The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest national continuing assessment of what America's public school students know and how they can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history.
"Eye on Parenting" recently put together a ranking of each state's scores -- and Washington, D.C.'s, based on average NAEP results in reading and mathematics for fourth grade. The scores were taken from the 2009 NAEP, the most recent year for which the numbers are available.
Find out where public school kids in your state stand in our "Best Performing Public School Students by State" gallery.
Looking for great back-to-school clothes you - and your kids - will love? Check out lifestyle expert Tara Vera's wardrobe choices for less than $100 in our "Eye on Parenting" back-to-school fashion show.
Click on the video below to check out the chic looks she put together for school-aged kids.
Imagining them out of your sight for the first time -- or again after a summer at your side -- can be scary, indeed.
However, you can prepare your kids for the larger world by teaching them what kind of behavior is safe and OK -- and what is not. "Eye on Parenting" recently sat down with child safety advocate George Molho to discuss ways parents can equip their kids for dealing with threatening situations.
Molho is the author of "Scarred," a memoir about his abduction by his father when he was 7 and yearlong torture before he escaped. Molho says he wants to teach parents how to teach their kids to be survivors.
So seize the back-to-school moment. Click on the video below. You might be surprised by what you didn't know. We were.
Three dirty diapers, five runny noses, six crying kids.
Families with multiple births face a unique set of challenges every day that many parents cannot imagine taking on.
Parenting triplets, quadruplets and higher multiples was the subject of a recent convention in suburban Philadelphia.
The event, called "Let Threedom Ring," was held in King of Prussia, Pa., by Triplet Connection, an information website for multiple birth families.
At the event, the triplets, quadruplets and higher-order multiples ranged from babies and younger children to teenagers and college-age young adults.
Workshops were held to help adults with parenting issues, while the kids took part in entertainment and social activities.
Ben Barnhard had reason to be optimistic this summer: The 13-year-old shed more than 100 pounds at a rigorous weight-loss academy, a proud achievement for a boy who had endured classmates' taunts about his obesity and who had sought solace in the quiet of his bedroom, with his pet black cat and the intricate origami designs he created.
But one month before school was to start, his mother, psychiatrist Margaret Jensvold, shot him in the head, then killed herself. Officers found their bodies Tuesday in the bedrooms of their home in Kensington, Md., an upper-middle class Washington suburb. They also found a note.
"School -- can't deal with school system," the letter began, Jensvold's sister, Susan Slaughter, told The Associated Press.
And later: "Debt is bleeding me. Strangled by debt."Continue »
Looks as if teen star Miley Cyrus is teaming up with her mom Tish Cyrus for a new movie - about God.
According to HollywoodReporter.com, Paramount Pictures has decided to back the untitled comedy project that Miley and her mother will produce, along with Andrew Panay, who helped produce "Wedding Crashers."
The project is said to be about a broken promise to God.
In our "Eye on Parenting" "Back-to-school Fashion Guide 2011," you can get a look at fashion-forward styles seen on some of the hippest young stars your children emulate, and learn how they can be worn in everyday school life in versatile, budget-friendly ways.
From accessories to shoes, dresses and jeans, we have all your kids' style needs in our gallery. Here are some highlights:
Hair Accessories: They're not just for keeping your hair in place any more. Today's accessories - from headbands to barrettes - make a fashion statement. And you can even adapt pins and necklaces for use in the hair.
Jewelry: Adding some new jewelry to last year's clothes can give you a whole new look. Consider big, chunky rings, cuff bracelets, bangles and long chain necklaces.Shoes: If your budge is limited, consider investing in a basic boot, either in low or mid-heel, depending on the child's age. If you can splurge on a second pair, make it black patent flats.
Jeans: The jeans may be distressed, but the look doesn't have to be. Consider pairing them with low heels and snug jackets.
Lace: Lace is the big fabric for fall and winter and you can find it in blouses and tops, dresses and even skirts. Learn how to pair lace items to their best advantage.
(CBS) Former "Hills" star Audrina Patridge is the new face of the clothing company Bongo's back-to-school campaign.
Patridge, 26, will begin to appear in TV commercials late this summer and in magazines for the teen fashion line. The clothes will be sold at Kmart and Sears stores.Continue »
The poll, conducted in June on 944 teens ages 13-17, found a whopping 88 percent of teens say they text everywhere they go, including camp, vacation and even at summer jobs.
Among the teens surveyed, 70 percent said they're keeping up with friends through text messaging - quite a change from the long summer separations kids of generations past experienced. In fact, the poll found 55 percent of teen respondents said they text more frequently with their friends over the summer than during the school year.
And just how much are teens staying in touch? Fifty-three percent of teens said they text more than 51 times a day with their friends.
However, the survey seems to indicate Mom and Dad aren't getting as many texts during the summer, with 72 percent of teens saying they text more frequently with their parents during the school year.
Though the survey doesn't specify why kids are texting parents less, there could be many reasons for fewer messages, including the possibility that teens and their parents could be spending more time together less time with their friends.What do you think of this poll's results? Do your kids text their friends more in the summer? How often do you text your kids in the summer?
Are your kids hoping to grow a few inches before the family heads to the theme park this summer? Chances are they're just itching to ride the big rides - and especially the roller coasters.
Rising high over the trees, these steel and wooden structures are the centerpiece of many theme parks. But which are worth riding - and where are they?
(AP) CHICAGO - Kids may be safest in cars when grandma or grandpa are driving instead of mom or dad, according to study results that even made the researchers do a double-take.
"We were surprised to discover that the injury rate was considerably lower in crashes where grandparents were the drivers," said Dr. Fred Henretig, an emergency medicine specialist at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the study's lead author.
Previous evidence indicates that car crashes are more common in older drivers, mostly those beyond age 65. The study looked at injuries rather than who had more crashes, and found that children's risk for injury was 50 percent lower when riding with grandparents than with parents.
The results are from an analysis of State Farm insurance claims for 2003-07 car crashes in 15 states, and interviews with the drivers. The data involved nearly 12,000 children up to age 15.
Henretig, 64, said the study was prompted by his own experiences when his first grandchild was born three years ago.
"I found myself being very nervous on the occasions that we drove our granddaughter around and really wondered if anyone had ever looked at this before," he said.
Reasons for the unexpected findings are uncertain, but the researchers have a theory.
"Perhaps grandparents are made more nervous about the task of driving with the 'precious cargo' of their grandchildren and establish more cautious driving habits" to compensate for any age-related challenges, they wrote.
The study was released online Monday in the journal Pediatrics.
Northwestern University Professor Joseph Schofer, a transportation expert not involved in the research, noted that the average age of grandparents studied was 58.
"Grandparents today are not that old" and don't fit the image of an impaired older driver, he said. "None of us should represent grandparents as kind of hobbling to the car on a walker."
Grandparents did flub one safety measure. Nearly all the kids were in car seats or seat belts, but grandparents were slightly less likely to follow recommended practices, which include rear-facing backseat car seats for infants and no front-seats. But that didn't seem to affect injury rates.
Only about 10 percent of kids in the study were driven by grandparents, but they suffered proportionately fewer injuries.
Overall, 1.05 percent of kids were injured when riding with parents, versus 0.70 percent of those riding with grandparents, or a 33 percent lower risk. The difference was even more pronounced -- 50 percent -- when the researchers took into account other things that could influence injury rates, including not using car seats, and older-model cars.
Kids suffered similar types of injuries regardless of who was driving, including concussions, other head injuries and broken bones.
The study does not include data on deaths, but Henretig said there were very few. It also lacked information on the types of car trips involved; for example, driving in busy city traffic might increase chances for crashes with injuries.
Schofer, the Northwestern professor, said other unstudied circumstances could have played a role. For example, grandparents could be less distracted and less frazzled than busy parents dropping their kids off at school while rushing to get to work or to do errands. Driving trips might be "quality time" for older drivers and their grandchildren, Schofer said.
(CBS) Jaycee Dugard's story is a harrowing one. Dugard, abducted from her South Lake Tahoe, Calif., home at age 11, suffered for 18 years in captivity, living in the backyard of her abductors, Phillip and Nancy Garrido.
During those long years apart, Dugard's family also suffered - with the unknown. But the first interview with Dugard, Jaycee's mother Terry Probyn, who also spoke, it seems, faced particular pain over a moment the night before Jaycee was kidnapped.Continue »
President Obama's younger daughter Sasha Obama is having another summer to remember. The 10-year-old recently traveled with her mother, sister and relatives to South Africa, and before that, to Cape Canaveral, Fla., in April for a visit to the Kennedy Space Center to see the Space Shuttle Atlantis.
Check out all of her adventures in our "Sasha Obama's Summer Vacation" photo essay.
Do your children love to play with animals and building blocks? Well, the New York's Bronx Zoo has recently taken those childhood loves and shown how they can become an art form. The zoo is now featuring a rare animal exhibit called "The Great Summer Zoofari: A LEGO Wildlife Expedition" through Sep. 30, 2011. Several of the displays - like the one seen above of a tiger on the prowl - are life-size representations of many of the real animals seen in the zoo's exhibits.
Check out more of the displays in our gallery "Zoo built in building blocks."
I've always relished this quote from Edward, Duke of Windsor: "The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children."
A practice, quite frankly, I've never been able to get my head around, let alone fall in line with. My kids tell me it probably has something to do with the fact that I grew up in the Dark Ages, in a "democratically repressed part of the world." Personally, I always thought Hong Kong was pretty with-it.
When I was growing up, however, there was never a thought of having a "discussion" with my parents about what an appropriate punishment was when I came home later than I was supposed to... I just didn't get to go out the next time. When I was little, I didn't get a pat on the back, or a "good job, that's awesome" if I ate my dinner, took a nap, did my homework or helped around the house. We didn't get pizza if we lost a school sports meet; heck, we didn't get pizza even if we won a meet. My parents never volunteered praise for things they thought it was my job to do and I never expected it. Things were fine and I thought I turned out pretty well. Then, I got married and had kids of my own, raising them in New York. It's not that I thought I had any special skills to be a great mommy, but I did think I had a pretty good road map, courtesy of my own upbringing.
Boy, was I wrong. Three kids down the road - ages 15, 13 and 3 - I readily admit I have no clue what I'm doing. I'm never going to win a Mother of the Year award (though many of my friends think I deserve one, with two teens and a toddler under the same roof at the same time) and the truth is, I really don't mind, or care to change any of my maternal shortcomings. All I really want -- is a bit of peace and quiet. That, and to have a life every now and again. Here's a list of a lot of the don'ts I'm guilty of when it comes to my kids:
- I firmly disbelieve in rewarding good behavior - unless it's my own.
- I hated breastfeeding. Period.
- Sometime last year, I finally tanked and gave up on the whole "you need to eat a healthy dinner every night" notion. What's wrong with Frosted Flakes for dinner?
- I'm secretly thrilled when one of my teenagers refuses to eat the dinner on the table. Not only do I have to cook for them, now I'm expected to talk to them?
- More than once I've told my 3-year-old the park is closed - for the month. "How long is a month, Mommy?" she asks. "A long, long time," I reply.
- I believe in daily personal hygiene, except when it's me who has to give the baby a bath every night. Nothing wrong with skipping a day - or two. Builds resistance.
- I love hearing about what my little one did and played with at school; I just don't necessarily want to replicate the experience at home.
- Reading to your kids every night is clearly something folks did before the Disney Channel, ESPN and "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" was around.
- Being late to pick up your kids isn't so traumatic... and the shoes I got on sale that made me late... will make me a better mom in the long run.
- More than once, I've screamed, threatened, bribed and blasted each one of my kids. I didn't apologize, either.
- I've hidden things that belong to them that they love, but that irritate me. Then I blame the housekeeper. (Somewhere there is a treasure trove of PlayStation games, noisy toys and short skirts at home.)
- I admit -- play groups weren't really for the kids. They were merely the accessories.
Now that I've come clean, I feel a lot better. Bottom line -- I really do love my kids. I just want to do it from afar sometimes. I also really do want the best for them - as long as they share with me. Think I'll kick back and have that glass of wine now.