Friday, July 18

Weekly news round-up: politics and product placements

More money woes this week: city funding for pre-K programs run by community groups was cut in half, leading to the overnight evaporation of about 300 seats. Yet Obama accepted the endorsement of the national teachers union (AFT) union, vowing his commitment to "quality, affordable early childhood education for all our children,” and McCain announced his intention to fully fund No Child Left Behind, offer private school vouchers and put tutoring funds directly in the hands of parents. Ambitious plans on all sides, given the current economic climate.

Meanwhile, NYC education bigwigs are going national: Joel Klein is hoping to advise the next president and UFT President Randy Weingarten was elected head of the AFT. She says she's staying in New York for now (and announcing fresh lawsuits on behalf of city teachers) but just might be grooming a successor. Klein, who claims accountability as his hallmark reform, might want to explain why it apparently took a newspaper article to stop the city school bus system from “losing” parent complaints.

Children's health came under fresh scrutiny: A new report confirms what parents have known for eons -- that America’s active kids morph into sedentary teenagers – and documents health risks that have led others to recommend cholesterol meds for kids. And each successive scandal that the Administration for Childrens Services (ACS) faces tragically impacts the city’s most vulnerable citizens.

Too many teens are stuck in middle school , according to a report released by Advocates for Children. While some kids in the Bronx are apathetic about keeping their neighborhood clean, juvenile offenders are helping restore and reopen classic American diners. And the Times celebrated high school theater geekdom at its best, which seems a lot more wholesome than the current crop of product-infused teen novels. But for now, ditch the screen, shut the book, and get out! It's summer.

1 comment:

Bronx_shrink said...

CBO pre-k budget cuts by 50%-that's truly shocking, esp. reading about the CBO in Riverdale that enrolled 76 kids but will now only having funding for 18. How does the DOE justify not only the depth, but the timing of such a massive cut?

As for ACS, the depth of the corruption and inadequate services hasn't even been touched! The workers are so over-burdened with too many cases and the result is that kids who really need intervention are not helped. There are some really good workers, and even they struggle to do good. And then there are others who are abusive in their own way and damage those they are supposed to help.

I hope the news continues to investigate what's going on with ACS because they really have only scratched the service. If not for confidentiality, there are so many tales of ACS incompetence and abuse that I could personally tell!