One meeting to put out there: the 43rd Dems will be considering on a resolution to oppose charter schools at their meeting this Tuesday night that starts a 7:00 p.m. (this resolution is at the end of the meeting).
That makes the 34th, 36th, 37th,46th, King County Dems and Washington State Dems have passed resolutions against charter schools. And, adding to PTAs that have passed resolutions against this charter legislation, is the Loyal Heights PTA Board. They crafted a beautifully-written and detailed letter to Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles as well as Frank Chopp, Speaker of the House.
Speaking of Chopp, he's MY rep, and I hope to be meeting with him soon to discuss the charter legislation. As I pointed out to his staff, I am a constituent and if the Speaker has time to talk with non-constituent Nick Hanauer about this issue (and that Mr. Hanauer then talked about how he reamed out the Speaker in that now-infamous e-mail published at Publicola), maybe the Speaker has time for me.
According to the Associated Press, Washington State is going apply for a waiver to the requirements of NCLB. Washington State is near the reading goal but nowhere near for math.
Single Parents by Choice
From the NY Times:
After steadily rising for five decades, the share of children born to unmarried women has crossed a threshold: more than half of births to American women under 30 occur outside marriage.
Among mothers of all ages, a majority — 59 percent in 2009 — are married when they have children. But the surge of births outside marriage among younger women — nearly two-thirds of children in the United States are born to mothers under 30 — is both a symbol of the transforming family and a hint of coming generational change.
The shift is affecting children’s lives. Researchers have consistently found that children born outside marriage face elevated risks of falling into poverty, failing in school or suffering emotional and behavioral problems.
Is this about the economy?
What are the ramifications for schools?
I would venture, after the single parent, schools probably absorb more of the costs and complications that come from more single-parent households.
It is difficult to say more without sounding like I'm making a moral judgment so I'll leave it at that. I think that the data on this issue speaks for itself.
Then there was this article in the Times, also from the AP:
Too often it is after the fact that teachers discover their students are worrying less about math and reading and more about where the next meal comes from.
So Doug White, principal of Garfield Elementary School in inner-city Kansas City, was relieved when his school, like many across the country, began offering dinner to students enrolled in after-school child-care or tutoring programs.
With breakfast and lunch already provided for poor students, many children now are getting all their meals at school.
From the NY Times, it looks like federal funding to help low-income students take AP exams has been cut nearly in half. I don't know what the difference will be in Washington State but in New York, it goes from $10 to $15 for up to three exams per student. (The exams cost $87 for everyone else.) Beyond three, the cost would be $53 per exam.
Technology in Schools
This article from the NY Times is one of the better ones I've read on the subject.
Teaching about Global Warming
In yet another plan by an outside group trying to shape curriculum, an organization called Heartland Institute has been planning a way to undermine teaching about global warming and the role of fossil fuel emissions. They call it that view "the alarmist perspective." Documents were leaked that discuss this effort. The Institute says it believes some of the documents were altered or are forgeries but that the content of the disputed documents does match the other ones.
The NY Times has a pretty funny article on the rise of fathers active in PTA especially in leadership roles.
As a long-time Board member, I can only say that ALL the PTA Boards I was on did try to encourage men to be active in PTA. I note that I saw more men active in elementary school than in middle or high school (although many men do serve as high school PTA presidents or co-presidents).
The national PTSA has always had an outreach program to get more fathers active in their children's schools. One, it's good for the organization but two, it is good for kids to see more men working as volunteers in their schools.
I had to smile at these two paragraphs from the article:
In the cramped PTA room with the bright pink door at P.S. 75 on West End Avenue in Manhattan, Hector Rios, a co-president, said that being the lone man among eight board members has its downside: “Sometimes I feel like everybody’s husband.” (Why is the door pink?)
Still, for every admiring story about a father whose PowerPoint presentation revolutionized the Read-a-Thon, there is one about the bossy treasurer whose budget-balancing came with an off-putting tone. Or the president who chose the wrong time to talk school politics.
And what seems to be a perennial gripe: men going missing when it’s time to do the grunt work.
“You don’t see many male presidents with the cellophane and the curling ribbon working on the auction baskets,” said Bijou Miller, who lives on the Upper West Side and has sat on a half-dozen school-related boards over the last decade.