Sunday, September 30, 2007


Get Ready, Get Set, GO!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Detroit HS tech stars get backers
Principal Patricia Pickett, Superintendant Connie Calloway, Rev. Jesse Jackson. PHOTO BY JACKIE BARBER
Principal Patricia Pickett, Superintendant Connie Calloway, Rev. Jesse Jackson. PHOTO BY JACKIE BARBER

By Eric T. Campbell

The Michigan Citizen

DETROIT - Leaders from the education, faith-based and labor communities came together in front of the Northwestern High School student body Thurs., Sept. 14, to announce the creation of the Northwestern High School Success Project.

The assembly, held in Northwestern�s auditorium was part of the Rainbow/PUSH Third Annual Community Symposium.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams, Detroit Schools Superintendent Connie Calloway and U.S. Representative John Conyers addressed the students.

The "Success Project" was initiated by a partnership of Northwestern Alumni with the Michigan Labor Constituency Council, the UAW, International Union, New Detroit Incorporated and the Rainbow/PUSH coalition.

Honorary Chairs and committee members include a long list of Detroit community leaders and activists. The five-year pilot program seeks to identify specific educational and structural needs at Northwestern and to raise a $500,000 fiduciary fund for the school to "augment their academic program over a five-year period", according to the symposium guide booklet.

The program also stresses the need for "community wide mobilization" to support student's scholastic needs and improve Detroit high school graduation rates.

"They've raised over $90,000 for us to augment our programs, organizations and clubs, to have a holistic approach, a community approach to transforming," Northwestern Principal Patricia Pickett told the Michigan Citizen. "We're going to try and develop a clean, safe learning environment with rigorous instruction. We're all stakeholders, continuously learning."

Northwestern High School was chosen to pilot the program in part because of its potential to incorporate an extended academic structure. The curriculum at Northwestern already includes nine advanced placement classes, four computer laboratories, two libraries and one of the only Planetariums located in a Michigan public school.

Dr. Shedrick Ward is the facilitator of the AIM program at Northwestern, which identifies and nurtures students from the ninth grade on and offers scholastic options based in technological fields.

"To bring the teachers together across areas to perform a unified approach" that's the American transformation of the high schools so that the kids are connected to places like Ford Motor Company, Chrysler, General Motors, who have their challenges in this global network," Dr. Ward told the Michigan Citizen in his office. "But young people still have some responsibility in understanding what that challenge is going to be when they leave high school."

In addition to the morning assembly, the Community Day Symposium also included a luncheon and town hall meeting, at which participants discussed and reviewed elements of the "Success Program".

The day ended with a black tie gala and fundraising dinner at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Keynote speaker Judge Greg Mathis has strong ties to the "Success Program" through his National Youth and Education Crusade, which focuses on issues of crime and education.

But the day was best exemplified by the gathering of the student body in the high school auditorium on Grand Boulevard, during which wisdom was passed from generation to generation in the spirit of community uplift and educational advancement.

"We are now the conscience of this country," congressman and Northwestern High graduate, John Conyers told the listeners. "We are now holding hands with the 6.6 billion people in the world and we can all make a difference."

Keynote speaker Rev. Jesse Jackson paid tribute to Northwestern High and its role, even beyond the neighborhood.

"You have such a sterling history and heritage of impacting our world by lessons taught and learned from this school," Jackson began.

He focused directly on the students in the building and their responsibility to uphold the advancements made by those in the Black community.

"We're going another way, against the odds, we at Northwestern, are going to higher ground," the audience repeated with Jackson. "We shall lift ourselves, and our community, our city, our state, by the power of our minds. We change our minds, and the whole world changes. We must first change our minds to change the world."

Meeting: YAPO Computer Learning Center / Board of Directors

Wednesday, October 3, 2007 4:00PM

Post "Comments" for Agenda Items

The Milford Powerhouse Project

The Milford Powerhouse (click-on "powerhouse" on left-side)

Powerhouse (Virtual Tour)

The Pettibone Creek Powerhouse blog-site

Milford Powerhouse Renovation Committee
NEXT Meeting: Wednesday, October 10, 2007 7:00PM (Informal Presentation)

Friday, September 21, 2007

SWEET! (UWSEM Agenda for Change Initaitive)

September 7, 2007

United Way for Southeastern Michigan

1212 Griswold Street

Detroit, MI 48226

Ref: UWSEM Agenda for Change “Educational Preparedness” Collaborative LOI

Agenda for Change Committee:

Communities to Schools Regional Digital Collaboratory

SKETCH of INTENTION “Pilot Project”: Create and develop a youth-based digitally networked community (networked two-way telecommunications) of inclusive entities to include schools, neighborhood and city community centers, human service organizations, various community capacity building organizations, public service organizations, arts and cultural organizations, business, industry and government.

Attributes of Aspirations (Limited Only by Our Combined Imaginations, Creativity and Innovation)

  • Community Interaction and Engagement

*Build deeper and richer community alliances. Build organizational leadership and capacity, service-learning and engagement vehicles for change from merely synergistic to systemic imperatives.

  • Educational Enhancement and Distribution Channels

*Utilize existing K-12 educational assets; teachers, pedagogy, curriculum, underutilized digital infrastructure, etc. Develop digital media and learning curriculum, pedagogy, distribution methodologies and modalities aligned with new 21st Century economic realities with a particular focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines. Create connections to relevant real-world experts and working environments.

  • Youth Development and Leadership

*Create student-led, student-taught, project-based explorations emphasizing creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial endeavors that resonate with their world as they encounter it while also learning how to think instead of what to think.

  • 21st Century Skills for New Creative Economy Career Development
*Utilize digital technological innovations as a foundational element to further our youth’s interest in connecting socially to the world around them while coaching and facilitating conventional understandings (problem solving, critical thinking, cognitive discipline, creativity, innovation, collaboration, social responsibility) of how our great society works thereby enhancing our local, regional, state, national and global competitiveness in the urgent “brute-force to brain-force” transformation.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Something from which to "Frame" our Intentions

Some recent additions to OUR Portfolio

The Creation of Consious Culture through Educational Innovation

The Mind of The Innovator

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

BEGIN With the END in MIND!

Leadership by Visualization

Science hasn't fully explained how or why visualization works.

But the fact that it does is enough for most major air forces in the world to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in flight simulators.

Frankly, if you're aiming to achieve a major goal, who cares if you know how or why visualization works - just that it does!

And there's no doubt that visualization is a proven success technique used by achievers in every field, from athletes to actors to astronauts. None other than golfing legend Jack Nicklaus is said to have always played a course in his mind before actually beginning a game. John Goddard, the number one goal achiever in the world, told me several months ago that visualization was one of the main techniques he used to accomplish more that 550 major goals!

Brian Tracy says that, "All improvement in your life begins with an improvement in your mental pictures. Your mental pictures act as a guidance mechanism that causes you to act in ways that make your mental pictures come true in your life."

Last December we introduced a brand new tool as part of our Champions Club program. The Goal Tiger Vision Board is a very powerful application for your computer that enables you to take the teachings of the Law of Attraction and apply them in your daily life. It helps you to visualize your goals and dreams in a unique and dynamic way on your computer screen, using your personal dream images. You can combine these images with self chosen affirmations and power words. This way, the Goal Tiger Vision Board assists you in adjusting your belief system to break through any self limiting barriers you might have to reach your goals and create the life you desire.

Until now, the Goal Tiger Vision Board has only been available with membership in the Champions Club. But we've heard from a lot of our subscribers that they'd like to put the Vision Board to work to magnetically attract their goals and dreams.

So, with special permission from our software developers, for a limited time we are making the Goal Tiger Vision Board available as a stand-alone tool.

For a lot more details and all the benefits of the Goal Tiger Vision Board go here:

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

21st Century Digital Learning Environments!

Pennsylvania's "Classrooms for the Future" Program Increases

Two hundred-twenty-five more high schools will benefit from Pennsylvania's innovative Classrooms for the Future technology initiative this school year, bringing the total number of participating high schools to 358.

The expansion of the program means high school students in 303 of the state's 501 school districts will be able to begin using laptop computers and other high-tech tools to improve their learning and better prepare for future success.

"Classrooms for the Future is helping our high school students engage in learning on a new level," Governor Edward G. Rendell said. "The new technology will nurture students' minds and feed their appetite for learning and it will prepare them to use equipment and machines that are commonplace in colleges and universities, corporate offices, production plants and just about anywhere they will go after graduating.

"By using technology as a learning tool, we are ensuring Pennsylvania's workforce will remain relevant and competitive in the global economy."

Classrooms for the Future is a three-year investment to provide laptop computers, high-speed Internet access and state-of-the-art software to high school classrooms across the state. Under Rendell's plan, every high school would be part of Classrooms for the Future by 2009.

The 2007-08 budget signed by Rendell in July allocates $90 million to provide the 255 high schools with 83,000 laptop computers and related equipment. It also invests $11 million in high-quality professional development for 12,100 teachers in new Classrooms for the Future high schools. That money, coupled with $2 million in federal funds, will enable each Classrooms for the Future high school to receive $30,000 for staff development.

Education Secretary Gerald L. Zahorchak said professional development is crucial to the success of Classrooms for the Future. As teachers learn how to integrate the technology into classroom instruction, they can move beyond being a mere lecturer and facilitate student-driven work.

The technology is being used in math, science, English and social studies classes to broaden the learning possibilities for Pennsylvania students and provide an unprecedented "gateway" to information and knowledge, the secretary added.

"After only one year, Classrooms for the Future already has proven to be a success for students and educators," Zahorchak said. "Teachers tell us students are more excited and engaged because of these new learning tools. In some cases, truancy and absenteeism are declining."

Greater student engagement is not the only benefit, he noted. Classrooms for the Future helps students connect their academic coursework to the real world, giving deeper meaning to what goes on both inside and outside the classroom.

As examples, the secretary cited a current events teacher who used Classrooms for the Future equipment to help her students stage a videoconference with a soldier serving in Iraq. In another classroom, a group of students studying bridge design used computer software to not only design structures but also to test them to determine whether they would work in a real-life application.

Such activities move students beyond being passive listeners and make them into active learners, Zahorchak said, while the professional development component of Classrooms for the Future ensures teachers are prepared to integrate high-technology into classroom instruction and activities.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Something for OUR Consideration

Michigan State PIRC
Holland, MI
11172 Adams Street
Holland MI, 49423
Ms. Deanna Depree
616-396-7566 ext. 116

Innovations in Education series report: Engaging Parents in Education: Lessons from Five Parental Information and Resource Centers

A generation ago, “parent involvement” in schools usually meant “not very involved at all.” Parents seldom visited the classroom unless they received a call from their children’s teachers or principals. Often, the closest that mothers and fathers came to the school building was when they dropped off their children in the morning. Actual visits to the school were confined to big events such as plays and science fairs. Unfortunately, some parents still do not feel welcome in the classroom, nor do they feel they can ask substantive questions about the quality of their children’s teachers and schools.

However, in a growing number of communities, the picture is very different. Gone are the days when moms just organized bake sales. On any given day, students see parents in the school building helping to organize kindergarten registration, identifying ways to raise money that will buy materials teachers need to enhance a math lesson, tutoring kids that need more time to master skills and lessons, starting after-school programs where students can learn to play a new sport or understand the stock market, serving on a school site council, or coordinating resources and services from the community for families, students, and the school. It’s not just the moms participating who are participating either. Dads, grandparents, and other caregivers are getting involved. Families of economically disadvantaged or limited English proficient students are becoming more involved in their local schools too—because schools are providing more information about the range of programs and services available to them.

Helping Parents Share Responsibility for School Improvement

Helping to make this happen are Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs). A new U.S. Department of Education Innovations in Education series report, Engaging Parents in Education: Lessons from Five Parental Information and Resource Centers, highlights the practices of five centers, with successful strategies for parent and educator engagement. Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement Morgan Brown announced the release of the new guide at the annual meeting of the directors of the 2007 PIRC grantees in Baltimore, Maryland on August 1st.

Drawing on lessons learned, the guide shares promising strategies for increasing effective parent involvement. The five PIRCs highlighted in the guide were selected through a rigorous peer review process that relied on both benchmarking and case study methodologies, in which researchers and practitioners helped screen the programs. From an initial list of 45 programs that support parent involvement, five highlighted PIRCs were chosen based on the range and quality of their practices, the organizations’ locations and demographics of their target populations, and the quality of their collaborations with other parent involvement organizations or education agencies.

Funded through a discretionary grant program administered by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement (OII), PIRCs have operated since 1995 to support parent involvement in Title I schools. The centers must be of sufficient size and scope to ensure that they can serve parents throughout a state, and each are required to focus on services to parents of low-income, minority, and limited English proficient students, using at least 50 percent of the federal funds they receive annually to serve areas of their states with high concentrations of low-income families. Special attention is directed to parents of children in Title I schools that are not making adequate yearly progress under NCLB. This effort to increase parent involvement is critical to student achievement. According to leading researchers on this topic, “students with involved parents, no matter what their income or background, were more likely to earn higher grades and test scores and enroll in higher-level programs; be promoted, pass their classes, and earn credits; show improved behavior, and adapt well to school; and graduate and go on to postsecondary education.” 1

At present, more than 60 PIRCs across the United States as well as in each of the special jurisdictions including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and the Federated States of Micronesia, work to strengthen partnerships that support children in reaching high academic standards, closing the achievement gap, and providing parents and educators with information and resources to help their children succeed.

To ensure that PIRCs maintain high-quality standards and implement research-based parental-involvement strategies and practices, the Department also supports the National PIRC Coordination Center, which was created in 2006 by the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory (SEDL) in collaboration with the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP). SEDL’s three decades of experience with issues of family involvement in schools, combined with HFRP’s knowledge of helping education stakeholders develop and evaluate strategies that promote the well being of children, youth, families, and communities, equips the Center to assist the PIRCs with their numerous program management needs.

Leadership Training for Parents

Three of the PIRCs highlighted in the new guide -- the Indiana Partnerships Center, based in Indianapolis; the Family Works, a program of the nonprofit Gaithersburg-based (Md.) Family Service Agency; and the Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA), based in San Antonio, Tex.-- have not only created strategies for increased parent involvement (described in the book), but they also offer parent leadership training institutes. The institutes have a common goal: empower parents to lead other parents and educators in efforts to raise student achievement.

After deciding to incorporate parent leadership training into their services, these PIRCs looked for a model from which to develop their own programs. Each offers training that was adopted—and adapted—from aspects of the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership (CIPL), which has been training over 200 Kentucky parent leaders a year since 1997. They have individualized the parent leadership training, but all have preserved the mandatory “CIPL-model culminating project” that aspires to raise parents to a new level of parent engagement by requiring them to create an individualized project.

The culminating projects at each of the sites have ranged from efforts focused on getting more fathers involved in school, such as a mentoring program for boys that seeks to involve positive male role models, to curriculum-oriented efforts, such as creating a children’s book club and or staging Family Monopoly Night to increase math skills.

Executive Director Jackie Garvey of the Indiana Partnerships Centers explained that their projects often aim to empower parents to link parent activities to student achievement. She recalled a memorable project that started as a small literacy effort known as “Donuts with Dad and Muffins with Mom,” and reflected on how the effort evolved. “The project grew tremendously. A member created a train from a golf cart and it went around the school promoting books and reading. The organizers obtained community partners, the whole community rallied around them. It became project ‘All Aboard.’ It went so far as to take all the kids and families on a real train to Chicago to visit a museum. Everyone read on the train. Then we saw that the reading scores in that school really improved.”

Different Ways to Engage Diverse Parents and Educators

The Indiana Partnerships Center recruits leadership trainees by reaching out to other community-based organizations and education agencies to ask for nominations. It looks for a diverse pool of participants that reflects their communities. Unlike trainings offered by the other highlighted PIRCs, at the Indiana Partnerships Center, if an organization submits candidates for consideration, the candidates are sent in teams. According to Garvey, “using teams (where parents are the majority, but there is always a school staff member) has helped in several ways: it creates buy-in for the leadership projects; it helps make it easier to integrate the project into the school improvement plan; and it makes recruitment easier. The team approach lets quality projects go deeper,” she said.

The Family Works leadership training program aggressively recruits parents through targeted mailings, using lists generated by the Maryland State Department of Education, State Title I schools, the Maryland PTA, district family involvement offices, and other family support organizations. E-mail distribution lists and a network of program graduates serving as "ambassadors” also have been used. They seek candidates who are "traditionally not-involved or untapped parents who have capabilities.” Applicants have to receive a sign-off from the principal of the school they represent to ensure that the parent and school are establishing a productive partnership. A committee of stakeholders charged with developing a group that is balanced, both geographically and racially, and that spans K–12 education, selects the candidates.

In addition to training parent leaders, San Antonio’s IDRA targets educators, too. For example, they see the staff of a district’s Title I office as a natural audience for the training. Their model is the “train-the-trainer” approach, resulting in parents and educators developing even more parents to become leaders, which builds capacity. The San Antonio PIRC broadened the Commonwealth Institute for Parent Leadership model to cover four different types of parent involvement: parents as teachers of their own children, parents as resources to the school, parents as decision makers, and parents as leaders and trainers. The goal is to help parents see the variety of ways they can participate in the classroom and elsewhere at school. IDRA is also one of the only PIRCs that currently offers bilingual leadership training, but does not offer programs in Spanish and English separately in an attempt to bring people together.

Schools are no longer the only stakeholders in our children’s education. The efforts of PIRCs and other parent involvement organizations are helping to increase student achievement as they all work together to ensure success for every child.


Harvard Family Research Project

Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence

Southwest Educational Development Laboratory

Note: Readers should judge for themselves the merits of the practices implemented in the schools or programs profiled in the Education Innovator. The descriptions of schools or programs and their methodologies do not constitute an endorsement of specific practices or products by the U.S. Department of Education.

1 Henderson, A. and Mapp, K. 2002. A New Wave of Evidence: The Impact of School, Parent and Community Connections on Student Achievement , p. 7. Austin, Tex.: Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.

Something to Consider

Writing on Chalkboards Fading?

Officials Push for SMART Devices in All Classes by 2010

By Delphine Schrank
Washington Post Staff Write
Thursday, August 30, 2007; LZ01

With the continuing rollout of interactive electronic whiteboards in schools across Loudoun County, the digital age is spreading its wings and the ancient world of the chalkboard is crumbling like, well, a stick of chalk.

The SMART Boards look much like their unplugged whiteboard counterparts, but they have a touch-sensitive display connected to a computer and a projector.

Loudoun school officials have set a goal of putting a SMART Board in every classroom by 2010, and each Loudoun school already has at least a handful of them -- one of the reasons the school system was honored by the National School Boards Association last year for its efforts to use new technology to enhance student achievement.

For Elizabeth "Betty" Korte, head of mathematics at Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, the boards are nothing less than the dawn of the future. Korte's department was one of the first in the county to use them. Two years ago, she purchased several with a stipend she earned from a teaching award and matching funds from her husband's employer. The boards were $1,400 apiece at the time, Korte said.

In the past two years, the technology has improved and prices have dropped by about half, said Michael Williams, principal of Sterling Middle School, which also started using the boards two years ago and now has them in 13 classrooms. "It's a very valuable thing," Williams said.

Korte said the possibilities for instruction are endless. "In my mind, the boards let me turn the math classroom into a lab. I can introduce things like color, detailed diagrams, animated Java applets that change before the kids' eyes."

Other teachers agreed that one of the board's chief benefits is providing visual tools to illustrate the abstract, making concepts seem more real.

Probability can be demonstrated with a throw of dice. Graph lines can tantalize with a line of stars instead of points. And with different software, "you can be a million different colors," Korte said. "All kinds of crazy things."

Because the boards digitally record notes scrawled across them with a finger, they can be recalled a day later if lessons end too soon, Williams added.

Korte said she typically posts notes onto her Web site so that struggling students can relive a class in full, and students with heavy loads from other classes can catch up later.

After Korte purchased the first set of SMART Boards, the other math teachers in her department -- as well as three special education teachers -- soon caught on, she said, and their use "just mushroomed."

But Williams cautions that the extent of a student's engagement depends somewhat on the teacher's versatility with the board, which can vary based on experience with the technology. Teachers typically get a day and a half of training, Williams said.

In short, not everyone is quite the "virtuoso," a word used by Loudoun schools spokesman Wayde B. Byard to describe Korte.

"I pretty much use the SMART Board and its associated software as the center of my lesson," Korte said. "It's not just a pretty show-and-tell. The more of that we do, the better off we'll be."

Moreover, for the students, she said, "they are so used to technology and all the bells and whistles that this just fits into their world." The software gizmos "absolutely" grab their attention, and every day, she said, is a new adventure.

And what of the time-tested technique of grabbing the attention of unruly students with the screeching of nail on chalkboard? Has Korte any nostalgia for the chalkboard?

"Me?" she said. "Nooooo."