Schools Tap Local Farms for Nutritious, Locally Sourced Ingredients

Schools Tap Local Farms for Nutritious, Locally Sourced Ingredients: For National Farm to School Month, parents, farmers join kids for lunch, emphasize healthy eating. Pew Charitable Trusts. Stephanie Scarmo. October 12, 2016.

Across the country this month, kids are making space at their cafeteria tables for special guests as National School Lunch Week (Oct. 9-15) and National Farm to School Month are celebrated. These annual events encourage students and families to share meals and give them a chance to meet local farmers whose harvests provide many of the fresh, healthy ingredients.

Fun, educational occasions such as these play an important part in the success of school meal programs. For example, 42 percent of nutrition directors who established school gardens—a popular farm-to-school activity—said that students ate more fruits and vegetables as a result. In general, directors noted that eating habits and meal program participation improved when schools actively engaged children and parents in menu-planning decisions, such as via taste tests and recipe competitions. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Why Delaying School Start Dates is a Bad Deal for Students

Why Delaying School Start Dates is a Bad Deal for Students. Brookings Institution. Martin R. West. September 8, 2016.

Maryland governor Larry Hogan announced on August 31 a new executive order directing all public schools in the state to delay the start of classes until after Labor Day and end the school year by June 15. “School after Labor Day is now the law of the land in Maryland,” Hogan proudly declared. The governor’s order will effectively convert the statutory minimum of 180 school days into a maximum. The author argues that this is likely to have adverse consequences for students, especially those without access to high-quality educational resources outside of school. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

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Evaluating School Climate and Discipline: Tools for Parents, Schools, and Policymakers

Evaluating School Climate and Discipline: Tools for Parents, Schools, and Policymakers. Urban Institute. Michael Katz and Kristin Blagg. March 31, 2016.

Student discipline and school climate have entered the national discourse in recent years, catalyzed, in large part, by data on racial disparities in suspension and expulsion rates. The brief examines the school climate and discipline landscape and the availability of information on these issues for parents and public actors. It recommends that school districts improve their tracking and reporting of school climate information, use national data measures to refine school level reporting, and monitor the impact of school discipline and school climate data publication on schools and parents. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 23 pages, 736.89 KB].

Creating Effective Transitions: Lessons from Head Start-School Partnerships

Creating Effective Transitions: Lessons from Head Start-School Partnerships. Center for American Progress. Yvette Sanchez Fuentes and Jessica Troe. December 21, 2015.

As the need for program alignment between preschool and kindergarten becomes more of a priority, federal, state, and local policymakers can look to Head Start’s current transition partnerships as a guide. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 7 pages, 74.3 KB].

Fostering School Success with Standards for Nonacademic Skills

Fostering School Success with Standards for Nonacademic Skills. Center for American Progress. Danielle Ewen and LeighAnn M. Smith. October 30, 2015.

States around the country are establishing continuity across the standards that scaffold a child’s early learning experience and K-12 school career, which could improve school readiness and set more children on the path to academic success. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 20 pages, 1.20 MB].

Point of Entry: The Preschool-to-Prison Pipeline

Point of Entry: The Preschool-to-Prison Pipeline. Center for American Progress. Maryam Adamu and Lauren Hogan. October 8, 2015.

The term “school-to-prison pipeline” has become a powerful metaphor to capture the processes by which children, typically low-income children of color, are pushed out of school and into the criminal justice system. While exact definitions of suspension and expulsion vary across states and school districts, it is clear that what were intended to be last resort and occasional disciplinary tools have become wildly overused and disproportionately applied to children of color, resulting in dramatically negative long-term effects. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 25 pages, 406.2 KB].

Math Matters: How the Common Core Will Help the United States Bring Up Its Grade on Mathematics Education

Math Matters: How the Common Core Will Help the United States Bring Up Its Grade on Mathematics Education. Center for American Progress. Max Marchitello and Catherine Brown. August 13, 2015.

Staying the course with Common Core-aligned math instruction will afford students not only greater understanding of conceptual mathematics, but also more opportunity in the job market, according to the report. [Note: contains copyrighted material].

[PDF format, 39 pages, 1.16 MB].