LEAP’S R.A.V.E. turns around most violent school in Bronx NYC In every school, in every neighborhood, there’s a jewel waiting to be polished with our compassion, our hope for the future and our commitment to never let our students down. This should be our focus instead of what is happening across our country with attacks on education and teachers; especially the poor.

27 Students Removed for Illegal Enrollment. Only 1 faces Charges Norwalk public schools removed 26 students for illegal enrollment (false addresses). None of these parents face any criminal charges whatsoever. None of these parents’ names are in the newspapers, facing untold scrutiny with their lives laid bare for all the world to see. None of these parents were evicted from their apartment as was Ms. McDowell’s friend who offered her a place to sleep from time to time, and was a babysitter for her six-year-old son. None of these parents have gone through anything even remotely close to what Ms. McDowell is going through now. None of them, including Ms. McDowell, should be put through this kind of injustice.

Diversity of Ideas vs. Gov. Snyder and One-Man, No vote Rule Last week, Snyder spoke before members of Michigan’s state board of education and “outlined his plan to fix the “broken” educational system, including creating a statewide performance review system for teachers.” The problem is, according to the AFT-Michigan, “a statewide mandate undercuts what’s already happening at the district level, such as legislation passed in 2009 when Michigan was after federal Race to the Top funds.”

Indiana Gov. Signs Ed Bill Into Law/Calls for More Charter Schools

The High Cost of Low Teacher Salaries WHEN we don’t get the results we want in our military endeavors, we don’t blame the soldiers. We don’t say, “It’s these lazy soldiers and their bloated benefits plans! That’s why we haven’t done better in Afghanistan!” No, if the results aren’t there, we blame the planners. We blame the generals, the secretary of defense, the Joint Chiefs of Staff. No one contemplates blaming the men and women fighting every day in the trenches for little pay and scant recognition. And yet in education we do just that.

Another Mom Jailed for Sending Child to Wrong School District this time in Norwalk CT |This is outrageous and I am saddened that it has taken place in my home state. First of all, Tonya McDowell and her son are homeless so what district is she supposed to enroll her son? Are there any homeless student enrollment guidelines that Ms. McDowell is supposed to follow?

Public Education Under Attack by GOP Presidential Hopefuls| One of the cornerstone’s of democracy is universal free, public education for all. And in order to gin up their base and gain votes from the GOP base, potential candidates go after public schools – at a home school rally. “Three potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates expressed hostility toward the public school system at a home schooling rally on Wednesday in … Iowa. … Texas Congressman Ron Paul told the crowd government wants “absolute control” of the “indoctrination” of children. Paul spoke along with Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and Georgia businessman Herman Cain. … “The public school system now is a propaganda machine,” Paul said … “They start with our kids even in kindergarten, teaching them about family values, sexual education, gun rights, environmentalism – and they condition them to believe in so much which is totally un-American.” [….] Clearly, these candidates are telling us that they are offering more of the same “all or nothing / my way or no way” politics. Thanks, but no thanks. We’ve seen this picture before and it ain’t pretty.

OK Legislature May Eliminate State BOE | Manned by three elected officials, it seems highly unlikely that the board will have any governing impact on the education system. Elected officials such as the governor, secretary of state and the attorney general all have demanding positions that need their constant attention. I cannot see how they will be able to “manage” their board responsibilities.

Pres. Obama Visits Miami Central High where Ed. Is Winning the Future | President Obama toured Central High together with former Florida governor, Jeb Bush and Education Secretary Arne Duncan. The school received over $750,000 in federal School Grants for Improvements it was in dire need of. The funds allowed the school to carry out a complete transformation that is yielding dramatic results: “a 40-point increase in writing achievement, a 60-point increase in math, and almost doubling its graduation rate.”

American Spirit, Ingenuity and Peanut Butter Sandwiches| The other night, my son dropped my granddaughter off to visit while he went back to his office to catch up on some work. He and his wife are celebrating the arrival of their second child, and that means I get to spend some quality “grandma” time with their older daughter, Grace.

Chess. A great Way to Teach Critical Thinking Skills and More| Monopoly, Scramble, Checkers, Crosswords and Chess. Those were the games that I grew up. The chess game is a part of our family tradition. On holidays before the great meal, there is the traditional game of chess. Admittedly, as our second and third generation family members “grow,” the clamor to be the first chess team at family dinners is waning.

Color of Change Seeks to Reduce Student Loan Debt |Hundreds of thousands of people go into debt every year enrolling in for-profit higher education programs like DeVry and Argosy — sold on the idea that they’ll graduate with skills that will lead to opportunity and a better life. In reality, many come out with a mountain of debt they can’t pay back and no better prospects at employment.

New Jersey Students Get a Temporary Pass on Biology |High school freshmen in New Jersey got a pass on their biology exams earlier this month. State education officials have decided not to require high school seniors to pass a biology test in order to graduate — for now. Better yet, for those graduating in 2014.

Florida gunman opens fire at school board meeting | [Video] This is one brave woman who does what she can to try and “delay” the gunman from shooting her colleagues or anyone else in the room.

A WORD WITH GEOFFREY CANADA | [Video] In the midst of the battles in Washington, the wars, and shorter lines at Starbucks, we cannot fix anything if we don’t fix our education system. Listen to Geoffrey Canada. He’s on to something.

Thank a Teacher | [Video] My life has been full with fortune from the great mentors that I have had and continue to have along this great journey. Watch this video and be inspired to thank a teacher.

Gates Foundation Invest $335 Million in Teacher Evaluation |Gates, whose foundation has taken on many education projects, recently announced his plans to invest $335 million in a new idea for teacher evaluation; digital videos in the classroom.

Pushout. The Underside of High School Drop Out | [Video] Nestled in the heart of distinguished institutions of higher learning that include Yale UniversityAlbertus Magnus,University of New Havenand Southern Connecticut State University are high school students with little hope of success stacked up against a mountain of failure-expectation. They began their own quest to encourage each other and tell their story,Youth Rights Media.

Can Poor Students w/Parents who have no College Degree be Educated? |Today’s Hartford Courant’s article, “Town-by-Town SAT Scores,” emphasizes once again the gross disparity in the achievement gap in our state. The article, however, draws a “correlation” between the wealthy and the poor in a way that is quite troublesome:

Recent Films on Education. Call to Action or Just Another film? |There are several films recently released that document the plight of the American public education system that focus on the achievement gap between the haves and the have nots, the era of the tests, soaring high school dropout rates, our fast track to establish charter schools and the seemingly end to free public schools as we know it.  The four films are Waiting for Superman, The Lottery, The Cartel, and Race To Nowhere.

Ask Your Senators To Support The Dream Act |This bipartisan legislation sponsored by Senators Durbin (D-IL) and Lugar (R-IN) would provide undocumented students brought to the United States (as children) with the opportunity to earn permanent legal status if they came to the U.S. when they were very young, lived here for at least five years, stayed out of trouble, earned a high school diploma or GED, and completed at least two years of college or military service.

President Obama Determines to Pass the Dream Act | While the GOP, political pundits and talking heads harp on and on about progressives and Democrats don’t have their act together; are not focusing on the issues, etc., Democrats, progressives and oters keep moving forward on the issues that matter to all Americans.

ConnCAN Press Release Applauds Passage of SB438 Race to the Top |ConnCAN applauds Connecticut legislators for passing SB 438 to make Connecticut more competitive in the federal Race to the Top and help close the state’s achievement gap.“Today is a breakthrough for the Connecticut education reform movement,” said ConnCAN CEO Alex Johnston.

Are Our Students Employable? |In speaking with one of Education 2010′s panelists about the public school system’s graduation rate, I learned, much to my horror, that the Department of Correction graduates as many — and in some towns more than — as the public school system. Several days later, I am still reeling from that information.  There are so many obstacles to overcome with our current system.  It is no wonder that companies seek to employ students from outside of our borders.

Does Race Matter? A Dialogue on Education. |The youthful voice on the other end of the phone belied the fact that Norma Neumann-Johnson, principal of Breakthrough Magnet School in Hartford, has been an educator in Hartford’s public schools for 42 years.  As I read Norma’s biography that she quickly wrote (no doubt from the waterside) and emailed to me, I was pleased to note that she referred to the many roles she has been in as having “served” and not having “worked.”

Fix the Economy … Fix Our Broken Schools |We sent President Obama to Washington because we longed for real change — especially in our economy — and we knew that he is the one who can achieve the lofty goals he set and we need.  We got the ball rolling with taking the necessary steps to fix a broken health care system, which is 100 years overdue and is crippling our economy on every level.

Successful Students Ready for the 21st Century. A Conversation with Panelist Clifford Thornton | One of the ingredients to Education 2010‘s success in our three-part dialogue series is our ability to bring together a diverse panel of distinguished individuals who deal with education on a multitude of levels and areas.  This kind of diversity allows for a rich and lively conversation; one that is not static and is empowering.

Successful Students Ready for the 21st Century – First Report |Education 2010′s third dialogue of its three-part series is well underway.  The title says it all, “Successful Students Ready for the 21st Century.” The dialogue, co-sponsored by Hartford City council Majority Leader rJo Winch and The Scheff Movement, will take place on wednesday, March 31, 2010, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, in the Council Chambers of Hartford’s City Hall, 550 Main Street, Hartford.

Which Schools are Smarter, Public, Magnet, Charter or Private? |I received a link to an article, “Charters, Unions Clash Over State Money,” that was published in the New Haven Independent on January 27th.  I was asked to give my opinion on same.  My initial thoughts were: why are we fighting over funds for students in public schools?  Have we not taken enough from public schools already?

The Road to Parent/Guardian Involvement. Education 2010 |The first of Education 2010′s series was an incredible success. Over 120 people, including students, parents, teachers, administrators, elected officials and community leaders and religious leaders — the village came out — converged on the Hartford Public Library last Wednesday for an evening of lively and substantive conversation lead by an incredible panel. Supporting the theme of The Achievement Gap were four breakout sessions. One of those sessions was The Road to Parent/Guardian Involvement.

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