Back To School!

That time of year again, eh? BACK TO SCHOOL! The last few years I’ve enjoyed the back-to-school photos my Facebook friends post as they send their (rapidly growing!) kids off to school. I can’t believe a new round is already starting!  What happened to summer?

But here we are! New routine, new teachers, new stuff to buy – a busy, chaotic and even expensive time.

I was thinking how this is such a easy tie-in to 2012 Year of Kids here on One Page For… Education is so important for a kid if he or she is going to flourish. It’s the difference between – sometimes – the life you want and the life you’re stuck with, dependence or independence, being easily duped or exploited and being savvy and able to make good choices and stand up for yourself.

Education doesn’t obviously just come from school. But in this computer, information, communication, global community world, school is so essential.

I know it’s an election year and people are voicing all different kind of education based platitudes and policy suggestions. To me, the most important four questions I ask when I look at people offering solutions are

A) Is their number one goal improving education for all kids or something more narrow or all together else?

B) Are they looking for a complex solution to the complex problem of reforming education – or are they trying a “one size fits all” avenue for either assigning blame or coming up with a fix?

C) Are they basing their answers on stuff that’s been verified to work or that can at least be tested out?

D) Are they open to suggestions from other people (given those other people pass muster on A,B, and C above)?

That’s what I think of, anyhow.

But I was thinking Back To School Time might also be a good time to take a second and list some people who are helping kids get an education that would otherwise be out of reach.  To that end, here’s the list:

Boys & Girls Clubs of America –   afterschool programs, life skills, and leadership training

Mission Safe –  My brother works here! Helping kids in Charlestown and Mission Hill Boston.

Little Brothers of The Good Shepherd School – educating the extremely poor in Haiti

CamFed  – getting girls to school in Africa

Barakat – Educating  in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan

Operation Military Kids – Helping address the special needs of American kids who have a parent deployed or back from deployment

Drop as you see fit.

Good luck with the new school year everyone!!!

Beth

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One thought on “Back To School!

  1. Great article! My hope for anything education related is that those involved in policy making don’t forget to continually ask themselves “what is best for kids?” It is sad to hear about so many decisions that are made without consulting the experts (i.e. the teachers!!). Too often the policy makers are trying to run schools like they would run businesses. I love this metaphor that was used at an address to teachers many years ago. The speaker said something like this: “The difference between being a teacher and being an executive is this. Executives can pick the best blueberries from the bushel and create something really great. Teachers are required to create something really great using all the blueberries in the bushel including the bruised, the slightly sour, the rotten, and the misshapen.” Just some food for thought, no pun intended.

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