Care for a fizzy soda pop with that lunch room meal? How about a thick slice of pizza to add to that loaded-up cafeteria tray? Want a bag of chips or fries with that? Chances are, many public school kids would say yes to any of the above. It might not be a healthy choice, but rest assured, these foods are served widely in school cafeterias.
For decades, study after study have shown that children who attend pre-kindergarten programs are better prepared for the rest of their education, beginning in kindergarten and lasting all the way to college. They perform better on tests, repeat grades less often and need less special education than kids who did not attend pre-k regardless of socioeconomic status, according to research by The Pew Center on the States. But funding for pre-k programs across the country is steadily declining. In fact, a new report released today by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) at the Brunswick, N.J. campus of Rutgers University, finds most states aren’t even giving their pre-k programs enough cash to maintain quality standards and calling the “overall picture” of pre-k education “dim.”
The report, “The State of Preschool 2011 Yearbook,” ranks the states on their funding of pre-k programs and their availability to children using 10 benchmarks of quality pre-k standards. Only five state programs met all of NIEER’s 10 benchmarks.
The average American teen is sending more text messages than ever before, quickly becoming their primary means of daily communication according to a report published last month by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. The report, entitled “Teens, Smartphones & Texting,” was penned by Amanda Lenhart, and notes several major statistical changes regarding teenager cell phone use in just over a two-year period. According to the report, a typical teen ages 12 to 17 was sending approximately 60 texts per day in 2011, up from 50 in 2009. Additionally, the report finds that older teens, boys and African-Americans are texting in greater numbers than in 2009. The research indicates that kids ages 14 to 17 are sending a median of 100 texts per day, almost doubling the median number of texts the same age group was sending in 2009.