- Created on 16 October 2012
The Atlanta Braves and State Farm Insurance teamed up to recognize the Frank Ski Kids Foundation for their unwavering commitment to the community with the State Farm Go to Bat Award. State Farm Agent Taryn Lawrence (left) and Braves infielder Lyle Overbay presented the award to the Frank Ski Kids Foundation President Tanya Ski Rodriguez and her son Blake (right).
The Frank Ski Kids foundation is a nonprofit organization that exposes youth to their future through science, technology, athletics and the arts. The Frank Ski Kids Foundation provides educational excursions for high school students to Europe, the Caribbean and the Amazon. Their signature Youth Bowl, gives inner city youth the chance to showcase their football skills and raise funds for local park programs. the foundation also distributes thousands of dollars in scholarships to high school seniors. Other 2012 Go To Bat award recipients included the Atlanta Community Food Bank, La Amistad, Anti-defamation League, MDA Georgia and Team Georgia.
- Created on 12 October 2012
Atlanta Public Schools is testing a new measure of school effectiveness and the results are now public. An open records request produced the scores of every school in Atlanta, showing how much learning children are actually getting during a nine-month school year.
For example, children at Early College High School at Carver are packing 17 months of learning into the nine-month school year. Conversely, students at Crim High School are only getting six months of learning in the same nine months school is in session.
APS is one of the first school districts in Georgia to use the new measures of student achievement and Georgia is one of a growing number of states using the data to measure schools and teachers. The request was initially filed by the AJC.
The scores are based on Georgia Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests and select End of Course tests. Those scores are then referenced against a statistical formula that includes academic history and demographics to project how a particular student should score on future exams. The resulting score is based on how close the student comes to that projection.
Measuring success is the classroom has been one of the stickiest issues in reforming and improving education. Many in government, including President Barack Obama, want to use student test scores as a way to measure an educator's effectiveness, but teachers' unions argue that such rubrics are unfair.
Using test scores to grade teachers is a trend that began around the country under President George W. Bush with No Child Left Behind and continues with President Obama's Race to the Top, which pushes schools to use standardized test scores to retain and reward teachers.
The new evaluation system could change all that because it focuses on how much learning has happened, regardless of overall achievement compared to national grade-level expectations.
For the time being, the new measurement will not be a replacement for state exams that measure grade-level proficiency, but will act as an additional measurement for student performance.
For more information and a full list of how every school in APS scored on the value-added test, check out http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/new-aps-data-reveals-schools-disparity/nSbcZ/
- Created on 27 September 2012
A mom wrote in to us recently for advice about her teenage son who’d developed a habit of quitting everything he began. This time, it was his high school football team. We encouraged her to keep her son on the team because involvement in sports does far more than just keep children busy; it teaches them three skills essential for success in life.
Sports give kids a safe place to set goals and experience the thrill of achieving them. Kids can strive to set personal bests and gain confidence in their abilities.
That confidence helps them achieve success in school and in their personal relationships, and help prepare them to find success as adults.
Sports are a lab for life. As Boys Town head football coach Kevin Kush writes in his book, The 100-Yard Classroom, “The greatest gift of sports to its participants is the opportunity to learn how to overcome adversity in a safe and controlled environment.” By encouraging your child to make and keep a commitment to a sports team or other extracurricular school activity, you are teaching him how to overcome adversity, which is critical for success in life.
Michael Jordan once said, “I’ve failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Not allowing your child to give up when he is afraid of failing or being rejected by friends, or is tired of working hard builds character that can propel your child into life as a successful, productive adult.
- Created on 04 October 2012
Lowery Institute Hosts ‘Great Student Debate’ on Jobs Act
Students, faculty and community leaders gathered to hear students from the Atlanta University Center argue for and against the proposed House bill, ‘Jumpstart Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act.’ The JOBS Act is a bill that intends to encourage the funding of small businesses in the United States. It is designed to restore job opportunities and stimulate the economy. The “Great Student Debate” was hosted by the Joseph E. Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights, which is housed at Clark Atlanta University.
Students from Morehouse College, Spelman College, Clark Atlanta University and Usher’s New Look Foundation participated in the debate. Retired judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore was the debate’s moderator. The event was intended to create greater awareness of each political party’s approach to the nation’s current economic crisis and unemployment rate, in relation to the nation’s college population while motivating the youth to fully exercise their right to vote. “The change that we see happening was brought about by young people.
Make this nation live up to what it declares,” said U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, who was the event’s guest speaker. During the debate, one student urged that the strength of America isn’t in the government but in the people. “I can think of no greater celebration of my years and my life’s work than to be amongst young people who are fully engaged and fully motivated to participate in the democratic process,” Rev. Dr. Lowery said of the event.
- Created on 09 August 2012
Funeral services for William Raspberry, the retired Washington Post columnist who died of prostate cancer Tuesday at age 76, have been scheduled for Thursday, July 26, at 10 a.m. at the Washington National Cathedral, according to journalist Walt Swanston, a family friend.
A reception is to follow from 12:30 to 3 p.m. at the Washington Post building, 1150 15th St. NW in Washington.
"The Cathedral Church of St. Peter and St. Paul (Washington National Cathedral) has been the location of funeral and memorial services for nearly all the 21 presidents of the United States since Congress incorporated the Protestant Episcopal Cathedral Foundation in 1893," according to the cathedral's website.