Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Arts Education Online Conversation

National Conversation on Arts Education

The Arts Education Partnership (AEP) is offering a one-week virtual conversation on arts education in the United States, Monday, December 1-Friday, December 5, 2008. Join leaders in the arts and education for a discussion on the state of arts education. This virtual conversation will be held with 15 leaders in arts and education on ArtsJournal.com (http://www.artsjournal.com/artsed ).

From a recent announcement:

Participants include: Participants include:
Sam Hope, executive director, The National Office for Arts Accreditation (NOAA); Jack Lew, Global University Relations Manager for Art Talent at EA; Laura Zakaras, RAND; James Cuno, Director, Art Institute of Chicago; Richard Kessler, Executive Director, Center for Arts Education; Eric Booth, Actor; Midori, Violinist; Bau Graves, Executive director, Old Town School of Folk Music; Kiff Gallagher, Music Nation Service Initiative Founder; Bennett Reimer, Founder of the Center for the Study of Education and the Musical Experience, author of A Philosophy of Music Education; Edward Pauly, the director of research and evaluation at the Wallace Foundation; Moy Eng, Program Director of the Performing Arts Program at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; John Rockwell, critic; and Susan Sclafani, Managing Director, Chartwell Education Group. A video by director Peter Sellars will also be featured.

The topic will be:

A Debate on Arts Education
Will our culture suffer if we don’t do more to teach the arts?
December 1-5, 2008
For decades, as teaching of the arts has been cut back in our public schools, alarms have been raised about the dire consequences for American culture. Artists and arts organizations stepped in to try to take up some of the slack. Foundations funded programs to take art into the schools. But producers of art aren't primarily in the education business. Schools increasingly focused on meeting basic skills benchmarks have less and less time to make room for study of the arts. And technology has spawned a vast, crowded, and alluring marketplace of creativity competing for attention. New research sponsored by the Wallace Foundation suggests that a generation of Americans has not developed the knowledge or skills to engage with our cultural heritage. Without that engagement, the arts as we know them are unsustainable over the long run. Can anything be done?

Georgia Educators & Students Highlighted

Georgia Graduation Stories on the Road

This Fall, the Georgia Graduation Stories blog hit the road to report on statewide conferences and events that highlighted Georgia students and educators. These conferences and events are annual happenings that offer a rich source of resource materials and networking opportunities for educators. Three events are highlighted below. Look for more detail and pictures in upcoming blog posts.

GPEE's 16th Annual Bus Trip Across Georgia
The theme this year was "Strengthening the Pipeline to Graduation". There were 8 stops on the North trip (October 28-30) and 6 stops on the South trip (November 18-20). Each stop is a visit to a school, community program or institution of higher learning that demonstrates good things in student learning that can benefit others in Georgia. Programs selected to participate as a stop on the Bus Trip are recognized for their achievement and the hard work and success of their students and education team. Educators and community leaders riding on the Bus Trip share in the acknowledgement of each school's success and share these best practices with their own learning community.

Visit the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education website for more information and to view video tapes of previous Bus Trips.

DeVry University sponsored Young Women in Science and Technology (YWIST) as a service program for Georgia high schools. The goals of the program are to encourage and reinforce young women's interest in careers involving science and technology and to increase the number of young women pursing these careers. Over 400 high school juniors and seniors from all over Georgia along with their parents, teachers and guidance counselors had a day to explore career options, to be motivated by a panel of outstanding women professionals and to celebrate dreams for the future. The November 13th event was offered at no charge to the participants.

Visit the DeVry website to learn more about the University along with the YWIST program and sponsors.

The 20th Annual National Dropout Prevention Network Conference was held in Atlanta on November 16-19, 2008. Georgia educators were prominent as presenters and in the planning and implementation of the conference. The conference theme "Carrying the Torch of Dreams...Every Student Graduates" was appropriate in a setting where Georgia's Graduation Coach program was the focus of much interest, and the Coaches were the largest single group within the 1,200 educators and administrators attending the conference. Keynote speakers included Dr. Molly Howard (Jefferson County), 2007 National Principal of the Year; Kathy Cox, State Superintendent of Schools and Governor Sunny Perdue.
Georgia Public Broadcasting presented a conference session on the Georgia Graduation Stories blog.

Visit the National Dropout Prevention Network website to learn more about the organization and the conference. You can also find out more about the monthly webcasts on Dropout Prevention. You can also link to these announcements through the Georgia Graduation Stories blog. Look for the Dropout Prevention label on the list of current blog posts. link to organization and reminder of monthly webcasts - notices listed in this blog under label/tag of dropout prevention.

Look for Georgia Public Broadcasting and the Georgia Graduation Stories blog at the 2008 Georgia School Public Relations Association Annual Conference (GSPRA), December 7-9.

More Free Grant Writing Workshops for Educators


Free Grant Writing Workshops

Available in November and December

The Foundation Center, a regional library located in Atlanta, GA, offers excellent training. Many basic classes are free. Some of these classes also are available in Spanish.

Online training is also available.

Webinars, again, many are free, are available for those who cannot get to the Foundation Center.

Multiple languages, too! A Proposal Writing Short Course describes how to prepare a funding proposal, including the planning, research, and cultivation of foundation and corporate donors. (Available in English, French, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.)

For other training opportunities, ask your congressional representatives (House and Senate) to put you on the mailing list whenever grant writing training is offered in Georgia, especially in your area. This training is almost always free, and it is always helpful, but registration is required and seats are usually limited.

Also, be sure to check out Foundations for the Future (F3). Subscribe (free) to the F3 Funding Forecast.

Sandy Spruill is the GPB Grants Administrator and Member, American Association of Grants Professionals. The current post was written in response to a Georgia Graduation Stories reader's question.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Webcast: Middle College High School: A Meaningful Option

Middle College High School:
A Meaningful Option
presented by
Dr. Terry B. Grier
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
3:30-4:30 p.m. Eastern Time

*Learn about the history and purpose of the middle college high school concept.

*Find out about the important components of middle college high schools.

*Learn more about the process of implementing this particular kind of alternative school.

Middle college high schools are small high schools for students with academic potential who are not succeeding in traditional high schools or who have already dropped out. These students , located on college campuses, limit enrollment to 140 students or less, and operate on a different structure, location, and schedule. The challenges in this innovative idea will be shred, and implementation strategies will be discussed.

Dr. Terry Grier is Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District. Prior to this position, Dr. Grier was Superintendent of Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, North Carolina., where he introduced middle college high schools and implemented them on six different college campuses there. He has published over 45 articles in educational journals, presented at numerous educational conferences, and consulted nationally and internationally. Among his accomplishements include receiving the American Association of School Administrators' Effie H. Jones Award for his support of women and minorities in education.

Supplementary materials are now available online. All necessary information about participating fully in this professional development opportunity is found on the website. For further questions, contact the National Dropout Prevention Center or call 864.656.2580.

Participation in this webcast is free and no registration is required. The program will be archived in its entirety on the website. On the day of the webcast, link to the broadcast. If you have trouble with the link, copy and paste the entire address listed below into your web browser:


Friday, November 14, 2008

Story from Stockbridge Middle School


First of all, this is truly the best job in the world, and I work with some of the most articulate young people I’ve ever met. Last year was the first year that Graduation Coaches were in the Middle School. Here at Stockbridge Middle, we began the Liberty Club in October 2007; it was formed for those students who needed extra care and needed to focus on behavior, academics, and/or attendance.

We are called the Liberty Club because of something I heard while visiting the Statue of Liberty in New York. This enthusiastic guide from Tennessee told us this story: When the French designer wanted to make a gift to the United States, he wanted to find a symbol of freedom. While searching, he found a saying in mythology which he thought was appropriate. Liberte said it and it went like this, “I can control myself so no one else has to.” To the designer of the Statue of Liberty, these were the words of freedom and Liberte holding the torch was the perfect symbol of freedom. He designed the Statue of Liberty and made a gift of it to the people of the U.S. for the 100th anniversary of the founding of our country.

In the SMS Liberty Club, we’ve adopted Liberte’s motto, and the students know and recite it. They fill out membership forms which are signed by the student and his or her parents. There are about 50 students in the Liberty Club now but I see our numbers growing. This is a work-in-progress; however, we see improvements. As in anything, we are asking students to change behavior and some days it does feel like two steps forward and four back. As a Graduation Coach we model those words “Never give Up.” I wanted to share with you one of the things I’m doing in my school. My hope is that we will always have Graduation Coaches in our schools.

Thank you to Ronda Bowe Kustick, Middle School Graduation Coach at Stockbridge Middle School for submitting this article to the Georgia Graduation Stories blog.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Georgia Work Ready Certificate

Did you know you can get certified “Work Ready” – and it’s Free!


Job seekers of all ages, what can you do with what you know? How “trainable” are you? Hundreds of employers across Georgia want to know, and if you take the four Georgia Work Ready Certificate Assessments, you will find out!

This valuable credential not only shows your skill level (Bronze, Silver, Gold, or Platinum), but actually explains what you can do on the job with the skills you have. What a great supplement to your education and previous work experience!

Check out sample assessment questions in the areas of Applied Mathematics, Locating Information, and Reading for Information. Read about the Talent Assessment. When you are ready to earn your certificate, contact your local Technical College. Check out assessment schedules and locations.

Thank you to Kary Gilkeson, Director, Georgia Work Ready/Workforce Training Manager at Chattahoochee Technical College for providing this information on Georgia's Work Ready Initiative. The initiative, a program of the Governor's Office of Workforce Development, provides assessment, certificate and skills gap training for job seekers and Work Ready Certificates to profile job tasks and skills for potential employers.