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View Diary: The Myth of Failing Schools (216 comments)

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  •  We're starting a similar program (1+ / 0-)
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    angelajean

    In the past parents were mostly ignored or even locked out. We started a "pay to play" system like the sports teams do and interestingly enough there are parents threatening to go to the ACLU, which is causing some of the organizers to pause.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

    by Cali Techie on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 03:53:06 PM PDT

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    •  If I'm reading this right... (1+ / 0-)
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      Cali Techie

      the pay to play is sort of the opposite of what our kids' school did.  In our case, the parents flat out pay the teacher's salary and it's open to all.  Somehow, the admins just push the salary off to the parent organization and fundraising covers it. Same thing with the school nurse.  

      •  Something like that (1+ / 0-)
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        dannyinla

        Basically what's happening is the band parents organization in response to the schools ending the instrumental music programs in the elementary and middle schools have decided to start an afternoon program where everyone who participates pays a small fee. This fee covers materials and modest stipends for the contracted instructors who do it more for the love of it than for the money.

        There's also talk of the parents simply raising the money and opening it up to anyone who wishes to participate.

        Oddly enough at the district where I'm working on this there is a threat from a parent to ask the ACLU to sue. I don't think the ACLU will take it on since learning how to play a musical instrument at no cost isn't a constitutional right. However it's enough to give organizers pause and with school starting tomorrow there is no program in place for any kids who wish to learn how to play an instrument.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 03:48:00 AM PDT

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        •  We similarly had one parent (1+ / 0-)
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          Cali Techie

          who tried to muck things up by complaining that the school auditorium was being used without charge for a for-profit afterschool drama program.  They wanted to get more money for the school and, in turn, nearly wiped out the program. There's always one in the bunch.

        •  Some people are unreasonable (0+ / 0-)

          I would try to sit with this person and try to understand her goals. Surely giving money to lawyers is not among them.

          I would also build your program on what I call the NPR model - that is, suggested donations rather than required. The whole program will be stronger, the more kids who participate, and no child who wants to be there should be denied.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:36:24 AM PDT

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          •  Turns out (1+ / 0-)
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            elfling

            it's a tempest in a tea-pot. The ACLU suit is over paying for required courses and materials during normal school hours, something that should be paid for with our tax dollars. After school elective programs are not affected by this. We're charging ahead.

            When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 11:45:49 AM PDT

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      •  And the reason why we have to do it this way (1+ / 0-)
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        dannyinla

        is because the district is in it's third year of a NCLB improvement program. The kids must spend most of their day learning English and math which leaves no time during the school day for electives like music. Because of that it has to be an after school program and the district isn't going to hire any teachers for that no matter who pays for it.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 03:50:11 AM PDT

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        •  Our school is on a 4 1/2 day schedule (0+ / 0-)

          The kids go a bit longer Mon-Thurs and then get out early on Fridays, but the bus runs at the regular time on Friday so that the kids can participate in the afterschool program activities (which are free to all). (The activities include music, art, gardening, cooking, PE, and science and whatever else can be cooked up among an interested adult and kids.) A lot of districts have a short day one day a week for staff meetings and the like - perhaps this is the case at your school and it can be turned to some educational advantage.

          Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

          by elfling on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:39:51 AM PDT

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          •  There are two short days (0+ / 0-)

            And I mean SHORT! Wednesdays and Thursdays they get out at 1:30 pm. They're on a 4 day schedule. Frankly I don't see how they learn anything.

            We plan to use those days to our advantage. There are no school buses (local mass transit is pretty good actually) and I know parents would be happy to have a couple of extra hours before they had to pick up their kids.

            When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 12:37:34 PM PDT

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    •  The problem with music for our school was (1+ / 0-)
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      dannyinla

      we could only afford to pay for one period a day, and no credentialed music teacher could travel to our (rural) school to teach one class every day.

      We put together a partnership with our afterschool program. The school owns instruments but had no teacher. There are lots of musicians in the community and finding one who could come for three hours once a week to teach was possible. So the afterschool program now has a music option on Friday afternoons (our short day) with a very good teacher, and the program is thriving. There's the equivalent of a varsity and JV rock band for the older kids, and an elementary program for the younger ones.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Mon Aug 29, 2011 at 08:33:50 AM PDT

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