This Little Light Of Mine

Federal Register:
Teacher Quality Partnership Grant Program
Purpose of Program:
The Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) Grant Program aims to increase student achievement by improving the quality of new prospective teachers by enhancing the preparation of prospective teachers and the professional development activities for current teachers; holding teacher preparation programs at institutions of higher education (IHEs) accountable for preparing highly qualified teachers; and recruiting effective individuals, including minorities and individuals from other occupations, into the teaching force.

The premise of this program supposes that the educational failure of our nation’s children is due to a lack of teacher quality and training when it is the system of education that is failing our children.

The 2014 Scripps National Spelling Bee began Tuesday and while Albany, Buffalo, and Syracuse sent representatives, Rochester did not.

National elementary school mathematics competitions:
Continental Mathematics League (CML)
Homeschool Math Contests
The Math Bee hosted by the North South Foundation
Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools (MOEMS)
Math Kangaroo may be the world’s largest mathematics competition.
Noetic Learning Math Contests
Beestar Math Contests
Online Math League (OML)
National Trimathlon is a fun filled Math Competition for kids in grades 3-6.

ExploraVision:
ExploraVision is a science competition that encourages teachers to make science and technology an exciting part of their curriculum. K-12 students of all skill levels work in small groups to simulate real research and development. Students work collaboratively to develop their ideas.

There are many opportunities for our children to shine.

There are many opportunities for our teachers to shine.

Our current system of education hides the light of our children and teachers, forcing them to learn in the darkness of standardization.

Grants, awards, and prize winnings all add positive funds to the education pot that are not controlled by corporations.

Positive competition spurs engagement, excitement, and a sense of pride and accomplishment while teaching children that both winning and losing are opportunities to learn.

Teaching to the gifts and talents of every child opens up a world of opportunities to every child.

Our children and our teachers deserve to shine.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Public Funds – Private Profits

Federal Register
Applications for New Awards; Charter Schools Program (CSP) Grants to Non-State Educational Agency (Non-SEA) Eligible Applicants for Planning, Program Design, and Initial Implementation and for Dissemination

CSP Grants to Non-SEA Eligible Applicants for Planning, Program Design, and Initial Implementation and for Dissemination.

Purpose of Program:
The purpose of the CSP is to increase national understanding of the charter school model by expanding the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the Nation; providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools; and evaluating the effects of charter schools, including their effects on students, student academic achievement, staff, and parents.

Federal tax dollars, collected from the citizens of these United States, are being spent to support the profits of private corporations.

Federal, State, and local tax dollars must be spent providing ALL children in America an excellent, child centered, developmentally appropriate, Arts based, experiential education that discovers, develops, and directs their individual gifts and talents towards becoming respectful, responsible, citizens who actively participate in the successful governance of their community and this nation.

Our leaders know and understand that Charter and Private school systems of education are superior to public education.

Low class sizes and connections between and among parents, students, and teachers are two components of Charter and Private school education that are not supported in the public school system.

While neither system of educating children concentrates on the child’s gifts and talents, Charter and Private schools do more to engage the passions of the child by providing learning experiences that broaden the child’s perspective of and connection to the world.

Our current system of education allows corporate control of the $607.2 billion in public school expenditures to influence the direction of education.

There are approximately 75 million children in the U.S. That is $8,093 to educate every child in America.

AVERAGE PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION: $8,549

Average district public school per pupil expenditure: $13,041.

Providing every child in America with an excellent education is less expensive and more productive.

Our children deserve the full benefit of our education dollars.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Data Worth Collecting

Any data on educating children worth collecting is information parents and teachers are privy to.

Teachers collect data everyday on their students, their strengths, weaknesses, perspectives, attitudes, their belief systems, all pertinent information that, when focused on a positive path, will help guide students to personal and academic success.

In Early Childhood Education, how children interact with each other, their adult supervisors, their environment, and their family members are intimate details that tell more about the child than any type of normed test.

At the elementary level of education, while the most efficient use of resources, time, and personnel is to have teachers loop with their students for a maximum of three years in order for true success or failure to be properly measured, this researched, approved, and suggested method of teaching has been advocated for by teachers but often rejected by administration.

Staying together through several school years creates a positive relationship between and among the parent, child, and teacher as they get to know and trust one another.

If this were the standard, testing would be authentic, assessing understanding of content, directed by real examples of student achievement.

In a child centered learning environment, by the time students reach the secondary level, dependent upon the developmental level of the child, some may reach the secondary level at ten, some at eighteen, moving on is contingent upon mastery not “date of manufacture”, they are mature and ready to adjust to the rigorous pace of preparation for success in adulthood.

This is the purpose of education, to prepare children for success in adulthood.

Collecting data on children to determine what the “normal” child would, could, should, look like is dehumanizing and demoralizing.

ALL children are unique creations of intelligence, creativity, ingenuity, and love.

All children are gifted and talented in some way.

The most important data about our children is being ignored, what are their passions, what do they love, what gets them excited about learning.

We must change the system. Our children deserve an education that inspires them to be unique.

Join the Movement to Save our Children!

Understanding The Future By Knowing The Past

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965
“On April 9, 1965 Congress enacted the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA) (P.L. 89-10), the most expansive federal education bill ever passed.  It is significant to note the bill was enacted less than three months after it was introduced. . . This piece of legislation constituted the most important educational component of the “War on Poverty” launched by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Through a special source of funding (Title I), the law allocated large resources to meet the needs of educationally deprived children, especially through compensatory programs for the poor.” The Social Welfare History Project

No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
Accountability for Results
H.R. 1 will result in the creation of assessments in each state that measure what children know and learn in reading and math in grades 3-8. Student progress and achievement will be measured according to tests that will be given to every child, every year.

H.R. 1 will empower parents, citizens, educators, administrators, and policymakers with data from those annual assessments. The data will be available in annual report cards on school performance and on statewide progress. They will give parents information about the quality of their children’s schools, the qualifications of teachers, and their children’s progress in key subjects.

Statewide reports will include performance data disaggregated according to race, gender, and other criteria to demonstrate not only how well students are achieving overall but also progress in closing the achievement gap between disadvantaged students and other groups of students.

These are two major pieces of legislation that led to the Race To The Top we are in today.

This legislation must be overturned before we can move towards providing ALL of America’s children an excellent education.

The language of education must also be changed so that the gifts and talents of every child are discovered, developed, and directed towards the full potential for success that exists within each of us.

Every child in America must be Constitutionally guaranteed an excellent education. Federal funding must support local public education agencies in providing an excellent education to every child.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

Testing Is Bad, The System Is Worse

This e-mail is being circulated amongst the concerned education community in Rochester.

“On Thursday, May 22 at 5:30 p.m., a number of Rochester City School District students, parents and educators will be rallying for an end to the current obsession with high-stakes testing in public schools. We’re calling it a Day of Mourning, and despite the name, we plan to make this a joyful chance to speak truth to power. Anyone who is concerned about the state of education here in Rochester and across the country is invited to add his/her voice to the chorus! I hope to see you there, wearing black and ready to sing!

Day of Mourning:
Students, Parents and Educators against Test-Death
Thursday, 5/22 at 5:30 p.m.
131 W. Broad St, Rochester
(RCSD Central Office) Wear black!”

Standing up to the State and its mandated curriculum and testing is a definite show of strength especially considering our counter proposal to the State in lieu of their closing East High School.

It is this type of community support that the Board of Education must have in order to change the system of education for the children of Rochester.

Parents, students, educators, and community members must stand together to support our fight against State and Federal mandates that deny our children an excellent education.

Pushing back against standardized testing is a beginning in the struggle to end the educational failure that our current system of education perpetuates.

It is time to regain local control of our system of education and change it.

We must fight until education in America concentrates on discovering, developing, and directing the gifts and talents of ALL children.

It will soon be the end of another school year. Another class of young men and women will graduate with the same uncertain future as the class from the year before. There are only a few months before another school year will begin and another class of young men and women will look forward to a school year of uncertainty and fear.

Stand now!

Change the system now!

Our children deserve excellence!

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!

A Little Clearer Please

While transparency issues with the Rochester City School District have been improving over the last few years, there are still some very cloudy areas when considering the management of School Board meetings, agendas, and minutes.

School Board committee meetings are held one week before the regular business meeting. Board members are given new resolutions to read and consider days before the business meeting and, as of today, the meeting agenda and resolutions for this month’s meeting have not been posted.

Board members and interested stakeholders should have more than days to read, review, comment on and question every resolution.

From the Finance committee we learn that there are more than $200,000 in “Change Order” payments to contractors for work done on district buildings.

The Policy Committee has made changes to part 1900 of the RCSD Board Policy Manual.

The policy has been updated to include:

“A District-wide culture change may be necessary to improve family and parent participation and engagement. This change must be embraced by the Superintendent and demonstrated in our schools.The Board shall ensure that compliance with this Parent and Family Engagement Policy is explicitly addressed in the Superintendent’s evaluation tool.”

“The Auditor General will meet with the Parent A Council and additional parents during the annual risk assessment and audit plan development process in order to include the perspectives of families and parents in District audits.”

The “Accountability” section of Policy 1900 now reads:
To ensure that these practices are implemented with fidelity,
annually in July, (prior to the end of each academic year,) the Superintendent shall provide to the Board of Education a consolidated Building-level and District-level evaluation assessment of the content, implementation and effectiveness of this policy.”

Part 1900.9 Grievance Process of the PARENT AND FAMILY ENGAGEMENT POLICY now reads, “The Board shall ensure that compliance with this Parent and Family Engagement Policy is explicitly addressed in the Superintendent’s evaluation.”

Before this community can hold our educational leaders accountable for doing their due diligence, we must know and understand what their duties are and the rationale for their decision making.

Join the Movement to Save Our Children!