The Best of Our Knowledge # 1041
Albany, NY – BACK TO SCHOOL: GETTING HEALTHIER -
More than 20-thousand schools have been identified in a study as being located within half a mile of a major industrial source of toxic air pollutants. The Environmental Protection Agency is completing the first national "Guidelines for the Siting of School Facilities." More than 100 environmental and children's health advocacy organizations have joined to urge EPA to set rigorous, child-protective standards for the location of new schools.
Meanwhile, the Center for Health, Environment & Justice has just released a new "Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies." The guide offers tips for avoiding PVC products which can contain lead and other dangerous chemicals that are linked to chronic disease on the rise in children - including learning disabilities and asthma. Over 20 categories of school supplies - from backpacks to lunchboxes to 3-ring binders are covered in the guide.
As a parent, you try to do your best to make certain your child stays safe and healthy at home. But then you send them off to school and hope for the best. Claire Barnett is the Executive Director of the Healthy Schools Network and Coordinator of the National Coalition for Healthier Schools. Last year at this back to school time, we spoke with Barnett about the move towards green purchasing for schools. This year, TBOOK's Bob Barrett asks Claire for an update. Is the greening of schools gaining traction around the country?
Bob Barrett reports. (9:28)
*(The website given at the end of the above story for listeners interested in learning more about these efforts is: www.healthyschools.org.)*
CRUMBLING EDUCATION IN ZIMBABWE -
When Zimbabwe became independent three decades ago, President Robert Mugabe launched an ambitious education program. The effort was so successful that Zimbabwe achieved the highest adult literacy rate on the African continent.
But now, it appears Mugabe's government is destroying what could have been its most enduring legacy. Zimbabwe's formerly exemplary education system is disintegrating, along with the country's economy.
World Visions Tendai Maphosa reports. (5:32)
EDUCATION BRIEFS AND UPDATES -
The U.S. Department of Education has announced that 49 districts, schools, and nonprofits beat out more than 16-hundred other applicants in the competition for 650-million dollars in grants from the Investing in Innovation, or I3 fund.
Then later, Secretary Arne Duncan announced 115-million more dollars going to 124 school districts to improve the quality of teaching American history.
Glenn Busby reports. (1:30)
THE ACADEMIC MINUTE
This week's episode features Dr. Nicole Burkholder-Mosco, Associate Professor of English at Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania.
The Academic Minute is hosted by Dr. Lynn Pasquerella, a celebrated philosopher and medical ethicist, and President of Mount Holyoke College. (2:30)