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  1. Yes, I was responding originally to other comments you made. Those about parental involvement. This comment was literally just to make sure you knew I saw your correction.
  2. For all of those reasons homework is unequal. I rarely assign actual homework--if my students have any it's because they didn't finish their work in class. I've gotten messages from annoyed parents asking why their kids haven't had any. But I don't find it at all important until high school.
  3. You're right, sorry. School districts get a certain amount also for "unduplicated students;" students that are homeless, children of migrant workers, or foster kids. But the fact that local property taxes do pay a significant portion (a source I just saw said that it was 22% in 2018-19) makes it even more unequal and more of a reason to fix things.
  4. No, schools can't help parents have more time to check homework and stuff but I was making it clear that when I was talking about parent involvement, I wasn't just talking about physically coming into schools. But those things take time and energy and affect how a school does overall. As I said above, schools in CA get the same amount per student. It follows the student if they go to a charter or stays at their neighborhood schools. The difference comes with fundraising. Schools with wealthier people can fundraise more and do more. Other schools have to make do with what the school gets per student. Which means they have to make tougher choices. Until school fundraising is equalized, schools won't be equal.
  5. I have to say, if I had someone to help me make copies and staple, I would be thrilled! We have dances that we ask for volunteers to help set and clean up. Those are after school. I think it's different in elementary sometimes.
  6. I guess I should have been more clear; you don't need to be a parent coming into the school constantly to be involved. By parent involvement I mean exactly what you stated above. Many students have parents that aren't able to give even those things to their children. The perfect shouldn't be the enemy of the good but at the same time the perfect and good shouldn't be separated by socioeconomic lines. There are ways to make schools more equitable if we're willing to do them.
  7. That is a problem with parent organizations at many schools. You have to be very intentional and careful with requiring parent volunteer hours. I have time and energy plus the money to donate if I didn't. I recognize my privilege. A lot of schools and school activities operate like we live in the "Leave it to Beaver" world which doesn't exist for most anymore and never did for many.
  8. I think parent involvement is so important. The schools that need to most involvement tend to be the ones that have the least. At least in my experience. But I also recognize that there are significant barriers to involvement. Seriously, if you live in a place where you don't speak English and are working 3-4 jobs between both parents, there are multiple little kids, and money is a constant struggle, as much as you love your kids and want to volunteer, you just can't. It would be lovely to say that if you can't do it during the week, just come on the weekend, but many people don't have "weekends. It really feels fairly tone deaf to tell people that can barely keep a roof over their heads or feed their children that they need to sacrifice for their children. From my experience people at Title 1 schools need time to breathe, to enjoy their children, and to know that their kids will be safe and cared for at school.
  9. I agree with you on your list of the basic things that make a school good but if the school doesn't have money, they aren't going to have the basics. The chromebooks (if they have them) will be old and broken with keys that done work and cracks on the screen. They were probably paid for initially with a grant (yay!) but there was no thought to new students or what happens when kids are, well, kids, and the chromebook isn't as nice as the beginning. You can't maintain a school without custodians which cost money. Over time it gets less and less maintenance and the kids know they are going to a broken down school so they stop caring as well. They go to other, nicer schools for athletics or other activities and compare. They start feeling worse about themselves and know that people don't actually care about them. And don't get me started on food distribution at schools. There are actually articles about kids going hungry because they have a lunch balance or even having food taken out of their hands. When the money follows the students to the new charter down the street, the kids that are left behind suffer. It's just the truth. I have never heard of a community that does more than give lip service to fairly distributing the funds. We can talk about how great it would be to have the choice between Waldorf, IB, or whatever, but the people that benefit from that are the parents that have the language skills, the time, and the energy to sort through all of the paperwork and small details. There are many many people that don't who dearly love their children. They get left behind to do the best they can in an unfair environment.
  10. Hi, I'm going to join in a bit even though I rarely post and even then mostly on Scout-related things. Full disclosure, I homeschooled until my boys were in high school and then, out of necessity, went back into teaching. I have CA credentials in both Social Studies and Science. I taught middle-school Social Studies for about 4 years and now teach middle-school Science. I also live in a very divided district. Literally one side of the freeway has a very nice, new school and the other side has a 50-year old school with "portable" trailers for many classes. My kids go to the older school which is fairly nice because it receives Title 1 money and we never have to fundraise. But...that means that things are still pretty basic. Much of our population are English-learners whose parents work under the table and many times several jobs. The newer school fundraises but has a completely different population and things are very nice there. (I happen to know first hand with my kids going to the older school and I worked at the newer school.) Same district, school money goes with the student and it's the same amount but completely different experiences. I can go down a list starting with science labs and ending with 8th-grade parties. So even if it seems like an easy fix, it's not really. As long as individual schools are allowed to fundraise strictly for that school, they will never be equal. And as far as Charter Schools and reasons teachers aren't fans. There are several and I feel kind of hypocritical in my feelings about charters since I used one to homeschool originally. Over time my thoughts have changed. School choice sounds like a great thing until you end up gutting the neighborhood school and the only kids that are left are in the marginalized groups because they have no transportation to the nicer school across town so funding drops and the school gets a bad reputation so fewer people move in and it's a cycle. School choice sounds so "fair:" everyone chooses which school they would like to attend. Except if your parents work four jobs between them, you are a kindergartner, and the school you would like to attend is 3 bus rides away. How will you get there? There is no transportation to the fabulous school across town. So again, you're stuck at the increasingly crappy older school that teachers don't want to touch with a ten-foot pole, except for the first-year teacher that takes the job because she has to, but leaves as soon as something better comes by. There is a lot that needs to be fixed with public schools but calling everything under the sun CRT and telling us that diversity shouldn't be taught is not going to help. And yes, money will help. It can build schools so they aren't overcrowded. It can pay for chemistry labs so kids realize how cool science really is so they want to go to college or whatever and get a better job. It can help teachers be seen as the humans they are and gain respect because of that and not because they are or should be martyrs giving their time and their pay to their students. There is a lot that could be fixed but banning the strawman of "CRT" isn't going to get it done. That's my two or probably, 50 cents worth. Also, I ask my students to fill out an "about-me" card at the beginning of the year. It asks for name, preferred name, pronouns, and favorite tv shows, treats, books, etc. I don't announce it at all because it's personal and private, But I think that at most schools, especially secondary schools, students really don't care that much.
  11. I don't post much but I always love the gift ideas. Just wanted to say that I got this box last year for Christmas and I love it! It's rather soothing, really. I teach middle school and took it into my class (Before Covid) and my students all loved when I used it as a bribe, err, prize for various things. Mine doesn't have the writing on it and it took me a few minutes for figure out the point, but after that it was just so cool.
  12. Oh sorry I missed that. And that the leaders imploded. I agree that travel is key. Before everything that was my goal, to get the girls out and about as much as we could. Now I'm not entirely sure what to do. We aren't allowed to meet in person yet and I doubt that we'll be able to before January. Even after that our options will be limited as well. Your troop is 1st year Cadettes, right? We're a tiny little troop of 5-6 girls but if your girls ever want penpals a little older, let me know. 🙂
  13. I'm so sorry about your troop. What was their plan? Didn't they extend the deadline for it? My dd12 barely got her Bronze and dd14 just squeaked the Silver paperwork in so I decided to have them start way early for their next awards. Plus sophomore year is the last year that they have any free time in high school so I wanted dd14 to work on it now. I'm also hoping that working on their Silvers will keep my Cadettes involved in GS. We've been meeting virtually since late May and through the summer but I figure with ongoing plans it'll be harder to just quit. I hope. Gold is so intimidating in a way Eagle wasn't for my oldest son. It doesn't help that dd14 hates me telling her how to do things (there's a reason homeschooling didn't last with her). I'm trying to pass as much of the work to her leader but some has to just get done. I worry that if her proposal is denied for whatever reason she'll just give up. (Also I can't remember to save my live how to change my signature and it's been a while so everything is pretty outdated.)
  14. My boys are out of Scouts now, one earned his Eagle, one will not, which is fine. My girls are both working on the highest awards for their GS levels, dd12 her Silver and dd14 her Gold. My dd12's project deals with period poverty in our local schools while the schools themselves are closed. I'm so proud of her--she's let meetings with school district department heads and has organized everything on her own. DD14's project is a bigger deal because Gold is huge and she's stuck in the paperwork quagmire which is squashing her motivation so I'm trying to get her to finish everything as quickly as she can so she can actually work on her project. She's educating people about bats and why they need protection and how to build bat houses. There's a lot more to it than that, but that's the basis. I was concerned about her finding a project she was excited about so I'm super proud of her for finding something and then actually starting the process.
  15. My troops actually redistribute cookie numbers on a case by case basis and have for years. No one has ever said anything about it or seemed to care but that's partly because the troops aren't super into cookies. I can guarantee the not a single parent or girl is keeping a spreadsheet, except for me. And it's not necessarily a strict policy that I will for anyone. By case to case I'm not talking cases of cookies. I mean I'll look at the cookie totals at the end of cookie season: Girl A has 254 so she gets the prizes up to 250 boxes with 4 random ones left. Girl B and Girl C are 4 away from their next prize level. Girl B has worked her butt off at booths and just rocked it while Girl C came to one booth, didn't do a lot of door to doors or had a bad attitude. I'll switch the 4 boxes over to Girl B. No one is hurt and Girl B has been rewarded for her hard work. And before people say that's not fair, Girl B may have had a parent take their form around or something like that, I've been with these girls for 9 and 6 years. I know who's doing the work. If a girl has done what she can and is at 10 boxes, great! Every year I ask the girls to sell 100 boxes. I want them thinking high but there is no consequence at all for selling fewer. All of the money for cookies stays with the local Council, Service Unit, and troop. There are some not-so-great Councils that don't have a lot of programming. I'm lucky to be one that does a lot for the girls and you can tell. People know GS and are willing to donate to help us out. We also have something like 100 troops in my city alone which makes it interesting to try to sell cookies. It gets saturated fast. This year since my Junior troop is trying to go on a big trip we've also done flamingo flocking and created and sold cookbooks in addition to cookies. I can tell you though, that moving cookies isn't because the troop leader is being dishonest and she should have spoken to you first or at least announced it but it's really common and for me at least it's strictly to help the girls get to the next level for incentives. If you don't want her to, just let her know.
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