This week at the Fall Conference of the Council of the Great City Schools, leaders are meeting to discuss how to improve the academic and social outcomes of boys and young men of color. This Council of Great City Schools call-to-action was made at a White House event featuring President Obama. School districts across the country, including Fort Worth ISD, attended a conference titled "United to Make a Difference" where leaders are learning effective strategies to end the the achievement gap and address the issues that urban districts face affecting males of color.
In 2010, the Council of the Great City Schools published a report indicating that young black males in America are in a state of crisis. The report, A Call For Change: The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of Black Males in Urban Schools, led to Council testimony before the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families and prompted the organization to release a comparison analysis of Hispanic students titled, Today's Promise, Tomorrow's Future: The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of Hispanics in Urban Schools.
The Call For Change study called for a White House initiative noting that the education, social, and employment outcomes of African American males are equivalent to a "national catastrophe" requiring coordinated national attention. Since the release of the reports, the Council established internal and external advisory committees to guide the urban school coalition on its work with males of color.
Here are links to the documents and webpages:
A Call For Change: The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of Black Males in Urban School
Today's Promise, Tomorrow's Future: The Social and Educational Factors Contributing to the Outcomes of Hispanics in Urban Schools
"United to Make a Difference" preconference at the Council of the Great City Schools
Fort Worth ISD's Pledge
Council of the Great City Schools' "My Brother's Keeper" Initiative
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Friday, October 3, 2014
For my course project, I have chosen the challenge area of prenatal risk factors with the subtopic of health. Prenatal health is a factor in a child’s development and affects their school readiness and their learning. American babies, compared with those from other developed nations, are receiving inadequate prenatal care and less time at home with their parents during the first year of life (Lally, 2010). I am interested in assisting the women in my community receive quality prenatal care so that they have a safe pregnancy and so that their child has the best opportunity to be healthy, happy, and successful. In addition, I believe early childhood education is the foundation to a child’s overall education and a mom who has quality prenatal care and has assistance for their child’s development and learning from age birth to three, their child will be successful and ready to enter Pre-K or K. It is during the first few years of life that early experience starts shaping the foundational learning structures of the brain (Lally, 2010).
I chose this topic/challenge area because I am personally and professionally interested in this topic and it is an area I feel I can make positive social change occur in my community. Prenatal care and health are important for a child’s development and school readiness. Research has shown that cognitive and behavioral problems and school readiness are related to prenatal care and health (Reichman, 2005).
As an early childhood educator I have taught Pre-K, and I have worked with the Parents as Teachers Liaison in my library when I was an elementary school librarian. In both situations I worked with the parents and children and I saw a need to help parents and children before they came to school. I believe good prenatal care and health is an important piece to a child's development and their education.
One question I have is, there are wonderful resources for pregnant women and for women with young children available in Fort Worth, Texas, how can I help women access these resources?
Thank you and I look forward to learning from my professor and colleagues as we research our topics.
Lally, J. (2010). School readiness begins in infancy. Phi Delta Kappan, 92(3), 17-21. Retrieved from the Walden University Library databases at http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?vid=5&sid=fa457db9-fce4-46d3-8864-866553ad250c%40sessionmgr4005&hid=4103
Reichman, N.E. (2005). Low birth weight and school readiness. Future of Children, 15(1), 91-116. Retrieved from the Walden University Library databases at http://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ795846