TYO Recommends: Friday, May 25, 2012

From absenteeism to obesity, an examination of alarming trends in education this week, including a closer correlation between academic attainment and voting behavior in America. M.I.A.: Missing in Academics. “I do not approve of anything that tampers with natural ignorance,” says Oscar Wilde’s Lady Bracknell in the social satire The Importance of Being Earnest. “Ignorance is like a delicate exotic fruit; touch it and the bloom is gone.” This month, the Get Schooled Foundation in conjunction with Johns Hopkins University School of Education chime in on “The Importance of Being in School,” an absenteeism REPORT on the progress of the nation’s schools in attempting to wither such blooms in American youth. According to the report, schools have a significantly harder time of touching that ‘delicate exotic fruit’ and instructing the nation’s young when 7.5 million students (the equivalent of all K-12 students in California) MISS SCHOOL each year, as many as one in three high school students alone each day. Techniques vary from getting parents involved to offering children celebrity wake-up calls. Now that’s motivation!

Weighing the Value of Shut-Eye. New study by the University of Munich analyzed sleep logs of Europeans ages 10 to 80, discovering that sleep takes a deep dive between the ages of 10 and 20 primarily due to social lives and work obligations. These same individuals, 80% of whom rely on alarm clocks to break their natural sleep cycle for early rising during the week, confessed to sleeping late and eating later on the weekends. This form of SOCIAL JETLAG, worst among the region’s teens, researchers are now linking to early onset weight gain and obesity. Is it time to rethink the school day?

Battle of the Bulge. As America’s First Lady Michelle Obama tackles childhood obesity in the U.S., the World Health Organization (WHO) takes a glance at the global pandemic of childhood obesity with reported rates higher in the developing world than in developed countries.

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Books to the Ballot. “With the presidential campaign in full swing, a new study spotlights some troubling disparities in who is—and who is not—likely to cast a BALLOT this November,” begins Education Week guest blogger, Erik Robelen.  “In short… If you're young, poor, and a high school dropout, you probably won't vote.” Robelen is referring to a recent uncovering by Educational Testing Service, or ETS, the organization feared by high school students across America for its production of the dreaded SAT test, among others. ETS has found exceedingly high correlation between not only socio-economics, but socio-economics and educational attainment as strong indicators of voting behavior. Find out why!

Eating and Educating. It goes without saying that worldwide FOOD shortages and malnutrition are among some of the globe’s most pressing concerns, however as World Education Blog demonstrates, both can play significant roles in the development of healthy bodies and minds for education. Now the development community and others have been shifting their focus to G8 leaders in time for their May retreat last week at Camp David in Maryland. Check out the twitter stream for #DearG8 to hear what they’re saying.