If you missed the CEO Search Town Hall Listening Session you can hear by clicking the link below. The discussion begins at the 12:03 point, please fast forward to that time. http://tobtr.com/s/4971595
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Listen to Dr. Mike Robinson discussion about the validity of Year Round School Calendars and Traditional School Calendars and the impact if any on student achievement. School districts around the country have begun to re-examine the benefits and challenges of extending school days and the school year. In Washington DC, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and schools chancellor Kaya Henderson are considering expanding the school day and school year as an attempt to improve overall test scores and increase graduation rates. Currently the school week for students attending the District of Columbia Public Schools consist of 30 hours, which according to Mayor Gray is simply no longer enough time.
Many champions of the extended school day and year believe adding more time will increase the ability of American students to compete with their global peers. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a chief proponent of the longer school year, says American students have fallen behind the world academically. However, there are those who do not support an extended school day or school and suggest there is little to no evidence that support an improvement in academic performance. “Opponents of extended school point out that states such as Minnesota and Massachusetts steadily shine on standardized achievement tests while preserving their summer break with a post-Labor Day school start” (Julie Carr Smyth (2013).
Listen to Dr. Mike Robinson on Parent Talk Live, home of important educational discussions germane to parents and their communities. His guest will be Tina Bruno, Program Director with the Coalition for a Traditional School Calendar.
Tina Bruno is the executive director of the national advocacy organization, The Coalition for a Traditional School Calendar. Under her direction the cry of parents for a longer summer vacation has become a national issue and many states have enjoyed the passage of school start date legislation. Tina has been guest on MSNBC, CNN and Fox News and has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USA Today, and hundreds of daily and weekly newspapers. Tina works with thousands of parent volunteers from around the nation as she educates policymakers, members of the media and voters about the negative impact of non-traditional school calendars. Tina is a graduate of The University of Northern Iowa and currently lives in San Antonio, Texas with her daughter.
Dr. Yolanda Abel
Children are one of our most precious gifts. As parents it is our responsibility to rear them well and prepare them to go out into the world and fulfill their destiny. Kahlil Gibran said it well, “Your children are not children. They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself. They come through you but not for you, And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.” With this in mind, all parents should be mindful of how they treat one another and how the parental relationship impacts the child.
So often when we think or discuss parenting of Black children in general it seems as if the focus of the conversation often becomes the plight of the single mother and bemoaning the absence of fathers. While the Black community is varied in its composition, the issue of female headed households and noncustodial dads is a real one.
The percentage of children residing in a single parent household in the U.S. was 34% in 2009. In the state of Maryland it was 34% as well. However, when you disaggregate by race, there are 67% of Black children, in the U.S., residing in single family homes. In the state of Maryland 59% of Black children are living in a single family home (Kids Count, 2011). National data informs us that almost 50% of Black children living in single family households reside with their mother, while less than 4% of Black children reside with their fathers. There are a variety of variables that impact who a child lives with and how the parents and other adults help to support the child’s overall development.
This article is focusing on mothers and fathers who are no longer in a relationship with each other, but share a child. How do people continue to work together in the best interest of the child they created? How do you navigate blended families? How do you set aside personal disappointments and keep the child at the focus of the relationship? These may not be easy questions to answer based on our personal circumstances. However, our vision must be what is best for the child we created together. How can we put our son or daughter first and provide the best possible upbringing?
It is not easy and I am not suggesting otherwise, but it is something we have to do. It is important that we promote father involve with schools and in children’s school-based lives. Children are less likely to repeat a grade, be suspended, or expelled if their nonresident fathers are involved in schools. Children are also more likely to earn A’s, enjoy school, and participate in extracurricular activities,
Father involvement with schools can make a difference for the better (Nord, 1998).
How do we do that? The mother’s relationship with the father influences his involvement with the child’s school based life. Fathers who are romantically involved with the mother of their child are more likely to be involved in their child’s school-based lives. So, what happens when parents are no longer together? The noncustodial fathers’ involvement in school-related activities is influenced by the child’s grade level, the household income, mother’s level of education, and the child support payment history (Nord, Brimhall, & West, 1997). In this instance, school-based involvement is defined as attending (a) a general school meeting, (b) attending a parent-teacher conference, (c) attending a school or class event, or (d) serving as a volunteer. So, if mom is the primary caregiver, how does dad find out about these events so he can attend, if possible?
Communication geared toward the child’s welfare needs to be a focus. Schools tend to communicate with the parent who registers the child for school and to send information to the contact address or phone number that is provided. So, if there are no legal reasons to prevent it, the contact information of the noncustodial parent should be provided as well. As the custodial parent we should also communicate ourselves with the noncustodial parent around issues that support the child we have together. Remember, children tend to have better outcomes when their noncustodial fathers are involved.
Be realistic as each of you works to support your child. While money is important in being able to provide for a child it is not everything.
A child needs parents who are physically present and active in his or her life. Encourage the noncustodial parent to attend school functions, spend quality time reading, go to community events, or any other activity that expands a child’s horizon’s and opportunities for learning.
Be together apart. Remember that each of you is responsible for the upbringing of a well adjusted and healthy child who feels capable and confident to step out into the world and give his or her best. Ideally, we need two loving parents for this to happen. Each parent contributes something unique to the child’s
life and developing perspective.
Be cautiously honest about what you say about the other parent and why the two of you are no longer
together. Remember that the child is a blend of both of you. It is hurtful to attack the other person or to tell a child that she or he is just like their “no good father”. Words have power. When talking with your friends and /or family members make sure the child cannot hear you and whatever your comments are, especially if you are angry at something the father did or did not do.
Be optimistic; parenting is one of the most challenging things a person can do. There are moments of doubt, confusion, worry, etc. throughout the parenting process whether we are single parents or cohabiting parents. By keeping our focus on the long-term goal of rearing a child who is well-adjusted and able to become a productive member of society we can make it through the hard times. How can we focus on the good as it relates to our child and his or her father? “What is the impact on
the child?” should always be the guiding question as we consider what to do or not to do.
Be consistent in your actions. Most children do well when there are consistent routines in their life. Mean what you say and say what you mean as you talk with your child and his or her father. If something happens and the routine needs to be changed, share that information with the child. Do not allow a child to wonder what she or he did wrong or why daddy doesn’t love me. Something seemingly inconsequential can have long-term negative consequences for a child.
Strive for accountability. Things do happen in life, but for the most part we need to commit to being involved in our child’s life and show up when we say we are and be on time and engage with our child. Reflect back on your own childhood, what are the fondest memories you have of your own father? If he was not a part of your life, how did that make you feel? How does it still make you feel? Did you promise yourself that you would always be there for your child? Are you keeping that promise?
Remember, it is all about the child. Fathers and mothers each have a critical role to play in the lives of their children. This is a reminder to do your part. We need to facilitate all fathers’ being a connected and integral part of their children’s lives.
Jamie Forzato, wtop.com
Dr. Segun Eubanks was the director of teacher quality for the National Education Association and replaces board chair Verjeana Jacobs.
"You couldn't get anybody more talented. And he's a parent - he has two children in our school system right now," Baker says. "So we not only bring in the expertise in education but we also bring in someone who is a parent and brings that perspective to the board, which currently we don't have."
The law, which went into effect Saturday, allows Baker to appoint new members to a redesigned school board. Baker will also pick a vice chair and another board member; the county council will select a fourth member. According to the new law, Baker will also pick a schools superintendent from a pool of three candidates.
The group Citizens for an Elected Board petitioned to block the legislation, arguing it's too politically driven. But the petition fell about 2,500 signatures short.
"We are concerned that the county executive has not laid out a plan of action," says Janis Hagey, co-chair of the organization. "He has focused on a change in governance but has not said what he will do to assure improvements in student achievement."
"We need a champion for education, and having the county executive have the sole privilege to name the superintendent is a dangerous precedent," Hagey adds. "It's not a new normal that we want to accept."
Baker says change takes time, and adds, "If you don't like it, you can vote me out."
He adds, "I think that's the way it should be. It gives people a chance to assess whether, in fact, the changes we're making are what they want to see and whether we invested in the future of education in the right way. If not, it gives them a chance to bring in a new leader."
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Dr. Mike Robinson, host of Parent Talk Live on Sunday, April 21, 2013 concluded his two part discussion on Teacher Attrition. Is the American teaching profession in trouble? Does the profession which serves as the gateway to nearly every occupation in the world garner the appropriate honor and importance in society today? How much of the challenges facing teachers are created by demand parents, increase student accountability and potentially poor working conditions?
Dr. Robinson’s guest was Gail P. Bingham. Ms. Bingham is a veteran teacher of more than 20 years and she is the author of a soon to be released book TEACHING Is The New Slavery. In her book, Ms. Bingham explores what she describes as a culture of persecution, retaliation, abuse, bullying and harassment as means to control teachers, which ultimately drives many teachers to leave the profession. Ms. Bingham suggests teacher attrition rates are to a large extent attributed to the "Pressures teachers face from administrators and other members of the community due to an expectation that teachers are solely responsible for student success and failure." She also believes the pressure and mistreatment experienced by teachers has led to tragic outcomes and simply quitting is the least of the effects on the lives of educators. She also suggests the pressure and mistreatment experienced by teachers has led to tragic outcomes and simply quitting is the least of the effects on the lives of educators.
To hear this insightful discussion click here.
Hello Engaged Parents and Dedicated Educators, Why has Maryland been named the #1 state for education five years running? In Maryland, student achievement is an important factor in government leadership and elections. Read what two of the most…Continue
Started by Michael A. Robinson Feb 5.
The legislative session might be over, but our work isn’t. Over the next few months, MarylandCAN: The Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now, will be touring the state to talk with parents, teachers, elected officials and community members about…Continue
Started by Daphne Charles May 22, 2012.
At middle and high schools, however, something changes.
Campuses seem less inviting, helping in classrooms or at lunch can be more intimidating, and parents are less likely to volunteer.
"It's true across the nation," said Adela Trainor, who has had two children graduate from Ventura schools. "At the secondary level, volunteering drops off."
Three years ago, she signed on to the Ventura Unified School District's Family School Community Partnership Committee, which started a volunteer training program during the past year. Officials hope it will help increase involvement at secondary schools.
The effect could be huge, according to the district. Research shows students improve academically and socially and schools are safer when families and other residents are involved on campus.
"Parent involvement is essential all the way throughout students' time in school," said George Petersen, dean of the Graduate School of Education at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks.
"Their attendance, homework, their engagement and extracurricular activities — those things seem to increase with parental involvement. Whereas disciplinary issues and issues that would create problems for students seem to decrease when parents are more involved in students' lives in the schools," he said.
There are challenges. Parents are busy, especially with the struggling economy. Schools also must find ways to be more welcoming for parents and other volunteers.
In Ventura Unified's training program, which is led by other volunteers, participants learn about the schools, roles they can fill on campuses, and other topics from campus safety to student confidentiality.
"We're trying to increase access and make our schools more welcoming for parents and our community members," said Superintendent Trudy Tuttle Arriaga.
The district also is trying to offer more volunteer options for working parents, such as chaperoning dances or helping with lunch supervision.
Trainor, who led a training session at Buena High School this summer, volunteered in her children's schools, but, "It wasn't always clear what my role was or what the expectations were," she said.
The training helps build parents' confidence, she said.
It also provides valuable information about safety issues, said Tracy Lopp, who volunteers at her son's school and at the district level.
Tammy Woodford got a notice from the district last summer about training at Buena, where her son is a freshman.
Woodford signed up and now supervises at lunch each week.
"I like to stay in the loop with the schools. The older the kids get and less volunteering opportunities there are, you get kind of out of touch at the school," she said.
The training was helpful. Plus, the school typically pairs volunteers with staff members.
"I think some parents may think that volunteering at the high school level is too scary, but it's not," she said.
Buena Principal Jesus Vaca, who requested the training program, said officials are trying to change the school's culture.
All Ventura schools are trying to be "more accessible and welcoming," said school board member Barbara Fitzgerald. That may mean posting teachers' pictures to help parents connect names with faces, changing signs or adding family resource centers on campus.
Dr. Mike Robinson, host of Parent Talk Live highlighted two community based organizations parents and community stakeholders need to know. In part three of a three part series on Organizations you need to know.