The State of School Lunch

Fed UpDoSomething.org leveraged its base to compile a map of the real state of school lunch in our nation.  Fed Up displays over 7,000 school lunch photos, uploaded by high school and middle school students, and encouraged participants to eat or to toss the lunches displayed.

The objectives of the project are to bring awareness to the food served to our children and to bring participant feedback and findings to district and national nutrition advocates in an effort to continue the push for healthy food options in schools.

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The STEM Crisis: Reality or Myth?

STEM fields or STEM education is an acronym for the fields of study in the categories of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

Industry leaders, including the National Academy of Science and the National Association of Manufacturers, argue that there is a shortage of STEM workers.  By 2018, 5% of all jobs in Minnesota will be STEM jobs; this represents a 13% increase in STEM jobs versus the number in 2008.

Yet, other industry leaders contest that STEM talent far outpaces available jobs and as a result, the promotion of STEM is leading gifted students down a path of limited career prospects.

A 2011 study by Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce claims that the STEM pipeline gap is real but that it is more complex than traditionally claimed.  The gap, which grows larger every year, can be tied to talent diversions to other professionals (e.g. healthcare) and to the lack of consistent K-12 performance in our nation’s school systems.

The K-12 performance gap is a risk that both proponents and opponents of the argument agree can lead to a STEM knowledge gap.

Source: http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/education/the-stem-crisis-is-a-myth

Source: http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/stemminnesota1.pdf

Attend the 2014 Children & Youth Issues Briefing

From the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits:

Date: Jan 9, 2014

Time: 9 am – noon

Location: The Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel

Join hundreds of advocates at the highly anticipated 2014 Children & Youth Issues Briefing, which convenes each year prior to the start of the legislative session. This year’s programming will focus on innovative initiatives and emerging legislative issues expected to significantly impact our state’s children and youth. Hear from experts and leaders across the state, and engage in panel discussions to learn what’s on the horizon for Minnesota’s children and youth through the lens of policy and systems change.

The session also offers the unique opportunity to hear from a youth roundtable, engaging young college and high school students in an in-depth discussion about challenges and opportunities found within educational systems.

Programming highlights will include presentations by:

  • Dr. Eric Kaler, President, University of Minnesota
  • R.T. Rybak, Executive Director, Generation Next
  • Melvin Carter III, Director, Minnesota Office of Early Learning
  • Dr. Brenda Cassellius, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Education
  • Dr. Edward Ehlinger, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Cindy Jesson, Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Human Services

Register early, seating is limited.

RSVP Online

A “Picture of Educational Stagnation”

A blunt phrase Education Secretary Arne Duncan used to describe 15-year old American student’s performance against other nation’s students in the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA).  The test, conducted every three years, is designed to measure reading, mathematics, and science literacy as well as other cross-curricular competencies like problem solving.

Average US scores in mathematics literary ranked lower than 29 education systems and higher than 26 education systems.  Although science and reading literacy scores were above average for the US versus other nations, the average performance in each competency over time has not improved.

Source: http://nces.ed.gov/pubsearch/pubsinfo.asp?pubid=2014024