Locally (and thanks to reader Carolyn), news from Real Change newspaper about getting food to needy students for the weekends.
While the kids of John Hay Elementary School play outside, LaRock
carries bags of food into classrooms and surreptitiously slips them into
the backpacks of 15 kids at the 500-student school on Queen Anne Hill.
Each bag contains cans of soup, crackers, tuna, granola bars and
fresh fruit. There’s enough food to get a student through the next two
days: two breakfasts, two lunches, three dinners and snacks. Administrators slip the food into backpacks when students are outside of
the classroom to avoid stigmatizing the students receiving the help.
So anti-hunger nonprofits decided to stop relying on parents to get the
food from the food bank and instead bring it directly to the kids to
take home. The Queen Anne Helpline and the West Seattle Food Bank launched their
programs in November at a handful of neighborhood schools, and hope to
expand them to more schools.
Speaking of poverty, a great article from the Huffington Post (with graphs) about the effects of poverty on student test scores.
LAUSD's giant plan of an iPad for every student (complete with Pearson content) continues to have issues. One thing to consider from this story is the issue of technology versus other capital needs (like building renovation and upkeep). From Diane Ravitch's blog:
The initial cost estimate was $1 billion for hardware, software, and
content. The money was mostly taken from a 25-year school,construction
bond issue. So, instead of repairing schools, students will have iPads
for Common Core testing.
Hiltzik points out that in three years, the lease on the Pearson
content will expire and must be purchased again for another $60 million. Also, the iPads will be obsolete in 3-4 years and must be replaced.
The LA Times' Michael Hiltzik weighs in:
“The aspect of technology-based teaching that never gets the attention
it deserves is the cost of ownership. Tablets need to be fixed or
replaced, for hundreds of dollars a shot. And as the LAUSD has
discovered, software isn’t forever. Think of the teachers and real
pedagogical tools that could be paid for with $60 million a year, and
how much added value they’d provide to students.
From The Washington Post's The Answer Sheet, good basic info on how the striking down of DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) and the effects on school districts.
School boards, school system human resource departments, payroll
departments, benefit administrators, employees, employee associations,
and third-party administrators should be interested. The ruling affects
employee benefits, and plan and policy administration.
A good overview of parental rights and public education via U.S. Supreme Court decisions from the HSLDA (Home School Legal Defense Association).
The Supreme Court of the United States has traditionally and continuously upheld the principle that parents have the fundamental right to direct the education and upbringing of their children. A review of cases taking up the issue shows that the Supreme Court has unwaveringly given parental rights the highest respect and protection possible.