|Posted by Children First Foundation USA on April 10, 2012 at 12:10 AM|
On April 26, 2010, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho made an appearance at Barnes and Noble (Kendall Location) to address concerns and talk to parents, teachers, and students in the community. During his appearance, Superintendent Carvalho addressed many important issues and also addressed specific concerns from those in the audience, including Directors from Children First Foundation USA.
In this blogpost we will try to summarize the discussions we had with the Superintendent. Miami Dade County Public Schools is the 4th Largest District in the Nation and during his 16 month term as Superintendent MDCPS has had to run a 5 billion dollar budget on 4 million dollars. Mr. Carvalho stressed the importance of acquiring Race to the Top grant funds from the Federal government.
On Students in General
Mr. Carvalho stated that we must consider the children's environment and emphasize Respect, Restraint, and Responsibility as well as have less concern for teaching to test and work on maintaining Physical education, Art, Music, and Gifted programs in our schools. He also mentioned that children learn at different rates and have different styles of learning. We could not agree more! For children with disabilities we should have the least possible restrictive environment.
On Parents as Clients & Needing Parents to Help Out
As parents we need to contact our legislators and voice our concerns regarding excessive accountability standards being imposed on our children. There is disregard for the different ways children learn in this black and white system of scoring students. During this discussion, Director, Julia Figuerola discussed her concerns as a parent. She discussed how her daughter being a bright child was being discouraged from learning at a 2nd grade level and from this young age due to the impositions of teaching to test and disregarding the child as an individual.
On School Funding
It is about priorities. The Florida Constitution states that Public Education is a right to all and we must exercise this right! As a state we need to keep our priorities in check. Mr. Carvalho pointed out that the state spends about $36,000 per State prisoner, but only about $6,000 per Student!!!
As property values decrease it is obvious that funding to the schools has decreased as well since a great portion of our property taxes are allocated for school funding. So this brought me to ask the following question....What other sources of funding are being considered? In a nutshell the answer from Mr. Carvalho was that he would not want to impose additional taxes for school funding. There are some grants being received for additional funding.
We say that the school board should get creative and look to the business community for funding by implementation of creative theme based educational programs. How, where, and how? We have many ideas, but we must move one step at a time!
In his own words, we need an "Awakening of Populist Common Sense."
Parents, stay informed! Stay up to date with all the developments happening with regards to your children's education.
“A passive and ignorant citizenry will never create a sustainable world.” -Andrew Gaines
Pictured from Left to Right - Julia Figuerola, Past Director of Children First Foundation USA, Alberto Carvalho, SuperIntendent of Miami Dade County Public Schools, and Maria Santi, Executive Director of Children First Foundation USA