California Educator

April 2014

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Interesting facts about everything in the education world By Cynthia Menzel I F Y O U D I S C O V E R research you think we should shine a light on, send it along with your name and local chapter to Year-round school: It might sound like a nightmare to kids; others say it's a dream come true. Also known as a balanced calendar, a year-round school model provides students with the same number of days of in-class instruction as the traditional model, but school days and vacation days are distributed differently throughout the year. Proponents say year-round school helps students retain information without losing it over long summer vaca- tions. Of the increasing proposals seen around the country, the most popular form of year-round education is the 45-15 plan, where students attend school for 45 days and then get three weeks (15 days) off, according to NEA research. • Improves academic performance: Kids who skip breakfast have more difficulty distinguishing among similar images, show increased errors, and have slower memory recall. • Reduces beha vioral problems: Hung r y children often are cranky; students who ha ve a school breakfast show decreased beha vioral problems and ha ve lower ra tes of a bsence and tardiness. • Improves children's diets: Children and adolescents who eat breakfast (and school breakfast) are significantly less likely to be overweight. Research Know & Tell DID YOU KNOW? THE BENEFITS OF BREAKFAST Students who start at community colleges and transfer to a four-year institution have bachelor degree completion rates similar to students who begin at four-year colleges. However, students could be even more successful if it weren't for losing credits in the move. A new study, published March 19 in the journal Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, finds that restrictive credit transfer policies (rather than lack of academic preparation, an emphasis on vocational training, or insufficient financial aid) were the reason for the slight gap in B.A. completion between other- wise similar undergraduates from community colleges and their four-year counterparts. If colleges dropped restrictive credit transfer policies, bachelor degree attain- ment would increase from 46 to 54 percent for transfer students, according to the study, co-authored by Paul Attewell and David Monaghan, both of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. The study notes that just 58 percent of transfers are able to bring all or almost all (90 percent or more) of their credits with them, and 14 percent lose more than 90 percent of their credits. The national School Breakfast Program still only reaches about half of low-income students who could benefit from starting their school day with a nutritious meal. Why? For starters, time and place matters. Some students can't arrive in time to eat breakfast, particularly if they're dependent on buses or parents' work schedules, and older kids may opt to hang out with their friends before the bell rings instead of eating breakfast in the school cafeteria. For low-income children, stigma is attached to who eats school breakfast and why. And students from higher-income families don't receive free meals, creating a clear distinction among socioeconomic backgrounds, according to the Breakfast for Learning Educa- tion Alliance. Plans to expand the program, offering a free breakfast and lunch to all students in schools where at least 40 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, may help to remove some of that stigma. 13 A P R I L 2 0 1 4 Educator 04 Apr 2014 v2.3 int.indd 13 4/15/14 12:04 AM

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