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April 23, 2012

TIME MAGAZINE NAMES CAMI ANDERSON TO TOP 100 BUT HERE IS IMPORTANT INFO

By Profesor Martin Danenberg "El Quijote del GED"
I could have helped Newark with GED, parent involvement in the Title 1 programs, English language acquisition, acquisition of Spanish and other romance languages, and global job preparedness since last year. I have not been able to help and I feel blocked by the administration. What has Cami Anderson done about these important things? I gave lots of ideas to the reentry program of the city of Newark and still no news from the mayor's office. One of those ideas was to put the children of the formerly incarcerated men and women on the road to college to affect the hearts and minds of those who have been released from prison.
Here is something powerful that I wrote back in 2007 after collaborating with Tom Suozzi that could help Newark, especially since the completion rate for college among African-Americans and Hispanics is under 20 percent as a group and this prevents close to eighty percent from realizing the American Dream. The team of people at Excelencia in Education can learn from this to help Hispanics all over our nation, but let us take a look at Newark, New Jersey.
I also had the chance to explain the option that Tom Suozzi wrote in his run for Governor of New York. We could hire college students at $25 an hour to teach GED my way across New York State. I am sure that I could compete with the DOE and BOCES and save the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars, but we would have to increase that state funding to $8-10 million so people could take the test for free all over the state. The savings to the taxpayer in New York could be in the billions in social service costs since the estimate nationally is about $46 billion and New York State probably could absorb about ten percent based on GED figures.

Haven't we learned that educators must innovate? What does this mean? To me it means that people heading up school districts and educational departments must draw from a background of rich ideas and experience to transform communities. The White House has identified 5,000 schools that need improvement. Are any of them in Newark New Jersey? I would think so. What do I mean by community improvement? Parents and children need to be empowered. Let us look at Newark more closely.

Adults need jobs. Are there sufficient jobs? Does that mean only sufficient jobs created by small business and the elected officials? What about the thousands of adults that must be able to commute to work? Factor in the unemployment in a place like Newark and you can see something has gone wrong for decades. Has this greatly improved under Mayor Cory Booker? Tell me! Keep in mind that poverty is the thing that state administrators are looking at in determining what things are being done to address the educational gap.

Here is what has gone wrong in Newark this year. The GED figures cannot be very good in proportion to the need. One of the GED testing sites has not performed as well as anticipated. Who cares? I do and the people should. Obviously the site has not performed well could easily have found another seventy people to take the GED, but it either did not try or it does not know how. That is where a "Superman" is needed to take things into his own hands because the entire city has stood around and done nothing. The testing site could have been filled to capacity or it could have tested the anticipated number of people. What is going on in Casa Don Pedro and the other sites? We could find out. What is really amazing to me is that the current superintendent of schools was superintendent of the GED programs in New York City. When Cami Anderson gave testimony years ago in City Hall about the GED, I was there watching and taking notes. My conclusion was that she was not well prepared to help the GED population of the city. I said to myself that her best information was coming from the minds of others and that was not good at all. The GED figures revealed in the report of the mayor's own agency, the Department of Youth and Community Development showed an increase of only about 200 diplomas from one year to the next. This number was nothing transformational.

What has been particularly disturbing since September 2011 is that a person who achieved part of her fame and recognition in GED has not mobilized the community toward taking the GED. The Spanish GED may be eliminated in New Jersey in 2014 if New Jersey chooses not to continue GED testing. This in itself is harmful to the interests of the fastest growing community in Newark. Cami Anderson's fame has just gotten larger because of Time Magazine. I cannot put Time out of business for what it has done, but maybe reason will prevail as I write, explain, and attempt to convince people that there are much better answers for urban development than have been attempted by others. Also if I may continue, the rhetoric of Joel Klein was creating world class schools. I think he meant the building and not the education inside the building. We should investigate the success of the students who left the alternative schools of New York City and there are ways to determine how well they achieved like college placement exams. I think that if we compare the results in Newark prior to the coming of Cami Anderson to results of those schools in alternative education, you would see a great similarity in success. Keep in mind that Newark's own website indicates that almost 100 percent of its graduates need remediation upon entering Essex Community College and I would expect the results to be the same among similar students in New York City. Enough has been said at this time about the "world class" schools. Joel Klein and Mayor Bloomberg have had tremendous failures revealed but they continue to boast about the great success of the students. They effectively mix up the great achievements of some minorities with the success of other minorities. This is typical stuff from elected officials and their cohorts and it exists everywhere. The New York Times has not gotten things right about the GED, Time Magazine is way off in its article, and it is about Time for real change that can be produced by people who do not have the power just yet.

I was excited about Cory Booker's speech at the Thinking Outside the Cell Symposium, but if he has not mobilized the people in his reentry program toward the GED since I met him on the streets of Newark last year, then he has failed those people who need to be educated and this is disturbing to me. Maybe Cami Anderson and Cory Booker are a perfect match for each other. Maybe they just want to show great percentages for small numbers instead of great numbers. I say that every member of every family in Newark needs a diploma. I am not Superman at all. In fact, I love Robin Hood!

America's Promise and Dropout Prevention Conferences
By Profesor Martin Danenberg “El Quijote del GED” - An important part of my Dropout Prevention plan is providing students who are about to drop out of school (1.2 million nationally approximately and the numbers have been around 20-21,000 in New York City alone each year and that city has between 140,000-200,000 disconnected youth) an educational assessment.

That assessment is the Official Practice Test (GED) which, as an analytical tool, shows us the weaknesses of our youth on the basics they should know. We know that about half of youth in high school are weak on the basics. You can refer to the American Council on Education for more information and see how the real GED test is constructed for the United States. This plan should effectively reduce the dropout rate, help double GED diplomas among adults, and reduce taxes in every state of the United States.
Here are the key points of my plan. - Let us bring each student back to school for this assessment, some instruction, and counseling. Counseling alone is ok, but the assessment and instruction will be much more convincing or much stronger than counseling alone.

Students who easily pass the Official Practice Test and who with their parents consent or without it (if they do not need consent) decide to go take the GED will be prepared with the knowledge to take the GED immediately. The average of age of those who take the GED annually is around 24 years of ago and a huge percentage of people have delayed taking the test for years or decades. This long delay must stop if the United States is going to compete in a global economy effectively and if the American people are really committed to family values associated with education.

Below you will see a simple but critical action that has to be taken in 5,000 schools and neighborhoods across America. With eyes on Cami Anderson and people like her, we can only achieve slight improvements in cities. This plan was sent to almost all of the Dropout Conference of Colin Powell. We can only blame those who have chosen to remain ignorant. I have provided ideas and help because I know that I am an influential educator. I do not need the Times recognition to know that. Hold Governor Christie and his cohorts accountable. There is much more that can be done for Newark and the other cities that are having its problems. Please read the article that I wrote about the GED and Cami Anderson back in November of 2007.

Here is a bonus to this simple plan of action. - This simple plan will spark awareness that parents and other members of communities have a quick way to progress and change their lives through the same assessment. Parents that have never graduated from high school or earned a GED will be shown how simple success can really be through the Official Practice Test. When parents and children are committed to this kind of success, parental involvement in the school should increase, achieving what educators say is often lacking in failing schools.

Economic development of areas that are depressed can take place as more adults in communities get into the educational loop again. Every state has its depressed areas. People who walk those streets need a diploma and the expansion of the Official Practice Test program and its success to everyone will improve neighborhoods and schools. This could be done in all Title 1 schools and with funds that are already in place.

I will be doing a Dropout Prevention Conference on September 15, 2008 in Bay Shore, New York. America’s Promise will be doing 50 or more Dropout Prevention Conferences in major cities across the United States.

Let me share what is probably the best of the statements that I have read about organizing the Dropout Prevention Conferences. In my opinion, the Massachusetts team has come up with a plan that the others states and cities do not have and I believe that Massachusetts is on the right road to success. Its statement speaks for itself and here is that statement.

In conclusion (before you read below), allow me to give you the definition that we have needed about education in a Global Economy. People coming to Mayor Cory Booker, Governor Chris Christie, and others saying thank you for educating me because I got a job in New York. Thank you Mayor Booker. Thank you for educating me because I got a job sixty miles away from my home in New Jersey. Thank you Governor Christie. I got a good job in Santo Domingo, San Salvador, and Guadalajara and guess what? I crossed the border with a coyote, my country did not educate me, but thanks to the American people I earned a diploma and studied hard. Thank you American people. The Dream Act and its supporters have failed to educate millions of Hispanics alone. I have fought for eight years to lead the way and guess what. Everyone is to blame for today's crisis. Thanks to you! That is a global economy definition is New Jersey is part of the global economy. The global economy belongs to the country that educates its people and we know which countries are doing that and which countries are not. Joel Klein has not made a dent in this problem and the Klein-Condoleezza Rice duo is way off the mark. They deserve to be on Time Magazine's Top 100 people in education for being off the mark. You see it is about higher expectations for all people and not just the ones that leaders are addressing, even immigration leaders who have educated a few and not the masses of the people.

Summit Planning Team: More defined team is still to be determined, but will include members of the Cross-Agency Working Group will include representatives from: the Executive Office of Education, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the Executive Office of Public Safety, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development, and the state’s Information Technology Division. In addition, senior staff representatives from the Committee on Public Council Services, the Department of Early Education and Care, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Department of Higher Education and the Department of Education will also be tapped.

I want to thank Massachusetts for this statement. I want to thank some of the people in the others states for their efforts in pushing for expanded GED programs and greater success through the GED for all adults and for recognizing that the problem is a community problem and not just something for the school to battle. Getting our nations youth who do not return to high school a GED can save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars.

An administrators of a future conference told me that an exit interview is a requirement in that state (which I discussed in a meeting with the governor’s assistant and others back in 2002 in the capital of that state) and another administrator told me that the dropout rate is most among minorities (Hispanics entering that state and other states, people who need additional resources to help them and their parents accelerate in their acquisition of English) in order to graduate from high school.

MY PLAN IS REAL DROPOUT PREVENTION FOR THE 1.2 MILLION YOUTH WHO DO DROP OUT OF SCHOOL. WHAT OTHERS CALL DROPOUT PREVENTION IS NOT REALLY DROPOUT PREVENTION AT ALL

I gave this assessment to my thirteen year old nephew years ago and we found and corrected errors that he was making in reading, writing, and math. His parents agreed to the assessment and loved the fact that his errors were corrected. I do not call that dropout prevention. That is simply remediation.

I was informed by one state administrator that America’s Promise supports raising the compulsory education laws, which have been around since 1916 and even the compulsory 18 years of age has not been effective in some states and it probably conflicts with GED regulations in those states. See my article Senator Sabini and Bill S3549 and the GED.

Another concern that I have is that Puerto Rico is not on the list and I wonder if Puerto Rico is being lined up to participate. Puerto Ricans are and have been citizens of the United States and I am sure that Colin Powell knows the great contributions made by Puerto Ricans in fighting for freedom since World War I and that 20,000 Puerto Ricans were drafted during World War I.

IT HAS BEEN REPORTED TO ME THAT SCHOOL CONDENSATION IS CAUSING AN INCREASE IN DROPOUTS AMONG RURAL YOUTH WHO DO NOT WANT TO BE BUSED INTO SCHOOLS FAR FROM HOME. THESE AREAS NEED GED TESTING CENTERS. THE FAILURE TO OPEN GED TESTING SITES IN RURAL AREAS WILL ONLY HOLD PEOPLE BACK FOR ANOTHER DECADE OR MORE AND WE WILL REPEAT THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST. WE MUST TREAT RURAL AREAS AS FAIRLY AS WE TREAT URBAN AND SUBURBAN AREAS OF EACH STATE. WE ARE ALL AMERICANS. PEOPLE WHO ARE PAYING HIGH TAXES OR HIGHER TAXES WANT TO REDUCE THE COST OF PAYING FOR SOCIAL SERVICE PROGRAMS THAT HIT THE POCKET BOOK AND MOBILIZING PEOPLE TO TAKE THE GED IN EVERY STATE WILL REDUCE TAXES FOR DECADES TO COME.

Martin Danenberg
631-348-1341
martin@mygedhotline.com

Profesor Martin Danenberg April 23, 2012 09:35 AM