Monthly Archives: April 2011

Mom Faces 20 Years In Prison For Stealing An Education For Her Son

Does this mother deserve 20 years in prison for trying to get a quality education for her son? When is the criminal justice system going to stop being so hard on African Americans mothers? This is the second African American mother arrested in weeks for the same charge.

Mother Arrested for Stealing Education for Her Son

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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Education News


Parents:This Is Not Accceptable

Police said an 8-year-old boy brought this gun to his Queens school on Thursday and sold it to another boy for $3.

Gun Brought to School by 8-Year-Old Had 3 Live Rounds

The schools chancellor says it’s something that “can’t be tolerated.”

By Jonathan Dienst and Shimon Prokupecz

The gun that an 8-year-old Queens boy brought to school and sold to a classmate for $3 had three live rounds in it, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Friday.

The boy and his father are both facing gun charges in the shocking near-miss at a Flushing school.

Kelly told reporters that the boy’s father kept the Taurus 9 mm handgun on top of a refrigerator, and had scratched off its serial number.

“The father has made statements that he purchased the gun for self-protection,” Kelly said.

The weapon was discovered when the second boy brought the gun home and showed it to his mother, police said. The mom rushed to PS 107 in Flushing to report it, and school officials called police.

Both the father, a 56-year-old Queens man, and his 8-year-old son will be charged with criminal possession of a weapon.

The boy who bought the gun for $3 is not being charged. Investigators believe the boy thought he was buying a toy gun, according to a source.

The 8-year-old busted on the gun charge will have his case heard in family court. The father is in custody.

Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said the loaded gun winding up in school was a “sad situation.”

“That’s something that can’t be tolerated,” he said.

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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Education News


Early Education Is Important

Report: Early education investment saves on crime, school costs

Officials point to study as reason to support reauthorization of federal programs

By Christopher Cadelago, UNION-TRIBUNE

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at 3:40 p.m.

EL CAJON — Local officials on Tuesday used a new law enforcement study on the relationship between better schooling and lower crime rates to call renewed attention to federal investment in early childhood education programs.

Regional results of a statewide analysis by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California were unveiled by Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, Sheriff Bill Gore, San Diego Police Chief William Lansdowne and El Cajon Chief Pat Sprecco at the Grossmont College Child Development Center.

The report says investment in early education saves much more down the line in reduced criminal justice and education costs. Specifically, the report says investment in programs such as preschool could reduce special education costs by 10 percent.

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids is a bipartisan anti-crime organization of more than 5,000 police chiefs, sheriffs, prosecutors, attorneys general and violence survivors. The organization is imploring policymakers to support provisions in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization that encourage states to incorporate early learning into the educational structure.

Hunter said it was his job to ensure that educators and local law enforcement receive the resources they need to perform their jobs.

“And I am convinced that early childhood education plays the biggest role and provides the biggest benefit — the biggest bang for that buck — that we’re looking for right now with this economy for American citizens,” he said.

“We have to catch kids young, and I would say No. 1 this is a parent’s responsibility. But in this age that we live in, in this world that we live in, things are different now: You have single-parent households, more now than we’ve probably ever had in our nation’s history. You have households where both parents work, sometimes multiple jobs. And that leaves our education system as kind of the last bastion, the last guardian for our nation’s children growing up.”

If preschool funding is cut, state and local schools would have to spend more on special education services and other K-12 costs, said Dumanis, who served five years on the juvenile court bench.

The report, Dumanis said, shows what she’s observed intuitively and anecdotally: at-risk children were 43% less likely to be placed in special education during their K-12 schooling if they received early training.

“By investing more in early learning, there are some very real taxpayer savings to be had in the area of public safety,” she said.

In San Diego County, more than $800 million is spent on special education services, but only $83 million went toward state and federally funded preschool that served 4-year-olds in 2010–11, according to the report. Total K-12 savings could reach $160 million annually because preschool can reduce grade retention and improve learning environments.

Just 26 percent of 4-year-olds and 15 percent of 3-year-olds were served by publicly funded preschool and Head Start. In nearly ever local budget statewide the largest line item is for public safety, Gore said. It costs the state about $50,000 a year to incarcerate an inmate, $35,000 in the county.

“This report shows that investment in very professional, well-targeted early education programs pays off in the long run, especially in the criminal justice system,” Gore said. “By the time kids reach kindergarten, they should be ready to learn. They should have those socialization skills, the literacy skills so they can hit the ground running.” • (619) 293-1334

CaseClosed2: I thought early education was nationwide. Years ago it was called preschool, and Headstart. Children who didn’t have parents to teach them at home, or even if they did, went to preschool and headstart and were given a head start to learning and when they entered kindergarten they were more advanced than if they had not attended preschool and headstart.

Experts say pregnant women should read to their unborn children, so if reading to them in the womb is necessary and gives unborn children an advantage, why stop there? Preschool also gives children a necessary advantage.

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Posted by on April 29, 2011 in Education News


Parents Stand In Line For Their Children’s Education

Donna Gialanella/The Star-Ledger Parents wait in line outside the Ann Street Elementary School in Newark this morning in hopes of landing a spot for their child.

Newark parents wait in line for hours to land children coveted place in Ann Street school

Published: Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 10:41 AM Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2011, 9:40 PM

By Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger

NEWARK — Over 120 parents waited in line for hours — many overnight — in hopes of landing a spot for their child at Ann Street Elementary School in Newark.

Tatiana Mani was determined to get her 5-year-old daughter, Brianna, into one of the coveted spots and told her boss she’d be coming into work late today.

“They thought that I was crazy. They had a hard time believing what I had to do to get my child registered,” said Mani while standing by the school’s steps this morning. She landed the first spot in line by tag-teaming with her husband Juan, who arrived at 9 a.m. Tuesday, together waiting nearly 24 hours.

“He slept. I didn’t. We ordered pizza,” she said.

The school has limited slots – only openings for 85 kindergartners, according to Principal Linda Richardson.

“It’s a very frustrating situation to be in,” Richardson said standing outside the school among the crowd. “It’s all about the space that’s available.”

At 8:55 a.m. this morning, the line lurched forward and security staff admitted parents one by one, handing roughly the first half of the line a blue numbered card and directing them to the auditorium. The second half of the line got yellow cards and were directed to the cafeteria.

Fabiana Isaia, who was No. 40, came prepared with a lawn chair, blankets, food and “two jackets just in case.”

“This school has a Blue Ribbon so everyone wants to put their kid here. That’s the biggest problem.” said Isaia, who has a 5-year-old son. “Every year it’s a nightmare to put your kid here.”

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Posted by on April 28, 2011 in Education News


Let’s Move

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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Education News


Should 11-Year-Olds Have Access To Condoms?

Philadelphia Providing 11-Year-Olds With Free Condoms

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA– Children as young as 11-years-old can now pick up or order free condoms from the Philadelphia Public Health Department through a program called Take Control Philly.

A recent survey of sixth-graders in West Philly showed that 25 percent of the 11-year-olds had already had sex. The Take Control Philly program strives to prevent STD’s and unplanned pregnancy.

The program offers information about STD’s, contraception, and even a graphic cartoon video on how to use a female or male condom.

“If you live in Philadelphia and you are between the ages of 11 and 19, all you have to do is fill out the form below and we’ll put together a package for you,” the site states.

While some parents are worried about the message this program may convey to children,the Health Commission says that many students in the schools are exposed to sex at a young age.

“Clearly, we don’t think it’s OK for 11-year-olds to be having sex,” says City Health Commissioner Donald Schwarz. “But we don’t have the infrastructure in place to fix [that] problem fast. We can, however, make condoms available fairly quickly to whoever needs them.”

CaseClosed2: Children should remain children for as long as possible and shouldn’t be having sex in the first place. Eleven is far too young to be doing what adults do and they definitely shouldn’t have willing participants, so parents get your girls in check.

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Posted by on April 27, 2011 in Education News


School Uniforms Level The Playing Field

Kids whose parents don’t have a lot of money to spend on school clothes can simply buy a few school uniforms in schools where uniforms are a must, the playing field would be equal. Now it’s not about your designer threads, it’s about your brain and mind . Read what a student has to say on the subject of school uniforms…

Uniforms are a form of discipline

To the editor:

Kristin Ethridge’s response to the article about “Perry Heights Middle School stifling the creativity of students because of considering uniforms”, was the best article I have read in the letters to the Courier & Press.

This is one reason why private and parochial school systems are far ahead of the public school system in social and academic ratings for primary and secondary education.

Uniforms emphasize the point that how you dress does not make you a better person. Students should respect each other no matter if some are less talented mentally, physically or less popular due to their parents’ social or monetary success.

A lesson learned should be applied for all school systems.

Uniforms would enhance the ability of public school teachers to teach children without the caste system which exists now due to the lack of a realistic dress policy.

If you doubt my reasoning, just observe the students’ dress at public schools compared to parochial schools.

Jerome Schapker


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Posted by on April 26, 2011 in Education News