query: education organizing

Discussion list for COMM-ORG colist at comm-org.wisc.edu
Tue Jan 29 11:13:54 CST 2008


[ed:  thanks to Brad for responding to Doug's query.]

From: Brad Fields <bradfields at yahoo.com>


I am leaving the specifics of a longer school year to an off-list 
communication.  However, I believe Doug touches on a larger issue of why 
there are so few organizing campaigns of any kind, any objective for 
inner city school reform.  In Baltimore, Maryland, with the exception of 
the upper tier high schools we are basically warehousing children and 
then shipping them out with fifth grade reading and math levels; those, 
that is, of the thirty percent of ninth graders that we graduate.
Brad Fields
ex organizer
current teacher

Discussion list for COMM-ORG wrote:
> --------
> This is a COMM-ORG 'colist' message.
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> --------
>  
> [ed:  please feel welcomed to discuss the community organizing 
> dimensions of Doug's query on-list, but I would prefer any debate on 
> whether to lengthen the school year take place off-list.]
>
> From: DougRHess at aol.com
>
> Hi, comm-orgers (?; comm-orgians?):
>  
> Here's a question that's always rattled around in my head and I'm thinking  
> some people on here might have the answer to it. Perhaps it's there's 
> obvious  
> answers (see below), but I've always wondered why there's not a movement 
> or  
> campaign for a longer school year. Many other nations have longer school 
> years  
> than we do and the benefits to the poor would be obvious (more time for 
> kids
> in  supervised setting making work easier for parents, additional nutrition
> program  participation (a net transfer to the poor), and less chance of 
> kids
> from  low-income households falling behind their wealthier peers over the  
> now-shortened summer break (that there is a summer-decline gap is well  
> researched)).
>  
> Obviously there are administrative and political hurdles to overcome (not  
> all schools are prepared for the hottest days of summer and there are  
> increased
> costs all around and a change to the lives of teachers, staff, etc.).  
> But it
> seems that the benefits to the folks we organize would be worth it, 
> even  it
> the summer vacation was only cut by a few weeks. Or are many low income  
> children already are in summer schools or summer programs of some kind 
> that make  
> the need less apparent?
>  
> Children may hate me (but they always give my the flu any, the li'l  
> vermin):
> but why not year-round schooling?
>  
> -Doug
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