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FL-SAC Are you involved or not?

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  • Ed Wyland
    FL-SAC came into existence because someone like Dwayne Munday had a vision. For the rest of us we may have had a vision, but never created the FL-SAC. FL-SAC
    Message 1 of 3 , Dec 1, 1999
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      FL-SAC came into existence because someone like Dwayne Munday had a
      vision. For the rest of us we may have had a vision, but never created
      the FL-SAC. FL-SAC is basically symbolizes an opportunity for those who
      want to be involved, get information, help, empowerment, change, reform
      and the list goes on to WANTABE's..., and I am sure most of us have
      similar reasons.

      One of the reasons that comes to mind is, any organization like this is
      created through time not overnight, and let's be specific and say the
      education of our kids struggling with the demands of the old ways which
      no longer work...(all you have to do is look around after they leave
      high school)... Luckily a recall for students is not like the automobile
      manufacturers, otherwise we would have to build much much larger schools
      to handle the recalls... The other side of the coin is...not many
      parents are really involved in the schools, they have way too many other
      important issues during a 168 hour week, and its very difficult for them
      to give up some of their time or make time to get involved in the
      school. I am fully aware our school age populations has changed, and
      with the diverse economic and social issues, compounded by children are
      poorer, and we have identified more handicaps than every before...not
      withholding the fact we are more ethnically and linguistically diverse.
      Florida public schools are expected to successfully cope with this and
      as I stated, very few parents are really involved to help...so please
      enlighten me about what this all has to do with acquiring a good
      education! How do you prepare students for a future that hasn't yet
      been invented with the other fact, a high school diploma is not even
      enough to get and keep a job....

      I am not trying to be judgmental or accuse anyone....but the fact
      remains of what I have found to be true is, it takes effort on the
      parents side and also I have noted some professionals not all, possess
      information useful to us as parents and also those of us in SAC, and
      these same professionals typically exercise a degree of power or control
      over us because they have it and we do not. So, how do we make a level
      playing field to get involved or run an excellent SAC.

      Maybe these same professionals within our own educational districts who
      possess the information, and apparently have the information we seek,
      guard it as if they give it to us.. they may not have a job, or
      they do not want change, or reform...

      Maybe that is why I have become so involved in learning...because I
      could not find the answers I needed. Sometimes I become the catalyst
      and upset those in positions in the district offices, not the schools
      who do not share what is needed...because they do neither quickly enough
      or in many cases not at all.

      Some of us have and will continually seek information from many sources
      because we may have the contacts, time
      and different lifestyles to seek out such information. FL-SAC I would
      believe is happening because we want each of us to have a level playing
      ground that provides us with power and control over ourselves so we can
      have not only an understanding of what is going on and how to do it, but
      actual ownership in the education of our kids, which we do not all
      have.

      Technology seems to be in our best favor of FL-SAC and allowing us to
      not only speed up the learning process of information to each other, but
      also create new bridges of many sources to each other. With a little
      effort on everyone's part, those who know how to use a computer and
      those just learning, can seek the information needed to attain what
      reforms and changes are happening., whether it be for current and future
      goals you will succeed,
      because you can have a power others do not if you seek it out.

      I have found this FL-SAC to be a powerful tool and also be most fun in
      sharing it with others. FL-SAC is a piece to the puzzle and concept for
      a continuous systemic improvement that can create positive results. If
      you have not taken the time to check out what information is on the
      FL-SAC links, or the prior emails of interested people then maybe you
      need to. FL-SAC is only going to work if you do!
    • Laura Benson
      Ed - Touche! Because of our Charter District broo-ha-ha here in Sarasota, the roles of schools, administrations, community members and parents has been talked
      Message 2 of 3 , Dec 2, 1999
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        Ed - Touche!

        Because of our Charter District broo-ha-ha here in Sarasota, the roles of
        schools, administrations, community members and parents has been talked
        about - alot. In light of this dialogue and the trends running through our
        entire country now, we must acknowledge that change is blowing through the
        wind.

        I think that everyone's role is about to change. That scares many
        stakeholders. You mentioned the resistance you receive from district
        offices and I think you accurately describe the reasons why. But don't
        forget, the nature of a bureaucracy is to have a systematic, rule driven
        way to manage a large organization. Involvement from outside the group
        causes ripples through the bureaucratic dynamic. You will always meet
        resistance when you try to involve yourself or your group - its not in the
        rule book.

        I think that parental roles would have the biggest single effect to the
        success of the public school system. I don't think Charter Districts will
        do it, I don't think grading schools will do it and I don't think vouchers
        will do it. Your essay spells out the need for parents to be involved but
        you assume they have to be physically involved in the function of the
        school and I don't believe that's necessary. What is necessary is that the
        family support the efforts of the school and the teacher. For instance,
        when Johnny comes home at the end of the day and complains that the teacher
        took away his Pokeman cards that he accidently had in his pocket, a parents
        reaction should never be "that teacher had no right to take your personal
        property who does he think he is and I will demand that this never happen
        again". It should be "you're not supposed to have your pokeman cards in
        school. The teacher was right in confiscating them". I think that
        parental involvement in school has become distorted. There seems to be a
        feeling that in order to be involved, they have to somehow protect their
        child, or be certain that their child is treated as the unique individual
        that he/she is. This is hard to say without sounding like I don't like
        parents, that's hardly the case. But when we undermine the authority of
        the school and the teacher, we send a message to our children that its ok
        to not accept that authority. Now, granted there are situations when its
        obviously necessary to intervene but I'm speaking in generalities.

        Some parents are able to assist a school in a direct fashion, SAC, PTOs,
        classroom volunteers. These are wonderful people who have the ability to
        do that. But don't assume that's the only way to participate. THE SUCCESS
        OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS RESTS AT HOME. Respecting their education is #1.
        Making school a priority is #1. Expecting success from our students, and
        providing tools to make that happen is #1. I truly believe that these
        transcend socio-economic barriers. When we stop expecting our schools to
        make children better students and citizens and take that responsibility on
        ourselves, schools will be more successful.

        There's a move to compare public education to private education. That if
        we force schools to compete with private schools by offering vouchers, they
        will be forced to improve. I resent that argument. There is a difference.
        Private schools can pick and chose their students and they do not have to
        keep them. Those who pay for education tend to exhibit the qualities
        necessary for successful school careers. Public Schools don't have the
        same abilities. We're not comparing apples to apples. I like to sometimes
        go deeper into a problem and find the root. Perhaps capitalist methods in
        public education should work in theory but when the product is a child, not
        a widget, you can't apply the practice. If we don't address the real root
        of the difficulties, children not prepared to learn, we won't have any
        solution at all.

        Next.

        Laura Benson
      • Traci
        Laura, I have to agree with you! You hit the nail on the head! Many (not all) Parents today are undermining the school. I see it all the time as a parent who
        Message 3 of 3 , Dec 2, 1999
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          Laura,

          I have to agree with you! You hit the nail on the head! Many (not all)
          Parents today are undermining the school. I see it all the time as a parent
          who is at the school two to three days a week. I am talking about Elementary
          Education here, however I see parents telling their children "they shouldn't
          fight with the teacher because you know you won't win". When there is no
          respect at home for our school staff and administration, how can we expect
          our children to have respect? Too many parents do not teach their children
          that school is the most important thing they will ever do in their lives,
          how well they achieve today will affect the rest of their lives. I cannot
          believe the things I see parents do and say. From where I sit it's scary!

          I have always wanted to become a teacher and put that on the back burner to
          be a stay at home mother. I would not become a teacher now after being
          involved with the parents and school in general. This is sad because many
          people who would make wonderful teachers are turning to other career
          choices.

          Tracy Dunne

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Laura Benson <laurab3@...>
          To: FL-SAC@onelist.com <FL-SAC@onelist.com>
          Date: Thursday, December 02, 1999 6:31 AM
          Subject: Re: [FL-SAC] FL-SAC Are you involved or not?


          >From: "Laura Benson" <laurab3@...>
          >
          >Ed - Touche!
          >
          >Because of our Charter District broo-ha-ha here in Sarasota, the roles of
          >schools, administrations, community members and parents has been talked
          >about - alot. In light of this dialogue and the trends running through our
          >entire country now, we must acknowledge that change is blowing through the
          >wind.
          >
          >I think that everyone's role is about to change. That scares many
          >stakeholders. You mentioned the resistance you receive from district
          >offices and I think you accurately describe the reasons why. But don't
          >forget, the nature of a bureaucracy is to have a systematic, rule driven
          >way to manage a large organization. Involvement from outside the group
          >causes ripples through the bureaucratic dynamic. You will always meet
          >resistance when you try to involve yourself or your group - its not in the
          >rule book.
          >
          >I think that parental roles would have the biggest single effect to the
          >success of the public school system. I don't think Charter Districts will
          >do it, I don't think grading schools will do it and I don't think vouchers
          >will do it. Your essay spells out the need for parents to be involved but
          >you assume they have to be physically involved in the function of the
          >school and I don't believe that's necessary. What is necessary is that the
          >family support the efforts of the school and the teacher. For instance,
          >when Johnny comes home at the end of the day and complains that the teacher
          >took away his Pokeman cards that he accidently had in his pocket, a parents
          >reaction should never be "that teacher had no right to take your personal
          >property who does he think he is and I will demand that this never happen
          >again". It should be "you're not supposed to have your pokeman cards in
          >school. The teacher was right in confiscating them". I think that
          >parental involvement in school has become distorted. There seems to be a
          >feeling that in order to be involved, they have to somehow protect their
          >child, or be certain that their child is treated as the unique individual
          >that he/she is. This is hard to say without sounding like I don't like
          >parents, that's hardly the case. But when we undermine the authority of
          >the school and the teacher, we send a message to our children that its ok
          >to not accept that authority. Now, granted there are situations when its
          >obviously necessary to intervene but I'm speaking in generalities.
          >
          >Some parents are able to assist a school in a direct fashion, SAC, PTOs,
          >classroom volunteers. These are wonderful people who have the ability to
          >do that. But don't assume that's the only way to participate. THE SUCCESS
          >OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS RESTS AT HOME. Respecting their education is #1.
          >Making school a priority is #1. Expecting success from our students, and
          >providing tools to make that happen is #1. I truly believe that these
          >transcend socio-economic barriers. When we stop expecting our schools to
          >make children better students and citizens and take that responsibility on
          >ourselves, schools will be more successful.
          >
          >There's a move to compare public education to private education. That if
          >we force schools to compete with private schools by offering vouchers, they
          >will be forced to improve. I resent that argument. There is a difference.
          > Private schools can pick and chose their students and they do not have to
          >keep them. Those who pay for education tend to exhibit the qualities
          >necessary for successful school careers. Public Schools don't have the
          >same abilities. We're not comparing apples to apples. I like to sometimes
          >go deeper into a problem and find the root. Perhaps capitalist methods in
          >public education should work in theory but when the product is a child, not
          >a widget, you can't apply the practice. If we don't address the real root
          >of the difficulties, children not prepared to learn, we won't have any
          >solution at all.
          >
          >Next.
          >
          >Laura Benson
          >
          >>A resource for Florida School Advisory Councils.
          >
          > Post message: FL-SAC@onelist.com
          > Subscribe: FL-SAC-subscribe@onelist.com
          > Unsubscribe: FL-SAC-unsubscribe@onelist.com
          > Moderator: dwayne@... "Dwayne Mundy"
          >
          > http://www.onelist.com/community/FL-SAC
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