National study 2013:
NEW ACHIEVEMENT GAP DOCUMENT RELEASED
The Commissioner's Raising Achievement/Closing Gaps Council (CRACGC) has released a new document that is designed to help parents and community members become engaged in schools and districts with useful knowledge of the expectations KDE has for its schools with regard to the achievement gap
This document is referenced in the new state board regulation, 703 KAR 5:220, the regulation related to school and district accountability recognition and support. The guidelines are designed to be parent-friendly so they are aware of what is expected of the schools and districts. It also provides, as its name implies, guidelines that schools and districts can follow to help ensure that students receive a quality, consistent and, equitable education.
Click here to read more and download a copy of the new guideline.
Educational Inequities Around Teacher Experience, Discipline and High School Rigor
Editorial | "Obesity" gaps
‘No child left behind” is the name given to a public education program. Those also should also be the watchwords for the nation's effort to ensure that all its children are benefiting from the best possible foods and eating habits. Sadly, but not surprisingly, that isn't happening.
A study published this week in the journal Pediatrics shows that while obesity rates among some children are on the decline — which is good news — they also are increasing for African-American and Native American girls, which adds more complications and risks for their adult lives.
The nation cannot afford to let this trend continue.
As the obesity rate for non-Hispanic white girls fell, and the rate for Hispanic girls remained stable, and boys' patterns reflected the girls' only with less disparity, the obesity rate for black girls grew to 22 percent from 20 percent in seven years' time; in American Indian girls, it shot up to 23 percent from 15 percent in the same period.
Dr. Kristine Madsen, the study's lead researcher from the University of California San Francisco, told WebMD, “On the one hand, it is really heartening to see the declines in white and Asian children and the plateau in Latino youth. But this is tempered by concerns about increasing racial disparities in childhood obesity. The fact that the gap appears to be widening is very troubling.”
It is an indication that the programs and policies aimed at fighting childhood obesity aren't effective among the most vulnerable communities, and all levels of government must step up efforts and resources in helping children avoid the lifelong costs of obesity. Likewise, the same efforts and resources must be marshaled to overcome the “food deserts” that continue to deny neighborhoods throughout the United States ready availability of fresh, healthy, affordable food. If this isn't a public health issue of the first order, then nothing is.
Just as childhood obesity has a cascading effect on the long-term futures of its sufferers, it may pack as much of an impact on them while they are still young. Other research suggests that childhood obesity may be leading to earlier puberty in the nation's girls, which carries its own health risks. And still more research indicates that obesity is a risk factor for the development of depression or depressive symptoms for teenage girls.
While these are issues for policymakers, home must be the starting point where no child is left behind, a place to exercise available options toward better health. An expert told WebMD that parents and caregivers should limit sugary drinks and snack foods, cook healthy meals at home, eat together at home when possible, keep TV sets out of kids' bedrooms — and then press schools and elected officials for better options outside the home.
(From Georgia PTA website.)
Obesity is defined as an excessive accumulation of body fat. It is present when total body weight is more than 25% fat in boys and more than 32% in girls (Lohman 1987). The term “Childhood obesity” often refers to both children (ages 6-11) and adolescents (ages 12-17) unless a specific age group is identified. Although childhood obesity is defined as a weight-for-height in excess of 120 percent of ideal weight, skin fold measures are often more accurate.
Childhood Obesity is a risk factor in the following medical conditions:
The multiple causes of Childhood Obesity center around calories obtained from food and calories expanded in the basal metabolic rate and physical activity. Several determinants play a role in the overall cause: Nutritional, Psychological, Family, and Physiological. Examples are:
What Can Parents Do
Going on the Offensive against Childhood Obesity
Schools' Role in Creating Healthy Eating Environments
Outside of the home, children and adolescents spend the majority of their time in school. So, it makes sense that schools provide an environment that promotes healthy nutrition and physical activity habits.
The USDA and a coalition of five medical associations have developed ten keys to assist each school community in writing a prescription for change. Visit the Team Nutrition website produced by the USDA for more information. The CDC's Healthy Youth website also contains many resources pertaining to school nutrition.
Creating an Active Environment in Schools
The CDC's Healthy Youth website contains several resources that can be used to promote physical activity in schools.
(This information can be adapted as we partner with colleges in our area...see below: )
Georgia PTA and University of Georgia Take Strides to Solve Childhood Obesity
You may have already met UGA graduate student Emily Jones who is working on a research study about parent solutions to childhood obesity. Perhaps you filled out a survey for her. If you have not met her yet at one of your district meetings or council events, be on the lookout and help her gather the information she needs!