Fellow Tumblrers — please feel free to help Ray and his students out, if you can!
Dear followers, teachers, and the Tumblr #education community,
My name is Ray Stoeser and I am a second year English teacher at Crockett Technical High School in Detroit, MI. This year I had the amazing opportunity to be the AP Language and Composition instructor for our school. I work with some of the most amazing students you could meet. Their hunger, passion, and dedication to their education is truly special.
At the beginning of the year, the school told me they would be covering the cost of the AP exams. We are a high poverty school and even the reduced $57 fee per exam is hefty for some of our students’ families. When the time came to order the exams, I was informed that the school was out of funds and would be unable to pay for the exams. I was heartbroken. How was I going to tell my 22 students that they were not going to take the exam for which they had worked so hard to prepare?
With less than 24 hours before we had to order the exams, I told the administration to order all 22 exams. College Board wasn’t going to send the bill until mid-June so that gave me some time to find some donations.
On May 16th the students took their exams and returned to my class excited and confident about their results!
That being said, we still need to pay the bill. My class and I are accepting donations and/or sponsors for the exams. I have 22 students and the exams are $57 each. We would graciously accept any denomination. Also, if you would like to pick one of the 22 students and sponsor their individual exam with a $57 donation that student would be happy to send you a personalized “thank you.”
To donate please click here.
Thank you for helping these students take one step closer to college!!!
If you have any questions and/or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
To donate please click here.
Putting this on my to do list, signal boosting too
Kickass Dad of the Day: When Stuart Chaifetz learned that his 10-year-old son, Akian, was being violent and disruptive in class, he was puzzled. He knew Akian, who has autism, to be mild-mannered and sensitive, and had a hunch that something more was going on. But after several meetings with a team of school officials created to help special-needs students, nothing changed. So Chaifetz did what any concerned parent would do.
On the morning of Friday, February 17, 2012, I wired my son and sent him to school. That night, when I listened to the audio my life changed forever. I heard my son being bullied by his teacher and aide. The six and a half hours of audio I had proved that my son wasn’t hitting the teacher because there was something wrong with him — he was lashing out because he was being mocked, mistreated and humiliated. His outbursts were his way of expressing that he was being emotionally hurt at school.
The New Jersey father has since launched a website full of damning evidence and a Facebook page, and he is petitioning the state to change legislation so that teachers who bully children are immediately fired. The aide has been fired, but the rest of the staff have merely been relocated.
“I seek a full and public apology from all those adults who were in my son’s class for what they did to him,” Chaifetz says. “It is also far past time that these issues are allowed to be hidden from public view.”
Engaged at age five, Kakenya Ntaiya was supposed to undergo ritual circumcision by the time she was a teenager — an event that would mark the end of her education and the beginning of her preparations for marriage.
Holding fast to dreams of becoming a teacher, Kakenya negotiated with her father: she would go through the ceremony only if she could also finish high school. He agreed.
After completing high school, she negotiated with the village elders to do what no girl had ever done: leave her Maasai village of Enoosaen to go to college in the United States. The girl who grew up without electricity wrote papers on international relations and political science on the computers in the university library.
Kakenya earned her doctorate in education and is now a passionate activist for girls’ education. She has experienced firsthand the freedom and opportunity afforded a secondary education, and now she’s realizing her dream to provide the same for the girls of Enoosaen.
In May 2009, 32 girls from the region enrolled at the Kakenya Center for Excellence, the girls’ school Kakenya built in her village. One year later, enrollment has doubled and continues growing.
I had the honor of meeting Dr. Ntaiya today and her grace, compassion, EMPATHY, intelligence, and commitment to working with girls and women in her community is truly humbling. At thirty four, her wisdom and ability to get at the root of issues is remarkable - she encompasses what I hope to be able to do for my own community and embodies the kind of skills and determination I want to possess to support others who are doing the same.
For more information about her work, visit theKakenya Center for Excellence
This is really great news. It’s just unfortunate that contraception has become such an issue and has experienced such a push back because comprehensive sex education is responsible for this and if we start chipping away at the choices teens have for contraceptives, this rate is going to go up.
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam (R) announced yesterday that he will “probably” sign a bill that attacks the teaching of “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning” by giving broad new legal immunities to teachers who question evolution and other widely accepted scientific theories. Under the bill, which passed the state legislature last month:
“Neither the state board of education, nor any public elementary or secondary school governing authority, director of schools, school system administrator, or any public elementary or secondary school principal or administrator shall prohibit any teacher in a public school system of this state from helping students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.”
Although the bill is written to seem benign, as it neither specifically authorizes the teaching of creationism nor permits teachers to do more than criticize scientific theories “in an objective matter,” the practical impact of this bill will be to intimidate all but the heartiest of school administrators against disciplining teachers who preach the most outlandish junk science in their classrooms. Because the bill provides little guidance as to what constitutes an “objective” criticism of a scientific theory, any principal who reigns in teachers who force creationism or Pastafarianism upon their students risks finding themselves on the wrong side of the law.
In reality, of course, there are few, if any, “objectively” valid objections to the theory of evolution (or, for that matter, to global warming). Rather, as Travis Waldron explained when this bill passed a legislative committee nearly a year ago, “Scientists have reached a consensus that evolution is ‘one of the most robust and widely accepted principles of modern science,’ and as such, it is ‘a core element in science education.’”"
The problem that needs to be fixed is not kick all the girls out of YA, it’s teach boys that stories featuring female protagonists or written by female authors also apply to them. Boys fall in love. Boys want to be important. Boys have hopes and fears and dreams and ambitions. What boys also have is a sexist society in which they are belittled for “liking girl stuff.” Male is neutral, female is specific.
I heard someone mention that Sarah Rees Brennan’s THE DEMON’S LEXICON would be great for boys, but they’d never read it with that cover. Friends, then the problem is NOT with the book. It’s with the society that’s raising that boy. It’s with the community who inculcated that boy with the idea that he can’t read a book with an attractive guy on the cover.
Here’s how we solve the OMG SO MANY GIRLS IN YA problem: quit treating women like secondary appendages. Quit treating women’s art like it’s a niche, novelty creation only for girls. Quit teaching boys to fear the feminine, quit insisting that it’s a hardship for men to have to relate to anything that doesn’t specifically cater to them.
Because if I can watch Raiders of the Lost Ark and want to grow up to be an archaeologist, there’s no reason at all that a boy shouldn’t be able to read THE DEMON’S LEXICON with its cover on. My friends, sexism doesn’t just hurt women, and our young men’s abysmal rate of attraction to literacy is the proof of it."
“Now why isn’t this in the headlines?
Chicago’s Urban Prep Academy (an all-male charter school) just pulled a THREE-PEAT announcing that ALL of their graduating seniors have been accepted into four-year colleges!
Some folks have no faith in the educational system, but Urban Prep Academy on Chicago’s south side must be doing something right. Once again, 100% of its 2012 graduating seniors are heading off to college in the fall. And by the way, this school is the only all-Black, all-male public prep school in Chicago!
This is the third year in a row that the school has achieved the feat thanks to hard working teachers and parents and of course…the amazing students.”