Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Today's protests at LAUSD, an appeal for action

I just want to say that while my steadfast support of PUBLIC education is well known, I have a very special place in my heart for what DACE does and who it serves. This goes far beyond having a member of my household enrolled. All of those you serve are the ones that are the most vulnerable in this brutal system we live in. I promise that Yoon and I will fight alongside all of you until the last, we can't let them take this away from people that have nothing else to turn to. — Robert D. Skeels (In a note to Adult School Teachers)

Save LAUSD from vile corporate predators. Only thing missing in pic is Philip Anschutz and Eli Broad holding Mayor Villaraigosa's strings.I'm not sure if all of you have heard, but the Superintendent is presenting a draconian budget to the LAUSD Board of Trustees to vote on today. Even though the alleged budget shortfall is only 10%, Deasy (a former Gates Foundation executive and a graduate of the Broad Superintendent's academy) has crafted a budget that will eliminate education for 35% of the district's students and eliminate 100% of Elementary Arts and after-school services. Garcia and Deasy are threatening to lay off nearly 10,000 people in this round, meanwhile charters are sucking up resources and real estate.

While the elimination of Elementary Arts and after-school services directly effect K-12 families, I hope that everyone will realize that the elimination of SRLDP, Early Education, and Adult Education are attacks on the most vulnerable in society and represent a human tragedy.

If any of you have late afternoon to early evening availability, I'm pleading with you to show up and join the protests at Beaudry today. Here's the Adult Ed flyer, but to be sure SRLDP and all the other impacted programs will be out in force today. Tell the District not to balance the budget on the backs of the poor and most needy.

For anyone that tells you that Adult Education isn't important, or tries to divide us by saying its a choice between adults OR children, always remember it's about adults AND children. Share this with everyone:

Improving mothers' literacy skills may be best way to boost children's achievement

Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health concluded that programs to boost the academic achievement of children from low income neighborhoods might be more successful if they also provided adult literacy education to parents.

The researchers based this conclusion on their finding that a mother's reading skill is the greatest determinant of her children’s future academic success, outweighing other factors, such as neighborhood and family income.

The analysis, performed by Narayan Sastry, Ph.D., of the University of Michigan, and Anne R. Pebley, Ph.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, examined data on more than 3,000 families.

The study, appearing in Demography, was supported by NIH's Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

"The findings indicate that programs to improve maternal literacy skills may provide an effective means to overcome the disparity in academic achievement between children in poor and affluent neighborhoods," said Rebecca Clark, Ph.D., chief of the Demographic and Behavioral Sciences Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the NIH institute that funded the study.

After mother's reading level, neighborhood income level was the largest determinant of children's academic achievement.

The researchers undertook the study to isolate factors contributing to the disparity in academic achievement that other studies have found between children in low income and affluent neighborhoods.

Sastry and Pebley's analysis was based on data collected between April 2000 and December 2001 as part of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey, an ongoing examination of families in 65 LA county communities. The information included the results of reading and math assessments of 2,350 children ages 3 to 17, their mothers' education level, census records of neighborhood income, and family income and assets. The participants in the study were representative of the larger Los Angeles community.

Sastry and Pebley noted that neighborhood income had the largest impact on achievement for children ages 8 to 17, who are at the middle and higher end of the age range. This is consistent with the idea that the environment outside the home becomes more important as children grow older, they said.

"This analysis gives us a chance to isolate the different factors that affect children’s achievement," Dr. Sastry said. "Policy measures to encourage mixed-income neighborhoods, improve early childhood education, and build mothers’ reading skills each could have positive effects on children’s achievement scores."

The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s Web site at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation's medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.


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