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affect children and parents in our neighborhoods and beyond. Visit GPS, the ParentMap blog.
Academic testing grant
State officials are hoping to land a federal grant to create a new testing system for high school students, based on new national academic standards in language arts and math. Washington is submitting a grant application on behalf of a 31-state coalition called the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium, which is calling for online testing of students at least twice a year to track progress. The new testing would begin in the 2014–15 school year; read more at k12.wa.us/SMARTER.
Out of patience with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), a major enviro group is now suing the FDA for its failure to regulate bisphenol A (BPA). The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) says the FDA is taking way too long to respond to demands to prohibit the use of BPA in food packaging, despite concerns about the chemical’s effect on brain development in fetuses and children. BPA is found in all kinds of food packaging products, including the lining of many cans, pizza boxes and in products made from polycarbonate plastics, including some baby bottles. Read much more at nrdc.org.
If you’ve ever ponied up extra bucks to buy “green” cleaning supplies, here’s a heads-up. Some companies are making claims about their eco cred that simply aren’t true. The Sierra Club’s excellent blog, The Green Life, suggests switching to organic cleaners to be sure, because synthetic cleaners often include harmful chemicals that rough up your skin and wind up in our waterways. Get tips on spotting “greenwashing” — the practice of faking environmental friendliness.
ParentMap is proud to spotlight this month’s Giving Together partner, the College Success Foundation.
Giving underprivileged kids a leg up to college (and in life!) is the mission of the College Success Foundation. Since 2000, CSF has disbursed more than $107 million — 5,986 scholarships! — to disadvantaged students in our state. This remarkable organization mentors and supports 10,000 middle-school, high school and college students in Washington every year by teaming up with individuals, local corporations and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. You can help create promising new futures for vulnerable kids. Learn more — or get involved — at College Success Foundation.