Thursday, July 28, 2011

Save our Schools

I just ran across the "Save Our Schools March & National Call to Action" happening this weekend across the states and it piqued my interest as it reflects one of my previous posts about the tipping point for education reform. Plus, the whole 'grass-roots' part of this call to action excites me because I do believe that real change comes from the bottom up.

I am one for throwing out all the standardized tests and monetary incentives for schools upon raising scores. I realize that there are parents out there who think I am ridiculous and send their children to learning/ tutoring sessions and give them extra worksheets to do on weekends. I wonder if anyone can change my thinking on the counter productive & counter intuitive effects of standardized testing. And at the same time I wonder how I might be able to convince a parent who love drills and tests to think differently. I can offer a glass of Kool-Aid but I know I can't make you drink it.

Which camp are you in? If we were on the debate team, what would be your key points? How would you convince your opponent that your Kool-Aid flavor is best for our nation's children? And those harmonizers out there: Where is the common ground?

Sunday, July 10, 2011

New elementary school: San Francisco Schoolhouse

The San Francisco Schoolhouse is a new option for families seeking a progressive education for their K - 3rd grade children. The Schoolhouse is one room, two experienced teachers, and a small group of children coming together with their families to learn, to mentor, and to create a community.

We are building a customized, cooperative, affordable program and we are looking for a few more like-minded families to participate.

For more information: www.sfschoolhouse.org

SFGate: S.F. board considers building housing for teachers

This from SFGate:

The San Francisco school board is looking to get into the affordable housing business to help teachers and other district employees who might not otherwise be able to afford to live in the city.

For years, the district has sat on a largely vacant lot at 1950 Mission St., a piece of blighted property in the Mission District.

The land is valued at upward of $9 million, and leasing the property to a market-rate

housing developer could yield $300,000 to $500,000 in annual revenue for city schools, district officials said.

But in the late spring at a committee meeting, a majority on the school board balked at a proposal by Superintendent Carlos Garcia to lease the land and use the cash to build a housing fund that would support mortgage down payments or rent payments for teachers and district employees.

Read the full story

John Muir Elementary School

Hi SF K Files folks!

I'm the pre-k special education teacher at John Muir Elementary School; I teach SFUSD's only autism-specific pre-k classroom. As most of you know, John Muir ES serves a high-needs population. Our special education and general education classrooms do not have a play space; the students run outside and play on a patch of bare asphalt every day. This is extremely inequitable-almost every single SFUSD CDC or special education classroom has a place to play!

Our proposal was just accepted for the "Pepsi Refresh" project, and now I need you to vote for us! You can vote once a day, every day between July 1-31, and "boost" your voting by entering codes off the caps of pepsi products marked "Pepsi Refresh." If we're one of the top 15 vote recipients, we'll receive $25,000 to build a playground.

You can vote at http://www.refresheverything.com/muirautismplayproject by signing up with pepsi or using facebook. You can also vote via text by sending the code 107391 to Pepsi (73774) every day (hint: enter in 73774 as a contact to make it easier).

You can also help me by sharing this with anyone who might be interested in helping, forwarding this, and helping me publicize! Here are the ways you can follow my project:
* www.muirautismplayproject.com
* "friend" the project on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/John-Muir-ES-Autism-Play-Project/149173818485899
* twitter @ muirplay

Please help! This is a great way to create equity among SFUSD schools, and help a struggling school in San Francisco.