Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Los Angeles School Board votes to require Ethnic Studies

by Duane Campbell 
On Tuesday, the LAUSD board voted to require courses to offer ethnic studies classes at all of the district high schools.  A few courses had already been offered, but this provides a substantial increase in offering.
San Francisco Unified will consider a similar decision at their December meeting.

Children and young adults need to see themselves in the curriculum.  Students, particularly students of color, have low levels of attachment to California and U.S.  civil society  messages in significant part because the government institution they encounter the most- the schools- ignore the students own history, cultures and experiences.
A fundamental way to engage students in civic culture is to engage them in their own schools and communities.  That is where the students most encounter civic opportunities.

When the 51  % of the California students who are Latino , and the 9  % who are Asian do not see themselves as part of history,  for many their sense of self is marginalized.   Marginalization negatively impacts their connections with school and their success at school.  It contributes to an up to  50% drop out rate for Latinos and some Asian students.  A more accurate, more complete  history  provided in Ethnic studies courses  would provide some students with a  a sense of self, of direction,  of purpose, even a sense that  they should stay in school and learn more.  And, ethnic studies would provide Anglo  students with an informed, accurate history of the political and cultural development of our society. Ethnic studies classes should help young people acquire and learn to use the civics  skills, knowledge, and attitudes that will prepare them to be competent and responsible citizens throughout their lives.   
Add their history to the textbooks.  Add their literature to the literature books.  Include all students in Ethnic Studies classes.  These students are are California’s children.  You can start by revising the California History/ Social Science Framework to include their history.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Actress: My Parents were Deported

In "Orange Is the New Black," I play Maritza Ramos, a tough Latina from the 'hood. In "Jane the Virgin," I play Lina, Jane's best friend and a funny know-it-all who is quick to offer advice.
I love both parts, but they're fiction. My real story is this: I am the citizen daughter of immigrant parents who were deported when I was 14. My older brother was also deported.
My parents came here from Colombia during a time of great instability there. Escaping a dire economic situation at home, they moved to New Jersey, where they had friends and family, seeking a better life, and then moved to Boston after I was born.
Throughout my childhood I watched my parents try to become legal but to no avail. They lost their money to people they believed to be attorneys, but who ultimately never helped. That meant my childhood was haunted by the fear that they would be deported. If I didn't see anyone when I walked in the door after school, I panicked.
And then one day, my fears were realized. I came home from school to an empty house. Lights were on and dinner had been started, but my family wasn't there. Neighbors broke the news that my parents had been taken away by immigration officers, and just like that, my stable family life was over.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

CURMUDGUCATION: Green Dot Offers View of Alternate Universe

CURMUDGUCATION: Green Dot Offers View of Alternate Universe: Say hello to Marco Petruzzi, CEO of Green Dot Public Schools. Today he made his first blog entry at Green Dot's Website of Bloggy Goodne...

The Democrats abandon the working class

by William Grieder,
The blowout election of 2014 demonstrates that the Democratic Party is utterly out of touch with ordinary people and their adverse circumstances. Working people have known this for some time now, but this year, the president made the disconnection more obvious. Barack Obama kept telling folks to brighten up: the economy is coming back, he said, and prosperity is just around the corner.
A party truly connected to the people would never have dared to make such a claim. In the real world of voters, human experience trumps macroeconomics and the slowly declining official unemployment rate. An official at the AFL-CIO culled the following insights from what voters said about themselves on Election Day: 54 percent suffered a decline in household income during the past year. Sixty-three percent feel the economy is fundamentally unfair. Fifty-five percent agree strongly (and another 25 percent agree somewhat) that both political parties are too focused on helping Wall Street and not enough on helping ordinary people.

Instead of addressing this reality and proposing remedies, the Democrats ran on a cowardly, uninspiring platform: the Republicans are worse than we are. Undoubtedly, that’s true—but so what? The president and his party have no credible solutions to offer. To get serious about inequality and the deteriorating middle class, Democrats would have to undo a lot of the damage their own party has done to the economy over the past thirty years.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Democracy and school reform win

Ed. This of us who fought this fight for Torlakson and against the neoliberals, know this.  But, here is a national view of issue. Thank you for your votes,
Torlakson Victory 




by Jeff Bryant
The other notable constituent for education reform – business interests and wealthy private foundations – also clashes with a cause that claims to have roots in underserved communities.
That contradiction was most glaringly revealed in the race for state superintendent of schools in California, where incumbent and former teacher Tom Torlakson squared off against Marshall Tuck, a charter school administrator with a background in finance.
The contest was cast as a clash over “education reform,” and the candidates, both Democrats, indeed presented strong contrasts, with Torlakson being supportive of public schools and classroom teachers and Tuck advocating the need to “disrupt” education with more charter schools and stricter, managerial oversight of educators and school performance.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Torlakson Wins


Thank you to all who supported teachers against the neoliberal crowd. 



 
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