GOOD

New Study Suggests Emoticons Could Be The Key To Fighting Childhood Obesity

Want kids to eat healthier? Add a smiley face to their menu.

image via (cc) flickr user

Getting kids to eat their vegetables is like, well, getting kids to eat their vegetables. At the end of the day, broccoli is always going to taste like broccoli (just ask former president George H.W. Bush) and not, unfortunately, like deep fried candy bars. But now there’s a new weapon in the fight to promote healthy eating and reduce childhood obesity: Emoticons.

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GOOD Maker: We Helped a Group of Sixth Graders Learn How to Lead

We helped The Guiding Lights Network and two AmeriCorps mentors show some sixth graders in Washington that they could, in fact, be leaders.

Back in March, GOOD Maker and The Guiding Lights Network joined forces to crowdsource great ideas for revitalizing citizenship. We're happy to report that thanks to the challenge's $1,000 award, the winning idea became reality this month.

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National History Test Results Aren't Too Hot, But Could You Pass the Exams?

According to a new national report card, only 9 percent of fourth graders could identify Abraham Lincoln and give two reasons why he's important.

When it comes to history, are you smarter than a fourth grader? The just-released results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress U.S. History 2010 Report Card show that of 30,000 students tested in 2010, only 20 percent of fourth graders, 17 percent of eighth graders, and 12 percent of seniors are proficient in American history. Federal officials celebrated a slight increase in scores for eighth graders since 2006, and scores for all grade levels are higher than they were in 1994, but only 2 percent of 12th graders correctly answered a question about Brown v. Board of Education, and only 9 percent of fourth graders could identify a photograph of Abraham Lincoln and give two reasons why he's important.

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Anti-gay-bashing Curriculum Gets Scrapped

For about five seconds, the San Francisco Bay area, epicenter of all things progressive and good in the world, had a pretty cool 45-minute...

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Celebrating (and Debating) the Success of the Harlem Children's Zone

On Sunday night's 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper picked up an Ed Bradley story from 2006 to assess how well Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone...

On Sunday night's 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper picked up an Ed Bradley story from 2006 to assess how well Geoffrey Canada's Harlem Children's Zone experiment is going. The piece was fist-pumpingly feel-good. Cooper was glowing, a Harvard education expert who has studied HCZ was glowing, and so was I as I watched. Naturally, it took only a few hours before someone called all that back-patting into question.We've covered Canada before-and most recently in the GOOD 100 issue-and Cooper's piece was pretty sympatico with what we've already told you: The experiment is going really well. Specifically, when Harvard economists examined four years' worth of test scores they found that Canada's Promise Academy schools had closed the racial achievement gap in math and reading at elementary level; 100 percent of third graders were at or above state math levels; and within three years, middle schoolers (who entered the Promise Academy way behind their peers), were almost caught up.Cooper rightly calls the accomplishment huge, and Canada soberly replies: "It's about an hour-worth-of-celebration huge."Aaron Pallas, a Professor of Sociology and Education at Columbia who has also worked at the National Center for Education Statistics in the U.S. Department of Education took a closer look at the numbers and he's less quick than Cooper to celebrate:I am hard-pressed to conclude, based on the most recent data available, that the results are, in Cooper's terms, "nothing short of stunning," or that the gap is gone for good. The 2009 results for third-graders are terrific; those for students in grades four, five and eight are not. Here's the data he's referring to:

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