Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Official Welcome to Just Education

Dear Reader,

Hi and welcome to our humble little blogspot! Two days ago, this was just a little pipe dream the DC Reads Coordinators thought up. Now, thanks to a blogger.com tutorial, a 30-day trial of Photoshop, and a pot of coffee, that pipe dream is now a reality. The first two posts lay out why we think the DC Reads Advocacy Committee and this blog are important; we feel confident that the ensuing days and posts will prove their worth. In fact, thanks to our enthusiastic committee, we even have a bunch of great posts just waiting to be posted. (Yay, team!) I hope that this blog can become a resource for you—something to check out for videos, links, articles, and commentary about pressing issues in the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) System. If you are interested at all in contributing to our blog or getting involved in the DC Reads Advocacy Committee, please contact us at dcreads.advocacy@gmail.com.

Happy DC READs-ing!


Hannah Klusendorf
Georgetown University COL ‘12
DC Reads Coordinator

Monday, March 22, 2010

Educating America in the New Decade

By: Jonathon Munoz

The new decade finds America traveling on the long road of economic recovery. It is hard not to ignore the immediate effects of such a crisis. For example, as of Dec. 2009, 15.3 million Americans were unemployed with an unemployment rate of 10%[1]. At the beginning of the recession in December 2007 the unemployment rate was 0.5% with 7.7 unemployed Americans. It is important to mitigate the immediate negative effects of the crisis for obvious reasons, but there is a big difference between the semblance of economic stability and the real thing. With so much money being poured into the economy to promote stability and increase consumer confidence it is easy to focus on the symptoms of the crisis while ignoring its causes.

The current crisis gives us a unique opportunity to fundamentally change the way the country learns. If fiscal responsibility is truly a long-term goal for America, it must invest in education. We must create educational policies that foster innovation while promoting accountability, both on the part of local and state officials. A study by the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northwestern University recently reported that students who dropped out of high school were 63 times more likely to be in prison than students with a four-year college degree. Also, “on average, each high school dropout now costs taxpayers more than $292,000 in lower tax revenues, higher cash and in-kind transfer costs, and incarceration costs relative to the average high school graduate.”

Mission Statement of D.C. Reads Advocacy Committee

By: Jonathon Munoz

As students of Georgetown University we find ourselves in a unique situation. Not only do we each bring with us a particular set of conceptual tools and personal skill sets with which to assess and solve problems, but as students in D.C. we also have an opportunity to use our individual resources to advance social justice issues both locally and nationally.

Our focus on educational issues does not only stem from its inextricable relation to the social sphere as a whole, but we choose to focus on it because it is a process with which all have intimate and familiar knowledge. Bringing with us varying personal perspectives formed in different local educational contexts, we have the ability to have a very diverse dialogue with others. It is this dialogue that is the kernel of social justice, and it is the extension of this dialogue that is the raison d’etre of this advocacy committee.