Thursday, January 18, 2018

Just Wondering

As the conversation and debate takes place over DACA, the TSP program and immigration in general I wonder about the manner in which families, schools, and teachers will handle/cope with actions that are taking place and are likely to continue to manifest themselves when it comes to removing these children from schools.

It is but one more element/question to take into consideration when it comes to how the schools will deal with the federal governing bodies decisions that will have real implications within the nations schools.

But one question (out of many and I dont' know the answer) can ICE officials go into schools and remove students?

The mere threat of removal, real or not, is enough to create plenty of fear and concern among those possibly affected.

Dick

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Public is Essential

It may seem rather mundane and obvious to say that the public must be engaged in public education. No, I'm not trying to play games with these words; rather, I am suggesting that our educators and our nation's leaders need to step forward and be explicitly and unequivocally be supportive of the need for a strong public education.

The reasons, as I've stated in the past, are many and obvious. We have to find ways to remove skepticism about public education. Much of our country's foundation over these past 240 years has been grounded in this institution. I'm but one person reaching out to the public to find a path towards positive support of our neighborhood schools but it has to be stated that too many perils lie ahead without the proper and proactive support of public education.

Dick

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Public Education of Any Sort

I am apologetically a staunch defender of public education. I prefer the traditional neighborhood school as it is an anchor that welcomes all through their doors (there are charters that don't do this). So let's stop for a moment and not fuss over the manner of organization.

Public education plays many roles and that has been its long and, dare I say, glorious history. Public schools are anchors in the communities of America. Our schools are social in nature and connect those unacquainted with one another to perhaps be friends. Our schools provide a basis for carrying out the values of America enshrined in our Constitution and the traditions of our country. Our public schools expose young people to the various economic, social and culture norms we have long believed in.

Put another way - where would we be without them? Imagine if all of our schools were merely merit based or simply based upon some sort of belief system that rigidly conformed to only one way of viewing the world. Conjure up where we would be nearly 250 years after our founding without these fine public institutions.

They are worth protecting and defending. Doing any less would doom our country and what we have achieved and hope to do so going forward.

Dick

Friday, January 12, 2018

Haiti - A country of goodness.

I have had the good fortune to travel to Africa, Central America (though not El Salvador), numerous countries in the Caribbean and Haiti. I can tell you that there is abject poverty in a number of these countries just as there is in a good number of rural and urban areas of the United States. Poverty manifests itself in a number of ways throughout the world.

My experience in the above countries has been most rewarding. I have found the citizens to be welcoming, grateful for any assistance and inspiring. I was treated with respect and courtesy.

Allow me to site but one example... It has been exactly 8 years to the day since Haiti was ravaged by the January 12th 2010 earthquake. The devastation including the loss of 300,000 lives was and has been not only frightening but unending. Our charity has worked to help two schools that are part of the work of Haiti Partners a non-profit that has done wonderful work on behalf of Haitians.

John Engle of Haiti Partners and Maxandre of Mixte Nao Community School both tirelessly work to improve the quality of education of the students they serve. They are indeed generous and committed.

Whenever I emailed both men concerning rebuilding they, along with Kids4Good, in turn would always immediately follow up. John and Maxandre welcomed me with open arms when my girlfriend and I traveled to Haiti in April of 2010. John was kind enough to pick us up at the airport and allowed us to stay at his home. We found John's entire family to be so very kind. And the meals...how very delicious!!

Maxandre, the Principal of Mixte Nao, went all out to make us feel a part of the community. School children lined up for us as we pulled up to the school while singing a few songs. Maxandre and others spoke glowingly of our monetary contributions. We also had a chance to interact with the children. I will always fondly recall the smiles and laughter of the students. My recollection of the visit doesn't come close to portraying the elation and satisfaction that was experienced by one and all. After a lengthy stay at the school, Maxandre opened up his home for a wonderful meal prior to our traveling back to the capital.

Though this mornings blog is but a brief outline of our trip to Haiti it nonetheless is a brief glimpse into the warmth, hospitality and kindness of Haitians. They are a good people and we will find ways to continue to support them.

Dick






Thursday, January 11, 2018

I'm Back

The three week holiday hiatus is over!! It is time to kick off the 2018. It is an honor to be the President of Schools Count Corp. as we enter our 2nd decade of service. What I've learned is that it is critical to persist. The needs of students who live in poverty as well as those who are struggling to get back on their feet after horrific storms or other catastrophic natural events.

As I write you we are planning to continue to work with Chicago and Harvey, IL school students.    We are also currently assisting those in Houston and Rockport Texas as well as an elementary school in Guayama, Puerto Rico.     Much remains to be done and we are pleased to continue our efforts to help those in need.

Dick

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

A Day Without a Teacher

Let me close the brief discussion concerning the teacher shortage with this. To each parent of a son/daughter, how would you feel if your child/children attended school and the Administration had to drop a couple of courses and/or an entire curriculum in a content area that your son/daughter really wanted to take?

I'm serious, what would your reaction be? How do you suppose your child would feel about being denied an opportunity they relish?

And to those who would offer the lame excuse that "they can sign up for another program," I say that's nonsense and it's our responsibility to see to it that no child is denied opportunities for success. Put another way, as adults it's incumbent upon us that we don't allow education to be diminished in any way.

We all need to jump into the fray with regard to making sure all of our schools have the teachers our students need and deserve.

Dick

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

You Can Help

I often hear people say, as they throw up their hands, "but what can I do about it?" Okay, a fair question. So I have an answer for you. When it comes to finding a way or ways for us to add our voice to the cause of adding to our ranks of teachers I'd like to ask those of you so moved to write a letter to the leader of our professional teaching organizations.

The address of the AFT: The American Federation of Teachers, President Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers, 555 New Jersey Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20001. The address of the National Education Association is: President Lily Eskelsen Garcia, National Education Association, 1201 16th St., NW, Washington, DC 20036-3290

Please let me know if you are able to shoot off a letter and any response to you receive.

Thanks,
Dick

Girls Singing at IMN

Classes Singing at IMN

IMN School Opens

Driving into Port Au Prince

IMN School Welcome

Tour of IMN School

IMN School