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WELCOME TO SKOOLAIDE! We think the name is on point because we’re committed to bringing REAL and BENEFICIAL change to the education game with our SKoolAide - Academic Performance Platform. The tool we're creating will drastically simplify your college application process. Using the SKA-APP will help you take control over your school work and responsibilities - we guarantee it!

So here’s the deal… as we get closer to our launch, we’d like you guys to be beta testers for some of the teaser info we’re going to drop here. After you’ve looked over what we’ve posted, let your imagination run free and help us improve the app.

All of your ideas will be considered by our design team along with our student and teacher advisors. If we implement your suggestions, we’ll make sure that you get some serious props, and even a gift or two from our corporate sponsors. Thanks for checking us out!

Recent comments

  • June 20, 2012 11:03 pm

    GIVE FIFTY ONE DONATES 51% OF ALL PROFITS TO ENDING CHILD HOMELESSNESS.

    Everyone make sure and check out Give Fifty One.  They are a brand that donates 51% of all profit to fighting child homelessness & are making big waves in the local Charlotte area!  They sell watches & shirts currently, and look to expand their line soon.  Get involved at http://givefiftyone.org and join the cause.  GFO exists so that child homeless doesn’t have to!

  • February 6, 2012 9:02 pm
  • February 4, 2012 12:03 am
  • February 2, 2012 8:17 pm
  • January 27, 2012 2:06 pm

    For Passion or For Pay? What’s The Best Choice For Your Major?

                               

    I recently read an article published by my alma mater’s campus newspaper regarding the unemployment rate based upon major.   http://www.dailytarheel.com/media/00/00/01/01/10159_unemploymentbymajor2o.pdf  It made me wonder whether it is advantageous for first year students to see this data or not.  What does the average American view a college education as: a chance to research and study a topic they are passionate about or hop on a fast track to the largest and most stable income? 

    Personally, I was a combination of the two: I managed to graduate with around 180 credit hours.  Every semester, I had a different plan to double major, triple major, double minor, etc.  I think I’m just one or two classes away from having four degrees.  This has way more to do with my crazy Type A personality than my intellect, though.  My degree was in Biology.  As a first year student, I just loved to learn about science….until I took Chemistry courses but that in itself is enough to write another blog about.  I found myself in love with my public policy courses (but I’d have to go to graduate school to really pursue a career in law-making or policy), I was obsessed with my religious studies courses (but didn’t feel led to go into ministry or become a PhD in the topic), the list goes on.  Since I was on a scholarship to become a teacher, I decided to stick with my biology degree and minor in education.  Surely, there would be plenty of science teacher positions available when I graduated.  In the meantime, I’d just overextend myself and take the other classes that I was passionate about for ‘fun’ and hopefully figure my life out somewhere in the mix.

    However, if you don’t come into college with a few credit hours under your belt or have to work a job and limit your course load, you must stick to a strict guideline of coursework only pertinent to your major.   So do you follow your heart or your logic?

    Now there are the fortunate few that are passionate about nursing with a plethora of nursing positions available, but you can’t graduate with a degree in photojournalism and expect to land a job photographing for National Geographic straight out of college with great benefits and a retirement package.  But if your passion is photography and you decide to go a safer route and become an accountant working 9-5 with a good salary and an excellent insurance plan, is that equally as detrimental as being unemployed?  Just how productive is an employee that has no true passion? 

    One of the best decisions I made in college was to minor in Entrepreneurship.  I think this is one of the few places where passion and logic can not only find solutions to many of the world’s problems but allow people to make a lucrative income while following their heart, IF they are willing to take a risk.

    What are your thoughts?  What should be the main determining factor for a student’s course of study?

    Erin Burns

    Erin Burns is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who teaches Biology at North Mecklenburg High School.  Erin graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Biology and minors in Education and Entrepreneurship.  A recent addition to the team, Erin looks to channel her creativity and passion for education-reform through the SKoolAide initiative.  Find her on LinkedIn, email her at erin@skoolaide.com, or follow @eburnsye on Twitter

  • January 18, 2012 1:19 am

    Building a Better Mousetrap These Days Requires Right Thinking and Right Skills

                    

    Image credit: Brian Sullivan

    “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power.  We have guided missiles and misguided men”—Martin Luther King Jr.

    Just recently, I read a newspaper article entitled, Few Employers Hiring.  In this economy, that is no secret.  What I did find telling was one comment that was written in response to the article:

     “There are jobs in … But that does mean everyone is qualified for those jobs? There are several engineering jobs open for example. But contrary to some comments, jobs are not designed based on who is looking for a job. Not everyone has the qualifications to fill the good jobs…”

    While this article is from a newspaper that is not in this area, this article could very well be about Any Place, USA.  Jobs are scarce—that is true.  However, and there is evidence to back this claim, possession of the necessary qualifications for existing available jobs are even scarcer. 

     As an Educational Consultant, I have had an opportunity to do many things.  One of those things was to write and implement a curriculum for a Department of Defense Middle School course entitled, Pathways to Careers.  The goal of the course was not only to allow students an opportunity to be exposed to various occupations, but,  this course allowed students an opportunity to better understand the skills and the necessary qualifications a person must have an order to be considered for those occupations. 

      I  also made sure there was a component in the course that would allow students an opportunity to look within themselves, examine their interests, and create a personal development plan for courses that they would need to take in high school in an effort to see their career aspirations come to fruition.  In other words, students took a look at their true selves, determined their interests and abilities, and used that information to determine what occupations best suited them.  Then we, the students and I, collaborated to draw a map of ways the student to get there. Sometimes, this was not an easy task, but, the students and I had fun getting there!

     When I was a little girl, people were always asking me what I wanted to be when I grew up.  Many encouraged me to dream. Some dared me to dream bigger.  Somebody even told me that it was my job, once I “made it,” to reach back and save someone just as somebody saved me. 

     So, it is with each of us.  Not only should we ask the youth about what they want to be when they become adults, we have to guide them on their path.  These students are going to need to know themselves and what they’d like to do.  They are going to have to have some clear understanding of what it takes to reach their goals.  These students are going to have to be exposed to the necessary information, people, and places that will support goal obtainment.  That means they are going to have to take the right courses in high school, and, they have to understand how what they are doing now—classes, courses, and volunteer opportunities—will support future career goals.

    As we become a world that is benefitting from all sorts of technological advances, we can do so much more than guide missiles.  But, in our guiding of missiles and more, have we forgotten to guide mankind?  Mankind is going to need emotional, mental, academic, and spiritual support.  In a world of full of apps that can do so many things, we cannot forget as we guide more than missiles, we have to also guide the man (kind).

     For more information on occupational outlooks and qualifications, please consult The Occupational Outlook Handbook at www.bls.gov .

    Cheryl Harris Curtis

    Cheryl Harris Curtis is an Educational Consultant/Writer that is a candidate in the world’s only Developmental Education Doctoral program. Believing that her personal mission is to inspire, uplift and empower, she encourages others to work to do the same.  Feel free to contact her at Cheryl.curtis@att.blackberry.net or follow her on twitter @educationreform.

  • January 13, 2012 8:33 pm

    Samantha Garvey, Homeless Teen Honored In Prestigious Science Competition

                          

    BRENTWOOD, N.Y. — A homeless New York teenager who’s a national Intel science competition semifinalist won’t be homeless for much longer.

    Samantha Garvey and her family were offered a rent subsidized home by officials in the Long Island county where she goes to school.

    Garvey is one of 61 students who have a chance at the competition’s top prize of $100,000.

    The 17-year-old and her family moved into a homeless shelter on Jan. 1.

    Suffolk County officials made the housing announcement Friday morning at Brentwood High School, where Garvey is a senior. County official Steve Bellone says Garvey and her family can move into the house in about 10 days.

    Garvey’s Intel project focused on predators’ effects on ribbed mussels.

    She’s one of 300 semifinalists. Finalists will be announced later this month.

    Story credit: Huffington Post

    ____________________________________________________________________

    THE REST OF SAMANTHA’S  STORY – HOW  HARD WORK AND COMMITMENT IS PAYING OFF

                

    Photo credit: Newsday

    Huffington Post Article - 1/20/2012

    Brentwood High School senior Samantha Garvey appeared Thursday as a guest on the “Ellen” talk show, where she received a $50,000 scholarship from AT&T to the college of her choice. She also was given a $5,000 J.C. Penney gift card and a $1,000 gift card for Whole Foods.

    Last week, Garvey was named one of 300 semifinalists in the prestigious Intel science contest. The story of the aspiring marine biologist attracted national attention after it was reported that she and her family were forced to move to a homeless shelter on New Year’s Eve.

    "You are an inspiration," host Ellen DeGeneres told the 18-year-old senior who hopes to attend either Brown or Yale universities.

    "You are an inspiration to me and I hope to anybody else out there watching that is having a hard time or even people who aren’t having a hard time and are complaining about petty things that are going on in their lives and they look at you and look at how you conduct yourself.

    We at SKoolAide repeat our earlier shout out…”YOU GO GIRL!!”

  • January 9, 2012 3:33 pm

    7 For the Price of 1

                       

    Image credit: http://michellemfox.wordpress.com

    Once a week, when I get the 192nd email requesting another PEP to be signed, or another backward mapping plan to be created…I remind myself just how crazy education really is.  I truly think that if people from the corporate world made a career shift to education they would freak out, have a full fledged heart attack, when they saw how different the two worlds are. 

      During the summer, I work as a real estate agent.  Therefore, have some experience with the mortgage industry and “corporate” world.  For just one basic real estate transaction two real estate agents, an inspector, a surveyor, a mortgage lender, paralegal, and attorney are needed.  

     If education was run like a company…oh how different things would be.  For every single teacher there would be:

    1) A Lesson Plan Coordinator- to analyze the curriculum, research best practices, create PowerPoints with coinciding guided notes, set up interactive games, construct hands-on labs, make adequate practice problem sets

    2) Rubric Designer & Grading Coordinator- to thoroughly, accurately, and objectively grade and correct every assignment with a quick turnaround

    3) A Paralegal and Auditor- creating legal documents like…PEPs (Personalized Education Plans) for those in danger of failing, reviewing IEPs(Individualized Education Plans) for those with learning disabilities, testing LEPs(Limited English Proficiency)…and then making sure that these students have the proper testing accommodations in accordance with federal law (no big deal) for every quiz & test…Ex:  Brent has to sit in a separate setting, Angela can use her Spanish dictionary, and Ralph has to have his test blown up to 30 font.  

    4) A Counselor- to guide children through the college application process, to prevent classroom meltdowns, mediate classroom disputes, comfort students after a break up (especially for a very serious 2 week relationship), hold parent/teacher conferences

    5) A Secretary- to input grades, return emails, make phone calls to parents, write disciplinary referrals, replace ink in the copier, order classroom supplies from catalogs, run to the grocery store to purchase perishable lab materials, collect & receipt all field trip money

    6) Data Analyst- to look at individual quiz & test data, see which objectives on the standard course of study need re-looping and create individualized plans to get those students up to mastery for every objective of the curriculum

    7) Therapist-  To keep all of the above sane.

     

    Unfortunately, I am not a robot.  Nor am I seven employees in one.  (Definitely, don’t get the salary of 7 employees in 1).  Some days I’m not the best paralegal and forget to tell a student to sit in a “separate setting” during a quiz.  Please don’t throw me in jail.   Some days I’m not the best counselor and an unforeseen fight breaks out.  Although, I’m pretty good at sensing the pre-fight anguish nowadays.   

     But what if there were really 7 of me all serving the same clients?  What if each subject had numerous specialists instead of teachers stretched thin?  Would that revolutionize education? Is is it even possible?   If not, what is the answer?   The ideal teacher should do all of the above things.  I strive do to do all of those things.  Then I remind myself to sleep, eat and try to enjoy life a little bit.  

    What do you think is the answer to revolutionizing education, particularly secondary education?

    Erin Burns

    Erin Burns is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who teaches Biology at North Mecklenburg High School.  Erin graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Biology and minors in Education and Entrepreneurship.  A recent addition to the team, Erin looks to channel her creativity and passion for education-reform through the SKoolAide initiative.  Find her on LinkedIn, email her at erin@skoolaide.com, or follow @eburnsye on Twitter

  • January 2, 2012 9:55 pm

    Do you want to run a Fortune 500 classroom or a test-score sweat shop?

                

    Image:Virtual Sweatshop_Invisible Threads (SecondLife)

    If we want more well-rounded applicants for jobs and higher education, we should emphasize holistic learning in the classroom.  It is so easy to label a student as an A+ or D- kid.  But how many of us can look at students and say “ that is a C- biology student, but she has a great volleyball serve, a huge heart for the homeless and is doing pretty well considering her family’s home just went into foreclosure.”  The same is true in the work place, is everyone just “Joe in accounting” and “Sue the secretary,” or does the boss know “Joe in accounting with the new baby and the huge Atlanta Braves fan”  and “Sue the secretary that bakes the best brownies in town.”

    Unfortunately, there are some companies that work their employees to death  with a high turnover rate and low worker morale.  But research the top companies and many of their successes are due to the individual successes and recognition of employees.  A company kickball team has no relevance to an accounting firm’s field of work.  But get a bunch of grown men on a grass lot ranting and running around together and then you’re opening up real connections among humans outside of spreadsheets.  Now Joe the accountant and Sue the Secretary are not only excited to show up to type away at their desk but to interact with their co-workers.   Ok, so what does an accounting firm’s kickball team have anything to do with education? 

    Now, as an educator myself- I’m not pointing any fingers.  When you see 90 faces a day, for only 90 minutes a day- it is hard to know the entire life story of every student.  But start with just one face and let them know that you care about their well-being and education beyond their level of mastery on the last quiz.  Ben, the D- student, does not want to walk around with that label for the rest of his life.  Ben may be an excellent artist and needs a little recognition and acknowledgement of this skill to light up his inner potential, keep him coming to class, and improving his academic performance.  On the flip side, Ashley the A+ student, may need to be challenged and/or recognized for her other strengths outside of “good grades.”   She may have a brilliant cure for AIDS one day but if she can’t communicate well or share her ideas then of what use is her intelligence? 

                     

    Photo credit: Don Hamerman

    So in your role as critically vital trainer of the future generation, do you want to run a Fortune 500 classroom or a test-score sweat shop?  Remember that your little classroom workers, are actual humans.  They are more than a standardized test score or letter in the grade book. 

    I would love to get your thoughts.

    Erin Burns

    Erin Burns is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who teaches Biology at North Mecklenburg High School.  Erin graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Biology and minors in Education and Entrepreneurship.  A recent addition to the team, Erin looks to channel her creativity and passion for education-reform through the SKoolAide initiative.  Find her on LinkedIn, email her at erin@skoolaide.com, or follow @eburnsye on Twitter

  • December 30, 2011 9:29 am

    "I find I think of myself not as a writer so much as someone who provides a gateway, a tangential route for readers to reach the circus. To visit the circus again, if only in their minds, when they are unable to attend it physically. I relay it through printed words on crumpled newsprint, words that they can read again and again, returning to the circus whenever they wish, regardless of time of day or physical location. Transporting them at will.
    When put that way, it sounds rather like magic, doesn’t it?"

    The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern (via excessivebookshelf)

  • December 29, 2011 6:50 pm

    Financial Aid Advice:  High School Seniors Share Their Experiences with Obtaining Loans and Scholarships

    Source: HuffPost

    For college-bound seniors, the big question isn’t just whether you’ll get into your dream school — it’s whether you’ll be able to pay for it. Navigating scholarships, financial aid, and loan packages adds another level of stress to the college admissions process, and many students are finding themselves feeling overwhelmed by the necessary preparations for financing their educations. With college tuition costs and student loan debts at a record high — not to mention the recession affecting family incomes — more students than ever are starting to make preparations for paying for college before they even get accepted.

    But it’s not all bad news — watch this video to find out how real students at Washington High School in Washington, Missouri are planning to make higher education affordable for them.

  • December 23, 2011 7:11 pm

    Looking Back While Moving Forward

                   

    This time of year Christians celebrate the birth of the savior of the world, Jesus.   Many African Americans celebrate their heritage during Kwanzaa.  Jews celebrate the re-dedication of the Holy Temple during Hanukkah.  Let’s take some time to celebrate milestones in education:

     

    1635- Boston Public Schools were founded.  Curriculum was provided for boys the age of 8-15.  What about the girls?  They were at home: baking, sewing, and cleaning.

    1636-  First University in the United State was founded, Harvard University.  And we think Harvard is competitive now?  Most Americans probably couldn’t even read or properly fill out the application with our lack of structured schools at the time.

    1742- Bethlehem Female Seminary was the first founded college for women (later became Co-Ed).  Finally a place just for the ladies!

    1795-  First Public University in the United States…The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill! (My alma mater!)   We’re starting to slowly but surely level the playing field for higher education by providing public, not just private, universities. 

    1796- Horrace Mann, “Father of the Common School Movement” was born.  He advocated for common public schools for all people.  This guy was one of the first to understand the power of education and the impact it had on the country as a whole.

    1862- Morrill Land Grant Act- signed by President Lincoln creating over 70 agricultural and technical colleges. This act was extended in 1890 to ensure that admission to these schools was not based upon race.   This Act led to the development of many of our historically black colleges and universities today.  One of the many reasons why President Lincoln deserves to have his face on shiny pennies.

    1900-  Formation of the College Board to standardize college admissions.  This lead to the creation of our favorite standardized test (a couple decades later), the SAT!

    1944- GI Bill was signed by President Roosevelt after World War II.  The US paid for college tuition for soldiers.  This exponentially increased the number of Americans able to attend and afford college.  Thanks for your service, soldiers!  You deserve the gift of an educated mind!

    1954-  Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court Case.  Forced integration of all schools for all children regardless of skin color.  Look how far we have come in the last 50 years!

    1964- Civil Rights Act was signed by President Johnson (previously called for by JFK).  Goodbye segregated schools!  Hello diversified classrooms! 

    1965- The Elementary and Secondary Education Act also signed by President Johnson.  This Act brought equity to education by establishing new methods for funding schools among many other things.  This act was created to fight the “War on Poverty.”  This is one tough battle; we’re still fighting that war in the education world today!

    1972-  Title 9 signed by President Nixon.  No gender discrimination allowed anymore.  Girls can now expand their career options beyond nurses and secretaries.  I’d say this legislature was a success…in 1994, women earned 43% of law degrees, compared with 7% in 1972.

    1999- First fully Online University in the US…Jones International University was accredited.   This is just the start of how the internet has and continues to transform education!

    2002- No Child Left Behind Act signed by President Bush.   This Act demands that every student reach a certain test score.  Thanks for bringing further attention to the inequalities among different demographics in education, Mr. President.

    2011-  President Obama has started several progressive programs, like “Race to the Top” and “Educate to Innovate” to further jump start solutions to educational issues.  Common core standards will be in place for all 50 states to implement at the school level.  President Obama’s overall goal is to have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.  Let’s help our current administration make this goal a reality!

     

    What will it take to fully save or “redeem” the American education system?   As you can see, it has taken several acts, reformists, politicians, and brilliant minds to bring us from log cabins with slate boards to technologically advanced, equitable classrooms.  Let’s celebrate our past successes and use them as fuel to fire us forward.

                  

    Erin Burns

    Erin Burns is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who teaches Biology at North Mecklenburg High School.  Erin graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Biology and minors in Education and Entrepreneurship.  A recent addition to the team, Erin looks to channel her creativity and passion for education-reform through the SKoolAide initiative.  Find her on LinkedIn, email her at erin@skoolaide.com, or follow @eburnsye on Twitter

  • December 18, 2011 10:17 pm

    When I Grow Up…

                       

    Photo credit - http://beinglatino.wordpress.com

    When I was 7, I wanted to be a dentist. Age 10- hair stylist.   Age 13- a neurosurgeon. Age 16- missionary doctor.  At age 24, well I’m a teacher/Realtor/businesswoman/meandering young lady. 

     How does a 17 year old determine the course for the rest of their life?  Is it based on some far-fetched dream of owning 3 sports cars, 2 luxury homes, and picking whatever career path might provide the financial means to make this dream come true?   Or is it based on family tradition; are you a fourth generation lawyer and must keep up the ‘legacy’?   Maybe you are the first person in your family to attend college and move out of your community; a career path might be chosen based on a cool job that you saw on television.  Are any of these options truly tapping into the specific skill set of that individual? 

     My sister changed her major 3 times.  Marketing to nursing to accounting all within 2 semesters of college.  She, age 22, has since graduated and is currently managing a real estate office with dreams of going back to nursing school.  My best friend, age 24, graduated from the top Journalism school in the country, made a flip in life plans and completed a 1.5 year teacher certificate program and is now a middle school English teacher.  Is there anything wrong with making these switcharoos?  Not at all.  Life happens, people change.  Visions change.  But just ask and they’ll tell you that if they had a little more guidance, exposure and experience they could have saved a few thousand dollars and headaches to get to the same destination.

     It is key to expose our youth to a variety of experiences and help them zone in on their specific passions and skill sets.  As a science teacher, I love to show video clips and complete labs on everything from ecology to chemistry.  These are the experiences that inspired me to major in Biology.  If only every middle and high school student was exposed to a passionate entrepreneur, exciting accountant, or engaging historian…then maybe our youth could get reenergized about learning these subjects and pursuing careers in these fields.  At age 17, your life switches from a set high school curriculum to an open door.  The cure for cancer and next big tech product won’t be created until we expose and excite our youth instead of allowing them to settle for the familiar.

    Erin Burns

    Erin Burns is a North Carolina Teaching Fellow who teaches Biology at North Mecklenburg High School.  Erin graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a B.A. in Biology and minors in Education and Entrepreneurship.  A recent addition to the team, Erin looks to channel her creativity and passion for education-reform through the SKoolAide initiative.  Find her on LinkedIn, email her at erin@skoolaide.com, or follow @eburnsye on Twitter.

  • December 13, 2011 11:07 pm

    The Unaddressed Link Between Poverty and Education - NYTimes.com

    meeshroblog:

    think4yourself:

    We desperately need a […] reminder of the relationship between economic advantage and student performance.

    The correlation has been abundantly documented, notably by the famous Coleman Report in 1966. New research by Sean F. Reardon of Stanford University traces the achievement gap between children from high- and low-income families over the last 50 years and finds that it now far exceeds the gap between white and black students.

    Data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress show that more than 40 percent of the variation in average reading scores and 46 percent of the variation in average math scores across states is associated with variation in child poverty rates.

    International research tells the same story. Results of the 2009 reading tests conducted by the Program for International Student Assessment show that, among 15-year-olds in the United States and the 13 countries whose students outperformed ours, students with lower economic and social status had far lower test scores than their more advantaged counterparts within every country. Can anyone credibly believe that the mediocre overall performance of American students on international tests is unrelated to the fact that one-fifth of American children live in poverty?

    Yet federal education policy seems blind to all this. No Child Left Behind required all schools to bring all students to high levels of achievement but took no note of the challenges that disadvantaged students face. The legislation did, to be sure, specify that subgroups — defined by income, minority status and proficiency in English — must meet the same achievement standard. But it did so only to make sure that schools did not ignore their disadvantaged students — not to help them address the challenges they carry with them into the classroom.

    So why do presumably well-intentioned policy makers ignore, or deny, the correlations of family background and student achievement?

    Some honestly believe that schools are capable of offsetting the effects of poverty. Others want to avoid the impression that they set lower expectations for some groups of students for fear that those expectations will be self-fulfilling. In both cases, simply wanting something to be true does not make it so.

    All teachers, on 3 now…

    1…

    2…

    3…

    DUH!

    I wish lawmakers had been teachers themselves. So many things would change for the better.

    (Source: abbyjean)

  • December 5, 2011 2:36 pm

    Saks Or Dollar Store Education?

                    

    It is no secret that this country is experiencing what some are calling the disappearance of the middle class.  As we all know, whatever happens in society typically happens in our schools.   With the erosion of the middle class, those neighborhoods that serve as feeder schools to one neighborhood—the affluent, or the other—the poor, are seeing similar trends in the type of education that is being offered and the type of education that a child receives. 

    The quality of supplies, teacher qualifications, and oftentimes, neighborhood, community, and parental support depends upon the zip code of the student and where the school is located.  This is a sad, painful, awful truth. 

    Just recently, a financial analyst on a major, national television network reported that those who are fairing better in these hard economic times are those who are better educated.  Now, whether you agree with this statement or not, it is something that should at least be given a pause for thought and greater reflection.  I can’t stress enough what statistics have already proven.  Schools mirror the societies that they serve.

    So, for some students, their educational experience will be high-end and of good quality—Saks. For other students, their education will be a bargain—Dollar Store.  There might just be a trade of one thing to get something else. 

    Regardless of where you stand financially, once the middle class is gone, it will, in some form or fashion, touch the lives of us all.  We will see more loss of jobs, more difficulty in realizing the American dream, and schools that can no longer meet 21st Century global citizenship needs.

    How can the erosion of the middle class be stopped?  What is the answer? The man credited with being “The Father of American Education,” Horace Mann, offered advice way back in the 1800’s.  To paraphrase, Horace Mann said that education is the great equalizer of all men.  It prevents one from being poor.

    We, as stakeholders in a global community, have to better prepare our students—all students.  All students have to be critical thinkers and reflective learners that can problem solve.  Their ability to effectively use technology will be critical.  There shouldn’t be a Saks education for some and a Dollar Store education for others.

    If schools mirror the societies they serve, then what image does our American society reflect? 

    Cheryl Harris Curtis

    Cheryl Harris Curtis is an Educational Consultant/Writer that is a candidate in the world’s only Developmental Education Doctoral program. Believing that her personal mission is to inspire, uplift and empower, she encourages others to work to do the same.  Feel free to contact her at Cheryl.curtis@att.blackberry.net or follow her on twitter @educationreform.