The Governator Becomes The Terminator…again!<br />"We have said these cuts will be real, they'll be seen, and they'll be felt," said state [Supt. of Public Instruction] Jack O'Connell. "For kids who want to take challenging courses, for kids who need basic courses in order to graduate, these choices will contribute toward the dropout rate and we will have a less competent workforce.” (LA Times, May 29, 2009)<br />“Planted on the couch, with TV remote or PlayStation controller firmly in hand, many kids lazily pass away the summer. Sound productive? Of course not. But it may be the reality for a larger number of our local students this year because of large-scale cuts to summer school in Silicon Valley and throughout the state.” (Opinion Section, Mercury News)<br /> Summer School is Cancelled…<br />
My Cousins<br /> I first heard about these cuts on Father’s Day when my aunt sarcastically mentioned that my cousin, who is entering high school this coming school year, cannot take classes at our local community college because of Schwarzenegger’s budget cut – then I asked “well then he can just do it at Taft (his high school)” – boy was I wrong and boy was I embarrassed. She just laughed and began to enlighten me with the news that the state wasn’t just cutting extra programs – they were cutting summer school out period! I was in total shock – I have four baby cousins all who NEED summer school. It’s rare these days to see kids running around outside and playing in their local neighborhoods with the advancement of technology and their addiction to videogames and computers – so we as a family were banking on school to engage my cousins in something other than “World of Warcraft “ or “HALO” or whatever other junk they seem to fill their precious time up with. At the end of the day, I was personally hit by these cuts – we were devastated, now a 14 year old, 10 year old, 9 year old, and 6 year old had no means of gaining anything that would benefit them during the summer.<br />
SOS Classroom<br />And a team of USCStudents are here to help!<br />With summer school canceled in LAUSD and elsewhere for K-8 students, parents, teachers and students are banding together to<br />Save Our Summer School by using Web 2.0 technology to get resources to the kids who need them most.<br />
SC Students Craft a Cure for State Education Budget Cuts<br />A plan to repair California’s K-8 summer school program through Web technology <br />The solution to California's education budget cuts may be as simple as logging onto a computer. A group of students and advisors at the University of Southern California, in coordination with professors from other universities, have developed an alternative to summer school, which they believe can be highly effective ... and at no cost.<br /> Referred to by USC students as "Save Our Summer" (SOS), the project aims to bring K-8 summer school programs back to public schools by using social bookmarking sites such as Delicious and Diigo to collect and organize existing educational content on the Web.SOS partnered with Champions: Adventure, After-School and Sports Programs which used the Web site, www.sosclassroom.org, as a safe and fun educational hub for summer campers.The site designers said once the initial categories are operational, K-8 students will have free access to information at any grade level in any subject area.<br />"The Internet has been riding a wave of generosity in projects such as the Wikipedia and open-source software," said new media expert Mark Marino, of the USC College of Letters, Arts & Sciences Writing Program. “Why not direct that generosity to our youngest students?” Created in response to the cancellation of summer programs by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), S.O.S. coincides with the district’s curriculum and has already garnered attention from prominent “new technology” authorities, such as Michael Wesch — a Kansas State University professor widely praised by the technology world — and education reform guru Bill Tierney of the USC Rossier School of Education.<br />"California's budget crisis is going to impact hundreds of thousands of students, and it's going to be felt particularly hard in inner-city schools in places like Los Angeles," said Tierney, director of the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis.<br />The group hopes to offer the option of taking summer classes to children who want to continue learning, and hope to see the strategy adopted to save money for schools in the fall. The core members of SOS are students enrolled in a USC upper-division writing course that emphasizes networked writing technology.”<br />We're in an age when information is totally free, but education still has so many budget problems," said Taylor Randall, a USC senior involved in the project. "We're trying to fix that and make it work for more people, and make this technology-enabled educational tool available to more students.”<br /> <br />
SPREAD THE WORD!<br />TELL EVERYBODY YOU KNOW ABOUT SOSCLASSROOM.ORG<br />VISIT US ON <br />FACEBOOK!<br />FOLLOW US ON <br />TWITTER!<br />
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