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Basketball star Magic Johnson to end school drop outs in Los Angeles.

NBA Basketball great and former Los Angeles Laker, Magic Johnson announced today he will partner with Edison Learning, a New York education company, that seeks to curb school dropout rates in urban cities.

The basketball MVP said he is shooting to end the sky-rocketing student dropout rates in urban cities and will accomplish this challenging task by setting up dropout prevention and recovery centers.

The “Magic Johnson-Edison Learning Assist,” program will work with Edison Learning to keep at-risk disadvantaged youths interested in a high-school diploma.

“Improving the quality of life for people residing in urban areas is my life’s passion,” Johnson explained as his reason to address the broken government (public) education system. “When just over 40 percent of students in Los Angeles, Houston, and Baltimore are graduating from high school, and less than 30 percent of black males in New York, Detroit and Miami, steps need to be taken to recapture these
students into the education system to better their opportunities in life.”


An Edison Learning spokesperson, Michael Serpe said they are the school turnaround experts and operate more than 390 schools in the U.S., England and the Middle East. The company sets out to encourage youths to stay in school and even return to school after they dropout by providing high-tech learning centers open before and after public schools traditionally close.

The NBA star, Johnson, is not paying for the centers, says Serpe. “The basketball hall-of-famer is, however, lending his name to the centers, which will be branded ‘Magic Johnson Bridgescape Learning Centers.’”

Serpe contends that the attachment of Magic’s name, as well as his presence, will garner more awareness for the centers and hopefully boost enrollment.

Serpe said Edison Learning is currently negotiating with Los Angeles Unified School District officials about operating centers in urban LA.

“The education professionals at Edison Learning have established a solid record for improving urban and under-performing schools,” Johnson said. “The work they have done on behalf of children in some of the most challenging schools and communities in the nation are the reason I chose to work with them in this effort.”

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

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Charter schools make sense for parents and teachers says Congressman Hunter

A Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education, hearing yesterday examined the possible role of charter schools in the nation’s failing education system.

“Republicans on this committee have been strong proponents of charter schools for many years, as we recognize the opportunities they offer parents and students,” said Committee Chair Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA). “Charter schools empower parents to play a more active role in their child’s education, and offer students a priceless opportunity to escape underperforming schools. These innovative institutions also open doors for teachers to experiment with fresh teaching methods and curricula that they believe will have the greatest positive impact on students in their individual community.”

Many teachers agree there is a better way to educate the nation’s children. “If you think about it, school educators are better equipped to spend an annual allotment of money at their school,” said one public school teacher in California. “We are being asked to adapt to federal and union standards for education instead of paying attention to what our particular communities need.”

Ms. DeAnna Rowe, Executive Director of the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools, agreed and called charter schools “an integral part of a complex system.”

Rowe further said that Charter Schools “provide an alternative for families to find the environment that will allow each student to reach his or her full potential… They have proven to be a tremendous source of innovation, providing all schools with new tools and methods of improving student achievements.”

Congressman Hunter, who has three young children, explained that these schools not only increase flexibility and autonomy, but charter schools are held accountable for their results.

“If charter schools don’t perform, they cease to exist. Performance is the bottom line. It is a brilliant marriage between business and education, explained Ms. Debbie Beyer, Executive Director of Literacy First Charter Schools in California. “It forces competition and requires serious and deliberate attention to every daily detail to justify our existence.”

“Charter schools are not the only answer to school reform,” said Ms. Elizabeth Delaney Purvis, Executive Director of the Chicago International Charter School, “but represent one way that school districts and state agencies can efficiently and affordably improve and increase educational options for families.”

Perhaps charter schools could have saved a black mother jail time and a felony conviction that will now prevent her from realizing her dream of becoming a teacher.

Kelly Williams-Bolar, an Ohio mother of two was sentenced to 10 days in jail and three years probation earlier this year for sending her kids to a school in a district that she did not live. Williams-Bolar told school administers that she lived in the district with her ex-husband in order to get her kids a better education.

In addition to the jail time, the court determined the school district is owed $30,500 for two years of “tuition.” The judge, Patricia Cosgrove, stated the punishment was just and would make “others who think they might defraud the school system, perhaps, think twice.”

The judge lectured Williams-Bolar and said; “Because of the felony conviction, you will not be allowed to get your teaching degree under Ohio law as it stands today. The court’s taking into consideration that is also a punishment that you will have to serve.”

However, one must wonder if the court system is prepared to arrest and penalize all the parents of illegal alien children who attend public schools across the nation, while residing illegally in the U.S.

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© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.

Continue reading on Charter schools make sense for parents and teachers says Congressman Hunter – San Diego County Political Buzz |

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