A nice article in today’s Washington Post (refers to Kerry’s work at Savoy)

Education Issue: After years of crouching, arts ed is raising its hand again
“Savoy Elementary is one of eight in the country earmarked by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities as a “turnaround” school — one in dire need of help. For three years, each of the eight is “adopted” by a well-known artist (in Savoy’s case, the actress Kerry Washington) and receives a tremendous funding boost to institute arts programs ($14.7 million for the eight).

This is based on a new belief — after years of emphasis on standardized testing — in the power of the arts. Today, more and more policymakers think it is the arts, after all, that can motivate kids, engage them and help them develop 21st-century skills such as teamwork and innovative thinking — in sum, be the key to their salvation.

The children at Savoy, accordingly, are being bombarded with arts. Every kid in the third, fourth and fifth grades gets 45 minutes a day of music and movement training in addition to regular arts classes. The school is phasing in the Suzuki method, an early-childhood music teaching program, next year. Washington takes a lively interest in “her” school, holding Skype chats.”


Some of my black and white out takes from the DC Public Schools Walk Out Protest at Trump International Hotel on November 15th, 2016.

School bans girl’s Wonder Woman lunchbox for being “too violent”

The political correctness anger mob strikes again…

from EW:

Superheroes are often fodder for lunchbox covers, but one school considers the do-gooders nothing more than “violent characters.”Recently, a young girl purportedly received a letter stating that her Wonder Woman lunchbox violated a code in which the school asks that children not bring violent images into the building in any way. “We have defined ‘violent characters’ as those who solve problems using violence,” the letter reads. “Superheroes certainly fall into that category.”

While the upcoming Batman v. Superman might show some characters’ more hostile tendencies, the lunch box in question simply featured a smiling profile of Wonder Woman and a solo action shot with her lasso — a picture that seems to best symbolize the character’s strength and confidence. The letter sparked outrage on the internet, with even Wonder Woman actress Lynda Carter retweeting a story about the lunchbox. 

read the rest

When will this madness end?

Hands Up Documentary: Preview Screening in DC

Months ago, thousands responded to the death of Michael Brown. There was anger, protests, confusion, apathy, ‘die-ins’, guilt and — perhaps most importantly — a story that needed to be told.

Through the support of School of Media & Public Affairs (SMPA) at The George Washington University’s Manheim Sterling Research Prize, Zinhle Essamuah, a GW senior and owner of SimplyZinhle Productions explored the questions – What does it mean to be black in America? What is the significance of #HandsUpDontShoot? And, in the midst of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, do Americans have hope?

Friday, May 8, 2015, Essamuah will be showing a work-in-progress preview screening of Hands Up: Documentary, followed by a Q&A. We hope to see you there!

Marvin Center Amphitheater - 3rd Floor
800 21st Street NW
Washington, DC 20052

Website: HandsUpDocumentary.com
Twitter: @HandsUpDoc
Instagram: #HandsUpDoc

Woodrow Wilson High School is Washington DC’s largest public high school. Situated in one of the city’s wealthiest and whitest neighborhoods, Wilson houses one of the highest white populations in DC Public Schools at 25%. Wilson’s boundaries extend far across the city, serving a student population far more diverse (racially and economically) than can be found in its own and surrounding Wards, sometimes nicknamed “Upper Caucasia”.

In recent years, Wilson has undergone a $115 million renovation, making it the only DC high school with amenities including an olympic size pool, a glass-covered atrium, and two new gymnasiums.

There has been an ongoing push to limit Wilson’s boundaries, which in effect would exclude the city’s poorer students and further segregate DC’s schools and Wards by race and class.

The focus on modernization in schools like Wilson, in contrast to those DC Public Schools lacking in sufficient facilities such as plumbing, heat, water, books, and teachers, is only one of many examples of DC’s financial prioritization leaning towards white affluent interests.

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Teacher Layoffs: D.C. public schools fired more than 200 teachers today for poor performance on the IMPACT evaluation system, and reactions on Twitter have ranged from outrage to full support of the news. The Examiner’s Lisa Gartner notes that for the second year in a row, a disproportionate number of top-performing teachers were in affluent Ward 3 schools, while only a small percentage taught in the city’s poorest Ward 8. Such stats have unionized teachers criticizing the controversial evaluation program as unfair and not taking socioeconomic factors into consideration.

- CT

[Lisa Gartner]

Watch on servedc.tumblr.com

More from DCPS Beautification Day! Check out Washington Capitals fans hard at work at Marshall Elementary School!

Racism: School district takes elementary students to visit colleges, excludes white students

What’s South Bend’s solution to helping end racism? Why, treating races differently, of course. *sigh*

From the DC:

Public school officials in South Bend, Ind. are segregating elementary schools students by race and ferrying black students — and only black students — on visits to local colleges.
The students facing racial segregation in America in the year 2015 are third graders at seven elementary schools, reports local ABC affiliate WBND.
School district officials say they do not intend for the taxpayer-funded reenactment of Jim Crow-era race racial segregation to be discriminatory. Instead, they say, the intent is to inform black students about college because low numbers of black students attend college.
“I want these third graders to have the opportunity to think of themselves as college students,” G. David Moss, director of African-American student and parent services, told WBND.
“We take them to a college campus, have them meet African-American students, modeling the idea that as a black person, college is a great place,” Moss explained.
“It was not meant to be exclusionary,” Moss said. “It was only meant to support and give these kids what they need to think positively about themselves and about their future.”

Read the Rest

Remember how Elaine Benes informed George that he was bald when he was pretending he wasn’t? Well, in much the same way, I want to tell the South Bend school district: That’s racism!

That aside, what makes this truly unconscionable is that it’s happening at *public* schools. The citizens (including the white ones) of that community have money taken from them to fund a project that explicitly excludes them from participation. What could go wrong?

I know they supposedly have good intentions. As the article said, “it was not meant to be exclusionary.” Yet it was exclusionary. Isn’t that great? Everything is perfect because they had good intentions! XOXO! Look, people do horrendous things all the time that they *think* are right. That doesn’t excuse it.

In the last century, only one US president has sent his kids to DC public schools

(Most US presidents send their children to private schools.Getty Images)
In November, President-elect Trump and his wife Melania announced that the family will keep their son Barron enrolled in his New York City-based day school rather than moving to Washington, DC right away.

Barron attends Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School, located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The elite school runs students about $47,000 a year.

While the decision to keep Barron in New York City may have been surprising, their choice of sending Barron to a private, rather than a public, school has been the norm for US presidents.

With the exception of Amy Carter, the youngest daughter of President Jimmy Carter, no sitting presidents in the last century have sent their children to DC public schools (DCPS).

Amy was nine years old when she moved into the White House. She attended DC Public Schools with large African-American populations, first attending Stevens Elementary School and then the Rose Hardy Middle School. The decision was regarded as a highly symbolic act, according to the Baltimore Sun.

In part, the decision for presidents to send their kids to private schools likely an issue of the ease of security services at a small private school versus a public school. Secret service members monitor not just the president, but their families as well.

The decision also surely relates to the state of public schooling in Washington, DC. President Obama conceded that the decision to send his daughters to the prestigious Sidwell Friends School was in part due to the quality of education in the DCPS system.

(Sasha and Malia Obama joined the ranks of other “first kids” who attended Sidwell Friends School.Thomson Reuters)
When asked on NBC’s “Today” show if Sasha and Malia would get the same kind of education at a DC public school, he responded, “I’ll be blunt with you: The answer is no, right now,” The Washington Post reported in 2010. DCPS “are struggling,” he concluded.

Sidwell Friends costs about $40,000 a year. The school has also educated Chelsea Clinton and Richard Nixon’s daughters.

DCPS is home to roughly 48,000 students, 82% of which are black or Hispanic. While the district touted its rising graduation rate for the class of 2016, where 69% of seniors graduated within four years, that figure still lags behind the national average, which was 83% for the 2014-15 school year.

For black males alone, the graduation rate was was even bleaker at 60%.

And on “The Nation’s Report Card," released as part of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), DC performed in the bottom three of all states in 4th and 8th grade reading and mathematics.

As the largest nationally administered exam in a number of key subjects — including math, reading, history, science — the NAEP is a highly informative tool to track to progress of the nation’s students towards increasing proficiency.

Advocates for DCPS caution ranking DC against other states. "Comparing DC to other states in these sorts of lists is misleading,” Michelle Lerner, a spokeswoman for DC public schools, told DC station WTOP. “What we and [former] Secretary Arne Duncan have consistently said is that DC public schools is the fastest improving urban school district in the country.”

Still, if Barron does eventually follow his father to DC, it’s unlikely that he will forgo a private school education in favor of attending one of DC’s public schools.

NOW WATCH: RICHARD BRANSON: We’ve just ‘got to give Donald Trump and his team three months, six months’

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