Mountain Dew Jacks Up Standardized Test Takers at Florida School

Friday, 25 Apr 2014 09:28 AM

By Nick Sanchez

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An elementary school has stopped its practice of giving Mountain Dew to children before their standardized state testing after a local grandmother complained to the media.

According to Florida Today, Creel Elementary school principal Kathryn Eward began serving Mountain Dew and trail mix to students over 10 years ago before each day's Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test.

"She felt that it was a professional practice and implemented it," Brevard Public Schools Spokeswoman Michelle Irwin told reporters. "Since then, there's been new information [about what's best for students]."

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Irwin is referring to Eward's explanation that she began serving Mountain Dew in servings of roughly 3 tablespoons per child after reading in an education journal that it can provide a positive boost for the test. She and Irwin stressed that the practice was always accompanied by advice to both students and parents that students get a good night's sleep the night before the test, wear comfortable clothes, and eat a healthy breakfast.

One local grandmother took issue with the practice, however, concerned that the Mountain Dew was loaded with sugar and caffeine. The practice also defies the spirit of a state law that prohibits schools from selling sodas, others pointed out.

"Once that was brought to our attention, we eliminated that practice," Irwin said in response to the public criticism. "We've advised Creel Elementary to only provide water as a beverage."

"We don't think we were giving them enough to really get into" negative territory, Eward said. "We've done it for years. The kids look forward to the treats."

Nonetheless, Eward agreed to switch to water, and said, "It's wonderful for people to be mindful of their kids, and what they're eating and drinking and doing."

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