Normally on this parent2parent site you would not see political discussion or posts. However, sometimes politics, education, and community issues intersect and/or overlap. I believe this one of those times. With the recent release of The Robert Mueller Report, much discussion has come out as to the truth of the facts documented in the report. And what Robert Mueller publicly said on national TV is that “Every American should be concerned about what the Russians did to our 2016 elections”.
The U.S. Attorney General, William Barr describes his understandings of The Mueller Report one way, President Trump describes it one way, both houses of Congress have their own descriptions of what it says, and the jury is still out on how the courts will ultimately deal with the reports implications. And then there’s the rest of us! How will the millions of everyday people ever learn the truth about what happened to our country during the 2016 elections, and how did President Trump react to it?
I believe that every citizen (and non-citizen) in this country, who has the ability to read, should read The Mueller Report. In fact, I think it’s a great assignment for students and families to do together. You also have my invitation to come back to this site and leave comments, and/or have a discussion. And that’s why I have purchased my personal copy of The Mueller Report. Every person should take this opportunity to become engaged, in helping the country learn the truth, about the investigation into foreign interference into our election, and was there a conspiracy to cover it up?
So finally, as a veteran I went to war to protect my country, and now as a private citizen I’m going to do my part by reading The Mueller Report, and make up my own mind as to what really happened. I invite you to do the same! Thank you.
For the first time in California History, a public water agency was taken over by the State. On November 1st Sativa L.A. County Water District handed over it’s keys to the State Appointed administrator, the County’s Public Works Department. The Willowbrook/Compton Community is not new to being the first to be taken over by the State.
In the 1990’s Compton Unified School District became the first public school district in the State to be taken over by the State, for operational, and mis-management violations. So, when the State has to take over a troubled district/agency the current Board of Director’s lose their power to make direct decisions regarding management and operations. And a State Appointed Administrator is brought in to basically run the district.
In a press conference today, L.A. County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas said, “Enough is Enough” and that the County is equipped and ready to take on the task to begin and restore clean, and safe water to the customers of Sativa Water District.
Local and State Officials attended the press conference in support of the takeover. County department heads were also in attendance. In September, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 1577, authored by Assemblyman Mike Gipson (D-Carson), to dissolve the Sativa Board.
Sativa Water District came under heavy scrutiny early this year when customers started complaining about dirty brown, and smelly water coming out of their faucets, and washing machines. And at the beginning of summer for the first time since the Sativa Water District’s history, crowd’s of customers started showing up at the Board of Director’s meetings to complain and seek solutions.
Director of Los Angeles County Public Works, Mark Pestrella said that the County’s priority is to gain the ratepayers trust. And they plan on doing that by being transparent, and open to communicating with them. Several telephone numbers were given out (they were also printed on handouts provided at the news conference) for anyone with questions and/or concerns. The Sativa Website management has also been taken over by the County.
The County is expected to run the day to day operations of the Sativa water system for approximately 12-18 months, while a permanent water provider is secured.
One thing is for sure…. this is a great time for the Sativa community to organize, and educate themselves so that they will be better prepared to give input on how & what they would like their future water company provider to look like?
Friday at Dominguez High School in Compton an incredible thing happened. Hundreds of men from the community (some estimate as many as 500) showed up to teach all the young men at the school (around 900) how to tie a tie. It was an awesome sight, none like I have ever seen in Compton, or any other place for that matter.
The event was the brainchild of Principal Blain Watson, and Pastor Rafer Owens (who is also a Deputy Sheriff). Blain who is relatively new to Compton was inspired by the “My Brother’s Keeper Initiative” started under President Obama’s administration, which he has had an opportunity to be involved in at another school district.
And Pastor Owens was responsible for getting most of the men there, mostly from his church “Faith Inspirational Missionary Baptist Church" and others through his connection with men in and around the community. It was a diverse group of men from all races, careers, ages, and backgrounds.
The morning started with the young men entering the gym with the men forming a human tunnel (like you would see during a professional championship basketball game), and music being played, while a young rapper pumped up the crowd.
While the men were there to help teach students how to tie a tie, a bigger purpose was to mentor to the young men, and share some “life points” with them. The students and men were given one of 9 different colors of wrist bands, so that they could match up with a mentor of like color. And that’s where the magic happened.
The scene of hundreds of students and mentors interacting tying ties was incredible. For students who already knew how to tie a tie, they were asked to help a classmate tie their tie. However, as a participant myself, the powerful part of the event was being able to engage with the students and share some points on how to overcome obstacles in life and prepare for their future.
After the tie tying and sharing, students and mentors were asked to sit in the bleachers with their mentors. Then Principal Watson used microphones on both sides of the gym so that students, and mentors could share their experience, and what they learned from the exercise.
One student said that while he learned the foundation of how to tie a tie, the benefit he most appreciated was learning from a man who was able to share his wisdom and provide some pointers on how to prepare for life ahead.
Another young man shared that what he learned was that while many young men want the designer clothing, shoes, etc., learning how to tie a tie will be more valuable in the future, because it will allow him to be competitive when applying for a job interview.
Another student shared that he wants to learn how to tie a tie, because he will need to know how to do it when it’s time for him to get married. And there were other students who shared what they learned, and how the event impacted them. All in all, students were appreciative of the many men who came out to the school to help them be successful in school, and in life.
A few of the men mentors spoke, sharing what the experience meant to them. One said that he met some very bright young men, who have dreams of being something special when they graduate from high school, another said that he is a graduate of the school district, and was honored to be able to give back to his community, and this writer said that the event filled him with so much emotion, that it brought me to tears, to see the love, and devotion displayed by the men of the community.
I introduced two young men that I worked with, Saul an 11th grader who wanted to be a lawyer, and Andre a 9th grader who was not sure what he wanted to do when he finished high school, but said he wanted to be successful. I like all the other men who participated in the event gave the student’s our contact information, so that they would keep in touch, and use the human resources available to them in the community, to help them with their pursuit of success.
Congratulations to Principal Watson, his staff, Pastor Owens, and the many men of Faith Inspirational Missionary Baptist Church, and the community for showing up and helping the young men to navigate through life. And I would be remiss not to mention the women who supported the event as well.
But most of all I want to thank all the young men of Dominguez High School, who came to the event with open minds, and listened to the older generation (and not so old) speak truth to them, and how to navigate through this thing we call life.
Congratulations! Go Dons!!
On the eve of the 4th of July, the Trump administration is moving toward ending current guidelines, that would direct public universities, along with the k-12 school system to not consider race when deciding who gains entrance into their campuses. This move would roll back years of policy under the Obama administration, that touted diversity as a benefit for all public-school systems nation-wide.
In addition, U.S. Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos said this week that her office will reduce and/or eliminate protections for student loan borrower’s, who owe money to many defunct for-profit colleges. And unfortunately, many of these for-profit colleges targeted vulnerable prospects such as; low income, pregnant, divorced, and low self-esteem persons.
This writer is not naïve about the current cultural divisions in our country, and I don’t know if there is any perfect solution that would satisfy all concerned? So, what I do know is that the 4th of July represents the independence of the United States of America. And a key word in our country’s name is UNITED not DIVIDED States of America. Our current President is promoting division among citizen’s, instead of using his position to Unite America, like every other President in recent times regardless of party affiliation.
Whether you support republicans, democrats, independents, trump, or no one, YOUR LIFESTYLE, will be affected on how this November 2018 mid-term elections, and the 2020 general elections turns out!
If you want to use your best option to affect the change you want in this country…. you need to vote in both elections and do whatever you can to motivate and support others around the country to do the same. In that way you can actively help more citizens participate in our democratic process that works best for everyone…. only when EVERYONE PARTICIPATES. That’s America at its best!
**Share with family & friends around the country
This year’s 2018 CAAASA (aka…California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators) Statewide Professional Development Summit was held in Sacramento. The theme for this year was “Educational Justice: Strategies, Solutions, Resources.”
When this organization started out ten years ago, its largest gathering was approximately 50 persons, most of whom were public school administrators, and superintendents. However, over the decade participants now number close to 500, and is represented by various school stakeholders, including…..teachers, classified staff, students, parents, community members, state superintendent, local & federal legislators, professors, specialists, sponsors, and more.
The CAAASA Conference is one of the most active groups in the state, bringing together various education stakeholders to focus on improving academic outcomes for students of color. The four-day event held at the beautiful Sheraton Grand Sacramento Hotel, is within walking distance from the State Capital. And while every trip to Sacramento brings state legislators to the conference, it also allows for individuals to visit their respective legislators, or their staff to discuss educational issues, a powerful piece in advocating for educational equity.
Part of day 1 included a pre-conference which featured a Youth Leadership Summit, and College Fair, where students would engage in workshops, listen to motivational speakers, and participate in a technology showcase. Local students were bused in from various school districts.
Also, on day 1 was the Parent Empowerment Conference, coordinated by the Roberts Family Development Center, where parents engaged in workshops that focused on the local control funding formula (LCFF) and innovative district-wide programs and systems that address the needs of African American students and their families.
Days 2 - 4 included workshops, panels, a job fair for site and district administrators, teachers, and upper level positions, officer installations, receptions, and yes even a little evening entertainment that allowed attendees an opportunity to un-wind, relax and enjoy some nice music and dancing.
This article can’t list all who made the CAAASA 2018 Conference a success, but here is a partial listing of Co-Sponsors, and other supporters:
California Department of Education (CDE), Association of California School Administrators (ACSA), California Association of Latino Superintendents and Administrators (CALSA), California State Parent Teacher Association (CAPTA), California Head Start Association (CHSA), California County Superintendents Educational Service for Leadership, Equity, and Research (CLEAR), California Teachers Association (CTA), First 5 California, California School Boards Association (CSBA), California Educational Technology Professionals Association (CETPA), myON, Federal Reserve Bank Of San Francisco, Odysseyware, McGraw Hill Education, DCG STRATEGIES, The EDUCATIONAL NETWORK, School Innovations & Achievement (SI&A), LEARN4LIFE, Atkinson, Anderson, Loya, Rudd & Romo (aa/rr), Curriculum Associates, imageSource, Lifetouch, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP, DISCOVERY EDUCATION, HORIZON EDUCATION, GRAND CANYON UNIVERSITY, GENERATION READY, Roberts Family Development Center, shmoop, EdReports, Wowzers, footsteps 2 brillance, booksource, Imagine Learning, K12 Insight, CollegeBoard, LegalShield, partners IN SCHOOL INNOVATION, and others.
The workshops, panels, and guest speakers provided a wealth of knowledge to those in attendance. And using that knowledge practitioners can go back to their schools/districts, and communities armed with resources to improve educational outcomes for African American students, and other students of color.
Also, new legislation was introduced at the conference. Two CAAASA founders, Dr. Rex Fortune, and Dr. Charlie Mae Knight, shared CA Assembly Bill 2635 (introduced by Assembly Members, Weber, Gipson, and Burke) deals with Education Finance, and the Local Control Funding Formula. Essentially, the bill is asking the Ed. Code to amend Sections 2574 and 42238.02 of the Ed. Code to include pupils who are the lowest performers in the State’s Annual Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) and, would require the Superintendent of Public Instruction to annually identify pupils, and their sub-groups.
Special thanks go out to CAAASA’s Executive Board, Dwight Bonds (Executive Director), Dr. Ramona Bishop (President), Michael Watkins (President-Elect), Dr. Tanya Fisher (Secretary), Dr. Mark Marshall (Treasurer), State Planning Committee, Conference Support Staff, and all conference participants. A job well done!
View photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/99891034@N04/albums/72157694364041374
Make comments below OR start a discussion about the CAAASA 2018
Conference here: https://www.flickr.com/groups/3149342@N21/ (*just copy and paste link)
The Compton Unified School District (CUSD) has launched an initiative to increase father’s active involvement in children’s education. Monthly “Men Matter Meetings” at the district offices started in January. Dads, grandfathers, uncles, and even other men from the community, who could serve as positive role models were invited. The evening meeting included introductions, a “think tank activity” where attendees were asked for their opinions, and recommendations on how to improve the participation of men, in improving academic achievement?
CUSD high school (Dominguez HS) sponsored a “Dad’s Day on Campus” event, where dads, grandpas, uncles, and other men participated by greeting students at the main entrance, on a cool & foggy winter morning. Afterwards, the men were invited into the school cafeteria to have coffee and continental breakfast with Principal, Blain Watson, and his staff.
Mr. Watson introduced himself, along with his staff, (also in attendance was school board member Charles Davis) and Watson said he was inspired by a male parent, who said he would like to see more fathers involved on campus, and in their children’s education. The morning meeting included introductions, sharing of resources, and a “Developmental Assets” exercise where the men discussed internal and external building blocks, that lead to healthy development for young people.
There has been more than 30 years of research (e.g. Fatherhood Institute, National Education Association, National Center for Education Statistics, etc.) detailing the benefits of parental involvement in education...including specifically, the involvement of fathers, whether the father lives in the home or not. And the research documents not only do students benefit socially, emotionally, academically but fathers also benefit by being more involved in the community. In addition, the involvement of grandfathers, uncles, older male siblings, cousins, and other men in the community can also serve as positive role models.
Children of involved fathers are more likely to perform better on tests, manage stress better, have better attitudes toward school, and are more likely to have higher levels of economic achievement, and career success. So yes, overall when fathers are more actively involved in their children’s education, society is the big winner!
Congratulations to Dominguez High School, and CUSD’s Special Projects Office…. Family Engagement Project. Continue the work that improves schools and society.
Today I was asked by my sister; what did you get your daughter (Alicia) for her birthday tomorrow. And I told her nothing! But seriously, I don’t always give my daughter, and her two siblings who are all grown now, a gift like I did for their birthdays, when they were children and teenagers. This year the family will have her over for some food, conversations, and games.
I think that the value we get, out of coming together as family and friends, outweighs any physical gift that can be given? And I believe especially now with more people spending their time in front of screens, we need more opportunities to just hang out fact to face.
In fact, I was at a school yesterday conducting a workshop on “How to Support Learning at Home” to a group of parents. And we went around the room and asked each parent to describe how it was when they were growing up, and dinner was served. Most of the responses were, we had to sit together and eat. And of course, during the meal, members of the family would talk and get caught up on the things of the day.
Now days many families don’t even sit together for dinner (and other meals), with many individuals even eating in their own rooms. And too often when families do sit together some choose to be on their phones or tablets.
We may never go back to the days when families always sit together to enjoy a meal and conversation, but I think the more we do it, the more unity we’ll have in our families and communities.
Happy birthday to my beautiful daughter Alicia. You are a gift from heaven, and I love you very much. Enjoy your special day!
Happy New Year,
As a Veteran; man, father, grandfather, and educator, I have various interests of focus I could write on. However, coming out of a very polarizing year I feel that I currently need to focus on two critical areas: health & civic engagement! Why these two areas?
Regardless of which political party you identify with (or don’t identify with) the fact is you as a human being can’t realize your hopes, and dreams if you are not healthy, and/or don’t have access to adequate quality health care. So regardless of what you want to do with your life……you can’t do it without good health!
In a democratic society (as the U.S. has) the citizens are responsible for electing representatives, who will create and support laws that govern the quality of life for its people. And the more people who participate in the democratic process, the better outcomes for ALL citizens, and residents.
So, I’m starting the new year by encouraging every person to honestly evaluate your participation in how actively you participate in your own health? How actively do you engage in your local, state, and federal elections, and how actively do you advocate for family & friends to do the same? Your quality of life depends on it!
I will write in more detail about these two topics soon. You may join the conversation by responding at the end of this article: or you may contact the writer directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s a new year, why not make your voice heard!
On this special day I want to thank my family and friends. Sometimes I think we forget how special we are to one another? But the holidays have a unique way of bringing us together….if not physically, mentally, and emotionally. Yes, I’m thankful to be alive….even during our country’s current state of contentious debate, over how we should be governed. I can feel a movement towards unity!
Yesterday (November 22nd) marked the 54th anniversary of the assassination of John F. Kennedy. That day will live in my head the rest of my life. I remember being in elementary school; when our teacher started acting strange, she cried and walked around the room nervously, then she rolled a television set in front of class and shared what she was so distraught about. The coverage on the TV screen depicted President Kennedy had been shot in Texas. No doubt changing the course of history, not just in America, but around the world!
Also yesterday, a Navy plane from the 7th fleet crashes in the pacific ocean, with eleven crew & passengers on board. Eight persons were rescued, however three are still missing. I pray we find those missing! I served in the 7th fleet and worked in those pacific ocean waters….which are some of the most treacherous in the world.
With several recent Navy accidents, some are asking: is our Navy falling apart? For our sake I hope not! While I wish our world didn’t have to use military power to defend itself; and its allies around the world, currently I cringe at not having our military power of all branches at their best. Because it’s precisely that power that allows us to celebrate thanksgiving, play, work, and enjoy our lives as a free country!