Goals for this seminar are:
How the Alliance Schools program worked and its effects. Zavala Elementary as an Alliance School went from the bottom to the top in AISD; how it improved and the strange fight over a health clinic. How it was sabotaged by the Legislature!
Two books have revealing research into causes of poor education;
The "digital divide" is significant for education and for future jobs. The recent One Laptop per Child project; see laptop.org and olpc.com.
President Lyndon Johnson spoke about education as essential for our nation.
Money as secondary cause
II. What can we do locally?
Find, evaluate, support community food banks, clothing collection, feeding programs. Is their attitude helping our neighbors or condescending?
Ways we legally rob the poor and elderly. By contrast volunteer groups assist the poor, such as financial specialists helping prepare income tax returns so they receive the EIC they are due.
Members of the Houston Sierra Club created an imaginative way to sensitize children to the effects of poverty around them while enhancing children's creativity.
The Johnson war on poverty was a whole new framework that encouraged and involved those in poverty to decide and plan what they needed. They were in charge, and programs provided support staff to work with them in fighting poverty. Local authorities often sabotaged this and undermined the war on poverty.
Effective tactics to combat poverty:
III. Larger scale weapons to attack poverty
Recent books and articles explore ways people's creative and entrepreneur feelings and principles of economics are used. One example: "mobile money" in African nations uses cell phones as ATMs (The Economist, Sept. 26, 2009, pg 13).
Thoughts for discussion:
Texas had a program for a few years, that I consulted with, in which welfare recipients received orientation by their case manager about the program, then were tested for education level. Most had dropped out in late junior high or early high school, so they received tutoring so they could earn their GED. They received a several week training in social and job work that included assertiveness training, why they must be on time and be responsible, skills for the work world, budgeting, and other skills. Their case manager tested them for skills and talked with them about their interests. Many received training in skills such as nursing. They were then placed in work appropriate to their skills and training. Case managers sought jobs with promotion and training opportunities. Many people in this program were fired from their first job, and case managers in their ongoing work helped them learn why, and how to succeed in their next job. Most remained in their second job for at least several months. Each recipient received child care and Medicaid throughout the program. After a few years Texas and the Feds cancelled the program, because it cost too much, without recognizing the benefits we gain from people working in jobs that have a future as a result of education and training.
Copyright © 2004, 2006 John F. Yeaman