Saturday, December 21, 2013

Subtract Teachers, Add Pupils - Math of Today’s Jammed Schools - NYTimes.com

Subtract Teachers, Add Pupils - Math of Today’s Jammed Schools - NYTimes.com:

Subtract Teachers, Add Pupils: Math of Today’s Jammed Schools


Overcrowding in Classrooms: Cuts to payrolls in school districts have resulted in unwieldy class sizes and a lack of specialists to help those students who struggle academically.


 COATESVILLE, Pa. — The recession may have ended, but many of the nation’s school districts that laid off teachers and other employees to cut payrolls in leaner times have not yet replenished their ranks. Now, despite the recovery, many schools face unwieldy class sizes and a lack of specialists to help those students who struggle academically, are learning English as a second language or need extra emotional support.


Donna Guy’s fourth-grade class at Caln Elementary School here is too big — 30 pupils — for the room, so some of them sit halfway into a coat closet. Across town at Rainbow Elementary School, the 36 third graders in Kristen Pleasanton’s gym class rotate on and off the bench during 25 minutes of seven-a-side soccer games, because she cannot supervise all of them playing at once.
And during social studies class at Scott Middle School, Keith Lilienfeld tries to keep control of a class of 25 students, 10 who need special education services, four who know little or no English and others who need more challenging work than he has time to give.
“I’m up there putting out fires like you wouldn’t believe,” said Mr. Lilienfeld, who used to have the help of two or three classroom aides. “There’s only one of me, and there’s a need 

I Believe in Human Rights: Youth Homelessness and Education | ED.gov Blog

I Believe in Human Rights: Youth Homelessness and Education | ED.gov Blog:

I Believe in Human Rights: Youth Homelessness and Education


For two years in a row, I have been honored to speak with the recipients of the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth’s LeTendre Education Fund Scholarship (NAEHCY/LeTendre). The recipients are undergraduates who have demonstrated an incredible commitment to education during their experience of homelessness.
These young people – typically in college by the time I’ve met them – are among the most courageous students I have ever met. Their stories are heartbreaking, yet hopeful at the same time. This year, they shared their experiences of surviving domestic violence, helping their parents and younger siblings gain access to food and shelter, dealing with constant stress and worry, working through high school, and getting by without much sleep. For many of them, these experiences began early in their lives and came full force during middle school. 
And yet, these students fought, and still fight, to take full advantage of every opportunity that crosses their paths – be it community service, school athletics, extracurricular activities, and Honor Society. I’m not sure I’ve ever met a more focused, and more dedicated group of people, and I am humbled that they continue to reach for a brighter future in the face of so many obstacles.
Yet, the sobering truth is this – homelessness is no obstacle that any child should have to face. While I’m awed by the strength and persistence of the human spirit – especially in our young people – I am a firm believer that the true measure of a society’s greatness is in its treatment of our most vulnerable people.  The stories of the 13 NAEHCY/LeTendre undergraduates are inspiring, and yet, even they continue to struggle for the basic necessities of life – including shelter and food – and they are the exception among homeless youth, not the norm.  There are far too many homeless youth who are left behind and cannot find the strength or resources to face another day without the basic necessities which leaves them with little, if any, hope.
We must do better.
The Department provides about $60 million per year to support the education of homeless youth, from kindergarten through grade 12.  These funds are vital to supporting State and local efforts to keep these highly mobile youth in their school of origin — minimizing the disruption that sudden or chronic homelessness may cause to their academic careers and community supports.  However, these dollars are thinly stretched and, over the past few years, school districts have reported more and more students in need of stable housing and basic necessities.
During the 2011 – 2012 school year, school districts reported 1,166,436 homeless youth – a 10 percent increase over the previous year. Seventy-five percent of these youth are “doubled-up” – that is, they are residing temporarily with other people, with or without their parents.  The remaining 25 percent stay in shelters, motels, or are completely unsheltered.  Too many of them are left wandering.
To give homeless youth the best possible chance to succeed, it is critical that we provide them with high-quality education services, wherever they go, and maintain strong partnerships between local education agencies and housing authorities.   However, after meeting with the NAEHCY/LeTendre recipients, I strongly believe that we must to do more to prevent youth homelessness in the first place and, for those students who become homeless, rapid rehousing must become our first priority.  What we offer to our children tells them what it is that we value.  By prioritizing the needs of homeless youth, we tell them that we believe in them and are willing to be advocates on this challenging pathway called life.
Deb Delisle is the assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education at the U.S. Department of Education.

Should your local public school have to pay for charter and county vocational school sports programs?

Save Our Schools NJ:

Save Our Schools NJ



Should your local public school have to pay for charter and county vocational school sports programs?

The New Jersey Legislature is about to vote on legislation that would do just that!
Assembly Bill 3421/Senate Bill 3043 require public school districts to allow students attending charter or county vocational schools, or being home schooled, to play on the local public school sports teams, if the charter and county vocational schools do not offer those sports.
However, this legislation does not require charter or county vocational schools to contribute to the cost of their students participating in the local public school  sports programs, even though New Jersey public schools are dealing with severe, multi-year funding cuts from the State.
This legislation also does not give local public school students the same opportunity to play sports, or take part in any other extra curricular activities, at charter or vocational schools.
This legislation actually creates an incentive for charter and county vocational schools not to fund their own sports programs, instead encouraging their students to play on the local public school teams.
Charter schools and county vocational schools are taxpayer funded. In fact, vocational schools areamong the highest funded schools in New Jersey.  Public school districts also pay to transport students to charter and county vocational schools, at significant cost. Why must local public schools be forced to bear the cost of these schools’ sports programs as well?
Public school districts already have the option to allow any child who lives within the school district to play on a local public school sports team, but this legislation would FORCE school districts to do so, taking away their ability to determine what is best for their students.
Please ask the Legislature not to force this requirement on our local public schools.

Nite Cap 12-21-13 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2


James Baldwin said it best: 

"For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."


A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP


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YESTERDAY

Daily Kos: Charles M. Blow on Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson
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CASU | CALIFORNIA STUDENT UNION : : Our struggles are one. Our victories are one. *** This site is currently under construction. Please bare with us as we update resources, links, etc. Thank you. ***
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OSPI says KUOW data agreement story inaccurate | Education Lab Blog | Seattle Times
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Nite Cap 12-20-13 #BATsACT #RealEdTalk #EDCHAT #P2
James Baldwin said it best: "For these are all our children, and we will profit by or pay for whatever they become."A BIG EDUCATION APE NITE CAP mark as readChoosing Democracy: The Paucity of Dan Walters' Commentary on School IssuesChoosing Democracy: The Paucity of Dan Walters' Commentary on School Issues: The Paucity of Dan Walters' Commentary on School IssuesThe column by Dan Walters



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