Thursday, September 11, 2003

What our schools need now is ... butter?

Today's IEP List:

1. What's the biggest issue facing our schools today? Overcrowded buildings? Funding for special education? Test scores? Curriculum overhauls? Pennsylvania's secretary of agriculture thinks it's what students are spreading on their bread. On behalf of the state's dairy farmers, he's advocating a switch back to butter from margarine in the federal school lunch program, while a nutritionist meekly declares that really, if students would just pour olive oil on their food instead, they'd be ever so much healthier. Good to know this crucial question is getting the legislative attention it deserves.

2. Wonder why autism is more prevalent in males than females? This report fingers a faulty gene on the X chromosome that's linked to the inability to perceive fear, and presumed to be a factor in autism; since males only have one X chromosome, the mutation is more significant for them.

3. If your children are still asking questions or feeling anxiety about 9/11, has some good stories about how the day has affected kids and how to discuss it as a family.

4. And if you want to feel about 108 years old, check out the Beloit College Mindset List, a pop-culture profile of kids starting college today. Or just talk to my daughter, who regularly asks me questions that indicate she believes I was born in the Stone Age. Some days, I feel like she's right.

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