Wednesday, November 23, 2016

I am Thankful for…. | The Merrow Report

I am Thankful for…. | The Merrow Report:

I am Thankful for….

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Although I am very concerned about our future, Thanksgiving Week is a time to reflect on how much I am thankful for.  Here’s my list of some of the people and organizations that make our lives life better.  Because some of them are non-profits relying on individual generosity, I am including their contact information.
FAIRTEST:  This organization (full name: The National Center for Fair and Open Testing) has been an honest and honorable advocate for reducing our reliance on standardized bubble tests.  It’s also a solid source of information about the growing ‘Opt Out’ movement, where students simply say ‘No Mas’ to excessive testing.  A non-profit, FAIRTEST is an organization to be both thankful for and worthy of your financial support.
WHAT KIDS CAN DO was years ahead of its time when it began spotlighting the accomplishment of young people in 2001. You may know WKCD from “Fires in the Bathroom: Advice for Teachers from High School Students” (The New Press 2005), but WKCD uses digital, print, and broadcast media to send a dual message: 1) What young people can accomplish when given the opportunities and supports they need, and 2) what they can contribute when we take their voices and ideas seriously. The youth who concern WKCD most are those marginalized by poverty, race, and language. WKCD was founded an educator and a journalist with more than 60 years combined experience supporting adolescent learning in and out of school.
READWORKS  If you believe as I do, that reading is the essential gateway to success, then Readworks is a group you should be thankful for. Readworks is a free and easy-to-use that helps teachers do a better job.  In its own words, “ReadWorks is committed to solving America’s reading comprehension crisis and student achievement gap. Driven by cognitive science research,the non-profit ReadWorks creates world-class content, teacher guidance, and integrated tools that improve teacher effectiveness and student achievement.   Lean and mean group that spends its money helping teachers helping kids.
THE URBAN ASSEMBLY  While improving educational opportunities is never easy, the smoothest path to success is to start in kindergarten and first grade, then add a grade or two every year.  The tough job is starting in high school, after the kids you want to help have spent eight or more years in traditional schools.  So that’s what Richard Kahan decided to do when he transitioned from a hugely successful career in real estate and urban planning. Today The Urban Assembly supports a group of 21 high performing, small public schools in New York City, including seven Career & Technical Education (CTE) schools and three all-girls schools, serving over 9,000 students from low-income neighborhoods.  These themed schools (EG, Academy for Government and Law; Gateway School for Technology; Institute of Math and Science for Young Women) are open to all students.
YOUTHBUILD  I got to know YouthBuild during my first go-round at the NewsHour sometime between 1985-1990. I’m happy to report that this organization, dedicated to giving marginalized youth a second, third and perhaps fourth chance, is stronger I am Thankful for…. | The Merrow Report: