BACKGROUND: Scientific Studies and Observed Reality (done correctly, the same thing!) show that adolescents are not morning people. Duh. Scientists with government and foundation grants have proved this obvious fact in recent years and have even proved why: Teenager's Circadian Cycles are still locked up in the bike rack back at school in the AM: their melatonin levels are all gaflooey (excuse the scientific jargon) in the morning.
And gentle readers, so are their test scores.
We obviously don’t care about teens' health and well being - look at the way we let them dress - but (excuse the algebra) Later start times = better student achievement. Often when scary Red Teams take over poor performing school districts the first thing they do is set start times later. And it works!
Of course teachers tend to be morning people - and they set bell schedules per their union contracts.
I am kinda/sorta the left coast correspondent for Fairfax County S.L.E.E.P. They have fought the battle against long odds - eventually getting a sympathetic school board elected. But the Early Bedtime/Status Quo/Change is Inconvenient contingent is up in arms!
If this rant has failed to antagonize anyone I apologize. - smf
Early Bedtimes Work, Too, for Sleep-Deprived Teens
From Columnist Jay Michaels education column EXTRA CREDIT in the Washington Post
EXTRA CREDIT Thursday, September 4, 2008
(By Julie Zhu)
(By Julie Zhu)
¶Los Angeles Unified showed a drop to 27.5 percent. ¶Critics have said districts are under-counting dropouts. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in July he believed more than half of LAUSD students drop out. ¶The district rates include charters which can have a higher number of dropouts.
By Melissa Pamer, Staff Writer | Daily Breeze
Sept 26 -- There were fewer public high school dropouts at most South Bay school districts than was recently reported by state education officials, according to revised data released this week.
The statewide dropout rate fell to 21.5 percent from the 24.2 percent reported two months ago, state schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell said Thursday.
"To see a reduction of about 3 percent is clearly a step in the right direction," O'Connell said. "But, that said, it's still too high. It's unacceptable."
by Diana Martinez, Editor | San Fernando Valley Sun
Thursday, 25 September 2008 -- Ellen Pais, Executive Director of the Urban Education Partnership based in Los Angeles describes the graduation rate at San Fernando, Sylmar and Arleta High Schools as "horrific" and starting next week the agency, with money from a federal grant, will begin work first at San Fernando High to identify resources that can help students graduate.
by Jason Song, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
September 25, 2008 -- Seventy-one-year-old Peggy McIntyre needs to learn as much as she can about Windows before 8 a.m. Or else.
McIntyre is one of about 40 L.A. Unified School District employees, mainly women nearing retirement age, whose jobs were eliminated in budget cuts in June. For a chance at another position with the district, the clerks need to pass a test proving that they can manage a spreadsheet and type a letter.
by Reggie Dylan / Revolution / SF Bay Area Independent Web Collective
Tuesday Sep 23rd, 2008 3:30 PM -- Locke High School in Watts made national news last May when a fight broke out on campus between hundreds of Black and Latino students. The melee was reported in the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and in Time Magazine. The Los Angeles Times treated it as though an alarm had been sounded—a radical solution to the problems at Locke and similar inner-city schools was urgently needed.
The conditions of the inner city schools today perfectly reflect the conditions of the inner cities.
Bringing Forward Models of “Reform”
The ruling class has approached this crisis in urban education not from the perspective of how to provide a good education for every child, but through a collection of changes that have made the situation worse.
The Green Dot Model: Making a Bad Situation Worse
Green Dot Public Schools is among the many non-profit charters being championed and guided by some of the most influential and “far-sighted” of the business world, civic leaders and leaders of the education establishment, and people in the world of politics.
“Tough Choices or Tough Times”
“The New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce,” a panel made up of former Cabinet secretaries and governors in addition to federal and state education officials and business and civic leaders, issued a report in December 2006 titled “Tough Choices or Tough Times.” The report “warned that unless improvements are made in the nation’s public schools and colleges by 2021, a large number of jobs would be lost to countries including India and China, where workers are better educated and paid much less than their U.S. counterparts.”
“They Made It, Why Couldn’t You?”
The rulers of this country believe they face a powerful compulsion, coming from the fundamental needs of this system, to raise the education level of the U.S. labor force as a whole. Not to enable everyone to become a “knowledge worker,” which they know is impossible, but in order to maintain this country’s competitiveness in the world economy as much as possible.
“Determination decides who makes it out of the ghetto—now there is a tired old cliché, at its worst, on every level. This is like looking at millions of people being put through a meatgrinder and instead of focusing on the fact that the great majority are chewed to pieces, concentrating instead on the few who slip through in one piece and then on top of it all, using this to say that “the meatgrinder works”!” -- Bob Avakian,
●●smf's 2¢: Just because 4LAKids republishes it doesn't mean I endorse it …and the Green Dot and Mayor's Partnership efforts have been very successful at getting their word out and into The Times on a weekly basis! ¶The 'Dangerous Thinking' in the title might be about this article or it might be about the subject of the article; inevitably it is about both. But to not confront the dangerous thought is undoubtedly the most perilous pathway of all. ¶The quote above - about Determination and the Meatgrinder - appeared as the coda in the article – but is pulled from revcom.com: the website of the Revolutionary Communist Party. If you've been ruined by this exposure to the Marxist Dialectic I apologize — but you've read this far and the Republicans are nationalizing Wall Street anyway!
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
the new york times
“The governor, however, proclaimed the budget a victory.”
After years of channeling money into in mortgage backed securities and collateralized debt obligations portfolios of mortgages bundled and sold as debt securities the total size of pension fund securitizations are massive. Thomas Martin, president of the Homeowners Consumer Center estimates pension funds will take a 1 trillion dollar hit from devalued securities.
The nation’s largest public pension fund - the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPers) - could take a hit as large as their $2 Billion dollar residential mortgage portfolio.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 | 02:20 PDT -- If the system mandated by No Child Left Behind to fix thousands of failing schools were subjected to its own rigorous standards, it too could fail.
That's the conclusion of the first large study examining whether school-restructuring programs required by the federal No Child Left Behind education act are actually working.
Editorial | Visalia Times Delta/Tulare Advance-Register
●●smf 2¢: It’s no different in Visalia or Tulare. Schools have not attained the level of excellence we expect. There is further improvement needed in serving students. Schools don’t have the resources they need. Teachers are not fully trained and competent. Schools haven’t achieved the optimal ratio of administrators to teachers.
September 23, 2008 -- In an energetic election year with no loss of stimulating candidates and controversial issues, one issue has been missing: education.
LA Times Editorial
LA Times Editorial
September 22, 2008 -- For the last seven years, illegal immigrants attending California's public university and community college systems have been eligible for in-state tuition rates. The thinking behind this practice was that, regardless of their parents' actions, children had no choice in crossing the border illegally; academically gifted immigrant students shouldn't be condemned to a permanent underclass.