Record Number of U.S. Kids Facing Summer of Hunger (AOL News, 6/16/10)
16 million children rely on school lunch programs for a healthy meal September through June. "How much those children depend on that help is evident during the academic year: Teachers in many poor communities note that students are apprehensive every Friday about how they'll face bare larders over the weekend, and they are ravenous when they return on Monday morning. And that's after just two days off."
Studying Engineering Before They Can Spell It (The New York Times, 6/13/10)
Much like holding philosophical chats in the second grade, the Glen Rock school district in New Jersey is increasing its funding to teach all K-5 students engineering. How does engineering figure into kindergarten? "The [students] plan multiday projects, often built around classic and popular stories like the Three Little Pigs, and take students step by step through the engineering process: design, build, test, evaluate. 'They have to have the thinking skills of an engineer to keep up with all the innovation that’s constantly coming into their world,' Ms. Morrow [a teacher at the school] said."
Let's Read. Let's Move (Serve.gov, 6/08/10)
First Lady Michelle Obama introduced a new facet to her "Let's Move!" campaign called "Let's Read" (a work-out for your brain!) The initiative offers 10 ways to get involved in helping our kids maintain fit minds and bodies during summer couch potato season. Fun fact: reading only 5 books over the summer prevents learning loss in kids. Get started with book suggestions and a Border's coupon.
Under Pressure, Teachers Tamper With Test Scores (The New York Times, 6/10/10)
We've read stories of students cheating on tests, but now, the teachers are cheating to improve their students' scores on state tests. "[I]nvestigations in Georgia, Indiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, Virginia and elsewhere this year have pointed to cheating by educators. Experts say the phenomenon is increasing as the stakes over standardized testing ratchet higher — including, most recently, taking student progress on tests into consideration in teachers’ performance reviews."