School meals help learning but not health

Federally subsidized school meals don’t produce healthier adults, a Georgetown study finds. But the meal program does lead to education gains, apparently because attendance goes up when parents know their kids will be fed at school. From Education Week:

Increasing the percentage of students exposed to the program in a given state by ten percentage points was linked to an added .365 years of schooling for women and a full year for men.

Eighty percent (some say 90 percent) of life is showing up.

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Comments

  1. Feeding kids may improve attendance, which is good, but it is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for learning. Learning requires sustained concentration and effort, despite decades of pretending that real knowledge and skills will happen if kids are sufficiently “engaged” and entertained.

    School meal programs also enable parent irresponsibility, like most government assistance.

  2. School meal programs also enable parent irresponsibility, like most government assistance.

    So you punish the kids. How typically conservative of you.

  3. Homeschooling Granny says:

    Mike, when I read momof4 I didn’t think she wanted to punish the kids but rather that she is pointing to the dilemma we face. Not only are some parents disengaging from their children with respect to feeding them, they also disengage from supporting education but such things as talking about the school day, looking at any materials the kids may have brought home, seeing they get to bed and get up again in a timely manner for school. Don’t we need more involvement from parents, not less?

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