THOUGHTS PRESENTED AT THE SBBC BOARD BUDGET WORKSHOP JULY 29, 2010 e

July 30, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I WANTED TO TAKE A MOMENT TO RECOGNIZE THE DILIGENT EFFORT, EXTREME CHALLENGE AND EMOTIONAL STRESS THAT THE BUDGET PROCESS CREATES. I WOULD LIKE TO HONOR YOUR EFFORT. I THINK THAT – FOR MOST OF US SITTING ON THE OUTSIDE – IT IS EASY TO SPEAK OF WASTE, MALFEASANCE, AND OTHER ASSORTED CRITICISMS THAT I HAVE HEARD STEEPED UPON THE MANY HARD-WORKING STAFF THAT HAVE WORKED TO GET THE BUDGET TO THIS POINT. I CANNOT IMAGINE ANY OF YOU – OR THE STAFF INVOLVED – HAVE ANY INTENTION BUT TO PRESENT THE MOST WORKABLE BUDGET POSSIBLE, GIVEN THESE CHALLENGING ECONOMIC TIMES.
IT IS THE PHILOSOPHICAL FRAMEWORK FOR THE CREATION OF THE BUDGET THAT I WOULD LIKE TO COMMENT ON. I FEEL STRONGLY THAT THE FOUNDATION FOR THE CREATION OF THE BUDGET IS OUR CORE TEACHING AND LEARNING STRATEGY. BASED ON PRIOR INFORMATION, I DO NOT FEEL THAT TO BE THE CASE. YOU HAVE NOT MADE CLEAR TO THE COMMUNITY WHAT THE COMMON, BASIC EXPECTATIONS FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING ARE. WAS YOUR CORE CURRICULUM DEPARTMENT CONSULTED INSOFAR AS NEW STANDARDS BEING PUT INTO PLACE? WAS THERE ANY CONSIDERATION OF THE NEW NATIONAL STANDARDS – STANDARDS THAT OUR CHILDREN MUST BE EDUCATED TOWARD IN ORDER TO BE VIABLE CANDIDATES FOR THE COLLEGES THAT MEET THEIR WHOLE LIFE GOALS OR HELP THEM REACH THEIR CAREER ASPIRATIONS? HAS THERE BEEN ANY CONSIDERATION PAID TO THE ROLE OF THE ARTS, MUSIC, PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND OTHER SPECIALS TO ENHANCING OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATIONAL EXPERIENCE (NOT EVEN ADDRESSING THE ROLE THAT THESE CLASSES PLAY FOR SOME OF OUR FRAGILE DISENGAGED LEARNERS)? WAS YOUR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS DEPARTMENT CONSULTED IN REGARD TO THE EROSION OF SERVICES THAT SUPPORT STUDENTS? HAS THERE BEEN A REVIEW OF THE IMPACT OF THIS YEAR’S DIMINISHED GUIDANCE SERVICE TO STUDENTS? HAS THERE BEEN A REVIEW OF THE NEEDS OF THE MOST FRAGILE GROUP OF LEARNERS TO DETERMINE IF THEIR NEEDS ARE BEING MET? WHAT CONSIDERATION HAS THE CONTINUING TERRIBLE LOCAL ECONOMY PLAYED IN OUR PRESCRIPTION FOR THE NEEDS OF OUR STUDENTS? AND HAVE WE INCLUDED THAT CONSIDERATION IN THE BUDGET MODEL? HOW CAN WE EXPECT OUR CHILDREN TO LEARN – WITHOUT APPROPRIATE SUPPORTS – IN A COMMUNITY WHERE THE QUALITY OF LIFE IS BEING CHALLENGED DAILY?
TO THIS POINT, I BELIEVE THAT SOLID EDUCATIONAL BUDGETING PRACTICE SHOULD BE BUILT ON DETERMINING WHAT THE UNEQUIVOCAL NEEDS OF THE STUDENTS ARE AND THEN BUDGETING BACK TO THE AVAILABLE FUNDS. HAVE YOU DONE THAT? IF SO, YOU HAVE NOT COMMUNICATED THE DETAILS TO THE COMMUNITY. IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE THAT, WHY NOT? THE ROLE OF EDUCATION IS TO HELP YOUNG PEOPLE BECOME GOOD CITIZENS AND PRODUCTIVE MEMBERS OF SOCIETY. WITHOUT INSURING THAT THOSE STANDARDS ARE THE GUIDING PRINCIPLES – ACROSS ALL PLATFORMS: CORE CURRICULUM, STUDENT SERVICES, THE BUDGET, ETC – THAN I AM CONCERNED THAT THE BUDGET IS SIMPLY AN EXERCISE. OUR MISSION IS TO PREPARE STUDENTS TO BE SUCCESSFUL 21ST CENTURY PARTICIPANTS- HOW DOES THIS BUDGET PHILOSOPHY INSURE THAT?
ITS’ ABOUT THE KIDS

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THOUGHTS ABOUT EDUCATION

July 24, 2010 at 2:09 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

IN HER BOOK, The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice Are Undermining Education (New York: Basic Books, 2010), DR DIANE RAVITCH SAYS “WE MUST MAKE SURE THAT OUR SCHOOLS HAVE A STRONG, COHERENT, EXPLICIT CURRICULUM THAT IS GROUNDED IN THE LIBERAL ARTS AND SCIENCES, WITH PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITY FOR CHILDREN TO ENGAGE IN ACTIVITIES AND PROJECTS THAT MAKE LEARNING LIVELY. WE MUST ENSURE THAT STUDENTS GAIN THE KNOWLEDGE THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND POLITICAL DEBATES, SCIENTIFIC PHENOMENA, AND THE WORLD THAT THEY LIVE IN. WE MUST BE SURE THAT THEY ARE PREPARED FOR THE RESPONSIBILITIES OF DEMOCRATIC CITIZENSHIP IN A COMPLEX SOCIETY. WE MUST TAKE CARE THAT OUR TEACHERS ARE WELL EDUCATED, NOT JUST WELL TRAINED.”

Hello world!

July 22, 2010 at 3:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

It is with a great deal of excitement that I announce that I am entering the race to become the next School Board Member, representing District 2 (Miramar, Pembroke Pines, Cooper City). I have been a resident of District 2 for almost thirty years.  I have seen the growth and change over that time.  My children are both products of Broward County Public Schools.  As most of you know, up until July 1, 2009, I was Director, Dropout Prevention / Alternative Education.  I proudly, passionately, and successfully served the students of Broward County.  In the year since I ‘retired’, I have worked, studied, written, participated in debate, but, perhaps most importantly, watched the continual attack and erosion on teaching and learning in our community.  I strongly believe that educated, engaged youth is our future, our legacy.  We must be guided by a philosophy that confirms fundamental educational principles as ‘absolutes’ for our children.

I believe that I offer the unique package of experience, whole life learning, passion, persistence, and intellect that is necessary in these difficult times.  Furthermore, for many years, I have been (and continue to be) involved in many community initiatives (including the Children’s Services Board, the Juvenile Justice Board, the Executive Committee of the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative [JDAI], the Youth on Youth Anti-Violence Executive Committee, the Attorney General’s Anti Gang Task Force, the Executive Board of the One Community Partnership, etc) which, I believe strongly  affords me a unique perspective on (1) our community needs, (2) the efforts and services needed to serve the ‘whole’ child, and (3) the understanding that a child in need is part of a family in need. 

As you know, I am not a politician.  I am an advocate, a strong, dedicated and skilled advocate for the well-being and academic growth of our youth.  As an advocate, I present myself to you as the person to represent District 2.  I will fight fiercely, intelligently, persistently, passionately, patiently, and assertively for the inherent rights of our children.  I will not waiver from the belief that engaged teaching and learning leads to whole life learning and a better quality of life …for our children and, therefore, for our community.

I hope that you will support my candidacy. 

IT’S ABOUT THE KIDS!

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