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  #1  
Old 09-08-2003, 12:59 PM
CrimsonTide4 CrimsonTide4 is offline
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St. Louis School Protest

Marchers in St. Louis Urge School Boycott
2 hours, 1 minute ago Add U.S. National - AP to My Yahoo!


By JIM SUHR, Associated Press Writer

ST. LOUIS - Marchers turned out before the opening bell Monday, urging students to boycott the first day of class to protest a decision to close 16 schools. But the city's interim superintendent said turnout at one school seemed normal.


AP Photo



Following a 6 a.m. rally, more than 100 protesters chanting "Shut it down!" marched to the school board headquarters and then City Hall in a mock funeral procession. Some children carried plywood tombstones bearing the names of closed schools.


Once at City Hall, the protesters went inside to Mayor Francis Slay's office, where police officers turned them away.


It was not immediately clear how many children were boycotting school Monday. But interim superintendent William Roberti told KTVI-TV that students arriving at Beaumont High School were enthusiastic, and attendance appeared to be normal.


"They're getting their schedules and they're going to class," Roberti said. "That's what they should be doing."


An interim management team and the school board have come under fire because of their decision last month to cut 1,400 jobs and close 16 schools many of them in predominantly black neighborhoods. Officials with the New York-based turnaround management firm, Alvarez & Marsal, have said the moves were necessary to help eliminate a $90 million deficit.


The firm, which is running the district through at least this school year, has identified first-day attendance as a key measure of success. Last year, one in four students did not show.


Funding is an issue, too state dollars are based partly on attendance, and officials worry that a boycott could prove costly for the district.


Protester Donna Jones took a vacation day to keep her three children, ages 14, 12 and 5, out of school. She said she believed the children were learning about civic involvement standing up against a school district she believes has ignored the public.


"Who knows better than children, parents and teachers? They should have asked us how we felt," said Jones, 46.


But David Klaus, 48, walked near the march route with his 12-year-old son, showing protesters that he was taking the boy to school.


"I'm sure many of them are doing what they think is right," Klaus said. "To deliberately deprive the district and its children of more money is counterproductive at the minimum stupid, to be more blunt."


On Sunday morning, Roberti visited Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church and stressed the importance of getting students to class.


"We want your children, your grandchildren, your family, your friends' children, to be at school the first day," he said. "The real issue is education. It's your children. It's the outcome. It's closing the achievement gap here."


Some boycott organizers said they would urge students to stay away from school until the closed buildings are reopened and the management team is fired. More than a dozen churches set up safe havens for boycott supporters to take their children.
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Old 09-08-2003, 01:03 PM
toocute toocute is offline
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I think De6 posted a HC about this asking us to pray that it didn't happen.
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  #3  
Old 09-08-2003, 01:07 PM
CrimsonTide4 CrimsonTide4 is offline
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Originally posted by toocute
I think De6 posted a HC about this asking us to pray that it didn't happen.
Yeah. I believe she said her school was not impacted, but what a freaking shame to close 16 schools at once right as school is starting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 09-08-2003, 04:18 PM
CrimsonTide4 CrimsonTide4 is offline
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Thumbs down

Fla. Law Lets Pupils Forgo Senior Year
Mon Sep 8, 4:31 AM ET Add U.S. National - AP to My Yahoo!


By JILL BARTON, Associated Press Writer

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - Of all the ways attempted to free up space in Florida's crowded classrooms, this one could be a dream come true for high schoolers in a hurry: a diploma without a senior year.


AP Photo



Supporters of a law granting a high school diploma in just three years said it will help curb crowding in Florida's schools. Critics fear it will deprive early graduates of extracurricular activities and senior year milestones.


The state's top education official is already warning that the new law essentially enabling students to forgo their senior year is not for everyone and shouldn't be abused.


"It was meant for a small group, a band of students, who were not only mature enough but smart enough to graduate," Education Commissioner Jim Horne said. "It's not an attempt under class size pressure to do away with the 12th grade."


The fast-track graduation law was among several measures passed this spring in the wake of a voter-approved amendment requiring the state to take immediate action to start reducing class sizes. The amendment sets caps for every grade, including no more than 25 students per high school class by 2010.


Under the option, students can graduate with six fewer credits, as long as they double up on English classes to earn four credits and study a foreign language for two years. They are allowed to skip several elective credits, including physical education, art and life management courses.


No other state has tried a similar program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Texas started offering scholarships this year to students who graduate early, but only those who complete an advanced high school program.


Educators across Florida say the program encourages too many students to miss out on the life and learning experiences gained during high school's senior year.


"Kids are having a hard enough time as it is in college," said Okeechobee County School District Assistant Superintendent Lee Dixon. "You're giving up the fourth year of high school math, and high school science. You don't want to leave it up to kids to shortchange themselves."


Other educators say students who have six credits less than their peers when they graduate won't be as competitive in university admissions. And they'll likely be too far from their 18th birthdays to immediately enlist in the military.


"This is a strategy for class size reduction, not for quality education," said Fay Clark, an executive director with the Broward County School District.


Still, some schools aren't dissuading students from taking advantage of the early diploma. Instead, counselors are working with teens and their parents to explain the potential pitfalls.


"We're giving them the cold, hard facts," said Palm Beach County schools spokesman Nat Harrington. "If that's what they want to do, we just want them to go in with their eyes open."


State Board of Education member William L. Proctor said the board should defend the program.


"The thing that worries me most about it is what does it say about the senior year? Probably the kids looking at this option are the kids that need the senior year the most," Proctor said.


Cole Crockwell agrees most students shouldn't skip their senior year but he believes he's one of the few students who should.


Crockwell, 17, learned of the option about two weeks before fall classes began at Florida International University and hurried to take advantage of it. He already had the credits he needed from Miami Sunset High School and wanted to get a jump on his college business degree.





Crockwell said he won't miss his prom or other high school activities he's much too busy sending e-mails to businesses around the world about technology.

"Maybe I'm just a bit ahead of my time," said the honors student. "It was a good move for me but I don't think it's for every student. If there are students that enjoy activities more, maybe it's not for them."

High school counselors have had little time to learn about the program and tell students of their new option. Linda Eichas, guidance coordinator at Forest Hill Community High School in West Palm Beach, said several students have already signed on.

She said although many educators are wary of the fast-track diploma, the real test will come after students who graduate with only 18 credits move on to college.

"One parent's first question was, 'What's the downside?'" Eichas said. "And I told them, 'You're going to have to tell me in 12 months because we really haven't discovered the downsides yet.'"

___
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  #5  
Old 09-08-2003, 04:29 PM
btb87 btb87 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CrimsonTide4
Fla. Law Lets Pupils Forgo Senior Year . . .
Some of our administrators were in a meeting about this a couple of weeks ago. I still don't know exactly how it will impact those that are attending our community college, but I'm sure it will wreak havoc here and at the high schools as well. This was someone's answer to reducing class size. I'm sure there was another way. . .

We already have enough high school students that graduate that need prep classes - I'm confident that this ruling will add to that number.
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  #6  
Old 09-08-2003, 04:35 PM
CrimsonTide4 CrimsonTide4 is offline
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Originally posted by btb87
This was someone's answer to reducing class size. I'm sure there was another way. . .
Yeah tell BUSH that instead of giving $80 BILLION to Iraq to build some more schools!!! DUMB AZZ!! (Bush not you BTB )
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  #7  
Old 09-08-2003, 06:43 PM
ladygreek ladygreek is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by CrimsonTide4
Yeah. I believe she said her school was not impacted, but what a freaking shame to close 16 schools at once right as school is starting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This debate has been going on all summer. The argument could be made that the city of St. Louis had too many schools for the current population since the population shift has been to the suburbs. In fact many of them are in close proximity of each other and could be easily consolidated. And most of them are in dire need of renovations. Personally I don't think the closing of the schools will negatively affect the education of the kids, but I do see it having a negative economical impact because of the loss of jobs.
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Old 09-08-2003, 08:42 PM
Senusret I Senusret I is offline
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I actually don't think that's it's a bad idea to have some students forgo their Senior Year.....however, I wouldn't assume that the college-bound kids would take this route.

I imagine that certain students who are disciplined enough could forgo their senior year and go straight into a trade school or the military. I knew plenty of kids in my school who were bright, but just didn't want to be in school, especially if they had no college plans.
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Old 09-08-2003, 08:51 PM
UpPinkies UpPinkies is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ladygreek
This debate has been going on all summer. The argument could be made that the city of St. Louis had too many schools for the current population since the population shift has been to the suburbs. In fact many of them are in close proximity of each other and could be easily consolidated. And most of them are in dire need of renovations. Personally I don't think the closing of the schools will negatively affect the education of the kids, but I do see it having a negative economical impact because of the loss of jobs.
I'm from a suburb of Saint Louis and have been keeping an eye on what is going on with the city schools. Financially they are in horrible conditions. Many of those schools need renovations, but the city school district can not afford them because they are in millions and millions of dollars in the red. Plus some of their schools academically had not been doing well and that is why the busing (bus kids from the city to county schools) program was put into place years ago. I have read plenty of articles and have wondered why people are going off on the district now when they hired a firm to help with the financial situation when this has been going on for years. I feel sorry for the teachers, staff, and administrators who have lost their jobs but this was bound to happen someday.
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Old 09-08-2003, 09:28 PM
ladygreek ladygreek is offline
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Originally posted by UpPinkies
I'm from a suburb of Saint Louis and have been keeping an eye on what is going on with the city schools. Financially they are in horrible conditions. Many of those schools need renovations, but the city school district can not afford them because they are in millions and millions of dollars in the red. Plus some of their schools academically had not been doing well and that is why the busing (bus kids from the city to county schools) program was put into place years ago. I have read plenty of articles and have wondered why people are going off on the district now when they hired a firm to help with the financial situation when this has been going on for years. I feel sorry for the teachers, staff, and administrators who have lost their jobs but this was bound to happen someday.
I agree. I was born and raised in St.L.--a product of the school system. My mother was a high school and elementary school principal there until she retired. Your comment about the schools not doing well academically is why I said this move probably won't negatively impact the education level. In fact it might improve it.

My parents moved to University City (a suburb) almost 20 years ago because of the deterioration of St. Louis proper. While there has been a movement to build the city back up e.g., Central West End, downtown, etc. there were not adequate resources put into building the schools back up. So as you said, this has been a long time coming.
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Last edited by ladygreek; 09-08-2003 at 09:34 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-09-2003, 11:09 AM
BirthaBlue4 BirthaBlue4 is offline
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ST. LOUIS

The fact that 1400 people lost their jobs, even though the schools need renovations and can be consolidated, is a BIG problem. Teachers are already underpaid, and to now have to find another job, and maybe move all together, would be a big hardship, I'm thinking. I know I'd be pissed is I was a teacher that was cut. Besides, does closing these schools make the remaining schools overcrowded???

FLORIDA

See, I can go both ways on this one. I think that a lot of college bound student will take advantage of this. The only classes that they will NOT be taking are electives like PE (I mean is volleyball THAT important to my BS degree???) and home ec, oh sorry, life management class, which in all honesty is a waste as it is currently taught (funnel cakes and orange julius was never a healthy staple of my diet). They have to double up on english and take the foreign language for 2 years on top of everything else. So really, it will be more work. Only the serious student would elect to do MORE work.

The typical student that would enlist in the military or go to a trade school, from my personal experience, would not be pressed to get out early, or would not want the added work (English is a lot of work, more than most other classes). For those worrying about being competitive in college, its no point. You have to take placement exams anyway, who even remembers how many HS credits you graduated with. All you know is that you have to have 4 English, 3 Math, 3 Science and 2 Foreign Language. Anything else doesn't matter as far as college admissions. Its not the same as college criedits. And for those students in advanced classes, they may or may not decide to fo the 3 year diploma, because they may feel like finishing the program their in. Those who would use this opportunity irresponsibly (Man, F**K this mess, I'm gettin up outta here cuz) aren't set to do much in their near future anyway.

Besides, senior year is highly overrated (prom and such). I could have done without, personally, and I know a lot of people, responsible students, who felt the same and would have JUMPED on this chace to be done sooner, so we could get on with our lives.

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Old 09-09-2003, 06:21 PM
UpPinkies UpPinkies is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by BirthaBlue4
ST. LOUIS

The fact that 1400 people lost their jobs, even though the schools need renovations and can be consolidated, is a BIG problem. Teachers are already underpaid, and to now have to find another job, and maybe move all together, would be a big hardship, I'm thinking. I know I'd be pissed is I was a teacher that was cut. Besides, does closing these schools make the remaining schools overcrowded???

From what I have read and heard that some school my not experience overcrowding. Some teachers, administrators, and staff where moved to other schools. Plus some teachers might find jobs in suburban school districts and trust me there is enough of them.
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Old 09-10-2003, 05:38 PM
BirthaBlue4 BirthaBlue4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by UpPinkies
From what I have read and heard that some school my not experience overcrowding. Some teachers, administrators, and staff where moved to other schools. Plus some teachers might find jobs in suburban school districts and trust me there is enough of them.

Good. As long as they don't have added drama!
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