Today’s Kids Speak submission is a drawing from Caylie Bleyl, a fifth grader at Broadalbin Perth Intermediate School. Caylie illustrates and talks about her love of Odyssey of the Mind, and how she would feel if it were taken away because of budget cuts.
As we did last year, we’re going to get all David Letterman on you and present our:
TOP 10 REASONS TO VOTE (plus one bonus reason)
10. It’s a great opportunity to teach your children about civic responsibility, AND a good chance to practice for November.
9. So you can cancel out someone else’s vote. Whether it’s your spouse, your boss or that buddy you refuse to talk politics with, you probably know someone else who is going to vote the opposite of you — but you can even the score in the voting booth.
8. Because if you vote and a friend or neighbor doesn’t, you can tease him or her about it forever.
7. Because Election Day is the one day each year when every resident is equal. Your vote has the same impact as anyone else’s.
6. Because elections are often decided by only a few votes.
5. Because we will live with the consequences. Whether you agree with the decisions made by your district’s Board of Education in the final budget or not will be moot if you don’t exercise your right to vote.
4. Because they are our children and our future. The people we elect, the budget we accept or reject: these will both have far-reaching impacts. Be sure your opinion counts by voting.
3. Because in the case of low voter turnout, a minority of the residents can determine an entire district’s future.
2. Because you’ll be really steamed if you forget to vote, then wake up Wednesday morning to find the result isn’t what you wanted.
1. So YOU can decide. Why let other people decide what is best for you when you have a voice? Your vote is your voice. Don’t silence it…vote!
And our BONUS reason to vote: “I VOTED” makes a great Facebook status or Tweet!
Today’s Kids Speak submission is a student-produced video from Queensbury High School sophomore Andrew Grander. Andrew and some of his fellow classmates talk about the effects budget cuts will have on their futures.
Today we’re talking about why everyone should make it a priority to get to the polls and cast their ballot tomorrow.
First of all, are you planning to vote tomorrow? take our poll and let us know!
Voter turn-out for school budget votes has historically been extremely low, unless there is a hotly contested school board election or some other form of drama surrounding the school’s budget that year. We think this is a real shame. People often complain about the high taxes we pay here in New York, but then they neglect the opportunity to get involved in the budget process of the one taxing entity that they have a say in.
Many schools have a proven track record of making a concerted effort to involve the community in their budget process. And every district in the state is required by law to hold a public hearing on the budget in the weeks before the vote. Opportunities are there for everyone to get involved in what is happening in their local school district, even if their only action is to head to the polls tomorrow and pull a lever.
If we’ve convinced you to vote, go Google your school district and do some research. Find out what time the polls are open and read up on what the district is proposing. How will it impact kids and your community?
However you vote, we thank you.
Today’s Kids Speak submission is a student essay from eighth grader A.J. Mazzone of Lisha Kill Middle School in the South Colonie Central School District, addressing the importance of teachers in the classroom and why their positions shouldn’t be cut.
The Public Education System in New York state has been hurting and is threatening the jobs of many teachers. I believe that their jobs should be kept because their presence is crucial for the students to receive a good education. Without these teachers, many students will not reach their full potential.
In order for students to excel in school, they need to start with a solid foundation of learning techniques that can be provided by English language arts. Without the course, students will not be able to learn other subjects that involve reading and writing. All subjects involve reading and writing, even math.
In my experience, learning to read and write in school by amazing English teachers gave me the confidence to excel, and it prepared me for life. Most recently we had the “Living Museum” at Lisha Kill Middle School. This project involved researching a historical person. That evening we had to dress like them, as well as speak and act like them. This was so exciting for all of the kids. It encouraged us to work hard and taught us that we could accomplish anything if we do our best. This was an unforgettable and a rewarding moment for us. This was our English teacher’s, Mrs. Lafex, last Living Museum because she will not have a job next year. She does not deserve to be laid off. She is one of the best English teachers in South Colonie. She is very dedicated to her job and puts all of her students first. She is a great motivator and an overall outstanding English teacher and person.
At the High School there are many new items such as a three dimensional printer, and new computers for technology rooms that could be put towards paying teachers’ salaries. Education is about the students. Students can not get a good education without exceptional teachers.
Governor Cuomo should focus on helping our public schools, not hurting them. New York state is cutting many programs in our school system. Amazing teachers are losing their jobs, plus sports programs and AP classes are being cut. As students, we can not get into good colleges without them. The focus should be on the students of today, because we will be the leaders of tomorrow. We must make a change about how public schools are run. We must all speak up and be heard.
Welcome to Kids Speak Week here on Education Speaks!
With the attention of the media being placed solely on matters such as the property tax cap, school budgets and teacher evaluations, our editorial board was worried that one aspect of education continued to go unmentioned — the students. And after all, education is and will always be about the kids.
So throughout the next week, we’re letting students from around NYS take over Ed Speaks and talk about why education is important to them. We received numerous submissions over the last month in the form of poems, pictures, videos and essays.
Please be aware that we have edited the posts, simply for spelling and grammar issues. In no way have we changed the substantive content of the originally submitted piece.
We kick off Kids Speak Week with a video created by Queensbury High School sophomore Courtney Dudla.
Many of the people who took part in the Twitter chat spoke up with concerns over how and when assessments are taking place, opting-out of the exams, the length of the exams, as well as whether or not Pearson, which has a has a five-year, $32 million contract with the Education Department should be writing the exams. Here are a few excerpts from the chat. For the full tweet-chat transcript, visit twitter.com and search #13statetesting.
What are your thoughts on this year’s state ELA and Math exams? #13statetesting?
WNYT anchor Elaine Houston will be hosting a Twitter chat today at 1:30 p.m. on standardized tests. You can follow her and the conversation at twitter.com/eyeshootmovies (@eyeshootmovies), #13statetesting.
We’ll grab screenshots of the conversation and have a recap of the Twitter chat up on the blog tomorrow.