Monday, February 25, 2013
Boston City Councilor Connolly says the student assignment plans for Boston still fall short in several important areas.
On Monday night the External Advisory Committee on Student Assignment is slated to recommend a new assignment model to the Superintendent and School Committee. After nearly a year of work, the models put forth by the district for the EAC's consideration still fall short in a several areas. In October, a coalition of six elected officials put forth the Quality Choice Plan as a comprehensive model that addresses the issue of uneven quality across the city as an integral part of the creation of a new assignment model. Over 7,000 Bostonians signed onto the plan and, as this process comes to a conclusion, their voices must be heard. There are a few key elements that should be included in the final recommendation to the School Committee. A long…
In a tribute to everyday kids and teachers, Amika Kemmler-Ernst takes her camera into Boston's classrooms to make images of kids hard at work.
“A student has to be a valedictorian – or bring a gun to school – in order to be considered newsworthy,” says Amika Kemmler-Ernst. An educator for more than 40 years, she’s talking about our tendency to focus on either the great or the horrible, while paying less attention to everything in between. A teacher of children and a mentor to teachers, Dr. Kemmler-Ernst is now officially retired. But in an ongoing visual ethnography project, she’s been visiting Boston Public Schools (BPS) and taking pictures of normal kids in action, learning at school. It’s a passion she’s indulged in throughout a career teaching in Brookline, Boston, around Africa, and in Italy. Shelved at her Jamaica Plain home, bulging albums hold photos of kids at work, …
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Unfortunately, equity access to seats in quality schools will not fix the underlying issue which is that there are few quality schools overall.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Injured but looking for a road back to wellness? Yoga's benefits are plentiful. Check out how to use this healing practice to manage pain, build strength and flexibility.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been approached or have had conversations with people in class about how to best get started back with yoga after an injury. This also applies to starting yoga for the first time after an injury. I thought this would make a good topic for my next column. Maybe you’re reading this and like one of the people I spoke with, you’re afraid you’ll get hurt again. Maybe you have a memory of how fit you once were and now, faced with your injured body, you’re frustrated and feel there is no way you’ll be able to taste that feeling of strength and flexibility again. Maybe you have “good days” and “bad days” and have just given up on the idea of doing anything physical. The good news is yoga is the perfect exercise to do …
Monday, February 11, 2013
On the Food Network: When you’ve never had the smell of farm animals in your nostrils, a show about ranch life counts as entertainment.
My children’s new TV heroine is a redheaded, knife-wielding, 43-year-old mom. On the Food Network, she cooks, takes pictures, and keeps house for her cowboy husband and their four children. You may know her as the Pioneer Woman. For grown-ups, hers is a dreamy romantic tale. Oklahoma-born Ree Drummond lived the big-city life in L.A. as a young woman before returning to her roots, falling in love, and becoming a rancher’s wife. One day in 2006 she started a blog. Her story has since spawned cookbooks, children’s picture books about her basset hound, a memoir, a movie in the works, and a new season for her TV series. For my urban kids, the Drummond family passes for exotic. My kids dodge four-wheeled vehicles; Ms. Drummond’s kids wrangle …
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Do you agree with the governor's decision or was it too drastic?
All non-emergency drivers were ordered off the roads on Friday when Gov. Deval Patrick issued an executive order banning travel during the blizzard. (Editor's note: The ban is lifted statewide as of 4 p.m. Saturday.) Patrick's executive order is being praised by some and bashed by others, reported The Boston Globe. While former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis, who was in charge of the commonwealth during the Blizzard of ’78, praised the governor’s move, others called the order “tyrannical” and say the strict ban and hefty fines were too much, according to The Globe. Those caught violating the ban would face up to a year in jail and a $500 fine. What do you think? Do you agree with the governor’s decision or do you think the travel ban …
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Feeling like your healthy goals for the New Year have slipped away? Here are tips designed to get back on track.
Around this time of year, people start re-evaluating their New Year’s Resolutions. They either are still on track and feeling great or they’ve lost their resolve and are feeling frustrated and defeated. One of the common goals set at the beginning of the year is around weight loss. As a yoga teacher, I get questions about yoga’s effectiveness for weight loss. People want to know how many calories they’ll burn, is hot yoga more effective for weight loss than unheated yoga or how many times per week do you need to do yoga to lose weight. I usually say something like this: “Yoga, done regularly can be an effective tool for managing your weight. If you can get to a studio class three times per week and supplement that with 20 to 30 minutes at…
Friday, January 25, 2013
This school year, Boston began providing free breakfast for all students, sometimes right in the classroom. Not starting the day hungry is just the first benefit.
Stray whole-grain muffin crumbs are no match for the teachers at the Curley K-8 School in Jamaica Plain. Dustbusters in hand, they cope with the aftermath of the breakfast that’s served in their classrooms every day. The Universal Free Breakfast program began district-wide in Boston in September, and the Curley’s staff is just one group of adults who’ve converted to the idea of mixing yogurt with notebooks in the morning, to benefit students beyond having full tummies. Improvements in behavior, diet, and achievement have all been tracked in more than 15 years of research on learning and eating, especially the eating of breakfast. At first, teachers and custodians were understandably leery of bringing food into the classrooms, says Curley …
Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Share your comments on Wednesday's snarly commute.
On the coldest morning of the season so far, hundreds of Boston commuters were forced to wait outside for bus shuttles after two separate issues closed down portions of both the Green and Red MBTA lines. Service had resumed by 11 a.m. on Wednesday, soon enough for the afternoon commuters, but not soon enough for those traveling in the morning. So Patch wants to know: Were you left out in the cold this morning? How did the breakdowns affect your morning commute? What did you see, what was the mood (we can guess) and what alternate plans did you take? What do you think the MBTA should have done differently? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Forget about the same old goals around dieting and exercise. Take on a few of these and shake things up!
It’s the start of the New Year and with it, it’s time to set some resolutions. Perhaps you prefer to skip setting resolutions or don’t believe in them. I get it; who needs that kind of pressure? The truth is, you can set resolutions, goals, intentions or whatever you want to call them any time of year. It just seems to make sense to start something new at the beginning of something; whether it’s a day, a week a month or a new year. Face it; we like to feel like we’re gaining momentum and it’s easier to feel the momentum at the beginning of the year because we have the whole year ahead to look for in terms of results. Resolutions can touch on many different aspects of your life; career, relationships, finances or your health, for instance. …