February 6th, 2012
06:29 PM ET

Colleges bumping up SAT scores

Steve Perry on Claremont McKenna College and other schools that may be padding their SAT scores to look more selective.

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Access to unhealthy snacks at school unchanged
February 6th, 2012
05:00 PM ET

Access to unhealthy snacks at school unchanged

by Georgiann Caruso – CNN Medical
(CNN) – About half of public and private elementary students could buy unhealthy snacks at school during the 2009-2010 school year from stores, vending machines and snack bars according to survey results released Monday. The survey was part of a report published in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

"Given increasing attention in recent years to the problem of childhood obesity, we would have hoped to see decreases in the availability of junk food in schools over time," said study author Lindsey Turner, health psychologist at the Institute for Health Research and Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

"Our research demonstrates the continued need for changes to make schools healthier," she added.

The data represents no change in the ability to get the snacks like cookies, candy and chips throughout the four years of the study; the study began in the 2006-2007 school year.

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February 6th, 2012
01:37 PM ET

Today's Reading List

Here's what the editors of Schools of Thought are reading today:

The Gazette: Public schools turning to private financial sources
When Iowa's budget gap left schools scrambling to offer art, music and gym classes, school officials sought private donations to fill the gaps. Nationwide, some fear that private donations may blur the definition of public and private schools when funding comes with mandates to change education policies .

National Council on Teacher Quality: Helicopter parenting gets new meaning in New Hampshire
A new New Hampshire law will allow parents to object to almost anything their children are taught, and request alternatives. Tom Byrne argues that teachers' political views shouldn't be expressed in the classroom, and neither should parents'.

FOX16.com: Bill Clinton pushes A+ programs
Former President Bill Clinton is pushing the A+ program for Little Rock's students. The program uses hands-on projects to meld art with science.

WSBTV: Community to rally over Gainesville valedictorian battle
Cody Stephens could be Gainesville High School's first black valedictorian. His community plans to rally because school officials announced that Stephens and another student would share the honor.

University of Kentucky.com: Kentucky's plan to privatize housing raises some questions
The University of Kentucky says that getting out of the business of housing its students will allow it to focus on instruction. Critics raise the question that if UK wasn't making money collecting room and board, how will a private enterprise be able to do it?

February 6th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

My View: Preventing a “citizen-less” nation through higher education

Courtesy Noliwe Rooks by Noliwe Rooks, Special to CNN

Editor’s Note: Noliwe Rooks is the associate director of the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University and the founding coordinator of the center’s urban education reform initiative. She is a member of the Op Ed Project. You can follow her on Twitter @nrookie .

Today, fewer Americans than ever believe one requirement of citizenship is to right the wrongs in our nation. So says a recent report by the American Association of American Colleges and Universities released recently at the White House. The report, called “A Crucible Moment: College Learning and Democracy’s Future,”  warns that the United States is nearing the point of becoming a “citizen-less” nation where the majority sit on the sidelines pointing out, complaining about and urging others to act.

So what do we do in the face of this dire scenario? The report recommends that colleges and universities begin to make civic engagement central to the college experience. The preparation for democracy, they argue, is as important to our nation’s future as is learning to write, count and prepare for a career.

As a professor at Princeton University with a focus on education and social and civic entrepreneurship, I couldn’t agree more. I see the power of empowering the civic imaginations of students every day, equipping them with real world skills to think critically about their communities, innovate and advocate on behalf of themselves and others, and stay resilient in the long slog for societal change.

If civic engagement is to become a central focus for the Obama administration and a key feature of higher education, we need a version of it that moves beyond merely voting, volunteering or tutoring. We need to provide opportunities for students and faculty to use their skills as writers, thinkers and researchers to become social entrepreneurs who work to actually solve social issues, not just soften their impact. The version of civics that we teach now is a Band-aid to our social and political ills.  A new vision could encourage students to find a cure, getting at the root causes of inequality and injustice and transforming our nation.

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