From Sea to Shining Sea

Election Day came and went on Tuesday without as much fanfare as we’re used to seeing in most states. With no presidential election or mid-term elections to entice people to go to the polls, the more local matters became the center of attention. Yesterday we highlighted the Utah voucher vote which was watched closely in education circles, but what about some of the other issues? From Seattle to Miami, and everywhere in-between, there are some big challenges to address, especially in urban districts.

A recent study from the Southern Education Foundation found that poverty is on the rise in the south, requiring school districts to accept the fact that, according to our friends at Ed Week, “low-income students are now a majority in the public schools of the U.S. South, and that schools in the West may cross that line in the near future.” This undoubtedly brings health issues to the forefront of public schools, and it seems that you can’t open the newspaper or go to the web without seeing a blurb about childhood obesity. In Houston, they’re facing the issue with a pilot program that brings in chefs to discuss healthy eating, cook great food, and change the way students choose what to eat. An article in the Houston Chronicle on election day outlines the program and discusses the challenges. But poverty, health, and obesity are not alone…

National academic standards, school choice, school safety, conquering the achievement gap, NCLB, and pre-kindergarten (just to name a few) are on the minds of Americans, but are they on the minds of the candidates? Now that election day 2007 has come and gone, these issues could actually be addressed by the 16 presidential candidates. So far, other issues have dominated the debates and the rhetoric so in some cities, it’s the students who are chiming in with ideas. In Washington, D.C., almost 200 students participated in a town hall meeting to tell Mayor Adrian Fenty and School Chancellor Michelle Rhee how they thought the D.C. schools could be improved. What’s happening in your part of the country? Leave a comment to share the issues that you feel should be addressed.

Erin Walsh|November 8th, 2007|Categories: Educational Legislation, NSBA Opinions and Analysis, School Boards, Wellness|Tags: , , , |

Leave a Reply