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?

January 27th, 2012
12:46 PM ET

Today's Reading List

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

WAVY: Hundreds of VB teachers face layoffs
In order to cover Virginia Beach school district's $40 million deficit, 640 teachers received notices that they might not have a job next year. Most of the cuts will come from teachers who are in their first through third year of teaching.

NPR: Kids Have A Say In Louisville's School Lunch Menu
New federal school lunch guidelines are aimed at reducing fats and increasing fruits. The district worried that students wouldn't like the new foods, so they formed a student committee that performs taste tests.

U.S. News: What Does a College Budget Look Like?
A mother and daughter examine the daughter's college budget from two different perspectives. in her case, less than half of the money went towards tuition.

SacBee.com: Loomis kids give ailing principal a literacy lift
Principal Rick Judd hopes to return to his school soon after his cancer treatment is complete. Judd had implemented an independent reading program where students pick their own books. Now, the kids are reading to keep him going.

January 25th, 2012
05:56 PM ET

USDA issues new rules for school meals

By Madison Park, CNN
(CNN) - School meals will have to offer fruits and vegetables to students every day under standards issued by the United States Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.

The meal programs, which feed about 32 million students in public and private schools, will have to reduce sodium, saturated fat and trans fats. Schools must also offer more whole grains as well as fat-free or low-fat milk varieties.

These standards go into effect July 1 and will be phased in over a three-year period, according to the USDA.

The new nutrition standards are largely based on recommendations by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, as part of efforts to curb childhood obesity. Recent numbers show that about 17% of children in the United States are obese.

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Filed under: On air • Policy • School lunch • video
Is pizza a vegetable? New bill would make it official
November 16th, 2011
05:56 PM ET

Is pizza a vegetable? New bill would make it official

The idea of a well-rounded school lunch may skip the "wellness" factor and skip straight to the "rounded" – in the form of pizza.

Congress unveiled its latest short-term $182 billion spending bill late Monday, which among the legislation, would deny funding to the new – and healthier – school meal nutrition standards the Department of Agriculture proposed earlier this year amid growing concerns of childhood obesity.

The new USDA standards included increasing the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat milk while decreasing the amount of sodium, saturated fat and starchy potatoes.

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Filed under: Kids' health • Policy • School lunch
The kid with the stinky lunch
November 16th, 2011
10:20 AM ET

The kid with the stinky lunch

Food says so much about where you’ve come from, where you’ve decided to go, and the lessons you’ve learned. It’s geography, politics, tradition, belief and so much more and these next two weeks, we invite you to dig in and discover the rich, ever-evolving taste of America in 2011. Catch up on past coverage and stay tuned for the live blog from our Secret Supper in Chicago on Wednesday night starting at 6:30 CT.

When you're all grown up and on your own and have lived a bit of life, it's easier to find peace with your weirdness. All those little and large things that set you apart as a child – your goofy-looking nose, talent for playing bassoon or obsession with the insides of small electronic devices – are what make you the gorgeous, fascinating, resilient adult you are today.

Back then, though, kids may not have been so kind. Conformity is key in formative years – it teaches us all to walk on the right, chew with our mouths closed and remain reasonably clothed in public places. But it can have a cruel edge if wielded by the callow.

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