Monday, December 31, 2012

Maximize 2012 Charitable Deductions - Give the gift of college access.

You have less than 24 hours to maximize your 2012 charitable deductions before we drive off the fiscal cliff.


You can give just because it is the right thing to do.

Please donate to The College Bridge.

The College Bridge is a non-profit that I am a board member.

Their mission is to provide the tools necessary for students to access college.

This can be in the form of skills remediation, applications for admission or financial aid, professional development for their schools. etc.

For those that know me or read by blog, you probably know that I am a first generation college student.
You should also how important and formative getting into college was for me.

I was lucky.
Most students whose parents are not college graduates have some serious obstacles to cross before they can make it in college.

The College Bridge's mission is to be the bridge to college access.

Please donate today.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Article - State may lose 'No Child Left Behind' waiver bid

Article - State may lose 'No Child Left Behind' waiver bid

So it appears that California will not be granted a NCLB waiver.

I have actually read multiple articles on the subject, and I chose to share this one because it sums up my frustration with California public education with the following quotes.

Let's starts with CA's top education leader not appearing to know why the request was denied.

I look forward to thoroughly examining the rationale the administration provides for its decision and will continue to explore every avenue for providing California’s schools and students the relief they deserve,” Torlakson said in a statement.
However, the same article explains.
After missing two deadlines for waivers, California in June submitted a last-minute, customized exemption from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as No Child Left Behind is formally known. The state said even though it did not comply with the specifics of some waiver requirements, it was adhering to them in principle.
Am I the only one that is concerned that the folks leading our state appear surprised that an application that missed two deadlines that did not meet specific requirements would be denied? I wonder how many principals or superintendents in this state send applications that miss deadlines and do not comply with specific provisions can expect different results?

This issue is very complicated and multi-faceted. My fear is that with anything emotionally charged as education in politics, it will get watered down and over-simplified to the usual "are you for or against teachers?" debate that it always ends up becoming.

For example, one of the main provisions that was not fully endorsed by California is tying teacher evaluations to test performance. Like most things NCLB, the specifics on how this done is left for the states to decide so long as it fits into federal parameters. This is already getting attention from the anti-testing crowd.

However, my questions are more pragmatic.

What are the consequences of not getting the waiver?

Could there have been a way to meet deadlines and meet the provisions in a way that was agreeable and reasonable, or will it always be a black-and-white, mindless, Fox news-style debate?

At least EdWeek offers a certain level of pragmatic debate on the topic, especially as it relates to the underlying politics.

Will California always choose to decide to be a rebel and that it does everything "right" without exploring the effectiveness of states with better education funding and educational outcomes?

More importantly, how many children will get caught in the cross-hairs of political agendas?


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Article - Special Education: A Delicate Balance Between Educating & Enabling

What do you think on this commentary?

Special Education: A Delicate Balance Between Educating & Enabling

Two things resonated for me in this article.

1. There is a major difference between legislative intent and foundational philosophy versus implementation. Something may sound great in theory, but what does the average practitioner look like on the average day?

2. The balance for me is not Educating versus enabling. It is accommodating in the short-term while developing and reinforcing skills in the long term. For more on this topic, please read my post on accommodations at



Article - ADHD Medication Treatment may Reduce Criminal Behavior