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You Are What You Eat (at School): Report Shows Healthy School Lunches Tied to Higher Student Test Scores

The 74 Million – Kevin Mahnken

“Efforts to make school meals more nutritious have yielded noticeably positive results, according to a paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research. That progress, however, isn’t measured in lower obesity rates, but in improved academic performance. The study collected data between 2008 and 2013 from roughly 9,700 California public schools, comparing the vast majority that prepare meals in-house to those that contract with outside vendors. Measuring the nutritional quality of the vendors’ meals against the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Healthy Eating Index, the authors found that students who ate healthy meals at school also scored slightly better on California’s STAR tests (then the state’s standardized examinations of annual student progress, which have since been replaced by another system).”(more)

Under new framework for student progress, states try new ways to grade schools

The Christian Science Monitor – Maria Danilova

“How often do students miss school? Are they ready for college? Are they physically fit? Is their school a welcoming place? States are beginning to outline new ways to evaluate their schools, rather than relying just on traditional measures such as test scores. The plans are required under a federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act, which was signed by former President Barack Obama in 2015 and takes effect in the coming school year.”(more)

The Teacher Evaluation Revamp, In Hindsight

Education Next – Chad Aldeman

“When President Obama took office in 2009, his administration quickly seized on teacher evaluations as an important public-policy problem. Today, much of his legacy on K–12 education rests on efforts to revamp evaluations in the hopes of improving teaching across the country, which his administration pursued via a series of incentives for states. In response, many states adopted new systems in which teachers’ performance would be judged, in significant part, on their contributions to growth in student achievement. Those moves have paid off in some ways, but in others, they backfired. Teacher evaluations today are more nuanced than they were eight years ago, and have contributed to better decisionmaking and enhanced student achievement in some districts. But progress was uneven, hampered by both design flaws and capacity challenges.”(more)

Obama’s Impact On America’s Schools

NPR – Claudio Sanchez and Cory Turner

“When President Obama took office in January 2009, the country was on edge, the economy in free-fall. The federal education law, known as No Child Left Behind, was also in need of an update after earning the ire of teachers, parents and politicians alike. In short, there was much to do. In time, that update would come, but President Obama’s education legacy begins, oddly enough, with his plan to bolster the faltering economy.”(more)

White House announces boost to computer science education

The Hill – Ali Breland

“The White House announced on Monday new initiatives to bolster computer science in K–12 education. Citing the rapidly expanding demand for technology jobs, the Obama administration outlined new efforts by two federal agencies: The National Science Foundation plans to spend $20 million on computer science education in 2017, on top the the $25 million it spent in 2016, with an emphasis on training teachers.”(more)

What is Obama’s K-12 education legacy?

E-School News – Laura Ascione Devaney and Meris Stansbury

“Common Core, Race to the Top, and the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)—just a few top-down, often-controversial, metrics-heavy K-12 reform initiatives favored by the Obama Administration that seemed to have a lot more traction during the President’s first-term with Education Secretary Arne Duncan at the helm than during the second term.”(more)