to monitor the mental health of youth ages 3 to 17. The report, which uses information compiled from several different monitoring sources, found that about 8 percent of the youth in this population had ever been diagnosed with ADHD, as reported by their parents. The next most-frequent mental health disorder was “behavior or conduct problems” at 3.5 percent, and anxiety at 3 percent.
- Institute of Medicine Suggests 60 Minutes of Daily Activity in Schools
EdWeek Schooled in Sports blog: Schools should provide students with the opportunity to participate in at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity per day, with the majority of that time coming during regular school hours, the Institute of Medicine recommends in a new report.