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From reducing the obesity epidemic and preventing diabetes to improving school behavior, what we eat has a profound impact on our overall health. Q.  What if you consume about 10 percent of your calories from fat, as opposed to a more average 30 percent?
A. A study comparing these two groups showed an 82 percent regression of heart disease, a 37 percent decrease in cholesterol and a 91 percent decrease in angina of those on the lower-fat diet after one year.
A.  Studies have shown that students at schools that restrict fatty foods also continue to eat more fruits and vegetables outside of school, and some schools that have restricted high-sugar foods have reported significantly better behavior.
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Parents Across America has sent a new letter to President Obama and Congress as a follow up to our letter of May 5th, in which we expressed our concern about the strategies of the President and Ed Secretary Duncan's Blueprint for Education Reform and the Race to the Top program.After we sent our first letter, Duncan announced that he would mandate parent involvement in planning for schools identified for intervention. I received a copy of a letter from an LSC parent representative at Curtis Elementary School, a "turnaround" school under the management of the Academy for Urban School Leadership. I just received this e-mail from PURE friend Rick Meza, the current head of the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF). The New York Times is reporting that, among other novices, Bob Tschannen-Moran, former pastor of Good News Community Church in Rogers Park here in Chicago, has put in his bid for federal school turn-around contracts.He is now a "life coach" based in Williamsburg, Va.
To their credit, some House reps don't think taking food stamp money is such a  good idea. Amazingly, now-Chicago City Colleges Chancellor and Board Chairman Gery Chico thinks the community college system should not have to be a "re-do" of K-12 schooling. I guess it just slipped Chico's mind that he is in large part responsible for the math and reading skills of these very students.
PURE's second "how-to" book takes a closer look at one of PURE's most effective advocacy campaigns - our fight against the misuse of the Iowa test in Chicago.You can download the book here.
We (well, we with a lot of help) have finally mastered technology enough to offer two books about PURE's work in an electronic format.
Local School Council members have fought for access to basic budget and program documents since the first day LSCs existed.
Principals in Chicago, often backed by their administrative supervisors, have been known to refuse to give LSC members even the most basic accountability information. Watch PURE friend Leonie Haimson guest with the brilliant, ubiquitous Diane Ravitch on Democracy Now. Folks, Tuesday's my birthday so I will not be blogging but enjoying my wonderful family (husband, Mom who is visiting from Phoenix, two sons - my daughter-in-law is away working on a movie -- she's so cool!) and trying not to let school issues raise my blood pressure.
This call is for the sake of our children, and I hope that the President responds responsibly. I grew up in the suburbs of Rochester, New York and never knew that Frederick Douglass worked in the city most of his life.
Two months ago, a number of public school parents wrote a letter to Congress and President Obama expressing our concerns about the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and the Blueprint for Education proposed by U. Today I faxed the Parents Across America letter to every member of Congress as they return from their Independence Day break.
What we DON'T want: Charters, turnarounds, and school closures, standardized tests, mayoral control, and privatization. What we DO want: More parent involvement, real multiple assessments, smaller class size, and equal resources for all schools.
Today is Dick Durbin Day on Public Schools Action Tuesday (PSAT)!Let's work on getting Illinois Senator Richard Durbin to rethink his support for Race to the Top.
Today's Sun-Times print edition reports on what must now be called the Miracle in Englewood. With this new figure in the Sun-Times, the overall graduation rate at Urban Prep goes down to 57%. In addition to an excerpt from PURE's letter to President Obama, there are some good responses here in Eliza Krigman's National Journal blog on the Obey amendment issue.
Some of you know that I also blog on a nationwide site called the Examiner (subscribe to my blog! Fortunately, the power of healthy eating is becoming more and more mainstream and families, schools, and other institutions are making more of an effort to make lasting change.
Baxter Montgomery started researching nutrition’s role in disease reversal and found that plant-based foods were the common denominator in determining wellness.
According to research, most charter schools are not "high-performing." Even more disturbing, research shows that African-American and Latino students do worse in Illinois charter schools. Rick has been a staunch advocate for public school children and families, and for Local School Councils. That's not much time, and the appeal is supposed to go to the Chief Education Officer, a position that has had no person in it since Barbara Eason-Watkins left for Michigan City. If you don't know who your CAO is, call the CPS switchboard at 773-553-1000 or the Office of P-12 Management at 773-553-2150.Here are some tip sheets for parents on filing the appeal. A student who started preschool in 1995, when Chico was appointed president of the Chicago School Board by Mayor Daley, would have been in fourth grade -- when most of the fundamentals of reading and math should have been laid down -- when Chico left that position in 2001.
These books were written in 2004 and 2005 in response to many requests to help start PURE chapters around the country, and from folks who just wanted to know how to create a powerful parent organization. One notorious example was when Mayor Daley's favorite "superstar" principal, Curie High School's former head Jerrylyn Jones, handed out folders with copies of petitions demanding that the LSC renew her contract, instead of the budget and school improvement plan information the LSC had requested as part of her annual evaluation.Other principals refuse to give documents to individual LSC members, and insist on a vote of the full LSC before they provide information, another ridiculous excuse.I recommend that LSC members download and file this article - you may need it! Your Public Schools Action Tuesday assignment for today, if you choose to accept it, is to give a gift to PURE. I remember back when CEO Duncan was "assigned" to me to make sure I talked to him before going public with any complaints.


While many are saying that a revised (reauthorized) ESEA is unlikely to be voted on before the fall elections, revised language is being hammered out in committee right now, and it may be too make meaningful changes later on in the process.
Urban Prep Charter School still has a 100% college-going rate with ALL 95 graduating seniors going to college!Problem is, for the past few weeks, the orgy of happy-weepy media reports about the Urban Prep Miracle was that all 107 graduating seniors were going to college (see, for example, People Magazine, Good Morning America, "Urban Prep Named Person of the Week on ABC World News).  So, since their first self-promotional blitz, they've lost 12 students (the Sun-Times suggests they "transferred") ? I'll let you know if they respond.By the way, the film will be previewed in Chicago on July 21. He has refined this process over the past 10 years with profound positive results in severely ill patients. Parents must also be involved before intervention decisions are made, not only after those decisions are made.
He will be a great advocate for the people of Illinois, and PURE will definitely stay in touch with him in his critical new role!!! We decided it was time to capture some of our best strategies and ideas in one place so that we could share them with others who see the same problems and have the same concerns PURE has. And keep the phone and address of the Attorney General's Public Access Counselor handy - they have become a great resource for LSCs. Education Secretary Arne Duncan for changing this federal education law.The signers and hundreds of other parents sent this letter to their congressional representatives.
Here are a couple of things that many in Congress still seem unaware of:Parents, students and community members join teachers across the nation in opposing the major elements of Race to the TopCharter schools are not working as hyped, and in fact the majority are not performing as well as regular public schools. Durbin is one of thirteen senators who recently wrote a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee chair Sen. In fact, parents must be involved at the highest levels of decision making, so that "reform" is positive and effective for our children, not ideological and destructive. If you are a Chase customer, today would be a good day to show your support for public schools by e-mailing Chase with your concerns or comments about their support for charter schools.
The web site also offers free online training in the Freedom of Information Act and the Open Meetings Act, which would be a good choice for your LSC lessons 7-8- or 9. Daniel Inouye opposing this bill, which was formulated by the chair of the House Education committee, Rep.
You can also write to CEO Jamie Dimon, at JP Morgan Chase, 270 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10017.Here's what I wrote to them. Jesse Jackson of Rainbow Push along with the NAACP and the National Urban League, will motivate the Obama administration tor do more than call out the spin doctors.
Anthony House yesterday, opining that a field trip would have gone a long way toward improving my sense of local history.
He is co-author with Mamie Till-Mobley of her Death of Innocence: The Story of the Hate Crime That Changed America, He points out that, in addition to being the 47th anniversary of the Rev.
The internet gives us so many new opportunities for reaching people with our message and our perspective.
Not so surprising is that the Frederick Douglass museum, just down the block, is still very much a work in progress.Anyway, I loved the tour and especially loved the sculpture, in a little park midway between the Anthony house and the struggling Douglas Center, depicting Susan B.
As an African American whose family had barely escaped Southern atrocities, she recognized the potential pushback when you stepped out of place.
How do we respond when the lynching is verbal, not physically fatal (most of the time) and the klan has its own network, which is the most watched in the US? Telling the truth and exposing these people for what they are and what they do is important, but it won't be enough. That was so long ago that the small schools at Orr High School, whose LSC signed on as original plaintiffs, have been closed again and reopened under the auspices of AUSL (for more about AUSL, read the latest here). It would also mean that it was more important to get accurate, useful information that could be used to help schools and students. Who needs that when you can damn schools with data?No, it's far more important for testing to be "standardized" - that is, given at the same time to everyone, according to state supt. Chris Koch's rationale: "This is the state's attempt to say, 'How can we treat everyone the same and everyone fairly?a€?It may be standardized but that doesn't make it fair. The On the Issues site provides a list of statements by Kirk on education and his education-related votes as a congressman. It suggests that he is a moderate on social issues such as school prayer and green schools.
Kirk got into some trouble earlier this year when he claimed that he's influenced by his experience as a teacher, which turned out to consist of a year at a private high school in London and another as a teacher aide at a church run nursery school.
There's a third candidate who deserves some attention, too -- LeAlan Jones, the Green Party candidate.
I remember him well when, as a 13-year-old, he and a friend reported on life in the Chicago projects for National Public Radio. Senator, and will have the responsibility to make critical decisions about education along with every other issue before Congress. We know that too many of them don't. Even on a traditional calendar, non-air conditioned schools can be ovens, places where it's too hot to learn and too unhealthy to stay.
CPS district offices? Most of our currently-used schools were designed to be closed during the summer, just as they were designed without lunchrooms because all the children went home for lunch. At least health codes address some of the worst sanitation problems that schools without lunchrooms face. CPS claims that its so-called year-round school schedule is better for students, but the proof of that is slight.
Teachers should move their classes to municipal cooling centers until CPS does the right thing and upgrades every school so that children have a reasonable chance to learn. That's not much time, and the appeal is supposed to go to the Chief Education Officer, a position that has had no person in it since Barbara Eason-Watkins left for Michigan City. Usually the appeals go to the Chief Area Officers.


Good News was a modestly successful program; the church was in the very needy North of Howard area of Chicago and ran a well-attended food program. The down side we saw was a lack of interest in supporting the local school council at the nearby public school, which went through a traumatic time after the district refused to allow the LSC-appointed principal to serve.
They claimed that the price of food was going down, so hungry people won't need so much. As House Finance Chair David Obey, who proposed the RTTT swap, said, "Well, isna€™t that nice. Why is it the responsibility of Chicago community colleges to spend $30 million a year to pick up lost math and reading skills?" Chico said. "I'm not saying that as a society we shouldn't be charged with doing that someplace.
But why is it placed in the lap of higher education?" (Sun-Times 8-8-10) I guess it just slipped Chico's mind that he is in large part responsible for the math and reading skills of these very students. It explains why folks in power hate to fund schools adequately and demand "accountability" using methods that destroy rather than strengthen schools. The President's speech to the National Urban League was in large part a defense of these programs against the many concerns that have been raised about whether they are the most effective ways to reform U.
Obama suggested in his speech that people who oppose his proposals may simply be a€?afraid of change.a€? A few days earlier, he threatened to veto any attempt to use even a small portion of funding for his controversial Race to the Top program to save thousands of teacher jobs.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan stonewalls critics of his department's demands for charter expansion who cite the research on the overall poor performance of charters nationwide; he offers the nonsensical excuse that he doesn't support charter schools, he only supports good charter schools. Today, columnist Leonard Pitts tells opponents of the President's plans to a€?lead, follow or get out of the way.a€? Perhaps the most important moment of the President's Urban League speech was his paraphrase of Dr.
In a democracy, education reform cannot be defined only by legislators, politicians, and corporate and media leaders. Pitts' piece repeats much of the empty, nonsensical rhetoric we just heard in the president's and Duncan's recent speeches to the National Urban League, speeches that were in large part responses to the powerful opposition that has been raised against RTTT and the proposed School Improvement Grant program by civil rights, community, parent and teacher groups. For today's  Public School Action Tuesday, why not respond to Pitts by leaving a comment after his article here, or write to a newspaper or comment on a blog of your choice opposing RTTT programs such as test-based teacher firing, school closures, and expanded charter schools, and in support of fair, research-based teacher evaluation or other sound education reforms? The dread Status-Quo is on the loose! Both Education Secretary Arne Duncan and President Obama are on the defensive this week about their education plans after a group of civil rights organizations challenged the basic elements of the administration's Race to the Top and Blueprint for Reform plans, adding a powerful voice to the increasingly loud complaints coming from other sectors across the nation about the direction Duncan and Obama are trying to take public education. That's what it's like to be a CPS principal these days in terms of trying to figure out how to lead your school in the coming year. "I'm growing more concerned about the planned rise in 'combined-grades' [not to be confused with multiage or ungraded] classrooms, due to the teacher layoffs and increased class sizes. You wind up scrambling the days before school opens, and the week the students return, just to figure out who's who and 'where' they are in terms of their next learning steps, based upon their test scores from spring (=old data, let's face it) plus your expert judgment of children's learning needs. THEN you have to scramble to quickly sort 'em all out into their learning groups so that by Week 5 you can administer the required District curriculum-based tests (half of which you'll now have to create from the new curriculum you're teaching, due to the other grade-level's children in your room). I fear not a whole lot of learning--through no fault of the teacher or the kids or the parents. "I also fear this will be the proverbial 'final straw' on teachers' backs--and we'll lose some fine folks in our system." What can we do? Join the CTU for a community summit on the CPS budget, Saturday, July 24, from 11 am to 12:30 pm at Ariel School, 1119 East 46th Street. This means, he said, "notification, outreach, public input, and honest, open discussion about the right option for each community." Unfortunately, Duncan's track record in Chicago makes us skeptical that this is anything more than empty rhetoric. His efforts to "involve the community" in turnrounds here meant that perfunctory hearings were held where hundreds turned out to offer powerful testimony about a school's strengths along with thoughtful, research-based suggestions about how to support and improve the existing school, yet Arne Duncan ignored it all and shut the schools down. This means that Arne Duncan must begin really listening to parents, and the only way we will know that he is actually hearing us is when he begins to modify the RTTT and ESEA proposals that parents so strongly oppose and replace them with solid, proven programs that parents want.
Leonie offers a thorough analysis of the damage and dishonesty of the Gates Foundation's incursion into public school policy making. This yields an overall school graduation rate of 64%, or nearly 6 points lower than the average district rate of 69.8%.
Yet no one is "socially promoted" because no one moves until they are ready. And in these tough economic times, doesn't it make a lot more sense to stop doing something that is expensive and doesn't work -- flunking students -- and start doing something that actually helps them? A new documentary, Waiting for Superman, will soon be released and we are working on getting Examiners free, possibly sneak preview access, to this film. Wea€™d like you to participate in screening the film and covering the critical education issues it addresses.
Wea€™ll also be promoting content related to the film, profiling profound teachers making a difference.
We know that these schools push out lower-performing students and refuse to even admit many special education or limited English-speaking students.
And, overall, research shows that charter and other corporate-run schools are doing a worse job than traditional neighborhood schools. In fact, one of Arne's greatest assets is his ability to lie with a pleasant, non-threatening smile on his face. And that's a problem because, if Congress believes his lies, they will pass his ideas into law. It's time to tell the truth about Arne Duncan, what he's done here in Chicago, and what he's trying to do to our children's education. However, we strongly disagree with your opposition to paying for this initiative with funds previously allocated for Race To the Top (RTTT) strategies, teacher pay-for-performance programs, and charter school expansion.
While you characterize these strategies as a€?sweeping reforms,a€? we believe that they are unproven, reckless, wasteful experiments which put our most vulnerable children at risk. However, we strongly disagree with your opposition to paying for this initiative with funds previously allocated for Race To the Top (RTTT) strategies, teacher pay-for-performance programs, and charter school expansion. You call these programs a€?vital,a€? a€?bold,a€? and a€?critical reform efforts.a€? We see the Obey amendment as a win-win situation.



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