Too Fat to Learn

 

Somehow, in the middle of their challenging and no-doubt stressful mission to uneducate American schoolchildren and ensure ever-slipping international rankings, the public school mandarins have added another area of concern:

Is your kid too fat?

From the AP via CNS Daily:

The Chula Vista school district not only measures the academic progress of Marina Beltran’s second-grader, it also measures her son’s body fat.

Every two years, Antonio Beltran, like his classmates, steps on a scale. Trained district personnel also measure his height and then use the two figures to calculate his body mass index, an indicator of body fat.

The calculation isn’t reported to Beltran or her son, who cannot see the readout on the scale that has a remote display. Instead it’s used by the district to collect local data on children’s weight.

Beltran supports her son’s school in measuring students because the data has brought in help to address obesity, which can lead to diabetes and other illnesses tied to a lifetime of poor habits.

And then they use the data to make colorful graphs:

Officials used the data to make a color-coded obesity map of the district and showed the community. Instead of creating a stir, the information acted as a distress call, bringing in help. Schools boosted partnerships with doctors. They planted gardens, banned cupcakes at school birthdays, and tracked kids’ activity levels.

Wow. That’s a lot of busy activity. Especially for a school district that, according to the State of California, is about 1800th in state rankings and does not attain statewide standards.  

Kids can’t read, or spell, or add. But we know exactly how fat they are.

There are 13 comments.

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  1. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    Every day liberals will engage on their favorite diatribe and will end their argument with the plea, “Don’t be a statistic!” Then they spend 90% of their time doing everything thing the possibly can to dehumanize us, de-individualizing us and reducing us all to… statistics.

    Typically these folks love mankind but absolutely hate people. People are messy and uncooperative and do things they don’t think anyone should do. And this is also why they hate religion and our “antiquated” Constitution – because both speak to the eternal human condition and not a tech wonk view of collecting and changing a statistical analysis of the great unwashed.

    • #1
  2. Goldgeller Member
    Goldgeller
    @Goldgeller

    I hate to start off with a bad faith argument– but– the school district is doing exactly what it wants to do (and needs to). It’s perpetuating itself and increasing its (potential) control over student’s lives, and their parent’s tax dollars. 

    We say that public schools and public programs are “inefficient” but they are actually remarkably efficient– they manage to stick around for a long time! And they ensure that their administrators have jobs and money. I’m sure they’ll figure out a way to get some ACA dollars with their health data. 

    Much the same way Xerox makes money doing other things than selling printers, “teaching” is an older business model. That just gets you in the door. Let me sell you on the upgrade.

    I hate to say that, because I’m sure there are other ways to look at it, and I’m sure there are very well meaning, dedicated teachers caught in the maw. But that’s the way I see it.

    • #2
  3. user_86050 Inactive
    user_86050
    @KCMulville

    Before I say anything else, I want to note that in the current Ricochet 2-column format, this post appears alongside Troy Senik’s at the top of the read-chain. It’s a visual coincidence, therefore, when you read both post headlines together: “Too Fat to Learn” followed by “What’s Your Advice for a Happy Life?”

    As if Rob is answering Troy’s question … kind of like Jeopardy phrasing the answer in the form of a question.

    • #3
  4. Rob Long Editor
    Rob Long
    @RobLong

    KC:  Laughing very hard.  (Not that I disagree…..)

    Goldgeller:  Exactly.  The organism does what it needs to do to survive.  Like the flu or ebola.

    • #4
  5. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    To celebrate this post I will have Cheetos with my lunch.

    I blame school for me being fat. By the second grade it was determined that I would receive more benefit for writing 500 times “I will complete my homework and turn it in on time” for each assignment I blew off rather than playing at recess.

    • #5
  6. user_6533 Member
    user_6533
    @DavidGuaspari

    I love the phrase “trained district personnel.”

    • #6
  7. user_6236 Member
    user_6236
    @JimChase

    Huh, what did you say?  I couldn’t get past the Cheetos …

    • #7
  8. PsychLynne Inactive
    PsychLynne
    @PsychLynne

    Two thoughts:

    1.  Conservatives are stuck between a rock and a hard place in this argument.  If we say ‘we need to focus on the primary goal of school; education” then they say “you don’t care about children’s health” or “the parents support this”

    2.  My graduate school lab never got funding for it, but one of the investigators was intrigued that childhood obesity tracked closely with increased school lunched (particularly reduced fee w/ breakfast included) and in higher utilization of daycare service (more institutionalized food).

    Ok, 3 thoughts:

    How the *!*$% aren’t the results given to the parents?  How did this get past any type of review board?  How are parents supposed to make use of the info, that they aren’t allowed to have?  How are the results useful.  

    Ok, that was more of a rant than a thought

     

    • #8
  9. TheRoyalFamily Member
    TheRoyalFamily
    @TheRoyalFamily

    Rob Long:

    The Chula Vista school district not only measures the academic progress of Marina Beltran’s second-grader, it also measures her son’s body fat.
    … Trained district personnel also measure his height and then use the two figures to calculate his body mass index, an indicator of body fat.

    BMI is not an indicator of body fat. Terrible article, and terrible school district if they really think that’s what BMI does. Well, they’re a terrible district anyways for doing this, but that would add stupid to evil.

    • #9
  10. user_240173 Contributor
    user_240173
    @FrankSoto

    Rob Long:
    Kids can’t read, or spell, or add. But we know exactly how fat they are.

     
    This would be the script to my campaign ad if I was running for a position in the government of CA.

    • #10
  11. user_3130 Member
    user_3130
    @RobertELee

    How long till the department of child services or whatever the local equivalent is called, gets involved because parents are abusing their children by not addressing their dietary and health concerns to the satisfaction of the school board?

    Are we going to end up like the Brits?

    • #11
  12. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    Yikes, just, Yikes!

    • #12
  13. user_157053 Member
    user_157053
    @DavidKnights

    Robert E. Lee:
    How long till the department of child services or whatever the local equivalent is called, gets involved because parents are abusing their children by not addressing their dietary and health concerns to the satisfaction of the school board?
    Are we going to end up like the Brits?

     That is exactly where this leads.  As everyone’s favorite law professor notes, it may well be child abuse to send your children to public schools.

    • #13

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