Archive | August 2013

New Adventures

Allow me to explain. This blog will address my experience during a year of service at the city school district in Rochester, New York. While I am nervous about a lot of things (for example, I won’t know what I’m doing at the schools for at least a few more weeks), I’m excited to learn more about my beautiful city, to meet new people, and to gain a better understanding of mechanisms of inequality in “low-performing” schools.

This brings me to the sociological aspects of this blog. After an incredible experience with the discipline at my Alma mater, I’m excited and terrified to say that I’m applying to graduate programs in sociology for next fall. I’m probably going to keep the grad school stuff to a minimum here, due in equal parts to pride and anxiety, but I hope to use this space as a means of exploring sociological concepts as they apply to my experience at the Rochester City School District (henceforth referred to as RCSD). This isn’t to say that my experience and my thoughts about the subject will be sociologically sound; I suspect much of it will be subjective  and pseudo-scientific. I’m hoping that this will be a collaboratively educational experience, so if you’re reading this (Hi!), I hope you’ll comment and discuss things with me as the year goes on. (This will also discourage me from letting this web address expire like a beached whale on the shore of failed blogs.)

Lastly, as a twenty-one-year-old human in suburban America, I’m doing a lot of exploring, in general, so this blog will probably also address the peculiarity of phenomena such as counterfeit adulthood, living with one’s parents, binge-watching television (but not on a TV), and other sundries.

To start us off, here’s an article about the pilot program currently underway at RCSD, which comes from the Ford Foundation and the Boston-based National Center on Time and Learning:  

http://online.wsj.com/article/APe977340f867b4deeb79124e8b5c10fe0.html

I don’t know about you guys, but one of the things that most jumps out at me about this article is the argument that progress can be mapped using local and state assessments. I only got a B+ in my education class sophomore year, but even I know that state testing can only tell us so much about the actual learning process, and that these measures often inhibit curriculum by redirecting time and energy to “teaching the test.” I’m skeptical that New York’s testing will be able to adequately measure that changes that the TIME initiative will have in Rochester. However, I think it’s pretty cool that our local, city school district is willing to take drastic measures to address the frustratingly-low graduation rate. Many of my family members are educators, so I am entering this year with a fair amount of bias and opinion, but I hope my hands-on experience will be… educational. Alright, that’s enough for today.

– Chelsea

p.s.

Not really sure how much of this information I am legally allowed to disclose, so this may become censored as time goes on. I read through my contract and it didn’t come up, but that contract may have been written before a time when any yahoo could get a free WordPress web address. As with everything else, I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.

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