Monday, December 9, 2013


On more than one occasion, I have sat behind students taking notes at a lecture on their computer but also looking at Facebook, email and other websites almost seamlessly at the same time. I always wonder if I am sitting behind an A student or a C student but there is no way for me to gauge the impact of these work habits. This past week, while on a reaccreditation visit, I sat in on a number of excellent classes; in those classes virtually every student was taking notes on a laptop and also accessing information on related websites. But it was also the case in half the classes I attended that the student sitting next to me or in front of me was accessing email and other websites at the same time. How can this possibly work?

After three days spent on the reaccreditation visiting team, I immediately went to the TIAA CREF Higher Education Leadership Conference where I spent the next two days. By this point in time, my unanswered emails were starting to accumulate and the conference sessions were wall to wall worthwhile presentations/discussions. What should I do? Was there any chance of some catching up before the weekend? What I decided to do, was to take my IPad Mini to a number of the sessions and work on my email, before, after, and during as the opportunity arose. My first surprise was that three other higher educational professionals sitting at my table (out of 7 people in total) also had their tablets along and were accessing them regularly. In fact throughout the room there were a significant number of individuals attending with their tablets. This was in addition to the individuals trying to look regularly at their smartphones without being noticed. Adding these two groups together, constituted more than 75% of the audience

I started slowly, just the occasional peak and limited responding. But soon thereafter I was seamlessly making the transition from presentation/discussion to email. Notwithstanding the multitasking, I also asked questions at most of the conference sessions; typically, one of approximately eight questions asked at each session. I made progress on my email and I also benefited greatly from being at the conference. I have been relatively quick to criticize the learning habits of the current generation of students. They strike me as too screen oriented and I am wondering what is being lost in the process. And I still don’t know whether it is possible long term to successfully multitask almost simultaneously and continuously as seems to be the pattern today. But I will refrain from future criticism. I have for a long time combined talking on the phone while still doing email, and I have also now participated in a conference while working on email. It can work effectively and our current students are leading the way.

Monday, December 2, 2013

50 Years Ago

I am writing this blog on the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Like so many people of my generation, I can still remember exactly where I was when the news was announced and can still remember how depressed and sad I was. At the time, I was a student at City College and the day was going very well. I had just completed my swimming class and was headed toward an economics course. On the way from the pool to the other side of campus, word began to spread of the shooting of JFK. Compared to how fast information is disseminated now, my college years could be considered the middle ages. Yes, there was TV and there was radio and of course there were newspapers and telephones but the information became available at a snail’s pace and was not conveniently or quickly delivered. I especially appreciate having a smart phone and instant access to information when I think back to that moment and to how little information we had.

By the time I arrived at the economics course, it was clear that President Kennedy had been gravely wounded. I just wanted to find a radio or TV to get the latest details or find a payphone so that I could call my parents to see if they had more. All the students seemed in shock but the economics faculty member didn’t want to talk with the class about what was happening, and he didn’t want to cancel class so that we could go find out. Instead he insisted on spending the full hour talking about macro-economics. He taught the class he intended to teach but for me and, I am certain almost all of the students, the lesson went in one ear and out the other. The faculty member wanted to ignore a serious reality and at that moment, I preferred to ignore economics. To this day, I still feel the faculty member was insensitive to the class and insensitive to reality. In the middle of a national tragedy, the focus should clearly have shifted.

As soon as the class ended, I headed for home. I remember watching everything that was on TV regarding the death of President Kennedy for days and buying every newspaper that was available. I was already profoundly sad but remained glued to the TV and radio no matter what.

I can’t say with any certainty whether our world or our county would be a different place if he had not been assassinated. Would we have avoided Vietnam? Would we have still passed the Great Society legislation? Would we have made more progress in Civil Rights? None of us are clairvoyant, so that there are no definitive answers to the questions. But one thing was clear; the strong sense of optimism that surrounded the Kennedy administration was gone replaced by a malaise that only expanded the more we became involved in Vietnam.

In so many ways, 50 years ago is an eternity but when I think about the Kennedy assassination, it still seems very current and very painful.

Monday, November 25, 2013

On the Road

I am getting ready to leave to be part of a reaccreditation team at an out of state University. The University and the school involved are first rate and I am also pleased to be part of a strong reaccreditation team. I agree, approximately every other year, to be part of a reaccreditation team and I think this is an important responsibility for deans and provosts. I know it is always difficult to leave your office for an extended period to focus on the strengths and challenges of another institution but I also believe we are all stronger as a result of this self monitoring process.

I have been involved with accreditation for decades, first on the receiving end as dean and provost and also on the “giving” end once again as dean and provost. My initial experience was helping get ready for both Middle States and AACSB visits many decades ago and subsequently, I also gained experience as part of multiple visiting teams. There has never been a visit that I have been on or a visit that I have prepared for that hasn’t resulted in my being better informed and better able to function as dean or provost. In addition, self monitoring through a regional accreditation organization or a specialized discipline based organization is so much better, more helpful, and more accurate in my opinion than having government involved more than it already is in these areas. Just seeing how government has recently dealt with K-12 testing in New York or teacher and administrator evaluations has reinforced my strong feelings in this area. Only when over testing has reached crisis proportions does government finally realize that perhaps they have gone too far. And now, how do we reverse the negative effect on the students involved? I have to believe that if superintendents, principals and teachers were leading this effort the results would have been different, and I think the same situation applies in higher education.

Very often, accreditation teams seem to be populated by individuals who have been involved in many previous accreditations and previous visits. I recognize that I resemble that remark and I also recognize the value of experienced accreditors. But I also understand the value of new blood. I don’t have the data to know whether there are many new deans and provosts involved in accreditation activities. But I think this involvement is extremely important and should be encouraged. When the next opportunity arises to be involved in this effort, please say yes and encourage your colleagues to do likewise. It really does make the positive difference we are all looking for.

Monday, November 18, 2013


Both of my daughters are good athletes and both have been active at the school and the community level. I encourage them to pursue both athletics and the arts, in addition to their core academic studies, as part of a well rounded education that will serve them well in the years ahead. My involvement, growing up, with athletics was, however, more limited. I played softball and was for a number of years, part of a bowling league. I was a better bowler than softball pitcher but there was no chance in either case that my number or shirt would be retired.

I also considered learning how to be an umpire or a referee but ultimately didn’t pursue it. I did realize at an early age the key role played by individuals who serve in these important capacities. A few weeks ago my younger daughter came home, after one of her community games, and talked at length about the referees for game she had just played. She indicated that the kids on her team, as well as the coach, were upset at how biased the referees were in officiating at the game. Rules violations made by the other team were ignored while every violation and even some non-violations were singled out for her team. I have also witnessed, at other games, what I have thought to be some bias in officiating (not at the college level) but also realize that my knowledge of the rules and at times my less than total focus on the game may cloud my objectivity. I also understand that the more informal the league and the younger the kids playing (often with referees that are just a few years older) the more likelihood that there will be errors.

Errors happen but if there is biased officiating, it needs to be reported and corrected. We all know that cheating is a major problem that permeates many schools and levels of education. We all do everything we can to limit academic dishonesty so that the work we judge is the student’s work and not the result of someone else’s efforts. Biased officiating tells kids that results may not be based on effort or skill but rather on manipulation and distortion. Biased officiating is clearly cheating with the rules of the game differently and selectively applied. Neutrality and even-handedness need to be the baseline for referees and umpires.

I am a strong advocate for not looking the other way when there is academic dishonesty in any form. The message and the response need to make it clear that cheating is not acceptable and the penalty must reflect the seriousness of the academic dishonesty. Refereeing needs to be kept at the highest standards possible even if that requires more training. There is an important life lesson in losing a game if you have been outplayed by your opponent. But losing because the playing field wasn’t level is a life lesson that causes our kids to question the fairness of the system and also gets them to question whether their effort is worth it when the result is based on other factors. I know this is also an important life lesson, but for me, especially when it comes to our kids, I would like us all to demonstrate that such problems and failures of the system are relatively few and far between.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Personal and Impersonal

The lead story in the Money and Investing section of the Wall Street Journal had an ominous headline that immediately caught my attention. It didn’t rise to the level of war and peace issues or life and death issues but for me it mattered tremendously. The headline stated “Chocolate Prices Soar in Dark Turn” and the article focused on two key factors responsible for the substantial increase in chocolate/cocoa prices. The first reason for the price increase is weather related and caused by dry weather reducing the harvest. The second is changing taste with more consumers developing a taste for dark chocolate in place of milk chocolate. So, in summary the price increase is related to both supply and demand factors; over time the supply issues will likely improve while the increased demand could continue (my prediction) or moderate.

Under full disclosure, I have been a long time chocolate fan and my preference has always been for dark chocolate, typically chocolate that contains 70% or slightly more cocoa solids. Milk chocolate does remind me of my childhood. The taste is milder and creamier and if there are nuts or crisps included, those flavors are more prominent. But I prefer good taste now to reminiscing; I do buy milk chocolate now and then but never get the satisfaction that a good piece of dark chocolate provides.

Consumer price index/cost of living increases are often difficult concepts for college students (and others) to relate to. If what triggered the increase has no direct tie to them or their families, the concept seems separate from their reality and not particularly meaningful. My response in class has been to assign students to develop their own consumer price index. Students put together their own market basket based on their own regular expenditures and track cost increases for that market basket. They also note whether increases in costs trigger substitutions of one product for another. For example, the increase in chocolate prices could trigger substituting milk chocolate for dark chocolate since the price increases are more moderate for milk chocolate, or could trigger substituting vanilla or butterscotch for chocolate. For some, the level of satisfaction wouldn’t change with this substitution; for others, like me, the thought of these substitutions is depressing.

An individual’s consumer price index is an effective educational tool for increasing comprehension of a price index. The next challenge is to demonstrate that increases in the national or regional CPI which don’t directly impact you are still extremely important. Often, if it doesn’t touch you directly, it doesn’t seem to matter. However, increases in health care costs now may not have an immediate or short term impact your cost of living. You employer may cover these increases or your health care plan may have short term fixed monthly payments. Increases in gas prices, may not short term affect a mass transit rider. Even if these increases aren’t personal for you, it pays to be fully informed and plan for the future impact.

It is likely that I will adjust to the changing chocolate prices by increasing my expenditures for chocolate. It is also clear to me that we should be increasing economic literacy at all levels.

Monday, November 4, 2013


Our new students have been on campus for about 6 weeks but we are already entering prime season in recruiting new students.  I already have had the pleasure of talking to the first fall open house group of the season and potential students and their families were very clearly focused on the decision they likely would be making in the next 6 months.  In thinking about my talk to these students and their loved ones, I focused on what I have heard from parents and new/potential students last year as well as what I have heard from talking with students and parents in the school district where I live. 

There seems to be, up to the last few weeks when the ill conceived effort to defund Obamacare threatened to undermine the slowly progressing economic recovery, a greater sense of optimism permeating our country.  Hopefully, that sense of optimism will reappear in the weeks ahead.  Optimism works to shift some attention from the sticker price of higher education to the value inherent in the education.  In a weak economy, price often trumps all; when the economy improves, class size, personal attention, and support services all take on greater prominence.  Scholarships, however, remain an important part of the currency of higher education; parents clearly feel they have been more successful, along with the son or daughter, when a scholarship is part of the attraction.

Even with the economy improving, students and their families seem to be maintaining their focus on the job or graduate school opportunity at the end of the baccalaureate degree studies.  Thankfully our increased attention to outcomes assessment provides us with reliable information on what recent graduates are doing and that information is very reassuring.  Students and their parents also seem to be maintaining their interest in and enthusiasm for an internship along the way. I strongly agree that an internship can provide that important bridge between school and a career and provide the student with added sophistication that increases the chances for success.  Dual degree programs also seem to be more and more attractive to potential students.  The opportunity to earn both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in an overall shorter period of time enhances the value proposition.  Think about it, even five years ago and certainly a decade ago, there was much less concern about the job at the end of the degree, much less emphasis on internships, and much less emphasis on dual degrees.  I believe the new priorities have strengthened higher education but there certainly has been a price to be paid.

The price has been the declining appreciation for the importance of a well rounded liberal arts education as the foundation for higher education.  A dual major, a minor along with a major, more time for internships, a chance at a dual degree, all are often made possible by a reduction on the number of foundational liberal arts courses that are the critical source of the common body of knowledge that higher education should provide.  The appreciation for the liberal arts is often overshadowed now by the desire to have more professional experiences, certifications and credentials.  Graduates are often expected to be more specialists and less generalists, more sophisticated in the imediate needs of the chosen profession but less able to understand world issues and challenges.

We all work hard to provide incoming students and their families with the quality education they want in their chosen field.  We change with the changing times and here there is no choice.  But along with the changes, there also has to be an ongoing commitment to the liberal arts.  Higher education should never be confused with a trade school education.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Broader Rather Than Narrower

A good friend of mine asked me to advise the daughter of a good friend of his about college and I gladly said yes. I spent 18 months much earlier in my career as the Associate Dean of Advisement and specialized in advising incoming students, both freshman as well as transfer. I recognize what an important difference advisement can make and am always willing to serve as an adviser. The daughter was interested in a very specialized niche area of business and also interested in a tiny college that specialized on that niche area. The young woman was just turning 18; she is not all that interested in higher education but she is very interested and highly motivated in making her mark in her intended field. The school she selected may be somewhat known in that niche area; it is certainly not known outside of that area. I am very familiar with many colleges and universities, especially in this area; her choice was one that I had never heard of.

Now I greatly admire her interest and determination to make her mark. Too few 18 year olds have a strong focus and too few really know what they want to do in their working lives. On the other hand, working in a niche area and being educated in only that area has its limitations. It is hard for me to remember back to when I was 18 but I am certain that I never thought of being an economist at that time and even more certain that I never considered working at a University. What I wanted to do and where I wanted to work evolved over time and by the middle of my doctoral education, I had made up my mind.

In talking to this young woman, her passion for working in the field she has chosen is clear and I spent no time at all questioning her decision. Instead I made two key points. First, keep an open mind toward other fields and other opportunities. Over time there may be another field that interests you and over time, opportunities in the field you have selected may become more robust, may remain as is, or may diminish and even dry up. No one comes with a crystal ball, keeping your options open is the next best thing to do. To keep your options open, a more general education is an important facilitator. Select a college or university that is at least somewhat well known and select a major that has more general applicability plus an internship in the niche area. That major, together with the internship, will serve you well in your niche area; it will also serve you well if interests and times change. By pursuing a more general major, you are often better positioned.

Now I’m not at all sure that my advice will be taken. I think it can be hard to change course when your passion has directed you toward one area and one goal. Passion often trumps practicality, but practicality when all is said and done usually carries the day.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Car Focus

It is the time of year when the new automobile models are being introduced and as usual I find myself looking to read everything I can about the new models.  I have been fascinated by cars since I was a young kid, and only later on did I realize how important the automobile industry was to the American economy.  Now I am not a believer that whatever is good for GM (or Ford of Chrysler) is good for the United States, but I do believe that the American car industry doing well is inextricably interwoven with the American economy doing well.

For many years, the greatest excitement about the new models being introduced was reserved for foreign cars, for the most part those cars imported either from Germany or Japan. And the reality was that I was part of the foreign car bandwagon.  American cars didn’t excite me and more importantly, I just didn’t have a sense that they were as durable or well designed as the German or Japanese cars. Now American cars are at the top of the list in almost every category.  The new Corvette, the new Impala, the new Cadillac CTS, the new Jeep Cherokee, the new Ford Fusion are all the best of breed; tested continuously and praised for all they represent and for all the value they provide.  And because American cars are so good at doing what they should do, it is no longer unusual to see American cars well represented in important foreign cities.  Beijing and Buick is the best example.

In many ways, the higher education industry is in a similar position.  American higher education is respected at home and around the globe. The impact of higher education on the economy – taking into consideration all levels of public and private education– is huge, and here too, the American economy doing well is dependent on higher education continuing to do well.  We need to be relevant, we need to be reasonable, and we need to be a good investment in the future.  Foreign competition continues to grow but in almost every area, our education is still the most sought after.

At times, for the automobile industry, economic incentives have been key to the public’s purchase of automobiles.  No money down, very low interest rates, low leasing rates, and discounts off the sticker price have all made a difference.  Discount rates are key to higher education purchases as well.  Either scholarships or well below cost public tuition provide the same, price cutting, economic incentives.  As the economy improved and as cars improved, the automobile industry was able to reduce the reliance on price incentives.  In higher education, we are still struggling with how to come to grips with price incentives.  And what makes it especially difficult is that public institutions may have exactly the same cost structure but because there is a subsidy from the state where the public institution is located, public institutions do their discounting up front and visible for all to see.  Imagine higher education, if Ford were a public company with a permanent subsidy for all Ford purchasers.  What would GM and Chrysler do?

I know many of us – especially in the private section– are looking for ways to reduce the increasing reliance in higher education on discounting to attract students.  Since it is no longer unusual for a private institution to approach 50% in the first year discount rate, the pace of discount rate increases by definition will slow down.  But unfortunately, I don’t see a workable solution for phasing out what so many of us have become dependent on.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Ice Breaker

There are many situations where as an administrator or as a not-for-profit board member it is necessary to engage strangers or almost strangers in conversations for the good of the organization.  Often these conversations go well but first there is that awkward introductory phase. I am sure there are many good alternatives but I have one that may be a guaranteed success.  A cute dog is a great ice breaker.
The latest personal example of the effectiveness of a cute dog was yesterday’s homecoming parade at my local school district.  As a board of education member, I march in the parade, which I enjoy doing, but there are always a significant number of parents and students who I don’t know.  Yesterday, for the first time, I brought my dog along and thanks to her, many, many marchers in the parade and many parade watchers came up to me to ask about the dog (who by the way was dressed appropriately in the school colors).  Once the person has played with the dog or you have talked about the dog, it is the perfect opening to a more substantive conversation.  For example one dog-initiated conversation quickly turned to the topic of responsible testing and the conversation was certainly worthwhile.
About a month ago, when my kids were both away, my wife and I decided to spend the weekend in Manhattan and, since it is was easier than making dog sitting arrangements, we decided to take our dog along.  What a difference a dog makes.  The first time I took her for a walk, shortly after we arrived, I found myself in multiple conversations with individuals I would never otherwise have a conversation with.  At one point, later in the weekend, when my wife and I were walking the dog, we sat down on a bench in Battery Park city. The next thing I knew, we were in a conversation with a young woman who was on the other end of the bench and the woman’s terrier was sitting on my lap.  I must admit that my dog was very unhappy at the turn of events but we all had a good conversation, especially once the terrier left my lap and my dog took her rightful position. 
As soon as we returned home, I called one of my friends who is single and offered the dog as a weekend ice breaker if he wanted to spend the weekend in the city.  In my opinion the dog has more potential than many social media sights to bring people together.
I didn’t have a dog when I was growing up.  I had fish and a parakeet.  They were all terrific but with significant limitations and none of them were walking companions and therefore unable to fulfill an ice breaking role.  When my kids wanted a dog, my wife and I resisted feeling we would end up doing most of the work and we were correct in that assumption.  But the dog has been a great addition to the family and we are all thrilled with her.  She is warm, loving, playful, cute and all the good things you could want in a dog.  And as an ice breaker she is awesome.  I am already planning for other opportunities where she will be my lead support in meet and great situations.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Testing Woes

New York State decided this year that they would substantially raise the standards for passing the elementary and middle school state mandated examinations.  The orientation of the exams was also changed to incorporate the common core learning standards at the same time that the standards were first being implemented.  Not surprisingly, a much larger percentage of students did not pass throughout the state and consequently we now have a major public outcry and backlash against testing.
If the scores required for passing standardized examinations are too low, no one would argue against raising the standards.  But if the standards are being raised dramatically, serious consideration should be given to phasing in the increase. The most important reason for a phase-in is the detrimental impact of dramatically raising standards on the students in our schools state wide.  Instantly dramatically raising standards and instantly dramatically increasing the percentage of students failing seriously undermines the confidence and self-esteem of the students who have gone from comfortably passing to seriously failing.  Since it clearly was the state’s fault that the standards were too low, the state should at the very least build in the time necessary for the adjustment to higher standards.  Instead of one year to totally revise standards, why not three years so that everyone has a chance to adjust over time.

The same period of adjustment should be built in for the transition to the common core.  There are benefits inherent in having a common core, which is a common body of knowledge that every person should be exposed to as part of his or her education. If tests aren’t based on the common core, they certainly should be changed.  But once again, it is all a question of how it is done. A test based on the common core should under any conditions follow the full implementation of the core.

My emails during the past week and the most recent meeting of the school board (which are public meetings) dealt overwhelmingly with testing and the overemphasis on test preparation.  The public is clearly concerned and the reaction goes from there should be no testing in schools, to there should be responsible testing, to there should be a continued emphasis on testing.  At the extremes there seem to be rather few people.  No testing is unrealistic and also doesn’t provide the essential assessment mechanisms. Overemphasis on testing takes time away from other educational priorities and also saps the enjoyment out of learning.  The third alternative, the push for responsible testing seems to have broad base support throughout the community and I am in total agreement.   If the state will over time deal with issues they have created, I am certain the public will respond appropriately and positively.

Public School education in many states may need to change.  But we only move ahead if the changes improve learning and comprehension, not if they create dissention and compromise learning in favor of testing.  We very much need responsible testing and we especially need responsible public officials to effectively manage change. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Conflict or Cooperation

Our Business School is named for Frank Zarb who has had a remarkable career in government and business including service as President Ford's energy czar.  Because Mr. Zarb has had such a distinguished career spanning almost half a century, we have been recording his oral history to include with the Zarb papers and materials we already have in our library.  One video clip contains a conversation between Representative John Dingell and Mr. Zarb and contains an important lesson for today's government leaders. The lesson concerns cooperation between the Democratic and Republican parties to successfully confront, what in their case was the energy crisis.  Cooperation carried the day then; confrontation threatens our economic recovery today.

The fight today is over health care, Obamacare as it is widely known, and instead of cooperation we have escalating confrontation. I remember from when I was growing up, the effort to pass Medicare and the efforts to discredit Medicare as socialized medicine.  I was persuaded in those days that health care support for the elderly, especially the poor elderly was an important responsibility of government in an affluent society.  Time has proven both the need for and the merit in a system of support for the elderly just when they most need access to health care.

The fight against Obamacare has that same tone.  The message is we need to stop Uncle Sam before he takes over our health care system.  But we have so many uninsured individuals and families that need help, that our affluent society has a responsibility to do more.  In addition with our current system we have tremendous unrecovered health care costs and the accompanying loss in productivity.  For these reasons, I support Obamacare but also understand the concern from the critics.

Our economy is in a fragile and halting recovery.  Inflation is still low, the unemployment rate is slowly dropping, the GDP is increasing at a meaningful rate and the stock market has flirted with record highs.  Against this backdrop, government is hitting a debt ceiling and there is an effort to tie any help with the economy to a defunding and destroying of Obamacare. 

We need cooperation and even more we need for government leaders, both Democratic and Republican to remember the pain of the recent recession and the need to continue cultivating the recovery. Combining the health care bill with debt ceiling legislation is a recipe for economic malaise.  Where are the Frank Zarbs and John Dingells of 2013? 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Good Food

Our common reading for all new first year students was  The Good Food Revolution and our featured speaker during Welcome Week was Will Allen one of the book’s co-authors.  Both the book and the presentation were well received and I totally agree that this is an important message for all college students.

Will Allen is an imposing figure.  He still looks like the basketball player he was in college and professionally and everything he says is stated with passion and belief.  When he first started speaking to students, he announced that his PowerPoint presentation was 1054 slides long.  Everyone laughed but 1054 slides later we were all more passionate and more convinced.

In the beginning of his talk, Will Allen talked about the connection between good health and good food. Both are clearly inextricably interwoven and good food is a facilitator of good health. Allen also talked about the importance of fertile soil, that is absent of dangerous chemicals and he talked about the value and importance of urban farming. His comments registered well with the students and registered equally well with me and my colleagues also sitting in the audience.

Growing up, my diet was rich in fruits and vegetables.  We didn’t have local farmers’ markets but we did have plenty of stores that specialized just in fresh fruits and vegetables.  My diet was also rich (likely over-rich) in meats (especially beef) since my father was a butcher and my parents owned a mom and pop butcher shop just around the corner from where we lived. The best way to illustrate the family philosophy on meat is that my father felt Thanksgiving, given its importance, should be celebrated with a roast beef rather than with a roast turkey. And yes, in many of my early years, the turkey lost out to the beef.  Ultimately we yelled foul (fowl) and my father agreed to change the menu to the more traditional offering.  My diet growing up didn’t include soda, probably included too little sea food, and eating out was not part of the offerings except on a few major holidays a year. Fast foods were also not prevalent when I was growing up.

My kids love most fast foods and would eat chicken nuggets for at least two meals a day if they had the opportunity.  I am appreciative that in our school district there is a vigilant parents committee that reviews menus and promotes healthy eating and we try to reinforce these values in what we serve at home.  And yet given how busy everyone is we do eat out, and eat overly processed foods more than we should.  And I seem to have passed my sweet tooth to my kids.

What is most important about Will Allen’s message is the emphasis on food education and food growing/preparation.  We should all buy into The Good Food Revolution.