business news in context, analysis with attitude

USA Today reports this morning that a prepayment service called MealPay, now used in 75 school districts in 21 states, “allows parents to electronically put money in their children's accounts. The student gives cashiers a card or PIN number” and now “tracks all the items a student buys in the cafeteria each day.”

The goal: allowing parents to track the kids’ eating habits and encourage more nutritious food consumption.
KC's View:
This is excellent usage of the technology, and we wish that our kids’ schools had it.

While we have always felt that it makes sense for school districts to sell healthier food and to move away from the slop that so many of them peddle, ultimately it is up to the parents to set the tone and establish where they want the bar to be. This allows us to do just that…and to demand accountability not just from our children, but also from the school districts that are teaching our children and that, by the way, are funded by our tax dollars.

The older we get, the more we believe that parent involvement is critical in how our kids are schooled. Not the irrational stuff – our dad, who was an elementary school principal, used to say that his worst nightmare was parents who would read about the latest educational theory in Time or Newsweek and come in the next day demanding its implementation.

He had a point, but we believe that to simply leave the educating to the so-called professional educators would be a mistake.

Don’t get us wrong. We’re married to the best third grade teacher on the planet…so we have a healthy respect for the profession and the process. But a lot of educators – from the principals to the teachers to the superintendents to the people in the lunchroom – are more concerned with protecting their keisters and the system than they are with educating kids. In the classroom, they teach the subject and not the children – and that is a profound difference.