A hat tip to the NYT for this article, which was published in today's paper. It reports on research that found that 9th graders whose schools are within a block of a fast-food outlet are more likely to be obese than students whose schools are a quarter of a mile or more away from one. The researchers studied a sample population that included millions of students over a decade and took into account differences among the students in income, education, and race. Bottom line: They found that obesity rates in schools within one-tenth of a mile of a pizza, burger, ...

Borrowing from the Teach For America concept, Sam Wang and Sandra Aamodt, guest bloggers over at the NYT's The Wild Side, have proposed an intriguing way to spend some of the $8.2 billion in federal stimulus funds set aside for research funded by the National Institutes of Health. Their idea is to recruit college graduates to spend a few years working, TFA-style, in research laboratories. The recruits would spend a few weeks in the summer at a lab skills boot camp and then dive into the laboratory workforce in the fall. The hope is that the experience, besides providing ...

In education, encouraging parents to be involved in their children's schooling is like motherhood and apple pie. Everyone likes it, and who would argue against it? But a study published last month in the American Journal of Education suggests that parent involvement can have a downside, too. Researchers Elizabeth McGhee Hassrick of the University of Chicago and Barbara Schneider of Michigan State University spent more than 200 hours observing classrooms and interviewing parents and teachers at an unnamed charter elementary school in a large city. The school's 100 percent African-American enrollment included families from a range of income levels, from ...

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