I know, I know, this NRO reader’s supposedly good suburban school is nothing like the good suburban school that your kids attend. Because your kid’s school is, like, really good. All the teachers who work there tell you so.
So, we are in a reasonably affluent suburban school district with a good reputation. This year, the elementary school has decided that it is going to provide breakfasts for the students every day. In the classroom, before they start actually doing anything else. When questioned about this, the school principal regurgitated statistics explaining how kids who eat breakfast do better in schools. I have no doubt this is true, but let’s face it, the kids who don’t eat breakfast are almost certainly the same ones whose parents don’t try to read with or to them every day, don’t make sure they are doing their homework etc etc etc . I also really doubt whether many kids in our elementary school miss breakfast in the morning.
I’m sure it’s just a coincidence, but the teacher also tells us he won’t have time to make his third graders do multiplication tables this year.
And, this is in a “good” school district. I don’t want to imagine what they are doing in DC and similar places.
In fairness, one can’t seriously expect an education major to distinguish between correlation and causation. If anyone bothers to do a study demonstrating that there is a strong correlation between children eating a healthy dinner and doing better in school too, there will probably be a Department of Education-funded program extending the afterschool programs until 8 PM and supplying steak dinners in the classrooms within five years.
And here’s an interesting fact. Every single person I have ever met whose children attends a public school happens to live in a district where the schools are “really good” and the teachers are uniformly “excellent”. What are the odds? It is always very, very hard for me to resist the urge to ask these fortunate parents what particular metric they are using to make these determinations.