About Public Schools

Here we cover the history of public schools, explain the various types and discuss their pros/cons. Learn more about technology on campus, health and nutrition issues, and the latest information related to a variety of student populations.
View the most popular articles in About Public Schools:
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Longer Lunches, Smarter Students?  The Controversy of 10 Minute or 1 Hour Lunch Periods
Some schools in the country only give students 10 minutes to eat lunch, while others enjoy an entire hour. We’ll delve into the controversy surrounding the length of the lunch period and what the research finds in correlating lunch length to student performance.
In the quest to ensure students are getting all the academic instruction they need throughout the school day, lunch breaks are often the first item to go on the chopping block. Some school districts have cut lunch to just a few minutes, forcing students to wolf down their food as quickly as possible so they can return to their more valuable classroom time. But is sufficient time for a midday meal really as non-essential as some school districts lead parents and students to believe? Some research and anecdotal evidence states otherwise.
A Rising Trend
USA Today reports on recent figures by the School Nutrition Association that show elementary school students have approximately 25 minutes for lunch, while middle and high school students have around 30 minutes. This includes the time it takes to get into the lunchroom, wait in line for a meal and find a place to sit. By the time some children get to their seats and open up their food, their time is down to 15 minutes or less in many cases.
Although shorter lunches have been the trend in U.S. schools since 2009, that has not always been the case. According to USA Today, children were getting up to five additional minutes a day to eat their midday meal than they do currently. In other countries, the contrast is even greater, with countries like France giving children up to two hours to enjoy their lunches in the middle of their school day.
“Fast Food” Norm Not Healthy
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Montessori Education: Does it Work in Public Schools?
In light of an upcoming study on Montessori education in South Carolina, as well as the growing popularity of the Montessori Method in public charter schools, we’ll take a look at the principles behind Montessori education and whether it is an effective method for preparing some students for the professional world or higher education.
Montessori education has been around for more than a century, but many parents and students continue to see Montessori as a mystifying approach to education. Montessori was restricted to private schools for many decades, but recently, the approach has been introduced into some public schools as well – often through charter schools specifically established to allow for Montessori teaching. As the process becomes more widespread in public school venues across the country, a study will be launched to examine the impact of Montessori on public school students. Is Montessori the wave of the future for public schools?

What is Montessori?

Montessori education was first started by Dr. Maria Montessori in 1907, according to the Montessori website. Dr. Montessori discovered through her work with children that young students tend to learn best when they are allowed to teach themselves. Based on that observation, Dr. Montessori designed what she called a “prepared environment” that gave children the chance to choose from many different developmentally appropriate activities. These activities gave children the opportunity to learn at their own pace, using real-life experiences that utilized all five of the human senses.

Dr. Montessori’s first “children’s house” in Rome paved the way for an entire movement in the world of education that has gradually made its way across the globe. Today, Montessori education is found throughout the United States as well in private schools, and more recently, public schools. Even homeschooling parents have found ways to incorporate Montessori principals into their own methods of
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Going Global: The Attraction of the International Baccalaureate Program
Can an IB program be the answer for your highly intelligent child? Learn more about the International Baccalaureate program and why this approach to education has become so popular throughout the United States.
The International Baccalaureate, also known as IB, is an academic program that has been gaining steam in the United States, as well as globally. What originally began as a curriculum to prepare high school juniors and seniors for postsecondary education has now evolved into a complete curriculum that spans pre-K – grade 12. The focus of the program, as the name suggests, is a global one, providing students with a broader view of their world that goes well beyond the immediate boundaries of their school, state – or even their country.

History of the International Baccalaureate Program

International Baccalaureate began as a non-profit educational foundation in Geneva, Switzerland in 1968. According to the website for the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), the foundation was originally created to provide students with a truly international education, through a common set of pre-college curriculum and examinations. The first IB programs were primarily found in private schools overseas, but eventually grew to encompass public schools as well.

Since its introduction, the IB program has spread to more than 140 countries and 900,000 students worldwide. The first International Baccalaureate program came to the United States in 1974. Today, many U.S. schools offer IB curriculum to students, as educators are beginning to see IB as a way to raise the bar on education standards for students preparing for life after high school. Ralph Cline, IB North American Regional Director, told Education.com, “We double our size every five years.”
IB Philosophy
If there is one word that can sum
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How Well Do Single-Sex Schools Really Work?
We analyze both sides of the single-sex schools debate and examine research that has looked at the issue from a clinical point of view. Read on for the answers!
Public schools that provide single-sex education, whether through classroom segregation or separate schools, may be few and far between today. However, as more evidence surfaces on the different learning styles of boys and girls, the trend appears to be surely – albeit slowly – increasing. Do single-sex schools enhance the academic experience and improve performance for both male and female students?  Upon analyzing the research, it appears the answer to that question may be far from simple.

The History of Single-Sex Education

The first schools in America were started by the Puritan settlers and were modeled after the schools in England that were familiar to this population. According to the website for the American Council for CoEducational Schooling, those early schools were primarily designed for the education of the white, Christian male. School was held for nine months, and then boys were given summers off to help their families with farming responsibilities. During the summer months, girls were sometimes able to attend school, with classes taught by a female teacher.

Coeducation began to appear in North America during the 1700s and became more prevalent after the Revolutionary War, when the importance of educating women to be responsible, well-informed citizens began to be recognized. In 1918, laws had been passed in all states requiring elementary-age students to attend school. At that point, nearly all the schools in the United States were coeducational, with the exception of Catholic schools that primarily remained single-sex institutions.
Since that time, the U.S. public education
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No More “Pink Slime” on the Menus of Many Public Schools
(“Pink slime,” a beef byproduct that has been getting plenty of attention in the media of late, is now leaving many public schools nationwide in light of all the negative publicity. We’ll take a look at a few of the school districts saying goodbye to the product.
A beef filler product, dubbed “pink slime” in recent weeks, has been used in grocery store meats for nearly a decade. The byproduct has also been an ingredient in many school lunch menus, although children and parents were unaware of this fact until fairly recently. Now, the pink slime debate is in full fervor, and school districts nationwide are responding to concerns by doing away with beef filler completely. While this makes some parents breathe a sigh of relief, it is also making some districts dig deeper into their pockets to foot the bill for meat that may be healthier, but is also more expensive.

What is “Pink Slime”?

According to a report at Reuters, pink slime refers to a mix of fatty beef byproducts that were typically reserved for pet food and cooking oil in the past. The scrap meat is mixed with bits of cartilage and connective tissue, and then chemically treated to kill bacteria and make it edible. Ammonia is the chemical of choice, which has many food advocates up in arms about the safety of the product, particularly when it is served to children in schools.

The product was approved for use by the USDA, which dubbed it “lean, finely textured beef.” The agency continues to claim the meat is safe, and the American Meat Institute says it is 98 percent beef.  However, those statements are not enough to satisfy many who have been turned off on the idea of consuming beef byproduct in their
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About Public Schools

Overview of Public Schools

A comprehensive look at the U.S. public school system, including history, governing bodies, funding, and services. Compare private, public and charter schools. Learn more about Magnet school programs and get tips on choosing the right school for your child.

Types of Public Schools

Explore the different types of public schools, from charter to language immersion, and learn about the unique pros and cons of each type. Is a co-ed or single sex classroom best for your child? Charter school or magnet? Read expert advice and get valuable tips on the various public education programs available and how to choose what works best for your family.

Technology on Campus

From eBooks to web cams, technology on campus continues to grow. Learn how the latest technology impacts your child’s education. Get tips on the best ways to integrate technology into education and stay abreast of the latest developments and challenges facing schools.

Health and Nutrition at School

From vending machines to Jamie Oliver, bed bugs to tuberculosis, we provide an in-depth look at health and wellness in public schools. Help your kids stay healthy on campus and learn about current health epidemics, vaccination requirements, physical fitness programs and the latest food initiatives.

Back to School

Learn more about preparing your child and wallet for a new school year. Inside you’ll find valuable advice to help your family prepare for the transition from swimsuits to school. While there is no tuition, public school education does not come without costs. Learn more about budgeting for a new school year and get great money saving tips.

Student Populations

The latest trends, laws and resources for a variety of student populations. Every child has different needs, and this section offers helpful information for LGBT, special education, gifted, low-income, and minority students.