Putting Education Reform To The Test

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A Backpack Keeps Kids — And Their Family — Fed On Weekends

We know that a lot of children depend on schools for their meals through free and reduced-price food programs. So when school is not in session, these kids may go hungry for much of the day. It’s a problem big enough that the Florida Department of Agriculture provides a summer food program.  Funds go to […]

School May Be Out In Florida, But Lunch Is Still On

Many kids only eat well when school is in session. Now, state and federal funding is keeping children fed over the summer break. A lot of kids in Jacksonville and around Florida are getting access to meals that include fruits or vegetables. The Jacksonville Children’s Commission is among the groups making sure kids eat lunch. […]

Explaining How “Pink Slime” Became The Latest School Lunch Controversy

So-called “pink slime” has joined ketchup-as-a-vegetable, peanut allergies and chocolate milk as the school lunch controversy of the moment. The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Thursday that schools will have the choice of whether to purchase ground beef that contains the filler product critics have called “pink slime.” The filler is beef trimmings from which […]

South Florida School Tests FCAT Placebo

A South Florida school is feeding students “FCAT power bars” and hoping the apple-flavored cereal bar gives students more confidence facing the annual Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The district says they don’t want kids at Palm Beach County’s Hagen Road Elementary School to take the test on an empty stomach. But […]

Covering Schools Requires an Education

Part of the reason I moved to StateImpact Florida from a newspaper was the chance to learn some skills and try new things. It turns out that producing radio news stories is much harder and a lot more work than I expected. You don’t show up sounding like NPR on your first day no matter […]

Does Box Tops for Education Promote Junk Food?

Are parents buying junk food in an effort to help their kids’ schools? Our friends at HealthyState.org are asking that question about Box Tops for Education, which donates a dime for every product lid sent in by schools. The program started with cereal, but has now added lots of other items — even Hi-Liter markers. […]

Needy Students Get Computer Vouchers

In an effort to help bridge the so-called “digital divide” among low-income students, internet provider Comcast is making some big promises: Vouchers for home computers Three years of internet service for $9.95 a month Every student who is eligible for free meals under the National School Lunch Program will qualify. And Florida has one of […]

Making An Impact Through “People Reporting”

I first realized the power I have as a journalist while covering education in Oakland. I was part of a team that created a radio documentary on the public school system. Our work compelled listeners to donate toward filling the food cabinet of a teacher struggling to feed her hungry students. And one listener offered […]

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