Wednesday, February 16, 2005
S’side schools support professional development
We want to extend to Mrs. Joanne Kilian and the Sunnyside
School Board a heartfelt appreciation for the opportunity for the professional
development we experienced as a result of our trip to Texas. This trip provided
us a learning opportunity of a lifetime, which we will in turn share with our
colleagues and students.
Our trip to Texas was another clear illustration of how
fortunate we are to work in a district that supports professional development
and does care for children. Your continued support and guidance affirms your
commitment to providing traditional and non-traditional learning opportunities
for educators and administrators.
We networked with colleagues from across the nation and we
realized through these collegial exchanges the excellence of our district, the
commitment of our administrators and the unfailing support of a school board
that supports and values dual language instruction.
We are all excited to begin the sharing process with our
colleagues, administrators and most importantly with our students, who will
benefit immediately from our expanded knowledge and understanding of critical
language acquisition concepts.
Again, we thank you for your willingness to invest in us
through professional development by providing exposure and access to experts
and best practices in dual language at the 2005 National Association for
/s/ Teresa Puente, Lydia Garcia, Andrea McCallum, Joe Veloz,
David Diaz, Doris Matson, Petra Armendarez, Andrea Lopez, Eva Tiliano,
Program cuts short-sighted
Our TRIO community is shocked and deeply disappointed by the
official announcement of the proposed elimination of Upward Bound and Talent
We are dismayed by the news that GEAR-UP is on the
administration's hit list as well.
Programs like Upward Bound, Talent Search and GEAR-UP serve
first generation, low-income students who need a little extra assistance to
become educated, productive tax-paying adults.
It is tragically short-sighted of the Bush administration to
seek to end these programs in the name of "No Child Left Behind." Are
standardized tests in high schools a reasonable substitute for one-on-one
mentoring and rigorous instruction for students who have low aspirations and
few family resources? Clearly not!
The proposed budget's supporting document claims that Upward
Bound is ineffective, citing the Office of Management and Budget's PART score.
Ironically, the low-scoring section of the evaluation was tied to a lack of
data that could only have been provided by the Department of Education. If you
don't have the data to measure the progress of the program, how can you judge
it to be ineffective?
Our community will aggressively address this spurious
assault on Upward Bound and Talent Search. Many students present and past will
speak out about the value of the programs and the positive impact on their
We are confident that members of Congress will object to
this wholesale disposal of popular and successful programs that, since 1965,
have helped two million first generation students earn college degrees and find
/s/ Dr. Arnold Mitchem, President, Council for Opportunity
in Education, Washington D.C.