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Published June 03 2012

Forum editorial: Bloomberg drink ban wins weed

LEAFY SPURGE: To New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his nanny city for proposing a ban on larger-than-16 ounces sugary drinks at restaurants, delis, sports arenas and movie theaters in the Big Apple. Citing the nation’s obesity epidemic, the mayor said, “We’ve got to do something.” Sure, but not what he has proposed. It’s silly on so many levels. First, no one forces anyone to purchase a 32-ounce (or larger) jug of cola. It’s a choice, even if it’s a bad choice. (And unlike second-hand smoke, a personal soft drink does not affect the health of others.) Second, what’s to prevent a thirsty person from buying two 16-ounce drinks, thus doing a simple skip around the mayor’s standard? The obesity plague is real, but Bloomberg’s soft-drink limit is a distraction that will do little or nothing to remedy the problem.

LEAFY SPURGE: To the federal No Child Left Behind law, a good idea in the beginning, but a failure in its application. The provisions of the law seem to have been designed to guarantee schools can’t measure up to standards. Even with tweaks and revisions to adjust for a blizzard of complaints from local public school districts, the law’s requirements have not adequately adjusted to the realities of what goes on in a 21st century classroom. Instead, administrators and teachers have bent curriculums to conform to testing, often at the expense of real comprehensive educational achievement. When schools continue to fall short of standards it frequently is because the one-size-fits-all law does not fit. Many states have opted out, and North Dakota is moving in that direction. That’s good news for students and teachers.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.