Archive for October, 2014

10-9-14, “How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground.”

Confessore, Nicholas. “How School Lunch Became the Latest Political Battleground.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 11 Oct. 2014. Web. 07 Oct. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/12/magazine/how-school-lunch-became-the-latest-political-battleground.html?_r=0>.

Nicholas Confessore is a correspondent for politics at the New York Times. He was a politics major at Princeton University as an undergrad. In 2003, he won the Livingston Award for national reporting.

School lunches have been a topic of much debate for the last few years as stricter nutrition standpoints have had to been met through government regulations. Confessore stated that there has been many changes towards school lunches that are still being debated. Such as, should pizza be a vegetable? Not only is this debate about nutrition, it’s mostly political. Each party has different agendas as to what school lunches should look like with either more or less government help in getting specific nutritional goals.

School lunches suck. As tighter restrictions on what are considered dietary necessities are put in place, many more students are left hungry and unsatisfied after lunch. School lunches are bland because there’s a sodium limit on meals, they’re small and expensive for the average student. These restrictions are especially noticeable in high school where students can leave, if school’s want to even break even, then allowing them to make what they want and including health information would be the most beneficial for all.

 

10-9-14, “Pizza is a Vegetable?”

Jalonik, Mary Clare. “Pizza Is a Vegetable? Congress Says Yes.” Msnbc.com. NBC News, n.d. Web. <http://www.nbcnews.com/id/45306416/ns/health-diet_and_nutrition/t/pizza-vegetable-congress-says-yes/#.VEASwfm-1Pk>.

Mary Clare Jalonik is a current correspondent for NBC News. She writes mainly about food policy in the United States.

Since the beginning of Obama’s presidency, there have been many attempted changes at creating a healthier diet for school age children. Jalonik states that Congress has made these changes nearly impossible by declaring pizza as a vegetable to keep in on the plates of students across that nation. Congress declared tightened school budgets as their reasoning for their stance on foods like pizza and french fries, because by banning them, schools would have a hard time finding acceptable replacements at a similar price.

While I don’t think that pizza should be considered a vegetable, I believe that the government shouldn’t have such an integrated hand in what schools provide for lunch. I do realize that foods should be much healthier than they are now, but there’s only so much money in a school budget to get more nutritious foods. I believe that the only way for the government to be able to ban certain things in schools as lunch options would be if education got more of the federal budget. Maybe instead of spending so much on our military, we could help out students who can’t help themselves.

10-2-14, “SMART Lunch.”

“SMART Lunch – Adhscurriculum and Instruction.” SMART Lunch – Adhscurriculum and Instruction. Athens Drive High School, n.d. Web. 08 Oct. 2014. <https://sites.google.com/site/athensdrive/SMART-Lunch>.

There is no author listed, but I’m going to assume that it is either a staff member or administrator that wrote this piece because it was published on a school’s Google page and is obviously affiliated with the school in some way. This website has many useful links about the premise behind SMART Lunch and what it is supposed to be like at that school.

The author’s opinion is that SMART Lunch is a good program for high school aged students because it makes them more successful. It makes them successful by forcing them to attend tutorials throughout the term/semester. Students are also give a grade for attendance.

I think SMART Lunch is stupid. It’s a nice idea to give time in the middle of the day to make things up, but requiring students to attend is ridiculous. If a student does not need help, then why would they attend something that they don’t need? Grading attendance is not useful because it’s pretty much only going to make it so those that couldn’t pass the class are going to be able to pass a class because they are forced to attend. If anything, having a break in the middle of the day is going to decrease attendance and create problems from giving students too much time.

10-2-14, “Panter Creek’s SMART Lunch…”

Lamotte-Kerr, Jeanna. “Panther Creek’s SMART Lunch Credited with Higher Graduation Rates.” Raleigh Public Record. Raleigh Public Record, 24 Mar. 2014. Web. <http://raleighpublicrecord.org/news/2014/03/28/panther-creeks-smart-lunch-leads-to-higher-graduation-rates/&gt;.

The author of this article, Jeanna Lamotte-Kerr is a freelance writer as well as a teacher. She’s been a contributor to the Raleigh Public Record website for many years and publishing many pieces with them over that time.

The author extolls that virtues of SMART Lunch as a program with both students and teachers in mind. Also, she brings up the higher graduation rates at that specific high school because teachers believe students to be more involved. By labeling students and putting them into appropriate groups, the school is able to meet No Child Left Behind standards. The author also states that each school should implement the SMART Lunch program and change it to suit each school and their needs.

While SMART Lunch may work at certain schools, I don’t think that it should be something implemented throughout the US. To me, it seems that while this could be a good program at a private school or boarding schools, at a public school, many students will make no effort to do what is expected of them. If SMART Lunch were to be implemented at a school, both students and teachers should be on board. If there is a large minority that doesn’t want it, then it should be implemented. Period.