Tuesday, June 2, 2009

More Students Pass Regents, But.........

In this article called More Students Passing Regents, but Achievement Gap Persists , statistics show that more students are receiving there regents diploma’s but still the achievement gap remains’ at large. State education commissioner, Richard P. Mills said "More students are achieving higher standards each year; the number of graduates is staying constant, even with higher standards." "There are too many students who arrive at high school not prepared to do high school work, too many students who arrive at high school reading, writing and doing math at the elementary level. We have to correct the problem in the earlier grades." With elementary and middle schools continuing to do there class after school programs, students should seem to do better and receive more help to hurdle over this gap.

Are regents affecting our students? Giving them too much to handle? What about the S.A.T

The Achievement Gap is Growing

The "The Achievement Gap is Growing" article is about the impact of The No Child Left Behind Act (http://www.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml) and how has it helped and why.The article describes how the No Child Left Behind passed into law in 2001 only happened because of its emphasis on the racial achievement gap, the gaping differences between white/Asian students and black/Hispanic students. But the article writes that a recent report from the American Council on Education finds a worse pattern in higher ed even after the law passed in 2001.

This article also shows some statistics in specific races-showing us the achievement in Asian women and the slow climb for whites but especially the slow and small increase in S.A.T scores for minorities.

Why does everything have to take so long, we'll die of global warming before anyone can close the achievement gap problem.

Possible Solutions to Closing the Achievement Gap

After reading the article A way to close the achievement gap between white and minority students in California, in California, people may have found results on how to close this achievement gap we have in the United States: with the right amount of political will and community support. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell blamed race, not poverty, for this issue and wants the people to do something about it. The latest standardized test results for California schools showed that all groups, in all income levels, are struggling to make progress. These results also show that low-income students of all colors are still doing worse than their more efficient peers. But the performance of African American and Latino students from all economic backgrounds shows the need that has to be done to get these students to learn more and overcome the achievement gap “Clearly, there are cultural factors at work - including a distrust of the educational system - that are holding these students back.” said Jack O’Connell.

“But the main question is: “Would the state have the political will to tackle the solutions that emerge?” These solutions have been used because schools that have been successful with African American, Latino and low-income students have already shown that these students perform at a high level when they're offered frequent results back to them, a dedicated principal who reaches out to parents and student, and engaged teachers who have high expectations for their students.

With time and commitment, the ending of the achievement gap can end soon if more people come to realize it and want to make a difference…do you???


Ask Questions

The other day I was discussing with one of my classmates my blog-Our nations Greatest Injustice- to my biggest surprise They knew nothing of what I was talking about:

The achievement gap guys! The fucking achievement gap!!!

I was completely awed, like, we're on the bad side and to think we should know but we don't. If we don't know what the achievement gap is, whose going to fight for us?
If we don't know, who knows?

Well I ended explaining to them the concept of the achievement gap and now they know and now their fighting harder.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Participation in Government Assignment


Case: Clawson V. Balitmore County School District. Bob Clawson applies to have his white son, Peter, admitted to an all black male public charter school in Baltimore. The school is having good success rates at raising text scores in this economically disadvantaged neighborhood , and this economically disadvantage white parent wants the chance to see if his son benefits from the same program. The school does not admit Peter, and the father sues the Baltimore county school District, claiming discrimination and a violation of his rights.

Who do I rule with: Clawson

I believe this is unfair, by allowing public schools to be open to only one race is promoting segregation and we as America should be promoting diversity.
But back to this specific case we are also depriving children of the best education they can possibly recieved. In the consituition we are granted the right not to be discriminated base on race, religion, gender, etc, etc, but in this case what are we doing?

Friday, May 8, 2009


On Wednesday, May 6,2009 my school gave me the opportunity to see the play Ruined by Lynn Nottage. ( http://leisureblogs.chicagotribune.com/the_theater_loop/2008/11/ruined-by-lynn.html ) In this play we are able to see women during war time, and the effects of rape in African towns. Women are devalued and unneeded when raped. In many cases women are "ruined" meaning they are given women circumcision in a brutal way by shoving knives up their private parts and leaving them scarred forever. I was deeply moved by this play. So moved in fact that I decided to side track a little from my blog to write about it.
Although two different extremes, in both cases the victims are ruined. These raped women and this these unsupported kids. Both left to dry either to join brothels or getting hook on drugs.
In other words there are more things we need to do in order to change this world.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

It Takes More Than Schools to Close Achievement Gap

Harlem's Children Zone is a wonderful and effective program that I am extremely proud of being apart of .

Harlem Children’s Zone,®Inc. has experienced incredible growth - from the number of children we serve to the breadth of our services. But one thing has stayed the same: the agency’s “whatever it takes” attitude when it comes to helping children to succeed. The organization began 1970 as Rheedlen, working with young children and their families as the city’s first truancy-prevention program.

Attending a school in the South Bronx, how could I ever find out about Harlem's Children Zone?
I was given a little bit of luck and fell into the city contract.
I was given the opportunity to participate in a Harlem's Children Zone's High School After-School program called Learn to Earn. What Harlem Children Zone does is become the second home for children. They provide opportunities to children- teaching them and providing what they may lack. Some things that I was given were Free S.A.T Prep classes, Field trips, Stipends, College trips, homework help, and free prom dresses.

Based on statistics, Harlem's Children Zone has lived up to it's expectations. this past spring, 100 percent of the third-graders at HCZ Promise Academy II scored at or above grade level in the statewide math tests. (hcz.org) A few blocks away, 97 percent of the Promise Academy I third-graders were at or above grade level.
Many of these children have been in HCZ programs from the time their parents were in The Baby College, which highlights the effectiveness of HCZ comprehensive model of supporting children.

President Barack Obama Remarks about Harlem's Children Zone on July 18,2007

Hope is found in what works. In those South Side neighborhoods, hope was found in the after school programs we created, and the job training programs we put together, and the organizing skills we taught residents so that they could stand up to a government that wasn't standing up for them. Hope is found here at THEARC, where you've provided thousands of children with shelter from the streets and a home away from home. And if you travel a few hours north of here, you will find hope amid ninety-seven neighborhood blocks in the heart of Harlem. This is the home of the Harlem Children's Zone - an all-encompassing, all-hands-on-deck anti-poverty effort that is literally saving a generation of children in a neighborhood where they were never supposed to have a chance. The philosophy behind the project is simple - if poverty is a disease that infects an entire community in the form of unemployment and violence; failing schools and broken homes, then we can't just treat those symptoms in isolation. We have to heal that entire community. And we have to focus on what actually works. If you're a child who's born in the Harlem Children's Zone, you start life differently than other inner-city children. Your parents probably went to what they call " Baby College", a place where they received counseling on how to care for newborns and what to expect in those first months. You start school right away, because there's early childhood education. When your parents are at work, you have a safe place to play and learn, because there's child care, and after school programs, even in the summer. There are innovative charter schools to attend. There's free medical services that offer care when you're sick and preventive services to stay healthy. There's affordable, good food available so you're not malnourished. There are job counselors and financial counselors. There's technology training and crime prevention. You don't just sign up for this program; you're actively recruited for it, because the idea is that if everyone is involved, and no one slips through the cracks, then you really can change an entire community. Geoffrey Canada, the program's inspirational, innovative founder, put it best - instead of helping some kids beat the odds, the Harlem Children's Zone is actually changing the odds altogether.

How's that for a program?