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.”
School bans girl’s Wonder Woman lunchbox for being “too violent”
The political correctness anger mob strikes again…
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.