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Today launches the third Middle School Success public awareness campaign by United Way. Why raise awareness of middle school?Have you even been in middle school or junior high school?  Do you remember the awkwardness and confusion of that time?  Do you remember thinking that your...
Some years ago I worked with high school dropouts to prep for their GED exams and find employment.  The common joke among the participants was that they all wanted a job taste-testing in a pie factory, everything else looked hard and/or boring. We spent a significant amount of time...
At my request, we have a guest blog from Allison Jordan, Executive Director of Children First/ Communities in Schools.  “Communities in Schools” is a specific model within a Community School approach. Learn about the amazing work taking place in two local elementary schools: Background on...
 In my last post, I introduced the idea of a community school: One where resources for families are offered at the school and where students learn through an integrated curriculum which makes learning more relevant to students’ lives.  Sounds OK, but does it make any difference?...
I doubt many of us made it through the holidays without thinking of the mass  shooting  in Newtown Connecticut..  Such a horrific event penetrates the armor of the most hardened of us.  So as we figure out ways to move on, we face two options:1. Let time diminish our...
Earlier this year we hosted a half dozen community conversations that focused on disadvantaged youth and what gets in their way of having a chance at a good life.  We defined disadvantaged youth as teens who had dropped out of high school and were unemployed.  Many of those who joined the...
This Community Wants Good Public EducationRecently I wrote about 4 ways to keep public education alive. Here is a slightly different slant on the public interest in public education.  Education has been one of the most significant messages from the Community Conversations we have been hosting....
The 2012 elections have ended and one of the big questions is what the results mean for public education. So now is a good time for us to take charge of what we want public education to look like. What can we control?4 Ways to Keep Public Education Alive1. Create A Culture of Learning to Keep...
If this is still the land of opportunity (and I surely hope it is), shouldn’t every young person have a chance to go to college?  Even if we accept that not everyone is suited for a college education, how do we know when to make that determination?  When they are in middle school? In 3rd...
It’s risky to challenge the role of sports in public schools during football season in WNC.  People get downright passionate about their local high school’s football team in this part of the country.  In fact, I was watching the High School sports roundup on the news the other...

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