January 31, 2006
When I was a child we called osage oranges "monkey brains" and regularly dissected the green-skinned, purple-hearted fruits. Despite the thorns, we also climbed the 50 foot trees in our back yard.
The NAACP has entered the battle over NCLB, asking that the case filed by the state of Connecticut against the Bush legislation be dismissed because it wastes state resources that could be redirected towards education.
The National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty published a report in January, 2006, on trends in policies regarding homelessness.
January 25, 2006
Surprise! San Francisco's youth population continues to decline and there appears to be a link to the quality of the city's schools. The Chronicle ran an article linking middle class flight to the suburbs to school quality in San Francisco. Some parents blamed the school lottery system mandated by the Consent Decree that sought to create more integrated schools, but recently expired - parents do not want to be forced to send their children to a school outside their neighborhood or that they don't like. The article also seeks to reassure middle-class parents that SF schools are a safe and good choice for their students.
Fact: Metropolitan revitalization depends on the return of the middle class to the urban interior.
Fact: Urban neighborhoods are often extremely segregated by class and wealth.
Neighborhood schools continue this segregation, and, now, without the Consent Decree to at least attempt to integrate students by economic and social factors, San Francisco's schools are becoming more and more segregated themselves. How can the middle class be coaxed back or convinced to stay without providing a "separate but equal" parallel school system? Why does the failure of public schools to provide an excellent education for low-income families not receive attention, but the fears of middle class residents sparks instant response?
Asking rhetorical questions doesn't solve much, but reinstating the Consent Decree or similar integrative legislation could certainly break down class barriers across neighborhoods. Then, we'd need "urban school chic" to come into the style lexicon for middle class values... Ha.
An aqueduct on the periphery of Rome
Metropolis is running an article on Italian photographer Olivo Barbieri, an artist who manages to make urban aerials appear like models or animations of cities rather than real places. Thanks to BLDGBLOG and The Map Room for the links...
January 24, 2006
High school students from McClymonds in Oakland and Galileo in SF will be traveling to the Katrina ravaged Gulf Coast to remember, learn about and bring back information on the destruction and rebuilding efforts. The Fnding Our Folk project/tour is a multi-city effort, but a send off for the Oakland representatives is being sponsored by the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Community Works, YELL Project, McClymonds High School, and the Gardner Center.
Wednesday, February 1st, 7-9pm
Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
344 40th Street, Oakland