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Topic subjectHow can WE improve schools NOW?
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=20470
20470, How can WE improve schools NOW?
Posted by Inez, Tue Oct-24-00 01:32 PM

This is something that has been on my mind for a while...

Schools are failing to meet standards horribly, we all know this. Inner city schools have always been a mess, hell Detroit isn't even putting toilet paper in the restrooms. But suburban schools are in pretty much a mess also.

I mean, the technology in the suburbs will make up (barely) for the poor teaching standards and innacuracies taught. At least those students have a figting chance.

But what I'm wondering is, what could community members (and that includes everyone) do to help supplement student's education?

Because relying on government to take care of it isn't going to cut it - they are taking too long & it IS the gov't...'sides, funding is only half the answer (and who's getting it anyways?).

To clarify let me give my background.

I went to schools in and around detroit. Did fairly well - in most of my classes we had to share textbooks ( and 15 year old ones at that) - so that meant no taking them home to study. Millages were often cut so that mean no art, music, or gym classes - or after school sports programs. Teachers were shifted around & cut - and that often meant that teachers that were unqualified were teaching important subjects. I remember one year the gym teacher was teaching biology and was pretty much not knowing what the hell she was supposed to be teaching.

But you know what? I excelled and a lot of students were doing as well as other, more priveleged students. Because the teachers cared and often bought supplies out of their own pockets, tutored in their free time, and took a personal interest in every student. that doesn't happen a lot.

Then my parents moved to the suburbs to try & give me better opportunities for education. We supposedly lived in one of the best school districts in Michigan. It had lots of opportunites as far as learning and technology goes. It also had some of the best test scores in the state.

But I never learned much there because basically all that was being taught was how to pass standardized tests. Plus the administration often discouraged "at risk" or "disadvantaged" students to take remedial courses.

BUT the district had an alternative school that I could attend. It had normal funding but could run on very basic funding if need be. The basis of the education was learning how to use resources from the community.

I was able to create classes that worked for ME to fulfill the state requirements. Classes weren't taught in the standard factory model that all schools follow. It was recognized that all students learned differently and education was tailored to meet each persons needs. High expectations were also placed so that students could stay in the school.

I was taught that I could use my community as a free resource for almost anything - I attended classes for free at University of Michigan while a sophmore in high school, because I learned how to work with others. Teachers also had home "forums" that met weekly. It was like a second family - students camped out and did various other things througout the year.

I ended up dropping out because I was so far behind from attending the previous school. I can't help thinking that if someone had caught me before it was too late, I'd have a high school diploma.

Fortunately I was smart enough to get a GED & go to a community college & transfer to a university.

I don't think thats the case for a lot of students.

So although I tried to major in education & shot the idea down...it is my personal goal to help every child I can with their education.

But what can i do? what kind of innovative programs could I start? how can I make sure that students that need help, but are seeking it, get help?

what do you suggest, that could be done immediatley?

_____________________ .
Inez AKA Starli

_____________________ .
"Starli/gets the party started
like a car key" -Juice

"At times my going forward seems
like retreat" -Common

Fuck being hard, posdnous is

20471, come with me
Posted by UrbanCowgRRL, Wed Oct-25-00 02:35 PM
and tutor..and fix up the school
we just need more to get involved..oh there are programs..just not enough volunteers...

Much love,

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20472, You are courageous!!!
Posted by Brownsugar, Wed Oct-25-00 05:48 PM
You beat the odds!!!...I definetly know how frustrating it is, looking at a situation like, childrens education...and butting your brains out; trying to figure out a way to get the best education, possible for the children.

I am a local school council member, and this is definetly a problem, that I have no answer for!!! I am trying to get the parents to participate. I don't have a problem getting the Hispanic parents in...It is the Black parents. When the parents participate and know what is going on in the schools, a lot of problems can be resolved. As you were saying about the lack of books in the schools....It is possible that there was mis-use of funds. But if the parents don't attend the meetings, there is no way for them to know, which money is going where.

I am not going to give up, something definetly needs to be done. I don't know the drop-out percentage of Black Americans within the public school system, but I do know that it is very high!!!

Right now, I don't know what to tell you...If I come up with something, I will let you know....If you come up with something...Let me know!!!


"The lack of money, is the root of all evil!!!"--Rev. Ike

"Ouch!!!...That hurts!!!:-(

"Yeah Mon!!!":9
20473, The State of Public Education....
Posted by CCM, Thu Oct-26-00 08:12 AM
is in shambles, no matter if you're in the inner-city or the suburbs. I'm in Philly, and the school district is set to go on strike after work-day tomorrow. It makes me sick that we can spend close to one billion dollars on sports stadiums while the
city struggles to find quality teachers and pay them decent wages. It makes me sick that high school students can't go to school today without fears of getting shot or stabbed. I thank god I'm not in high school anymore and on the verge of graduating from college. I also don't understand why people (politicans and citizens alike) wanna exhaust all their efforts on school vouchers and private schools, instead of working to make their neighborhood public schools better. In the time it takes to start up new schools and allot money for vouchers, we can better spend
that money refurbishing existing schools and equipping them for the 21st Century. No matter how we look at it, the federal government does and always will play a critical role in the public school system,
we just have to be more active and make our needs/wants known.
20474, More effort.....
Posted by Brownsugar, Sun Oct-29-00 08:11 AM
From community and parents is definetly neccessary!!!


"Tales from the Hood"
"Tales from the Crypt"
"The Shinning"...!REDRUM, !REDRUM, !REDRUM, !REDRUM!!!:o:o:o!!!


"The lack of money, is the root of all evil!!!"--Rev. Ike

"Ouch!!!...That hurts!!!:-(

"Yeah Mon!!!":9
20475, i hear ya.......
Posted by nappiness, Thu Oct-26-00 09:57 AM
your post goes very well with the thread that boodaah started about low standarized test scores for Blacks.
my suggestion is first is not to get overwhelmed and don't look at the big picture. choose one student or one school or one afterschool program and do yo thang. change happens incrementally and if u can at least help one student then u would have made a difference. u would be no good to anyone is u tried to take on too much too fast, start slow. also, try to hook up with some michigan okayplayers, i know nushooz with be there soon and i know she is into activism.
here in chicago we are starting a mentoring program for kids ages 13-16 b/c with some kids they don't excel in school due to low or lacking self esteem or guidance. anyways, i am starting to ramble but if u would like for us to email u stuff that we are doing and tell u how we got started let me know.
Monthly Book Discussion in OkayActivist
Sept. 19 "Move Over Girl" Brian Peterson
Oct. 16 "Yo Mama's Dysfunktional" Robin Kelley
Nov. 13 "Coldest Winter Ever" Sister Souljah
GET YO READ ON .........
nappiness is next to Godliness!!!!!!
ms. nappiness
20476, Keep me posted, Nappiness!!! n/m
Posted by Brownsugar, Sun Oct-29-00 08:11 AM


"Tales from the Hood"
"Tales from the Crypt"
"The Shinning"...!REDRUM, !REDRUM, !REDRUM, !REDRUM!!!:o:o:o!!!


"The lack of money, is the root of all evil!!!"--Rev. Ike

"Ouch!!!...That hurts!!!:-(

"Yeah Mon!!!":9
20477, it starts at home
Posted by emil, Fri Oct-27-00 05:20 AM
parents are the first step in gettin kids to WANT to learn. i thank God for my ppls. bad-ass kids i taught ain wanna learn shit.

"whyyyy, all my murderers are heroes!"-isabel sezbusk to mrs. aynsgarth.

*plumage is for avians....*

20478, Youth Development
Posted by Nettrice, Fri Oct-27-00 06:58 AM
In order to get to the source of OUR education problem people have to understand the original purpose of schools in this country. Schools was created to train people, to make people productive (industrial age). This purpose has not changed since the school system was created. Before that education was for the rich and "enlightened". Working class people were uneducated or unenlightened and trained to become workers or apprentices.

The digital age has replaced the industrial age but the original mission remains. Schools are society and business-centered, not child-centered. Modern society intended to socialize the youth but we are now in a post-modern society that is chaotic and overwhelmed by adversity. Schools were never restructured to educate youth on how to deal with adversity so they dropped out, got lost, or got caught on one side of the divide.

But what I'm wondering is, what could community members (and that includes everyone) do to help supplement student's education?

In order to "save" failing students, educators, youth workers, administrators have to adopt a youth development model for their programs. This model has to be child-centered and "holistic" (developing the whole person/individual).

As a youth in the US public school system, I excelled academically but struggled socially. I was considered at-risk because I didn't fit in and I had no clue where to find answers on identity, my individual self. Despite my straight A's and B's, I was severely depressed and suicidial (way before high school). I was saved by self-initiated therapy and strong, positive mentors that guided me and helped me discover my identity.

After college, I worked as education coordinator for an afterschool program in East Harlem, with a child-centered, holistic philosophy. I have been teaching since I was 19.

> But what can i do? what kind of innovative programs could I start? how can I make sure that students that need help, but are seeking it, get help?

Start by helping kids develop core compentencies that address multiple areas (academic, social, artistic, etc.) Adopt a youth development model (there are plenty of them around). Explore youth needs:

Caring adults
Safe environment and structured activities
Belonging and membership
Opportunities to contribute
Knowledge of themselves and others

Build your program around these compentencies and needs and you will have success! Teach youth how to effectively deal with adversity and explore their identify.

"Know thyself"

"It's our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are