Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Tuesday Open Thread

New federal dietary guidelines for men and boys and less sugar for all of us.
Despite those warnings, the guidelines were also notable for what they did not say. While draft recommendations had suggested all Americans adopt more environmentally-sustainable eating habits by cutting back on meat, that advice was dropped from the final guidelines.
That Volkswagen scandal? There are a lot of diesel school buses in the U.S. made by Volkswagen.
As with the polluting cars, old school buses run on diesel fuel and emit a toxic mix of gases, including the nitrogen oxides associated with asthma, exacerbations of lung disease, and premature death. That’s where the idea of replacing old school buses comes in. Volkswagen faces potentially $20 billion in fines under the Clean Air Act in a lawsuit filed by the Environmental Protection Agency (not to mention potential liability in lawsuits brought by various states). Directing a portion of these resources into cleaning up the machines that take our children to and from school every day would help make matters right.
One school in Texas decided to go all in on recess - 4, 15-minute increments a day.  
"There was a part of me that was very nervous about it," Donna McBride, a first-grade teacher at the school, told TODAY Parents. 

"I was trying to wrap my head around my class going outside four times a day and still being able to teach those children all the things they needed to learn." 

Some five months into the experiment, McBride's fears have been alleviated. Her students are less fidgety and more focused, she said. They listen more attentively, follow directions and try to solve problems on their own instead of coming to the teacher to fix everything. There are fewer discipline issues. 
Following that story out of Detroit on the failure of officials to make sure the water there is safe to drink?  Because of Detroit's on-going financial issues, since 2011 they have been run by emergency managers.  So one of them switched the water supply and now there are dangerous levels of lead i the water.
study released in September 2015 concluded that the change has put Flint children at significantly increased risk of lead poisoning. The city has now switched back to its old water supply, but lead levels are still high, and the state government is distributing bottled water to residents.

Snyder has since appointed the emergency manager who supervised Flint's transition to Flint River water—Darnell Earley—as the emergency manager of the Detroit Public Schools.
And who better to oversee public schools than the guy who switched the water source?

President Obama gives his last State of the Union speech tonight.  Will he take a victory lap on publc ed? I hope not.  (Also, tomorrow, Governor Inslee will give his State of the State.  What will he say about McCleary?

What's on your mind?


NO 1240 said...

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation provided former Washington State Charter Commissioner and present superintendent of Mary Walker School District with over $2.1M since his attempts to launder state dollars to unconstitutional charter schools. The Mary Walker school district will hire 4 individuals to help manage the charter school situation.

I'm confident the Mary Walker School District is receiving significant help from the Washington Charter School Association. I'm confident the Wa. State Charter Association/ MWSD have plenty of lawyers providing support.

Yet, Kevin Jacka- himself- claims that the district does NOT have the capacity to respond to all FOIA requests in a timely manner. Jacka claims all requests can't be filled until after Marcy 11th and possibly beyond that date. It should be noted that the legislative session ends on March 10th. Very convenient.

All requests for public disclosure records goes through Kevin Jacka- himself.

Christina said...

From the NY Times article: "This summer, the Food and Drug Administration proposed labels that would require food and beverage firms to disclose the amount of added sugar as a way to distinguish it from naturally-occurring sugar in foods."

I know the US nutrition label for Tic Tacs claim they're sugar-free as 1 serving (one tic tac) has just under 0.5 grams of sugar. Will Starbucks shrink its servings of Chai Tea Lattes? Will 12-oz bottles of soft drinks yield their food-store shelf space to 6-oz bottles and cans?

46 grams of "added sugar" = a little over a 12-oz serving of pop, and about 10 oz of fruit juice, and a little more than 3/4 of a Starbucks&tm; White Chocolate Crème Frappuccino® Blended Crème concoction.

"The biggest surprise in the guidelines was the conclusion that teenage boys and men were generally consuming too much protein. As a result, the guidelines recommend that men and boys “reduce their overall intake of protein foods” such as meat, poultry and eggs and add more vegetables to their diets."

Recommended protein intake for a healthy sedentary adult is 0.6 grams per pound of body weight. The American Heart Association recommends that 10 to 15 percent of one's daily calorie intake come from a source of protein. So following a AHA-recommended diet 1800 calories food intake leads to 270 calories of protein.

So 10 to 15 percent of calories:
- recommended daily allowance of protein sources, according to the American Heart Association;
- recommended as an upper limit of daily allowance of added sugars

Enh, my teenage boy benefits from protein for building muscle, hair, skin, cartilage. Growth spurts of 3-5 inches a year are common in males aged 13 to 18. What grows with the child? Muscle, hair, cartilage, skin. Protein is broken down replaced by the essential amino acids in our diet. Proteins are composed of chains of 20 different kinds of amino acids.

How many kinds of amino acids are nutritionally available through added sugars? I question the recommended amount of calories and grams added sugars being equivalent to the recommended amount of calories and grams from protein.

Lynn said...

I read that story about recess in Texas too - and wondered what it would take to get our principal to try it. In my experience kids are much more attentive after a bit of free time, exercise and fresh air.

My oldest started out in a private K-8. The youngest kids had an hour of recess a day and even the 8th graders had a short inside break in the morning and an actual (on the playground) recess after lunch.

Anonymous said...

Textbook sales leader says national Common Core education standards are 'all about the money'

The guerrilla video crew that exposed Obamaphone cheaters and shut down the left-wing advocacy group ACORN is at it again, this time hammering the 'Common Core' education standards as a scheme for publishers to sell more textbooks.

The West Coast sales manager from one of the nation's biggest school book sellers, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, told an undercover muckraker with Project Veritas that 'I hate kids.'

'I'm in it to sell books,' Dianne Barrow said of her advocacy for Common Core. 'Don't even kid yourself for a heartbeat.'

She added that 'it's all about the money. What are you, crazy? It's all about the money.'

'You don't think that the educational publishing companies are in it for education, do you? No, they're in it for the money.'


-Read more

NW mom said...

This is disconcerting: http://dianeravitch.net/2016/01/10/walton-family-foundation-will-spend-1-billion-to-start-new-charters-across-the-nation/

Michael Rice said...

I found out today that the SPS will not reimburse for purchases made at Costco (I don't know the reason why), but will reimburse for purchases made at Sam's Club. Given the Walton family anti-public school, anti-union stance, I am amazed by this.

Anonymous said...

Melissa, VW does not make the diesel school buses in the US. The OpEd was only suggested that VW clean up existing diesel school buses as part of their penalty for the diesel gate.

Anonymous said...

Michael was there an SPS document that states that Costco purchases can not be reimbursed or is that a school specific policy? I'm a admin at a school and we haven't had problems getting Costco expenses reimbursed.

-Front Office

No 1240 said...

Special thanks to Melissa and others for testifying against charter school bills. Melissa was articulate and bright.

I'm having a hard time believing that the bills to "fix the glitch" will pass constitutional muster.

The Superintendent of Public Education- Randy Dorn- testified. I found his comments to be disturbing. Both Dorn and Steve Litzow felt it necessary to clarify the use of ALE dollars to fund charter schools. Dorn claimed to have the ability to alter rules. Steve Litzow felt it necessary to clarify ALE dollars to charter schools are a one time fix. NO ONE mentioned that Seattle would not circumvent laws to fund schools that were ruled unconstitutional.

One person testified-I believe he was the president of WSSDA. Neither Seattle School Board, or Tacoma School Board became charter school authorizers. There was concerns that future boards would not want to authorize charter schools. Some felt this was a big problem. The fore mentioned individual seemed to promote pouring "hundreds of thousands" of dollars into school board elections. I guess he doesn't know Seattle.

Charter school students were bussed to Olympia to testify. The room was packed.

Anonymous said...

UK Daily Mail:

Textbook sales leader says national Common Core education standards are all about money.

-- Dan Dempsey

Michael Rice said...

All I know is that one of our art teachers was trying to buy something from Sam's Club because she said that the district would not reimburse for Costco.

Anonymous said...

Michael - I have been in the district for over 10 years and have never had a problem getting anything reimbursed by Costco. I am a teacher. Must be a school specific situation and one that will be easily remedied I am sure.

COSTCO Shopper

Anonymous said...

Anyone interested in the latest on nutrition should peruse the following YouTube channel:


Dr. Greger tells it straight with the latest research papers to back it up, for example, last week it was "Eating More to Weigh Less".



Benjamin Leis said...

@Dan Dempsey - consider the source of this: James O'Keefe. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_O%27Keefe His history of entrapping people and heavily editing the videos says everything. Did you believe his exposes of ACORN, planned parenthood or NPR? Your best policy here is just to completely ignore this article and move on.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that blog readers jeer the Walton family for using their billions to support charters but cheer when Michael Bloomberg uses his billions to support gun control?

What's good for the goose should be good for the gander. Both are bad for democracy.

Democracy Now

Anonymous said...

Democracy now-

Have you not heard of the NRA? The difference between gun control and education is that there isn't a billionaire on the side of anti-ed reform putting money into their pet cause. It's good that at least we have a billionaire on the right side of gun control.

Nice try, though. Until we get money out of politics, this is the lovely system we are stuck with.

- powerball

Anonymous said...


I have heard of the NRA. I send them a check every year to renew my membership. The majority of the NRA's funding comes from small donations from millions of members. What's wrong with that?

Democracy Now

Anonymous said...


I think it's more than clear what's wrong with the NRA - they are on the wrong side of both common sense and the desires of the vast majority of Americans. You don't get to pick and choose what kind of democracy you like. Gun control changes are not lining up with what the people want, they are lining up with NRA donations to politicians and their awful "scorecard."

We need to get money out of politics from both single billionaires and lobbyists like the NRA. The politicians should be listening to the people who elected them and not special interests. I doubt very much many people like the direction that "reform" has taken education. It's the out of touch billionaires and the testing and textbooks companies who like it.


Anonymous said...

The meat/egg/dairy industry and the gun industry have lot in common. They will gladly watch the bodies pile up as long as their cash reserves also pile up.
Add tobacco and the big alcohol companies and the drug companies that grow rich treating all our lifestyle diseases and it's a perfect storm of greed and misery.

Eating animals is something, like slavery, that the human race is going to be ashamed of doing in the future, and the people who are currently getting sick from animal products are like the smokers of the 30's and 40's, victims of marketing and misinformation by those who only want money.


Anonymous said...

Sorcha. more people die from car the result of injuries from car accidents than firearms. You need to focus on that not guns. Wait it Seattle they are focused on that...never mind.

Anonymous said...



bubba said...
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bubba said...
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bubba said...

I haven't had or heard of this being a problem as well

saskiaandmateo said...

We have been informed that the School Board is proposing to evict on-site before and after school care in 2016-17, to free up space. Anyone know more about this proposal? I wrote all of the board members, and only received a response from one, who said she hadn't heard of this before my email.

Rick O'Shay said...

Since around half of vehicular deaths are associated with alcohol, I'd agree with Sorsha that guns are a major problem, however, the carnage of guns AND cars is a tiny fraction of early deaths attributable to heart disease, which is without any doubt a lifestyle disease.

The science about food causing disease is abundant and despite obfuscations by the animal ag industry, more and more people are turning to the high-carb vegan diet to overcome health problems.

With the pace of scientific advancement, today's students may find themselves living a long, long time; who knows, maybe forever. They should treat their bodies well in the meantime and watch out for cars.

NO 1240 said...

James Spady has played a major role in privatizing education within Washington State. I just learned that Spady is connected to the Discovery Institute.

Don Nielsen is another individual in the city that pushes the corporate model of education. He is affiliated with the Discovery Institute, too.

More on the Discovery Institute.


NO 1240 said...

Pro charter lobbyists are passing around another citizen petition. Charter bills MUST be stopped.

In Florida:

"As failing charters drain millions of dollars from districts, a well-funded lobby led by disgraced former representative Ralph Arza of the Florida Charter School Alliance has declared war on school-board authority, calling the denial of charters “unethical.” Arza is focusing his displeasure on Duval and Palm Beach County where the school board is mounting a legal challenge against a charter school operator who is appealing a denied application. Lobbyists like Arza, represent wealthy for profit charter chains such as Charter Schools USA . They are determined to strip the power to approve or deny charters from duly elected school boards and shift it to the state in order to silence our locally elected voices."


One person showed up to support Wa. state charter legislation and he had the audacity to suggest throwing hundreds of thousands of dollars into school board races.

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