Topic

educational equity

27 petitions

Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to California State Senate

Provide Transitional Kindergarten in all age-eligible California school districts

The Kindergarten Readiness Act (SB 1381), passed in September 2010, changed the required birthday for admission to kindergarten in California from December 2 to September 1. SB 1381 also created a new program for young 5 year olds (those turning five between September 2 and December 2) called transitional kindergarten. According to the California Department of Education, all age-eligible California school districts are required to provide transitional kindergarten. However, some do not. In particular, some basic aid districts (districts who receive little state funding, because their revenue from local property taxes exceeds what they would receive under the Local Control Funding Formula) have chosen to not offer transitional kindergarten.  I am a parent of a child whose birthday falls between September 2-December 2. He will not be 5 by September 1, therefore unable to start kindergarten until the following year. I recently discovered my son’s school district no longer offers transitional kindergarten. They say they are a basic aid district and receive no funding from the state for the program. The bill's author, retired State Senator Joe Simitian, argues that parents such as myself can either, “persuade their [school] board to provide the program...litigate, or they can ask the state Legislature to reconfirm the fact that (transitional kindergarten) is a requirement.” https://www.almanacnews.com/news/2013/10/20/transitional-kindergarten-debate-required-or-not I am asking my state legislature to do the latter. While this bill was passed into law eight years ago, California school districts are clearly not all in agreement with its current language, leaving parents such as myself confused about our options for choice.  I have spoken with my son’s school district and their response to me was that there was no funding in their budget for a program that is not state mandated. However, per the TK funding page (http://www.tkcalifornia.org/tk-roadmap/funding/ “according to School Services of California, ‘For funding purposes, transitional kindergarten (TK) is kindergarten. Any funding (federal, state, and local) currently provided to local educational agencies (LEAs) to support kindergarten (K) also includes TK pupils.’” Furthermore, "the 2015-16 state budget further clarified the law to allow school districts to enroll 4 year olds even if they turn 5 after the December cutoff date, providing another local option to get more children ready for kindergarten." http://www.tkcalifornia.org/about-tk/about-tk.html Please help me reconcile my son's school district's interpretation of the law with what the California Department of Education, tkcalifornia.org, Senate Bill 1381, and EdCode 48000c claim is true. Reconfirm the fact that transitional kindergarten is a requirement in California and that "districts must offer TK and kindergarten classes for all age-eligible children to attend." https://www.cde.ca.gov/ci/gs/em/kinderfaq.asp Thank you! Katherine Fitzpatrick San Diego, California  

Katherine Fitzpatrick
69 supporters
Started 2 weeks ago

Petition to Kirsten Gillibrand, MaryEllen Elia, New York State Department Of Education, Board of Regents, New York State House, Liz Krueger, Brian Benjamin

Encourage schools in New York State and beyond to #teachaboutwomen and gender

Petition New York State to set an example and teach about women in high school! #teachaboutwomen “I worshipped dead men for their strength, forgetting I was strong.” -Vita Sackville-West Young women and girls need role models for leading lives of consequence, conviction and influence. It is time that New York State's schools provided them with those role models. Unfortunately, high school curricula, especially in history, almost completely ignore women's experiences, priorities, and their individual and collective contributions to change. The New York State curriculum, for example, only includes includes 10 references to women or gender in for the entire four years of history courses. In a time when women are fighting for equal pay, mutual respect and to have their voices heard, we must correct this long-standing inequity. Throughout history, women have led rich lives of activity, power, and influence. It is time that all young people learn about how both women and men have and do shape today's world. It is time we teach about women.  Share your stories about powerful women who have inspired you or women who you think should be on the curriculum: Twitter:  @teachaboutwomen Hashtags: #teachaboutwomen #womenonthecurriculum Facebook: Teach about Women  “We have to be more reflective about what power is, what it is for, and how it is measured. To put it another way, if women are not perceived to be fully within the structures of power, surely it is power that we need to redefine rather than women?” - Mary Beard, Women and Power: A Manifesto  The Problem: There is a problem in high school classrooms that reverberates in our national consciousness: a lack of women's voices.  ™ In schools around the country, current Social Studies curricula largely ignore women and the complex history of  gender relations, instead focusing almost exclusively on the accomplishments of men, the power structures men create, and the definitions of authority men support.  History classes should not reproduce the past’s power structures but dismantle them by analyzing their underlying causes and the various effects they had, and still have, on people’s lives. ™ Women have always led rich lives of activity and power: making decisions, negotiating change, participating in commerce, and contributing to civic life. In a time when women continue to struggle to be taken seriously as leaders, paid equitably, and respected in their bodies and minds, we urgently need to teach young people to see women as full and active participants in the human experience.  Teaching about women as central to history promotes awareness and respect for women, their perspectives, their priorities, their individual and collective contributions to world history, their professional lives, and their civic participation. The Proof: New York State's High School history curricula, like most around the nation, includes little to no information about women. ™ As of the 2017/2018 school year, there are a total of 10 references to women and gender in New York State’s High School Social Studies Curriculum. ™ In eight out of the 10 cases “women” appears on a list with other groups following phrases like “diverse groups” and “such as” or “including.” ™ As of 2017, 1% of the questions on the US History Regents Examination address women at all. ™Gender appears zero times in the 12 Grade courses on Participation in Government and Civics and Economics, the Enterprise System, and Finance. The Solution: Teach about women by putting women on the curriculum and making resources for teaching about women and gender readily available. Re-write the NYS Social Studies Standards, grades 9-12 to include rich material that addresses women’s experience, the accomplishments of individual women and questions of gender throughout the year. Add a criterion under Social Studies Practices, grades 9-12 – Civic Practices that includes “developing awareness of gender equity and its complex history.” Add “Read for underlying gender, racial or other biases” to the NYS Common Core Standards for English Language Arts, grades 6-12 under “Key Ideas and Details.” Build an online database that is free, easily-accessible, and dedicated to materials and resources that address women and gender, the accomplishments of individual women, sexuality, intersectionality, and the complex history of gendered relationships. In developing this database, topics and subjects should be sure to invite and support the inclusion of diverse aspects of the human experience including but not limited to questions of race, ethnicity, socio-economic class, sexuality, age, and ability. To learn more, contact Georgina Emerson at teachaboutwomen@gmail.com. 

Georgina Emerson
216 supporters
Update posted 1 month ago

Petition to David Krenz

Abstinence Only Education Does Not Work!

Austin Public Schools has an abstinence only curriculum, teaching students only that they shouldn't have sex until marriage. Research shows that abstinence only education is ineffective at best. According to Debra Hauser (Advocates for Youth, n.d.), abstinence only education has very little effect on students' sexual relationships, either right away or in terms of lifetime decisions. In fact, Debra Hauser also states,  "There was little impact of the curriculum on youth's attitudes, sexual intentions, and behaviors after one year." Specifically, the percentage of students who endorsed three of four refusal skills declined significantly in the year following the curriculum. The percentage of students who endorsed reasons to postpone sex also declined significantly. Significant increases in sexual intentions and behaviors occurred." (Advocates for Youth, 2004).  Obviously, Austin MN Public Schools is not the only school district who chooses this policy. But it is a great place to start in changing this! Beh and Diamond (2006) stated that the nation is struggling with this as a political issue. We need to stop playing politics with our nation's youth, and give them the education they deserve in order to make better and more informed decisions with their bodies and relationships. Abstinence only education also puts at risk youth most in danger of contracting disease and becoming pregnant (Beh and Diamond, 2006). According to the National Health Education Standards and Minnesota Benchmarks (2007), students should be able to understand how to protect themselves from disease and health risks. Students should be able to use the knowledge they gain in health classes to make good decisions about their health. This would be impossible for our students if they don't learn the basics to protected sex. In summary, abstinence only education does not have any real life effects on our children's decisions on whether or not to have sex. It also leaves them with no knowledge of how to protect themselves from STDs, STIs, and pregnancy. Our children deserve better!  References: Beh, Hazel Glenn and Diamond, Milton, The Failure of Abstinence-Only Education: Minors Have the Right to Honest Talk about Sex (2006). Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 15, No. 1, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1341390 Hauser, D. (2004). Five Years of Abstinence-Only-Until-Marriage Education: Assessing the Impact. Retrieved November 02, 2016, from http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/publications/626-state-minnesota National Health Education Standards and Minnesota Benchmarks Minnesota Department of Education Health and Physical Education Quality Teaching Network 2007 DRAFT 2007 National Health Education Standards. (2007). Retrieved from Minnesota Department of Education Quality Teaching Network For Health and Physical Education.

Debra Eul
38 supporters
Started 2 months ago

Petition to Guadalupe Guerrero, Antonio Lopez, Mary Pearson, Julie Esparza Brown, Paul Anthony, Amy Kohnstamm, Rita Moore, Scott Bailey, Julia Brim-Edwards, Mike Rosen, Moses Tran

Disbanding The Pioneer Special School Program Is Not An Option!

SUPPORT THE UNSUPPORTED...disbanding the Pioneer Special School Program is not an option. Recent step-in superintendent, Guadalupe Guerrero, seems to think that restructuring the Pioneer Program, “will offer increased opportunities, more inclusion, and decreased stigma for [our] youth.”  It is important to be clear on what his “restructuring” looks like: K-5 - will move as a whole to Applegate because it presents a “better learning environment.” Be clear, this school has no gym, library, or play structure. This is a temporary solution. Middle School – will be integrated back into their general education schools close to where they live in order to “provide a continuum of support.” These classrooms will reside alone and the district has no plan to maintain a higher level of support system in general education schools. High School – will be relocated to Marshall, where there are “more opportunities for peer inclusion, increased academic choices, and programming.” The stats show that they are seeing success at the High School level yet the out of district high school contracts for placement have more than doubled since the high school classrooms have been reintegrated into the general education setting.  THE TRUTH ● Shutting the Pioneer Program, as a facility based program, down will create and extremely unsafe environment for both staff and students. Expulsion rates will go up, injuries to staff will increase, and the attendance rate will decrease. This has been demonstrated historically and currently with the high school programs. ● Pioneer serves the most vulnerable population of youth in the Portland Public School districts based on behavior, mental illness, and intellectual/developmentally disabled criteria. He is targeting a diverse and low socioeconomic status (SES) student population in order to move in wealthier, Talented And Gifted (TAG) students with resources already available to them. ● Guadalupe is pitting other worthy programs against each other. This district has buildings. ACCESS deserves the right to a space that meets their needs, but not at the reckless displacement of a vulnerable and severely traumatized population as those who are a part of the Pioneer community located at Holladay and Youngson. ● A continuum of services will not be provided. When you remove the middle school, you remove an entire placement option. All things students need on their IEP are only met at Pioneer based on special school placement. Removing Pioneer removes that placement, risking safety issues to students and staff. WHAT WE KNOW ● Pioneer students have already shown that they cannot succeed in general education environments. They feel safe to learn and be who they are in a therapeutic setting that can only be provided at Pioneer, as a community. ● Pioneer houses staff with the highest level of experience. We have para-educators, teachers, and therapists who have been at Pioneer for 15+ years. Our community chooses to stay with the most unsupported population of students in the state. PPS has an extreme shortage of qualified mental health professions. Do not split up PPS’s dream team that support so many students, families, outside therapeutic teams, and other support entities.   ● This decision will not be “inclusive” of our students, but will instead be DISPLAYING them for ridicule from other general education students and staff. NOW WHAT… ● Some of our students do not have families to advocate for them, BE THEIR ADVOCATES!  ● SIGN and SHARE this petition https://www.change.org/p/12812989 to make your voice heard ● SEND LETTERS or E-MAIL board members to demand the Pioneer Special School Program stay in tact: https://www.pps.net/Page/1788 ● ATTEND and SPEAK UP at the School Board Meeting on DECEMBER 5th @ 6pm at BESC, 501 N. Dixon Street, Portland, OR 97227, wear RED!

Samantha Edwards
5,120 supporters