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Brett McCleary

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.
                       -Mahatma Gandhi


You cried "Keepin it real", yet you should try keepin it right...

                   -De La Soul


It is our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. 

                                 ~Albus Dumbledore


It is easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.

                         ~ Alfred Adler



The 8th Grade Curriculum at Davis is based

on the California State Standards. Topics to

be covered include:

►Events preceding the the founding of the nation.

►Development of American constitutional democracy.

►Political principals of the U.S. Constitution and the ways citizens participate in it.

►The enumerated and implied powers of the federal government.

►Development and ideals of the new nation.

►U.S. foreign policy in the early Republic.

►The divergent paths of Americans in the North, South, and West.

►The early and steady attempts to abolish slavery.

►The ideals of the Declaration of Independence.

►The multiple causes, key events, and complex consequences of the Civil War.

►The character and lasting consequences of Reconstruction.

►The effects of the Industrial Revolution on American social, political, and economic conditions.

Mr. B. McCleary
artwork of B McCleary by Rosie

John Green's Open Letter to Returning Students

Davis Intermediate School
           Room 10
   5035 Edenview Drive
    San Jose, CA 95111

       408-227-0616 x260
       FAX: 408-224-8957

I strongly feel that the most any parent can spend on their child is time. 

I urge you to be an active and involved participant in

your child's education.  To make the process of education work

there needs to be 3 players in this game : the student, the teacher,

and the home.  I welcome any and all communication between

you and myself.  You can reach me at school via phone, voice

mail, or e-mail.  I make myself available to students before school,

during lunch, or after school for help, advice, or just to listen. 

OPINION > A TEACHER'S PERSPECTIVE : Society is failing our schools

It was with deep sadness that I read the newspaper article lamenting the lay-off notices of more than 23,000 California teachers this week. This news is especially troubling coupled with the previous week's announcement of the state governments' listing of the persistently lowest scoring schools and the sanctions they face including firing the principal and half of the staff or closing the school. Our education system is being attacked on all sides. Daily, politicians and radio pundits say our schools are failing kids; the school system is failing; and teachers are failing. And each year our districts must again make drastic, draconian cuts to the school district's budgets. The public buys into the notion that it is the union's fault, that it is the bloated administration's fault, and that we have too much waste in our schools. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As a California public school teacher for 37 years, I can attest to the fact that most teachers devote their lives to their students by spending not only a great deal of personal money on their students, but also by investing hours and hours of personal time above and beyond our seemingly short day. Lesson planning, meetings, staff development opportunities, conferences, grading papers and collaborating with other teachers all take countless hours above and beyond the classroom hours. Most of us take classes, prepare our lessons, research new material and pedagogy (teaching strategies) after school, on weekends and during the summer. Administrators and support personnel also put in countless hours above and beyond the contract requirements. I know of NO administrator that doesn't spend at least 60 hours a week working for the children and families they serve. Our support personnel (secretaries, clerks, custodians, cafeteria workers, librarians, bus drivers) also work through lunch, on weekends and after business hours.

I have had the fortune to work with many amazingly supportive parents in my 34 years in Morgan Hill. I have worked with parents who give of their time and energy to not only their child, but to all the children of this community. These next statements are not meant for them. There is one sector of our population that is never mentioned but needs to take responsibility for children's educational failures. These are the "entitlement parents." I have witnessed an ever-growing phenomenon of parents who abdicate their responsibility as a parent. These parents believe that they are entitled to have their children taken care of without putting in any effort on their part. This observation is not mine alone, but has been discussed and studied in educational circles throughout the country. These parents buy into the pundits that blame our schools for their children's educational and social problems. I have increasingly seen:

 Parents who blame the teacher for their child's failure.

 Parents who make excuses for why their child acts unacceptably or fails to complete class or homework assignments.

 Parents who demand a homework club for their child instead of providing assistance at home (thus the term homework).

 Parents who don't communicate or interact with the school or the teacher and who choose to believe only what the child tells them.

 Parents who don't contribute either monetarily or with volunteer hours to their child's school.

 Parents whose only volunteer time is to attend field trips as entertainment rather than as a chaperone or helper.

 Parents who don't get their children to school regularly, on time or pick them up on time at the end of the day.

 Parents who fail to show up for conferences, curriculum nights or open houses.

 Parents who don't know what their child is studying in science, social studies, math or even what book their child is reading.

If you see yourself in the above list, then you need to do your part to make your child's education a success. We cannot be the parent. We are educators not police, doctors, social services, therapist, behaviorists, lawyers, psychologists, complaint departments or whipping posts. Support your schools and your teachers. Lobby your legislature for adequate funds for education. Monitor your child's homework and find out and support what your child is learning. Your child is entitled to a free and appropriate public education - the public needs to step up and not fail our schools. Our future depends on it.

Margaret Rodrigues has taught in Morgan Hill for 34 years, is married with three grown children (two are educators), is the MHFT vice-president and served on the California Association for Gifted Board of Directors. She was Morgan Hill Teacher of the Year in 2005 and CAG Teacher of the Year in 1990. She is a participant in the TAHG and the elementary facilitator for that project.