As a child I had several hated household responsibilities. Scooping up the dog shit in the backyard and making my bed (which I still hate doing) topped the list, and cleaning out the bird cage? Hated it.
But right up there with all of those loathsome chores was waking my mom up from an afternoon nap, something I never looked forward to.
My mom just didn’t take a nap, quote unquote. She fell into a mini-coma. Waking her up was not unlike rousing a bear out of hibernation – she got a tad bit vicious when I’d try.
I used to poke her in the stomach a few times and then bolt, and she’d sit on the edge of her bed, smoke a cigarette and stare into space for a while before ambling downstairs to smoke and stare some more.
Julia takes after my mom in this particular area and one afternoon last week she woke up crabby and grumpy, like a little bear.
Vector School Building
I was beyond thrilled when my older daughter got into the charter school of our choice. This particular school has been featured on Oprah, 60 Minutes, PBS, and countless articles as a pillar of what the best of charter schools can offer.
Unlike public schools
, this school had longer hours. Instead of an 8-2 day, my daughter was in school from 7:25 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. While this sounds like a lot for a 5th
grader, it allowed more time in the class for teachers to work with the students, she had Art, P.E., Technology, and Music as part of her school time (instead of carting kids around to after-school programs), and even time for recess and lunch.
I fell in love with the school on the very first day. Their rules were strict, but the teachers and the principal were extremely compassionate and positive. They believed in every student’s ability to succeed.
My daughter went from an average student to a straight A student. After she got used to having 2 hours of homework a night, she rarely needed help (but knew it was just a phone call away, as the teachers were required to be available by cell until 8 pm). Instead of a PTA, we had breakfast with the Principal one Saturday a month. Everyone contributed, and we all had an equal voice. We could ask any and every question, and through those meetings, new concepts were implemented. For example, after the Principal heard many parents voice their concerns, he included information on the weekly newsletter about cognitive and physical development at our student’s age. I had never before felt like I had such a partner in my child’s education.
Magnet Schools began to be widely implemented in the mid-1970’s as a political tool. At the time, public schools were trying to desegregate to comply with a Supreme Court ruling, but found parents resistant to sending children outside their normal school zone
. Educators realized that if they created superior, specialized schools, students would volunteer to go out of zone for a better education in their field of interest.
Magnet schools are open to any child within the school district, though not all school districts offer magnet programs. Parents have to apply, and children are chosen based on criteria set by the school. Up until 2007, race was usually a component in the selection criteria, however, in a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court reversed their decision on mandatory desegregation, so in most cases, race is no longer a consideration.
Magnet schools get the same amount of district funding as regular schools, and also qualify for special federal funding, as well. On average, magnet schools spend about $200 more per student. Performance wise, students tend to do better academically in magnets than their counterparts in regular schools, with higher graduation rates.
In my last post “What, Exactly, Is a Charter School?“, I stated that charter schools are an extremely complex and controversial topic, then went on to explain why they are complex. In this post, we will explore why they are controversial, and how to decide if a charter school is right for your child.
Before we get into the controversy, here is a summary of what we have discussed so far:
* Charter schools are independent from a school district and are run like a private business.
* Charter schools all have special curriculum and/or teaching techniques that differentiate them from a regular public school. Every charter school is unique.
* Charter school formats are experimental, so some schools provide excellent education, and some do not.
* Charter schools are not necessarily local to you, and your child may have to commute.
* Charter schools choose students based on a lottery, not admission criteria, so some children will have an easier time getting into a charter than a magnet (or vice versa).
There are four aspects of charters that garner controversy. The first is that charter schools are allowed to be for profit. The second is that the people who found charter schools are not required to have to have an educational background. The third is that charter school teachers are rarely part of a union. And, last but not least, in some states charter school teachers do not have to be credentialed. Continue Reading
Organic baby clothes refer to the kinds of vestments that are mainly worn by babies. These garments are biodegradable and are very much friendly to the environment. Parents more often than never like purchasing these attires for their babies or infants because they cost less expensively, hence affordable.
There are several types of attires for babies. They range from the top to the bottom. This means that there are those which are worn on the head and include caps. Others are worn on the other body parts and include tops, vests, pairs of trousers, pants and nappies, pairs of shorts and also socks. There are also some additional accessories.
The sizes of the attires range from small up to big. This often depends on size of the baby. The small ones are usually more suitable for the small infants while the larger ones for the big babies. Besides, there are also some that are oversize. These are mainly used by the obese babies.
There occur different materials which are usually used to process and make these attires for children. They include nylon, cotton, polyester and silk among others. However, among all these, it is only those baby clothes that are made of 100% cotton and are biodegradable, thus making them to be more widely used. They are also dyed with the dyes which are very eco-friendly and of low impact.
What is a charter school
? The definition is “a public school operated independently of the local school board”. It sounds simple and straightforward, but the reality is that charter schools are an extremely complex and controversial topic. Charter schools were first introduced in the early 1990’s in response to a nationwide call for sweeping public education reform. Most states passed legislation where they would allow the formation of some publicly funded “experimental” schools to give parents an alternative to the traditional public schools
that were under so much fire at the time.
What does “experimental” mean? First of all, charter schools are not part of a school district. They are independently run businesses that follow a private school business model, except instead of charging tuition, they get public funds. In a traditional system, the school districts set the curriculum for the schools in their domain, receive money from the state, and distribute it among the schools. In the case of charter schools, the individual schools set their own curriculum and receive money directly from the state. Niki Mohr, a teacher at Vaughn Next Century Learning Center, a charter school in Pacoima, CA says “Personally, I think our school is more efficient with money than a school district because we do not have district administration costs to pay, so more money goes directly to the classroom.”