Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wednesday 2/28/07

Apprenticeship programs are making a comeback.

The local firms pay $5,000 of the $7,000 tuition at the local Catholic high school. In return they get eight hours of labor per week from the students. The students of course get to enroll in a good, safe school and get some work experience. From Martin Kennedy's Tennessee Economics
Those elusive scholar dollars. The Memphis Commercial Appeal quotes Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton regarding the news that 64% of those lottery scholars lose that money in the first two year.
"The numbers are what they are," Wharton said. "Now we need to figure out what can be done to ensure that the scholarship fulfills its intended result -- to make college available to that segment of our population who are the least likely to attend college and finish." Commercial Appeal
I attended many of the lottery scholarship hearings in the House Education Committee and was paying attention during the campaign to get this lottery instituted. It was never sold as a way to make money available to those 'least likely to attend college and finish'.

It's my opinion that no one from the Memphis area, which has the worst schools in the state, should be telling anyone else how to do this job. If Mayor Wharton wants to improve those numbers he needs to head back to his school board and demand they do their job.

So let's give them 'special diplomas'.
...Rep. Barbara Cooper, a Democrat from Memphis, said she is disturbed by the number of students in her district who don't quite meet all the conditions to get a regular diploma and, as a consequence, can't get well-paying jobs.

To help them, Cooper wants to create three types of diplomas, including one that caters to students who meet attendance requirements and complete the needed course work but don't pass the state-required Gateway high school proficiency test. Tennessean
Again, go back to your school board and raise a ruckus. There is no need to lower the standards. The real problem is back in Memphis. It's likely that the new National Assessment of Educational Progress report that reading skills are tanking while GPA's are rising will reveal some useful information.
“Just slapping new names on courses with weak curriculum and ill-prepared teachers won’t boost achievement,” Kati Haycock, the Education Trust’s president, said. New York Times
Local Teen Screen folks, Tennessee Voices for Children will get $2.8 million from the US Dept. of Education to 'boost parental involvement in schools'. Let's hope that they stick to that and don't use any of these funds to expand a program that has caused a good bit of alarm across the nation. One groups calls Teen Screen a "Front Group for the Psycho-Pharmaceutical Industrial Complex" and another calls the practices "Orwellian" and "barbaric". Concerned public school parents are going to want to make sure their schools understand what the parents have given permission for and what not. They should also have a heart to heart with their children about what screening is appropriate and what isn't and why.


john h said...

Kay - are you suggesting that someone in Tennessee Voices for Children is considering using the 'Teen Screen' program, or just hoping that they wouldn't consider such a thing?

Sounds like it is something to be avoided.

Kay Brooks said...

Teen Screen has been done in at least one Metro School. I'm going to start a new post and include a link to a Teen Screen brochure.

Anonymous said...

TO find out what happened to Teenscreen in our hometown, check out the Daily Kenoshan at You'll be pleasantly surprised to see that it got canned!

Kay Brooks said...

And so it did.

"Despite drawing comparisons to the vilified and abandoned Columbia University TeenScreen, another suicide prevention program picked up the approval of the Kenosha Unified School Board Tuesday.

The board accepted Signs of Suicide, a program recommended by the state Department of Public Instruction and labeled “promising” by the federal government, for use in Unified schools, on a 5-2 vote Tuesday. Mark Stalker and Pam Stevens voted in the minority.

Signs of Suicide has already been making the rounds in Unified’s middle schools and high schools this school year."