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The 74 Daily Newsletter September 2023

Date received:
September 7, 2023

Revamping HS math

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Plus: 💰Children’s savings accounts | Enticing school lunches 🍽️

New York, NY

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Good morning!

From Utah, Washington and Georgia to North Carolina, Michigan and points in between, we have a full lineup of news, features and analysis to start your Thursday. Here’s a sample:

  • Math: Jo Napolitano reports on an effort playing out in Utah, Georgia, Washington and 18 other states to shift high school math away from its traditional focus on calculus toward data science, statistics and probability — topics of greater interest to a wide swath of students headed to college or the workforce
  • College Attainment: Contributor Ginger Young, of the North Carolina-based nonprofit Book Harvest, describes how opening a children’s savings account with as little as $100 can help parents — primarily families of color — set their kids on the road to higher ed
  • Michigan: Joshua Bay talks to students and chefs in Detroit, where food trucks and live cooking demonstrations are spicing up school lunch

All this and more, today at The 74.


Utah, Washington Among 21 States Seeking to Tailor HS Math to Students’ Goals

Twenty-one states are part of a targeted program led by the Dana Center in Austin to revamp their high school math curriculum to better reflect students’ interests. Some have modified graduation requirements or retooled stalwart courses like Algebra II. “We want to show kids that math is useful,” said Lindsey Henderson, secondary math specialist with the Utah State Board of Education. “It’s not just a set of procedures that can only be used by a few.” Jo Napolitano reports on their progress.

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Children’s Savings Accounts Keep College Aspirations High for Kids of Color

The Supreme Court ruling striking down affirmative action threatens to deny countless students of color a viable path to the American dream of opportunity for all. One antidote, writes contributor Ginger Young, is children’s savings accounts, which are established as early as birth and grow over time to help pay for higher education. A child with school savings of less than $500 is three times more likely to enroll in college, and more than twice as likely to graduate. It’s more important than ever to invest in children’s futures.

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School Lunch

Food Trucks and Cooking Demos Spark School Meal Excitement for Detroit Students

From the time she started in Detroit’s public schools, 12th grader Allison Woodard was served budget “struggle meals,” with cafeteria workers counting each grape on her tray. But things began to change when the district introduced food trucks and live cooking demonstrations into its school meal strategy in 2019. From street tacos to stir fry, these additions have helped boost participation in school meals. “It’s a really amazing feat,” Woodward said. “Care is put into everything I eat now.”


Union Report

Most Americans Love Unions — But Not Enough to Actually Join One

September is a season of optimism for unions. Labor Day provides a platform for them to tout their accomplishments, and a majority of poll respondents say they support organized labor. Large majorities back unions over management in disputes. Most respondents say unions are good for everybody and think they will become stronger. But Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers show that membership has declined throughout the Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, Obama, Trump and Biden years. Mike Antonucci examines this disconnect in this week’s Union Report.

Read More:

  • Union Report: State-by-State Breakdown — Membership Dropped 70,000, Revenues Grew $49M for NEA & Affiliates During COVID


Hip Hop Is Saving Teen Lives in Minnesota

When Cameron Keys was a teen in Chicago, he was the victim of a drive-by shooting. He survived 16 bullets — but needed a change and found his way to Minneapolis/St. Paul. Homeless for two months, in and out of shelters, he was introduced by a shelter coordinator to High School for Recording Arts. Keys credits the school, nicknamed Hip Hop High, with saving his life. Watch James Fields’s and Emmeline Zhao’s mini-documentary.

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