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Brooklyn Charter School Expansion Put on Hold Due to Community Backlash

Community Roots Charter School

Expansion for a popular Brooklyn, New York, charter school was recently suspended in part by resentful community responses. The school, Community Roots Charter School, currently shares a building with a public elementary school and a separate special education school. Academic success in recent years motivated leaders at Community Roots to expand operations to accommodate middle school students; a plan greatly accepted by students and parents participating at Community Roots. The decision to postpone expansion came as a disappointing shock to families.

After opening in 2006 Community Roots Charter School has proved to be a positive and effective experiment in alternative education. In 2010 the school received almost 700 applications to fill only 50- open seats. Parents watching their children excel in the program dreaded the day they would have to enroll their students in traditional public middle schools. The announcement of adding middle school curriculum was a welcome plan and most parents didn’t bother with looking at other middle schools.

Unfortunately for Community Roots families the community did not express an overwhelming joy for the situation.

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Chicago High School Sends 100 Percent of Graduates to College

Urban Prep Graduates via essense.com

By Stephanie VanderVelden

Urban Prep, an all male charter school geared toward African American students did it again. Every single one of their graduating seniors is going to college. For the second year in a row, the Chicago based charter school has been the catalyst to a successful future for over a hundred young men.

Urban Prep was founded four years ago, in Englewood, and provides alternative education to young men from Chicago’s most disenfranchised neighborhoods. 85 percent of students live below the poverty line, and most came in reading below their respective grade level. The first class of seniors graduated in June, 2010, and all 107 seniors went to college.

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What a Republican Congress Means for Education

Written by Jason Knapfel

With the midterm elections come and gone, the public has spoken strongly. Whether the elections’ outcome was a definitive vote against the Obama Administration or just a general “vote the bums out” statement with people still feeling uneasy about the economy is up for debate. Let’s just deal with the facts as we know them. The House of Representatives swung strongly towards the Republicans, and the Senate, while still under Democratic control, saw gains on the Republican side of the aisle as well.

What does this mean for the state of education? Well, a more conservative congress means a little more sway for the Republican platform on education policy. Let’s take a look at some of the party’s stances:

“We believe in the power of school choice, that giving parents the ability to send their children to better schools – not keep them trapped in failing schools.” – GOP.com Read the rest of this entry »



California Teachers’ Candidate Wins Superintendent Position

With elections still fresh in the minds of voters, there are some noteworthy wins that took place in our country. One such win occurred in California for the Superintendent of Public Instruction position. This office is the highest level educator in the state and provides direction to the school districts of California and serves on state governing boards. One of the candidates vying for this position in the election was Larry Aceves who is a former teacher, county superintendent and principal.

The other candidate was veteran state assemblyman and former teacher Tom Torlakson who was supported by the California Federation of Teachers. Torlakson was the victor in Tuesday’s election gaining almost 55 percent of the votes, which is great news for California public school teachers. Torlakson is known widely for being a fan of the book The Death and Life of the Great American School System which criticizes charter schools and business-driven school reforms, as well as the No Child Left Behind program. Read the rest of this entry »



President Obama Invites Waiting For Superman Students to White House

president obamaThere has been a lot of buzz lately about the public school system in America. A recent documentary called Waiting for Superman highlights the story of five students who attend public schools, yet are trying to attend a special charter school.

After watching Waiting for Superman, President Obama decided to meet with the students featured in the film he called “powerful and heartbreaking” in an interview with the Today Show.

President Obama talked about his daughters’ private school education during that same interview, and he has drawn some criticism for stating that they would not get as good an education if they were attending public school.

The meeting with the students was done out of the spotlight and without a lot of press. The students, Francisco, Bianca, Daisy, Emily and Anthony, were welcomed to the White House on October 11, 2010 to meet with the President. Read the rest of this entry »



Oprah Winfrey Donates $6 Million to Schools

oprahAnyone that has ever heard of Oprah Winfrey typically knows two things about her: she’s insanely rich and she gives stuff away.

She’s been coined by some as the queen of daytime television. People have gone to great measures to get tickets to her daytime talk show in Chicago. Once per year she has a show where she lists her favorite things and everyone in the audience gets one of everything on that list, and of course, tickets to that particular show are the most coveted of all.

Winfrey’s generosity has once again kicked in and she has donated $6 million dollars to six schools. The money was donated to organizations that are focused on helping troubled schools throughout the country. The funds will be distributed to six different charter schools in Philadelphia, California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana and Texas. These monies were donated through Winfrey’s charitable organization Angel Network. The organization stated that the schools receiving the donation are groundbreaking leaders in the provision of quality public education. Read the rest of this entry »



Charter Schools are Under Fire in Education Debates

kidsCharter schools provide inner-city kids in Harlem, New York the opportunity to escape the cycle of generational poverty by giving students a better education. The main charter school in Harlem that does this is Harlem Children’s Zone, an organization that has been helping students since the 1970s.

The president of Harlem Children’s Zone, Geoffrey Canada, said the program is “about saving young lives. For parents in devastated neighborhoods such as Harlem, the decision to send their child to the local failure factory or a successful charter school is no choice.”

President Obama recently praised Harlem Children’s Zone, and declared that he wanted to create many more charter schools for kids across the nation through the Promise Neighborhoods program. The main goal of this program would be to help students who come from neighborhoods with high poverty levels and low academic achievement levels.

This sounds like a pretty good idea right? Some educators and education scholars disagree.

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South Bronx School Has Unique Way to Deal with Emotionally Distressed Students

squishy ballHaven Academy school supply List:
1.    Pencils
2.    Paper
3.    Squishy

Squishy? What’s a squishy? A squishy is a “colorful rubber ball with dozens of tentacles that can withstand the strength of any young student.”

Umm okay, but why is it important? Students at Haven Academy use the squishy as a way to overcome their fears and calm their tears.

Maybe a little background information is necessary to explain the wonder of the squishy.

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