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Old 31st August 2006   #1
Emily
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Posts: 517
Default The REAL student crisis . . .

The new school year is about to begin -- and it begins on a sour note.

Every day seems to bring another wave of weight hysteria. Even though studies have proven that weight loss does not benefit health, the media still parrots "research" (funded by the diet industry) which claims that it is somehow a bad thing that many young girls have finally have stopped starving themselves, and are embracing their natural body type.

This fearmongering has led schools to take cruel and abusive measures (as has been discussed here before). But the following revelation should hopefully make educators wake up and realizing how severely they are shortchanging students by focussing on their bodies, not on their minds:

http://www.iht.com/bin/print_ipub.p...30/news/sat.php
SAT scores show greatest decline in 31 years

By Karen W. Arenson The New York Times


WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2006

NEW YORK The average score on the reading and math portions of the newly expanded SAT showed the largest decline in 31 years, according to a report released by the College Board on the performance of the high school class of 2006.

The drop shown in a report released Tuesday confirmed earlier reports from college officials that they were seeing lower scores from applicants. The average score on the critical reading portion of the SAT, formerly known as the verbal test, fell 5 points, to 503, out of a maximum possible score of 800.

The average math score fell 2 points, to 518. Together they amounted to the lowest combined score since 2002.

Isn't that horrible? When these students emerge into the real world, no one will care how much time they spend on a treadmill, or if they know how many calories there are in granola, or if they can run a four-minute mile. Manual labour comprises a shrinking quatity of the labour market. The jobs that are proliferating are those in the information sphere. And yet, instead of devoting their time to giving students the cognitive skills they require to succeed (which is their job after all, as educators not personal trainers), they are busy shaming young girls about being curvy.

Talk about mixed-up priorities. It's infuriating, and incomprehensible.
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Old 31st August 2006   #2
Micki
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Default Re: The REAL student crisis . . .

Not only does the obsession with weight loss distract from intellectual and educational pursuits, but many of these girls who constantly diet are so malnourished that their brains and bodies are being harmed, which puts them at an even greater disadvantage in school. I have a smart plus-size 11-year-old daughter, and definitely want her school to be concerned with her brain, not her BMI.
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Old 8th September 2006   #3
HSG
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Default Re: The REAL student crisis . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emily
The average score on the critical reading portion of the SAT, formerly known as the verbal test, fell 5 points, to 503, out of a maximum possible score of 800.

This is a particularly disturbing detail in what is truly an alarming report. "Critical reading" is precisely the skill that students must develop, in order to see through media brainwashing, and to realize that today's so-called weight "epidemic" is just another in a long line of cultural hoaxes.

Moreover, a richer education that focusses on the mind, rather than on phys. ed. prowess, does more than simply prepare students for the workforce (although it certainly does that). It also enables them to lead a richer inner life. It makes them better human beings, capable of living a more fulfilled existence. It shows them new intellectual vistas. It helps them consider their place in the universe, and to develop a sense of who they are.

Through the study of literature, philosophy, etc., students discover how the greatest minds in human history have coped with the conflicts that they themselves face--how they have come to terms with war, death, love, loss, family, faith, etc. Students learn to contemplate something bigger than themselves. They learn to glean from art an imaginative balm for the pain of the soul.

Indeed, if education focussed even more on thought rather than weight, perhaps many individuals who now practically lobotomize themselves with narcotics (prescribed and illicit), or resentfully rail against the supposed "injustice" of their conditions, would instead be able to cope with life on its own terms.

To think of all of the imaginative joy that students will be deprived if they spend their formative years focussed on weight rather than wisdom is simply heartbreaking. It is nothing less than a modern tragedy.

Let us hope that the restoration of timeless beauty will help educators and students reorient their priorities in line with the greater values of life.

Test image of Charlotte Coyle ("You just have to work within yourself. It comes from within"):

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Old 11th September 2006   #4
M. Lopez
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 587
Default Re: The REAL student crisis . . .

I came across a story the other day that I want to add here, because it seems pertinent to the discussion. According to a new report, teen use of narcotics is trending down, and in fact it has been declining for several years.

http://biz.yahoo.com/prnews/060907/cgth013.html?.v=69

And this has been happening all the while the diet industry has been using the media to propagate weight "epidemic" myths:
Fewer Teens Using Illicit Drugs, New Survey Shows

Thursday September 7, 9:50 am ET


Overall illicit drug use among teens is down for the third year in a row, according to the largest and most comprehensive study of drug use in the United States released today. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) showed a significant decline in illicit drug use among 12-17 year olds since 2002, particularly marijuana use.

Since 2002, current illicit drug use among 12-17 year olds is down from 11.6 percent to 9.9 percent (2005). That marks a cumulative drop of 15 percent, or 367,000 fewer youth (12 to 17) using any illicit drug in the past month in 2005 compared to 2002. In that same time period, current marijuana use also decreased from 8.2 percent (2002) to 6.8 percent (2005), a drop of 17 percent overall.

"It is encouraging to see this generation of teens making smart decisions and living above the influence of drug use," said John P. Walters, Director, White House Office of National Drug Control Policy...

So when it comes to something serious, like narcotics, young girls are far healtheir than they were a generation ago.

I don't think there's any coinincidence that this positive trend has been happened at the same time that some girls and young women have stopped starving themselves. The emaciated look was called "heroin chic" for a reason - models using drugs to deaden their agony at self-starvation.

Frankly I would much rather see young girls having as much dessert as they want, than using toxins that ruin their bodies and minds. They are prettier, happier, and healthier this way.

How curve-o-phobic does a person have to be not to see this?
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