Thursday, November 19, 2009

Today's Random Thoughts

-Apparently Jamie Oliver's campaign to improve school lunch quality in the U.K. may have led to improvement in both attendance and performance on standardized tests

-Speaking of odd things that influence academic performance, this piece in Newsweek runs down a few decades worth of research into the relationship between noise and academic performance (hat tip: Alexander Russo).  I've been reading some of this research for a project I'm working on, and there's actually more evidence that noisy environments (both at school and at home) negatively influence test scores than there is regarding all but a few other social/environmental factors.

-There was some hoopla about teachers selling their lesson plans.  But that's the not the right question.  The right question is why teachers should have to buy lesson plans.

-Pittsburgh mayor Luke Ravenstahl says he has the needed votes in city council to pass the tuition tax he proposed last week.  Five of the nine city council members stepped forward at a press conference today and said they'd vote to levy a 1% tax on college tuition in the city of Pittsburgh to help address longstanding budget problems.

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