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I was asked to share the following video, which was prepared by ParentVoices NY.  One of those parents is the father of two young children, one of whom is in second grade in Brooklyn.  These are the grandchildren of my dear friend Diane Ravitch, who asked me to post the video.

Bill De Blasio has a real chance to change the direction of public education in New York City, and thereby also changing the direction of public education in America.

Watch and listen to the video.

Listen to the children as well as their parents.

Then make sure more people see it.

Not just in New York City, but across the nation.


Here's the video

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (28+ / 0-)

    "We didn't set out to save the world; we set out to wonder how other people are doing and to reflect on how our actions affect other people's hearts." - Pema Chodron

    by teacherken on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 03:05:54 PM PST

  •  Thanks for posting.... (11+ / 0-)

    ...Your "teacher" is showing again....

    Seriously, I'm concerned for my two granddaughters. One is 7, 2nd grade, whip-smart, loves school and learning, but isn't "learning" anything new at school. She's not 'exceptional' (except to me!) but is very far ahead of her peers. Because we taught her to read early, her teacher is spending a lot of time with kids who don't have that advantage. She feels neglected.

    We are of modest means around here and cannot at this time afford supplemental learning in a private setting.

    I'm afraid this kind of testing will not expose her true potential and this smart little girl will be swept along with her class to the next level where she may not have the skill to negotiate because she has given up on getting the attention she needs.

    (Don't bust me for the run-on sentence, Teach....)

    "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

    by CanisMaximus on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 03:24:17 PM PST

    •  Dunno where you are... (0+ / 0-)

      But many schools have "enrichment" or "gifted and talented" programs. Even where they exist, though, they're often hard to find and get into. If you aren't willing to use the web (and google heavily) and call up people and ask, it's very easy to get omitted. If such a program exists, there are usually tests prospective students need to take. They may be scheduled twice a year, in abandoned mines during blue moons, so be sure to get the details and don't miss them.

      Programs vary by state, and usually by county, and even more schools do not have such programs.

      •  They have a track... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...which allows for that. But my GD is not "gifted" but simply ahead of her peers. That ain't sayin' much, considering  the parents of some of these snowflakes...

        "Wealthy the Spirit which knows its own flight. Stealthy the Hunter who slays his own fright. Blessed is the Traveler who journeys the length of the Light."

        by CanisMaximus on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 08:08:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again, things vary. (0+ / 0-)

          Where I am, the enrichment programs are tested into, and 90th percentile on achievement gets one in. Others are no doubt different; during my childhood, 98th percentile was required just to take the tests, but the program wasn't administered through the school system.

      •  Unfortunately in my experience... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ...such programs are the first to be cut when money gets tight.  There is always money for special needs programs because those are mandated by the state, but it is my firm belief that the need to be challenged IS ALSO a special need.

    •  Teachers may need guidance (0+ / 0-)

      in some cases to help all kids reach their potential. This may be a situation where the child's parents can ask for the child to have an evaluation by the school psychologist (I know one) from the special education department to determine her abilities relative to her peers. She may have some strengths in some crucial areas. That might qualify her for special programs, enrichments, etc.

      Or the psychologist after talking to the teacher and the parents, may help guide the teacher into finding classroom activities to keep the child's interest and attention. The teacher may not be aware the child is having those feelings about the class.

      One of my kids was always picked by a couple of her teachers to monitor certain things in the classroom, erase the boards, distribute papers, if she finished her work early, etc. Made her feel special and kept her from being bored.

      I very clearly recall in my own school days having a teacher call me a liar when I said I had finished an in-class reading assignment much more quickly than the rest of my class. That was the wrong message to give a kid, for sure. Luckily I only had one teacher like that.

      Back to the video, I recall we always had the "Iowa Test of Basic Skills" every year. We never had any prep for it at all, I think it was two half-days. NO one seemed to sweat it very much. The current testing mania seems crazy to me.

  •  If only Arne Duncan and Barack Obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lcrp, sayitaintso, whenwego, Lujane

    were so attached to high stakes testing and the market based "reforms" of Race to the Top.

    "The working class mind is strange and unpredictable" -- Ty Lookwell

    by Illinibeatle on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 03:44:07 PM PST

  •  As A NYC public school parent, I'm desperate (9+ / 0-)

    to believe you're right about DeBlasio. I'm optimistic from what I've seen so far.

  •  Posted to several sites (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whenwego, teacherken, Lujane, pdxteacher

    tipped/rec'd. Listening to students, parents and teachers and retired...just might work.

    I discover myself on the verge of a usual mistake. ― Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

    by dannyboy1 on Tue Nov 26, 2013 at 04:37:19 PM PST

  •  Shared with friends in NYC (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I shared with friends on faculty of NYU School of Education and asked them to share. Maybe they can help, too.

    My 9-year-old grandson is being home-schooled as a reaction to  a year of No Child Left Unbored in public school kindergarten (6 hours a day in school, of which 4 were typically worksheets.) You could just see the kids shut down and lose interest as the entire focus was on preparing for standardized tests. So his parents are working with a group of families similarly interested in a thoughtful learning environment.

    He is thriving now, bright and lively with wide interests, some serious depth in areas that vary over the year, and even does just fine on the district-mandated standardized test at end of year. His 4-year-old sister hangs out on the fringes of the Big Kids and is reading, writing, and picking up all sorts of odds and ends (sang me the alphabet in Greek not long ago, who knows why.) But this small-scale response only works for parents with the time and teaching skills and resources (including the occasional grandparent helping). It can't really even help to change our school district (though the superintendent lives on my street and knows the stories), let alone NYC.

    I hope so much that the Mayor-elect will choose a wise, seasoned educator to lead the schools, not another corporate-political hack.

  •  Thanks Ken (0+ / 0-)

    I agree with the parents and students in this video.
    Our district uses Pearson's math "curriculum." Teachers could write it themselves, but we're not given a chance. When Pearson creates a supposed revision, our district buys the whole kit and caboodle again- not just all new, just-as-lousy textbooks, but duplicate boxes of manipulatives (cubes, tiles, rulers, geoboards...). Then, there's the testing, and the millions invested in a test created by a giant corporation.

    This is the same district that supposedly can't afford to provide enough teachers for our schools. Our classes are some of the largest in the nation.

  •  Message to Bill de Blasio from parents (0+ / 0-)

    Ive been trying for the week to get news sites to pick up this video.  They would rather run mind numbing polls and policy speak rather than the heart felt messages of parents trying to be heard by the mayor elect.  Ive followed Daily Kos since its inception.  I never dreamed it would be so hard to be heard by this news site.  

  •  And Let's Not Forget The End Game (0+ / 0-)

    which is creating a test that kids can, "Fail," so that private corporations can come in and take over the school.

    It's all about the richest people in the country looking around and seeing what remains to make a buck off of. Great video.
    Diane is a true hero on behalf of our children. I wish we had her like in office.  

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