Cafeteria Crackdown Prompts Cries of Bean Counting in Italy


CORSICO, Italy — After being elected last year, Mayor Filippo Errante found that this town, abutting Milan, had accrued an “alarming” debt of more than a million euros in unpaid school lunch fees. So he decided to take what he called an iron-fist approach.

Children whose parents were up to date on payments would be allowed to eat cafeteria-prepared meals. Children whose parents had not paid would not.

“The era of the ‘furbetti’ is over,” Mr. Errante said in a statement on social media last month, using a term that translates to cunning, akin to gaming the system.

Some called the decision a form of blackmail. Others criticized it for creating what they said was a schoolroom apartheid, where some children ate hot meals while the others snacked on homemade panini or a slab of cold pizza.

Petitions and protests ensued. Teachers, principals and many parents rallied in support of those children who would not be given lunches, even as nearly all agreed that school fees should be paid.

While the mayor’s decision sowed about equal doses of division and solidarity, it also

Virtual Active Technology Spurs Actual Exercise


Waterbury, Connecticut, middle-schoolers cant wait for PE so they can run through the world’s cities, race mountain bikes, and ride skateboards and snowboards. The district’s new virtual exercise equipment is getting gamers off the couch and into the fitness room. Included: Descriptions of new fitness technology.

Virtual active technology may sound like another sedentary video game, but this type of technology-infused exercise equipment is proving effective in getting the gamer generation moving more than just their thumbs.

In some Waterbury, Connecticut, middle schools, for example, physical education has never been more popular. Thanks to a $880,000 federal grant, the district was able to buy virtual active technology equipment such as treadmills that guide students on runs through cities around the world and stationary bikes that they can ride up a mountain. Students also can challenge their minds as well as their bodies with Brain Bikes that include a computer game that only works if the player keeps pedaling.

From working with middle school kids, I knew how much they like gaming and I thought it would be great for them to play games while working

State Director, School Improvement Grants (Education Programs Professional)


Education Programs Professionals assist and foster the growth of K-12, postsecondary, and related education programs throughout Nevada by providing technical assistance, training, and oversight.

Under the direction of the Assistant Director of the Office of Student and School Supports, this position (located in either Carson City or Las Vegas) provides leadership to support effective school and district improvement planning and implementation. As part of this oversight, the position provides professional development and technical assistance for educators, administrators, family members, students, policy makers, and others regarding laws and educational practices related to students in underperforming schools.

The position facilitates work groups and task forces; provides as well as assists other program staff members with grants management and budget oversight; engages in compliance and performance monitoring for Title I and School Improvement programs; assists in the development of state and federal grant applications; and collaborates with department staff, district and school based educators, administrators, parents, students, university faculty, and other partners.

The position administers School Improvement Grant (SIG) funds granted to Nevada School Districts; provides grants management services; gathers valid, reliable, and comprehensive outcome data from SIG-eligible

Benefits of Vocational Education

After a decade of decline, the 1990s have seen a resurgence of vocational education enrollments. Of 39 states surveyed in recent research, 70 percent reported an increase since 1990 (Husain 1999). Nevertheless, secondary vocational education continues to suffer from a negative image among students, parents, educators, and policymakers. This Myths and Realities examines some popular beliefs about secondary vocational education, along with some related beliefs about the labor market and about college degrees-and some facts that may or may not support those popular beliefs.

“Voc Ed Is for Dummies and Misfits!”

Perhaps the most enduring belief about vocational education is that it’s only for the noncollege bound, the potential dropouts, or other students with special needs (Stone 1993). And this belief is not confined to students and their parents; it is often shared by other educators and policymakers (“What Do People Think of Us?” 1997)-perhaps explaining why postsecondary vocational-technical education scholarship money sometimes goes untapped (West 1996). But do the facts bear it out?

No, they don’t. Almost all high school students take at least some vocational courses; 80 percent take at least one occupationally specific vocational course, and one in eight academic students actually

Vocational Education Research Trends

Vocational education is a large and complex undertaking, with activities across many occupations and areas, at many levels, in many settings. Likewise, the body of vocational education research is large and complex, with a diffuse focus on topics ranging from the essential nature of vocational education and its role in society to the individual details of specific occupational programs. In the many strands it follows, however, vocational education research seeks to answer one form or another of a fundamental question: How can we best prepare youth and adults for the workplace of today? This Alert examines the different forms of that question vocational education research asks and the answers it provides.

Comprehensive national and international research programs typically attempt to ask and answer larger forms of that question. Recurring themes in the United States reflect change-what skills workers need for the changing workplace and how vocational education should provide them (National Center for Research in Vocational Education 1999). In Europe and Australia, attention is focused more on the impact of research on policy, decision making, and return on investment, although one European study called research in return on investment “sparse and underdeveloped” (Barrett et al. 1998).

. Career Certificates: High Quality and Cutting Edge?

  1. Career Certificates: High Quality and Cutting Edge?

Certificates are a “valuable new currency” in the information economy (National Alliance of Business 2000). Traditional credentials no longer suffice as knowledge has exploded, new fields and occupational specialties are emerging, jobs and organizations change rapidly, and working lives lengthen. A postbaccalaureate or postmaster’s certificate enables adults to acquire market-demanded competencies in a short time (Driscoll 1996). Many certificate seekers are currently employed adults looking for focused, flexible, interdisciplinary, and highly relevant educational opportunities (Patterson et al. 1998; White 1997). Certificate programs “may serve as good introductions to adult students considering, but cautious about, entering degree programs” (University of Wisconsin 1996, online, n.p.). They may be the foundation for further training or a follow-up to previous training (NAB 2000). The massive market for certificates has been estimated at 40-50 million people, but it is difficult to determine how many are awarded outside mainstream institutions (Kohl and LaPidus 2000). The most popular certificate programs are those related to health care and information technology (e.g., e-commerce, Internet publishing, online teaching) (Kohl and LaPidus 2000; NAB 2000).

Adult learners with specific goals and multiple responsibilities are fueling demand for distance delivery.

Lifelong Learning

A myth, in one sense, is a vision or story describing an ideal or utopian state (Wain 2000). The concept of lifelong learning is surrounded by competing myths or visions that represent very different perspectives about the purposes and goals of education. “As is the case of other desirable social objectives, there is often a perceived gap between the ideal and the reality, the theory and the practice, the promise and the performance” (Holford, Jarvis, and Griffin 1998, p. 22). This publication examines some of these myths.

Lifelong Learning: Your Money or Your Life?

The idea that learning takes place throughout life has long been espoused by the adult education field (Martin 2000). In the 1990s, policymakers around the globe seized on the concept. The European Union declared 1996 the European Year of Lifelong Learning, and a flood of policy documents has been produced by government agencies in the United Kingdom and United States (Oliver 1999; 21st Century Skills 1999; U.S. Department of Labor 1999). The vision depicted in these documents is of a world transformed by a global economy and technological change, increasing access to information and altering traditional forms of knowledge production (Hake 1999).

Wanted in China: More Male Teachers, to Make Boys Men

FUZHOU, China — The history class began with a lesson on being manly.

Lin Wei, 27, one of a handful of male sixth-grade teachers at a primary school here, has made a habit of telling stories about warlords who threw witches into rivers and soldiers who outsmarted Japanese troops. “Men have special duties,” he said. “They have to be brave, protect women and take responsibility for wrongdoing.”

Worried that a shortage of male teachers has produced a generation of timid, self-centered and effeminate boys, Chinese educators are working to reinforce traditional gender roles and values in the classroom.In Zhengzhou, a city on the Yellow River, schools have asked boys to sign pledges to act like “real men.” In Shanghai, principals are trying boys-only classes with courses like martial arts, computer repair and physics. In Hangzhou, in eastern China, educators have started a summer camp called West Point Boys, complete with taekwondo classes and the motto, “We bring out the men in boys.”

Education officials across China are aggressively recruiting male teachers, as the Chinese news media warns of a need to “salvage masculinity in schools.” The call for more male-oriented education has prompted a broader

French Spelling Changes, 26 Years in the Making, Cause a Fracas

LONDON — In France, the land of Molière, questions of language are so sacred that every Thursday the “immortals,” the guardians of the French language at the Académie Française, meet to discuss — among other things — proposed changes to the institution’s vaunted dictionary.

The last complete edition of the dictionary was published in 1935, according to the academy, and changes evolve over centuries. The newest complete edition is not finished — the authors have reached the letter R.

So it was perhaps not surprising that tempers flared this week after a news report from the broadcaster TF1 that changes were afoot to cut back the circumflex accent, known as “the hat,” from French-language textbooks.

Adding to the horror, the report said that as of September, when the new school year began, teachers would also have to make changes affecting about 2,400 French words, including spelling oignon — or onion — as ognon

Among the words appropriated from English, news reports noted, the hyphen in week-end would be eliminated, along with the hyphen in tictac (now tic-tac, or ticking, like a clock), while leader would be given a French makeover and be spelled leadeur.

Voice for Hazaras Laments Lost Chances in Afghanistan’s Tumult

KABUL, Afghanistan — AFTER his return to Afghanistan from exile, in 1986, Azizullah Royesh immediately became a tireless advocate of education as a bridge over the divisions that have made his country a battleground for decades.

Mr. Royesh has been hailed at home and internationally for his work at Marefat High School, his innovative school where girls make up almost half of the student population. He champions schooling as a way into the professional and governing class for Afghan minorities — and particularly for his fellow Hazaras, a mostly Shiite ethnic minority that suffered heavily under the Taliban regime.

But on a recent chilly day, sitting in his office at the school, Mr. Royesh had the resumed persecution of his people on his mind. The man who found his calling after returning to Afghanistan was reluctantly admitting that he understood the fear driving tens of thousands of Hazaras — and many other Afghans — to flee the country.

“The Hazaras feel themselves defenseless against the threat facing them,” Mr. Royesh said, pointing to the recent beheadings in the southern province of Zabul of seven Shiite Hazaras, including a 9-year-old girl, by militants linked to the

Transition Programs Help Incoming Freshmen

Educators have long realized that ninth-graders are likely to encounter greater academic and social problems than students at any other level. Not only are the students making a difficult transition from junior high or middle school to high school, but courses are more challenging than ever before and the pressure to fit in socially also increases. As a result, educators have designed innovative programs to help incoming freshmen adjust to and succeed in high school.

In Sewell, New Jersey, a four-day camp program prepares incoming freshmen at Washington Township High School. This past summer, 217 students participated in the camp.

The main goal of the camp is to help students transition and assimilate at the high school, said guidance counselor Tanya Brown-Johnson.

The opening day of camp includes getting-acquainted icebreaker activities and a scavenger hunt that involves locating classrooms. The camp is housed in the building where freshman and sophomore courses are offered, but students become familiar with the entire school. We try to make the experience as much fun as possible, Brown-Johnson explained.

On the second day of camp students go into classrooms and work on skills they will need, such as time

Principals Launch School-Wide Wellness Programs

Many schools weave health awareness programs into their curriculum. Those programs improve school climate as they build wellness awareness in the wider community. Included: Principals share school-wide fitness, health, and nutrition awareness programs.

“When our bodies feel right, our minds work right!”

That’s the motto of the Wellness Committee at Pulaski Elementary School in Wilmington, Delaware. The committee has arranged many programs aimed at bringing that motto to life in their school.

Our Wellness Committee has been working hard to incorporate activities and events that will enhance physical exercise and promote a cohesive, fun environment, says Principal Tracey N. Roberts. They plan healthy living activities for staff, students, and families.

Roberts explained how Pulaskis focus on wellness starts first thing in the morning with JAMmin Minutes, a program that is a regular feature of the schools morning announcements.

At the end of the daily announcements, we play music and announce the physical exercise that everyone is expected to do while the music is playing, Roberts told Education World.

And sometimes the music meets up with the curriculum. During Hispanic Heritage Month, we teach a Spanish phrase, tell a fact about a person of

Our cookbook has everything

“Our cookbook has everything — Laotian egg rolls, sloppy joes, Korean bulgogi, pasta salads, puppy chow, silly putty, and espresso cakes,” reports Jenice Con Foo. “The enthusiasm that arose within the school community once the recipes started being used has been infectious.”

The foundation for the Thoreau Elementary cookbook was laid when a member of the PTO received about 40 recipes and photos and published them in a full-color book. The format was expensive, but it proved the viability of a lower-cost cookbook that would raise funds for the Madison (Wisconsin) group’s many goals.

“A cookbook really fulfills a lot of aims for a PTO,” says Con Foo. “It promotes community-building through the sharing of recipes and ideas, it is inclusionary — it costs nothing to contribute, it promotes healthy food, and it raises money for a myriad of needs in our school community.”

The first step was to form a committee of interested volunteers. Only six members joined the group, but this was an ample turnout. Members assumed responsibility for gathering recipes, designing the cover, finding sponsors, and leading the group, and some assisted with more than one task. They began by researching cookbook

District Takes Steps To Improve Staff Wellness

While programs to improve student wellness have been in schools for years, some districts now are focusing on staff health as well. Teachers in Batesville, Indiana, have participated in fitness competitions and this year some are training for a mini-marathon. Included: Components of a staff wellness program.

The initiatives sweeping into schools to get students in better physical shape have washed up to the front of the classroom.

To set an example for students and to improve employees overall health, some districts are launching fitness and wellness programs for staff members. One of those, the Batesville (Indiana) Community School Corporation (BCSC), has been using competitions among buildings and community as well as in-school activities to get teachers and administrators moving and thinking about more healthful lifestyles. This year, some are even training for a mini-marathon.

I think it’s important to get staff involved, not just for themselves, but it’s important for the kids to see teachers involved in physical activity, said Gayla Vonderheide, the corporation’s director of health services.


Since the program started in 2004, participation among staff members has increased, and the number and cost of health insurance claims has

Student Broadcasters Capture Headlines From the Hallways

In schools at all levels, students aren’t just studying the news, they’re reporting it! You’ll find them “on air” with school officials and community members as well as “anchoring” from behind a desk. The budding “Walter Cronkites” run the show from choosing a topic to scripting to filming and editing, offering proof that kids literally can make news. Teachers who work with these young broadcasters report that what students gain from the experience is immeasurable — self-confidence, insight, and a thriving interest in current events. Included: Find out what essential items you will need to start a broadcast journalism program.


National Education system, we often hear and talk about it, or even criticize. But what exactly is and how it is not necessarily everyone understands correctly. This article is intended to provide a basic understanding of little educational system of our nation, what is essentially, stratum, level, and the track is like, how the scope and purpose.

By definition, the function and purpose of national education of the Republic of Indonesia is to develop the skills and character development and civilization of the nation’s dignity in the context of the intellectual life of the nation. Aimed at developing the potential of students to become a man of faith and fear of God Almighty, noble, healthy, knowledgeable, skilled, creative, independent, and become citizens of a democratic and accountable.
Education pathways

National education is the pathway includes, basic, medium, high, and nonformal.
The level of Elementary Education is a national education program in Indonesia, which underlies the secondary level. In supporting the implementation of the basic education, government and local governments guarantee the implementation of compulsory education for every citizen over the age of 6 (six) years in the basic education without charging a fee. In this case the government also has

Why Findland’s Schools Are So Successful

For many years the school system in Finland has been very successful. In the PISA survey, which compares reading, math and science knowledge of 15 year olds around the world, Finland is not only the top European country but also competes with Asian giants like Shanghai, Singapore and South Korea. But what makes the educational system in this small country so strikingly different from others in the western world.

First of all, the Finish government makes it possible for all children to attend preschool, which comes after kindergarten. Compulsory education begins at 7. Teachers work with their pupils in school as much as possible. They have little homework to do when they get home.  When teachers are not with the pupils they spend a lot of time in schools working on the curriculum and new projects.  They teach in teams if it helps them reach their goals. That is why dropout rates are low compared to other countries.

In contrast to other nations teaching in Finland is a highly admired profession. Finland selects its teachers very carefully.  Only talented students go on to a university and receive a master’s degree in education. Finland only takes the

For a Day, School Leaders Urged to Immerse Themselves in a Student’s Life

A group of education organizations is challenging school leaders around the country to spend one day shadowing individual students so they can develop greater empathy for their charges’ experiences.

Participants in the Shadow a Student Challenge sign up to follow one child for a full day during the week of Feb. 29 to March 4, eating lunch with them, attending classes, and maybe even riding the bus with them. Those taking part will connect on social media to share what they learn, and will get resources from the organizers—School Retool, a fellowship that encourages school leaders…

. Study: Showing Students Standout Work Can Backfire

Sharing examples of stellar student work is a time-honored tradition for helping students understand how to improve, but new research suggests that, in some cases, it can turn off struggling students.

In a series of studies published online this month in the journal Psychological Science, researchers Todd Rogers of Harvard University and Avi Feller of the University of California, Berkeley, found struggling young adult and adult students in an online course didn’t get inspired by their classmates’ excellent work—quite the opposite.

Denmark’s New Front in Debate Over Immigrants: Children’s Lunches

LONDON — It is being called the “meatball war.”

To be precise, pork meatballs and other pork dishes such as roasts have become the latest weapons in the culture wars playing out in Europe over immigration after a Danish town voted this week to require public day care centers and kindergartens to include the meat on their lunch menus.

Denmark, known as a generous welfare state and for its freewheeling, marijuana-friendly Christiania neighborhood of Copenhagen, has been cracking down on immigration in recent months, as countries across the Continent grapple with an influx that is pushing many to re-evaluate their approach to asylum seekers.

Supporters of the proposal, which was passed late Monday by the council of Randers, a former industrial town of about 60,000 in central Denmark, said that serving traditional Danish food such as pork was essential to help preserve national identity.

Critics of the requirement, including members of the Muslim population and migration advocates, said it effectively created a problem that did not exist for the purpose of stigmatizing Muslims. There has never been an attempt to ban pork from any public lunch menu in Randers, they said, describing