Articles tagged with poverty

The week in blogs

It’s back-to-basics time in Carlisle, Pa, reports the Think Progress blog. And what could be more basic that bringing in a flock of sheep to cut the grass at two campuses of the Carlisle School District? Superintendent John Friend estimates that the sheep – who belong to a middle school principal – will save the district about $15,000 this year in mowing costs.

“They’ve done a good job so far,” Friend said.

And now for “the rest of the story,” as radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say: The district needs to save money — indeed, all Keystone State districts need to save money — in large part because of Gov. Tom Corbett’s devastating $900 million in cuts to education.  Maybe they could sell some wool too?

On to PreK education … Credentials, and the expertise they signify, are important. But in order to improve the quality of preschool education is it really necessary to require that preschool teachers have bachelor’s degrees? Kevin Carey, of the Quick and the Ed, thinks not. In a recent paper for the Brookings Institution, Carey and co-author Sara Mead say that the academic advantages of preschool teachers having a bachelor’s degree are negligible and that the costs are too high – especially for low income teachers who are likely to have to go into debt to pay for it. Mead and Carey want states to create new institutions — “charter collages of early childhood education — that would specialize in helping early childhood workers obtain new credentials that signal skills, knowledge and talent specific to the field.”

Speaking of PreK, if you haven’t seen it already, read the July report, “PreK as a Turnaround Strategy,” from PreK Now.

Lastly, read Alex Kotlowitz’s eminently reasonable response to a Steven Brill tirade on the “reform deniers” who dare to think that schools cannot – all by themselves – cure poverty.






Lawrence Hardy|August 27th, 2011|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , |

Child abuse and neglect main theme of film, but lack of education plays a supporting role, too

I don’t get out to the movies very often—just never enough time. The good thing about DVDs is the bonus scenes, director’s comments, even an alternate ending or two.

So I finally watched “Precious” this weekend. If you’re not familiar, it’s based on the story of Claireece “Precious” Jones, a severely obese, 16-year-old African-American girl growing up in Harlem in the late 1980s. She lives with her abusive mother and is frequently raped by her father–who is also the father of her two children. A heavyweight, to say the least.

The one thing that’s prevalent through the film (which was based on the novel Push by poet Sapphire) is education. Precious is illiterate, attending crowded out-of-control middle school classes. When her principal learns she’s pregnant with her second child, she suspends her, but attempts to persuade her to go to an alternative school to get her GED. Despite Precious’ mother’s attempts to keep her at home and keep her welfare checks, Precious gives it a try.


Naomi Dillon|March 22nd, 2010|Categories: Governance, Student Achievement, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , , |
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