Sunday, May 23, 2010
Questions Over Children Fundraising In SF
They are standing on street corners or at BART stations for hours, asking for donations while holding trays of snacks. Often, seemingly, alone. And the sight of these kids prompts concerns.
"Why is it the same people out there every single day," said one man. "They're hustling," said another. And a third: "They're out here pretty late, I'm wondering where does the money go."
So CBS 5 Investigates decided to check it out. We asked one child at the Ferry Building.
"We are in the grips of a kind of national madness," Diane Ravitch told me, "closing schools, firing teachers, shutting down public education." What makes this statement interesting is that, for many years, Ravitch was a powerful voice within the national education reform movement she now rejects as faddish, empirically unfounded, and bad for America's kids.
As assistant secretary of education under George H.W. Bush, Ravitch became an outspoken supporter of educational testing, school choice, charter schools, and No Child Left Behind. Later, she championed those positions as a member of the National Assessment Governing Board (the entity that oversees education testing in the United States) and through her involvement with two prominent conservative think tanks, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and the Koret Task Force.
Today, Ravitch refers to the reforms she once championed as "deforms." Her new book, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, documents her own reversal and the impact of current education policy on communities, schools, families, teachers, and students. When I spoke with her, she was frank and thoughtful about the experience of coming to reject what were once some of her most deeply held beliefs. "For years," she told me, "people would say to me, ‘Well, I don't agree with everything you write,' and I would think, 'Thanks a lot, that's some compliment.' But now I say, ‘Well, I don't agree with everything I write, so why should you?' "
Thanks for agreeing to meet with me. Not everyone relishes talking about their mistakes.
This is something that I haven't really put into words, so I don't know if I'm going to get it
LATEST EDUCATION NEWS WIRE UPDATES
Marijuana For A.D.D. Instead Of Adderal?
A reader with a severe-sounding case of ADD writes in to Andrew Sullivan at his Daily Dish blog on The Atlantic's website:
Check out the rest of his argument for a few tokes instead of "acceptable" prescription drugs:
"I'm a college student (should be writing my final paper right now, in fact), so there isn't any real stigma regarding smoking marijuana, but I do it for a much different reason than most of my friends. I'm 21 and I have rather severe Attention Deficit Disorder, something I've struggled with my entire life. The only medication that works for me at all is Adderall, which I think of as meth for rich people. However, while taking 25mg a day allows me to function normally as a student, it also makes me miserable . . ."
". . . .Because of weed, I don't have to choose between being functional and feeling good. I don't like having to break the law, but as a well-off, clean-cut
More English-language learners at LAUSD, state test shows
The percentage of English-language learners at Los Angeles Unified who can read, write and speak English fluently decreased slightly in 2009, according to state test results released today.
This year, 37 percent of all English language-learners reached proficiency at LAUSD, according to the 2009 California English Language Development Test data.
That is virtually flat from last year's rate of 38 percent but the dip drew concern from LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines.
"I am disappointed," Cortines said in a letter to district officials and boardmembers.
"I have sent e-mails and letters to principals and local district administrators on the importance of providing English language development and access to grade level standards."
With 220,000 students, LAUSD has the largest population of English-language learners of any district in the country.
Currently they represent nearly a third of the district's entire student body.
Over the years low test scores and graduation rates have plagued the district's population of English-language learners.
Most recently dismal student achievement drew the attention of the civil right's arm of the U.S. Department of Education, which launched an investigation in March to look into whether the district has denied English-language learners educational
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