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@Tony Eubanks: More information on the school mentioned in your link:

Orchard Gardens at a Glance

Principal: Andrew Bott

Student Demographics: 56% Hispanic; 42% Black; 2% Asian

Special Programs: Students with Autism (full strand) and Sheltered English Instruction for English Language Learners (Spanish and Cape Verdean Creole)

Structure: Orchard Gardens is divided into three small learning academies: Bethune Academy (Grades K0 – 2); Shabazz Academy (Grades 3 – 5); and DuBois Academy (Grades 6 – 8 )

School Hours: 7:10am to 2:30pm for grades K0 – 5 and grade 8; 7:10am to 5:15pm for grades 6 and 7

Uniform Policy: Yellow collared shirt and navy pants/skirt for grades K0 – 5; Navy, yellow or white collared shirt and khaki pants/skirt for grades 6 – 8. OGPS logo shirts and sweatshirts are available for purchase at L&M Bargain Stores at both locations: 745 Dudley Street, Dorchester - (617) 265-1845 or 640 American Legion Highway, Roslindale - (617) 971-0012

posted @ Thursday, May 2, 2013 - 10:42

@MyraBlackmon: Anyway, I'd love to have this conversation all night, but I've got to get my kids on the bus at an ungodly hour in the morning, because while my children don't need breakfast at school, other children do, so we have to yield to that component of "education" and literally lose sleep over it.

So, I'll leave you with recommended listening (and something tells me Harper Valley Junior High wasn't a private school.)

Also recommended watching is "Field of Dreams." Fiction, sure, but the great scene with Amy Madigan that reflects the reality of what it's like when you don't conform to the incredibly homogeneous expectations of public schools. Do you really think there are that many Amy Madigans in the world? Or are most parents really doing the Kevin Costner thing at those PTA meetings?

posted @ Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 22:31

"Believe it or not, I volunteered in a private school once, one my son attended. I thought it met our needs at that particular time, and he later moved to public school. There were no poor children there and none of color that I can remember. I was sometimes treated badly by other mothers because I was a single mother. There was no support for what my son needed at the time..."

Guess what: that pretty much describes the public school my kids attend. I'm not a single mother, but I drive the wrong kind of car and don't care to get my hair and nails done for the amount of money that the other women spend, so I am somewhat of a leper. There are virtually no poor children or children of color at my kids' school.

There are snobs everywhere, public or private schools I find it has not so much to do with income level as how high the concentration of people is who enjoy being surrounded by their own kind. I found the level of snobbery just as great (or probably more so) when my children attended a school that was 50% poor and people of color. I was "treated badly" I suppose as you describe it because I was a little older Mom and didn't adhere to the same political philosophies of the majority.

posted @ Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 22:14

@MyraBlackmon: So, what I am hearing is that you did have the means to have a choice of education for your child. Furthermore, you used this choice merely because "it met [your] needs at that particular time.'

Therefore, while I admire your passion for your point of view, I have to assert that it is impossible for you to empathize with those who do not have the resources, financial or otherwise, to have more than one educational choice for their child.

posted @ Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 22:03

"We are resegregating our schools by race and class, making the quality of a child’s education dependent on his ZIP code or his parent’s income."

No, what we are doing is making a child's education (the child of parents who do not have sufficient income to afford private schools or a prestigious address) a game of chance dependent upon what ZIP code his/her parents find themselves.

posted @ Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 21:30

[quote][b]MyraBlackmon[/b] - I spend hours and hours on research and reading on this topic; I spend two days a week in an elementary school working with kids. [/quote]

Unfortunately that doesn't make a hill of beans to a family whose child or children are stuck in a school that does not meet their needs. If they are financially unable to afford private education, or to move to a different district or to home school their children, they are stuck, pure and simple and their children are being shortchanged.

The conversation that you and The Eagle are having here is truly the heart of the matter. The people who are really losing out are the ones who refuse to enter the conversation, or have given up, because they know that either: 1) their children will pay the price for being outspoken because they will become "that parent" that makes waves, or, 2) they will be assaulted and virtually flogged to death by armies of educators and other advocates with enough alphabet soup behind their names to tell them why they are wrong and no one will ever question such prestige.

So, since they can't quote studies and experts saying why public education doesn't work for them, they go along to get along. These are the parents who out of desperation support anything which remotely sounds like it might make things better for their kids...any chance at another choice.

One question, Myra, if you are partially forming your opinions through the time you spend volunteering in public schools, do you or have you considered doing the same in private schools?

posted @ Sunday, February 24, 2013 - 21:19

@Groovin: There is nothing in the amendment that says a state board will be "running" public schools. The people "running" the schools will be the people choosing or not choosing to send their children there.

What say you to other such boards, like the Board of Regents or the State Medical Board? If this is a "slippery slope" then it is following the groundwork of just such entities.

posted @ Monday, October 22, 2012 - 14:34

[quote][b]glory[/b] -
It's NOT the responsibility of the government to cater to each and every request of the minority especially if such requests present an unreasonable tax burden on the majority. [/quote]

Yep, we can agree on that one. Unfortunately, this is exactly what our public schools under the current system are being asked to do.

Give our kids and teachers a fighting chance to break loose of having to cater to every thinly-veiled "request" (often woven in terms of litigation or opposition come election time) of the minority, which place an unreasonable tax burden on the majority.

Vote YES

posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 22:56

@glory: My friends in Woodbine say they'll be glad to meet you!


posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 22:38

[quote][b]glory[/b] - . If you feel that school board members do a poor job at respecting the opinions of local citizens, it is your responsibility to vote them out!

One person, or even a whole lot of people in the minority, cannot "vote them out!"

Guess what? People end up in different places for different reasons, and do not have the luxury of choosing a residence completely based on a school system that is best for their child and or children. That's where I know the communication breakdown is; you and others think that we have made choices to end up in the school distract that we have.

So many people I know (all of them I can think of) who vocally oppose this amendment are people who have the time, money or sheer luck to:

1) Choose private or home school for their kids
2) Relocate to a better/different school or school system
3) Be very active and/or socially connected with the school board members or administration.

They may have CHOSEN their local public school, but that's exactly the point, they were able to choose.

In other words, it's easy for them to support the current system because it is or has worked for them.

But for people who do not have such opportunities, the only vote we really have that we feel has a chance to count is this one...

YES to Amendment 1.

posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 22:29

[quote][b]glory[/b] - If you sincerely feel that a state appointed board in Atlanta is better at making decisions for kids in Woodbine, GA (pop. 8,000, 300 miles from Atlanta) than a locally elected school board who live and work in the community then go ahead and vote yes. If you feel that the citizens and officials of Woodbine know better then PLEASE VOTE NO! [/quote]

That's the difference between us, Glory. I don't think anybody should be "making decisions for kids" except their parents.

I would rather have a state appointed board allow me choices so that I can decide what is best for my kids.

As it stands now, a handful of people who do not know me or my family, and who have never met my children make these decisions "for" my children.

Wonder how you would be thinking about this amendment if you were living in Woodbine, Ga and the locally elected school board chose a curriculum with which you and your family did not agree, but at least 4,001 of the other residents who chose the school board did.

posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 22:16

[quote][b]kayron4[/b] - Our children's education is decided by our zip code, how ridiculous is that?

Ridiculous, for sure.

Geographical discrimination is how I would describe it. "You can't go to our school because you live in the wrong place."

posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 22:06

[quote][b]glory[/b] - @tree_huggin_mama: Everybody wants choices, not everyone wants to pay for those choices. [/quote]

Not everyone who truly needs it wants to pay for a private school or home schooling either.

That's what makes a broad array of charter school options an appealing and realistic middle ground.

posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 21:56

[quote][b]fmrclarketchr[/b] - The amendment proponents keep talking about parental involvement. As a former teacher, let me tell you what kind of parental involvement is needed most in public, private, or charter schools: disciplining your children. Make your children behave. Have consequences if they don't. Make them treat adults and other children with respect. Show them by example and do something about it if they don't. Make them do their homework. Take away the video games if they don't. Make them stay in school. Tell them if they don't, they have to get a job and support themselves. Grow up and act like a parent. Stop expecting the school to teach your child manners, respect, and basic human decency, and then getting mad if your child gets in trouble. THAT's the kind of parental involvement that would help the schools. Not this amendment.

You make a great argument FOR this amendment. Parents who do exactly what you request should not be forced to send their children to schools where valuable time and resources, particularly the teachers' individual attention, are drained by the parents/students who do not.

Vote YES; there is no magical fairy-dust to make kids and their parents behave or care, and if they really do behave and care then they deserve the opportunity to attend school where others have the same priorities.

posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 21:48

[quote][b]glory[/b] - So my argument is in fact more than slogans and anecdotes, it's about leaving control of school systems with those who are best qualified to handle it, A LOCAL, ELECTED body officials, not a bureaucratic board of officials appointed by Nathan "let's make a" Deal. [/quote]

Fine, let the local elected officials control the public school systems for those who choose that avenue of education, but let the parents and guardians control the choice of the school that is the best fit for their own kids.

Power to the people, not the "officials," locally elected or otherwise.

posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 21:37

[quote][b]glory[/b] - @silent_majority: Here's the thing, no one is denying you an opportunity to opt out for better options. There is home schooling and private schooling always at your disposal should you feel the public school system is inadequate.

Really? Oh, let's see, I'll just quit my job and home school the kids, that'll be a no-brainier. Or choose private school...with options there about as vast as choices among satellite TV providers.

This argument is beyond insulting, to imply that these options are really "at the disposal' of those who need choices the most.

posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 21:33

[quote][b]SIGNOFF[/b] - What happens when newly created charter schools continue to show no measurable increase in student performance?

Not all increases in student performance can be measured. Happier students, for example, can create an overall more positive home environment for themselves and their families. This can translate into better social and emotional growth for the child (as well as his/her siblings and other family members), which can impact his/her performance down the road.

Test scores can't measure everything. School boards can't know every kid.

Parents are the only one who could and should be in full control of their children's education.

To answer your question, what happens? Either families will continue to choose the school because they see advantages for their child, and the school will survive, or families will go elsewhere and the school will no longer be viable.

posted @ Sunday, October 21, 2012 - 21:23

@Jim Thompson: Okay, thanks.

posted @ Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 21:21

@Jim Thompson: Why don't I see Leon Galis' editorial from today's print edition in the online edition?

posted @ Tuesday, October 9, 2012 - 15:11

[quote][b]anonymous1[/b] - I'm so glad CCSD isn't paying for this nuttiness, [/quote]

Actually it is to a large extent. The time and effort of Ms. Jimenez and who knows how many others who have worked on the planning and design of this (and many similar initiatives) are paid for by the district in the form of salaries and benefits.

posted @ Wednesday, October 3, 2012 - 08:17

@Jim Thompson:


posted @ Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 12:59

Where online are the letters that appeared in today's print edition?

posted @ Thursday, September 27, 2012 - 08:34

@davidxto: I'm a little disappointed here. I thought you'd be wondering after reading that comment, as I have, what intelligence might have to do with one's ability to cook good food and run a fine restaurant.

Dan's statement is an interesting reflection of the prevalent attitude in our town these days...that intelligence somehow trumps talent, skill or just plain old knowledge and experience.

posted @ Sunday, September 23, 2012 - 21:23

[quote][b]John Dewey[/b] -
If people want to do things "for the kids," they would already be heavily involved in their local public school system beyond complaining about it.

Tell that to the single Mom working the 2-11PM shift at UGA, who barely gets to see her kid during the school year, much less attend a a PTA meeting at 5:30 in afternoon.

posted @ Wednesday, September 19, 2012 - 22:43

@harrumph: Yes, a point well made.

Both of my college degrees (resulting in my espousing "anti-intellectual...drivel") reinforce my intellectual intuition that your point has no merit.

posted @ Tuesday, June 26, 2012 - 16:51

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