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Real School Reform?


Public school teachers seem to be enduring a lot of vocal criticism these days, as politicians and “reformers” call for measures that tie student performance to teacher job security.

While genuine public discourse about educational policy and philosophy should be a good thing for us all, it’s all too easy to lay the “accountability” at the feet of teachers and ignore the many other factors that contribute to student “performance”, some of which may be even more fundamental to student success.

For example, it turns out that if we provide students with healthier, more nutritious meals, they will perform better and miss less school.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2011/apr/10/school-dinners-jamie-oliver

Test scores up.  Absenteeism down.  Lifetime income substantially raised.  All by replacing industrial, highly-processed cafeteria food with the real thing.

I always liked Jamie Oliver.

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  1. April 25, 2011 at 11:34 am

    Isn’t it amazing how important food is? I’d say that a good cafeteria is the key to any successful organization.
    For example, I’ve been up at Bard College this week, and it’s amazing the wonderful things that happen at the Faculty Dining Room when Bard professors gather for lunch. One good lunch is worth ten meetings.

  2. April 25, 2011 at 11:49 am

    I’m no nutritionist, but I see what my students eat: it’s hard to imagine that a steady diet of french fries and vending machine snacks creates optimal performance, either in school or in other pursuits. Not that I was much better when I was there age.

    I do agree that a cafeteria that serves wholesome and diverse meals brings with it some social benefits as well.

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